Elder Prayer (2/20/22)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

“I have been crucified with Christ.”

Praise to You, our Almighty, Most Holy God–we praise You for the life of our Lord Jesus. What a tremendous example to us of a life lived wholly and completely to bring You glory. His was the one life ever lived in perfect harmony and intimate communication with You, Father.

Thank You for the death of Jesus, the One who bore every one of our sins on Himself to make a way for us to exchange our desolation and desperation for His perfection. We were without any hope in this world, but through Christ who strengthens us, we are more than conquerors.

And You have called us to die—to ourselves, to our sinful ways, to the cares and calls of the world, to all that money and power and human knowledge could ever get us—which is nowhere. Everything we could try to attain is a chasing after the wind. We offer ourselves, and we sacrifice everything that could stand in the way of a deeper and stronger relationship with You.

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

Thank You for the identity and purpose that You have given to us in Jesus Christ, that our lives can be completely bound to His.

We confess that our hearts are prone to leave You, the One we love, for fake gods, for distractions that pull us away from allowing Christ to live in us. Forgive us for working harder to win than to be winsome. Show us where we are not living like Jesus, but seeking to work in our own strength.

Thank You that Your only Son suffered to pardon us, and in His rising from the dead, He was able to overthrow the grave and to purchase our forgiveness. To this we hold, our sin has been defeated. Jesus is our one defense, our righteousness. The chains are released, and we can sing “I am free, yet not I, but through Christ in me.”

The night is dark, and there are many ways that we see the forces of evil advancing in our lives, in our nation, and in our world. Yet we know that we are not forsaken. We bring to You our deepest valleys—the hurting family members, others we love who are wandering far from You, and our own hurts.

We ask You to bring peace where wars are ready to erupt, and we plead with You to conform us more to Your image. We ask for the wisdom that comes from You, Father, that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

“And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Jesus is the One who saves us in every moment of our days, and He will never leave us. So, we commit to persevere despite our own failings and shortcomings, knowing that Your power is made perfect in our own weakness.

We ask You to work powerfully in the hearts of our middle school students on their retreat this weekend, and in the high school students as they go away next weekend. Enable Jeremy Davis and all of the volunteers to display the gift of grace we have in Jesus our Redeemer, and to speak Your truth in boldness and in love to challenge and equip each student for a life of loving service to You.

We ask that You would comfort and strengthen the believers at the Amchit Baptist Church in Lebanon. Please direct the visitation ministry that involves adults and now children, and we ask that Your Spirit will break down barriers to faith in Christ and multiply the impact of the Church’s outreach. Please help Pastor Joseph as he prepares a sermon series on contemporary social issues from a Biblical perspective. Please give him wisdom in framing his messages and great power in teaching.

Jesus, our only hope is in You—so we give all the glory evermore to Your precious name. We pray that Your name would be proclaimed in each aspect of this service, we pray that You would go before and speak through Pastor Dave and that You would work powerfully through what he has to share with us in this day.

We agree with the songwriter that “when the race is complete, still my lips shall repeat, Yet not I but through Christ in me.” It is in Your name that we lift up these prayers to You. AMEN!

(Keith Brown)