“The exhortation to “abide” has been frequently misunderstood, as though it were a special, mystical, and indefinable experience. But Jesus makes clear that it actually involves a number of concrete realities.” (Cont’d…)
Father, in light of Your Son’s condescension from heaven and Your great love toward us, that the Lord Jesus would set aside His heavenly throne in order to be numbered among us, to redeem us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, to raise us to new life through His resurrection, and to bring us with Him into His eternal Kingdom: Father out of that love and grace that we’ve experienced and soak ourselves in today, would You produce the fruit of being other-oriented and not so self-concerned and self-consumed with our own needs and conveniences; would we set our gaze toward Christ crucified for us, that we would be a people freed from self to pursue our neighbors, for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of tangible needs that we see all around us, these two coming alongside together as a witness to the good news of eternal resurrection life and the inbreaking of new creation. We need Your Spirit to accomplish this in us for apart from You we can do nothing.
Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP)
Father, we know that no good thing can come from us in our flesh, but only that which is wrought in our hearts by Your Holy Spirit. Lord we are weak and frail apart from You, and even dead in our trespasses and sins before we come to know You, unable to respond positively until you shine the light of Your Spirit in our dark hearts to give us life from within. Even as believers though, we all know how easily we can stray from You in our thoughts and actions and even in the way we plan our lives. Lord when we set about a course for our lives, in our own wisdom, strength and power, it can only end in frustration and destruction when our course isn’t centered on Your Son. Would you go behind and before us to enable us to think and do always that which is pleasing to You, to live according to Your will? Remind us always not only of our daily dependence upon You, but even how You brought us to Yourself from the very beginning through the life, death and resurrection of Your Son, through the application of Your Spirit bringing and sustaining life within us when there was none.
O Good God, our King and Creator, seeing we have our whole trust in Thee, and do worship thee in spirit and truth, despise not, we pray thee, the sighs and prayers of thy poor servants, oppressed and afflicted by thy enemies; and keep us continually under thy protection, until we be glorified with our Head and Saviour, Jesus Christ thy Son. Amen. | Prayer on Psalm 5 – Prayers on the Psalms (From the Scottish Psalter of 1595)
After my time at General Assembly this week, I’m hopeful for the future of the PCA. There are differences in how we desire to engage in debate with culture and communicate to our world on the major issues of our day (human sexuality being the main item at this assembly). There was some disappointing discussion and debate that occurred late Thursday night around human sexuality and responses toward those who struggle in their sexuality that I had hoped would go better. And yet I’m still hopeful, because this is the Lord’s church, we are His people, and He is for us all.
It was during the course of reading the Daily Office readings for today that I read Psalm 77. Asaph has a struggle of confidence in the Lord within his heart causing him to waver, displayed here (man, have I been here before):
You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
“Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah (ESV)