“…with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” | Daniel 7:13-14
Author: David Westerfield Page 2 of 113
Father, through Your Son, we have an advocate, a permanent high priest and King who sympathizes with our weaknesses and frailty and suffering; who Himself was made like us in every respect, experienced everything as we do, yet without sin. This great high priest Jesus stands for us at this moment, in His perfect righteousness in our place, and clothes us in His glory and splendor, having lived a perfect life, suffering the penalty of our death, and rising from the grave. Would You work a greater knowledge, a greater rest and love in Him and how He is the only One who covers all of our infirmities, who washes us from the crimson stain of sin, who provides a feast for our souls in the midst of our desert exile wandering.
Father, by Your unfathomable great love, You have counted our sins to Christ and counted His righteousness to us, and covered us as with a royal robe. You have marked us out in our baptism, set us apart, and given us a new name, a new identity. Lord too often in spite of what you have already accomplished in us and for us, we live as if we were still in the far country as a prodigal yet to return, pursuing that which only perishes and not searching out the treasures already given to us in Christ through the gospel. However Lord, may we also like the prodigal return back to You, empty handed, knowing You will richly clothe us yet again, washing us, and reminding us of the standing we have with You. We are not our own. You have bought us at an incredibly great price. Father, would you work a continual repentance into our hearts in our relationship with you and also into our lives with one another? Would we lay ourselves down in Your service, rooted in this unfathomable love and grace You’ve shown us, and would You work in us to extend that same selflessness in our relationships with our family members as well as our church body, and toward those outside our fellowship.
To start, this is purely my experience based on trial and error. “Results May Vary,” or however the legal jargon is supposed to go to deflect responsibility for it not working, haha. 🙂
Father, in the beginning through Your Son, You spoke into the void of darkness and created all that exists. Jesus You are the radiance of the glory of the Father and the exact imprint of His nature. In You is life, and that life is the light of men. Just like Your creative act, Your light shines into the darkness of this world, and the darkness has not overcome You, because You overcame sin and the forces of evil and darkness at the cross. And not only that but even now, as Your people who live in this world that is stained with sin and its curse, Lord You shine the light of Your Spirit into our circumstances of suffering and pain. Lord in our weakness, in our hurt, in our longing, this is where You will meet us in great ways and are near, when we’re at our most vulnerable, anxious, fearful, and hurting. Lord would we rest in You and press into You as our fortress, shield and protector.
There’s something about understanding your ancestral roots that gives foundation to understanding who you are and where you came from. Diving into your genealogical records and background can give you some form of a framework to knowing more about your identity, why you are the way you are in various ways.
The same can be said of understanding the nature of our salvation, or rather the nature of how we were saved.
Lord out of our distress, we called to You, and You answered us and set us free from from the tyranny of Satan, our own sin, and ultimately death through the death and resurrection of Jesus. You Lord are on our side, and like a warrior of light, You fight on behalf of Your people who have long been laid low in darkness. You are our strength and song and are Yourself our salvation. Open to us Lord Your gates of righteousness that we may enter through them and give thanks to You. You have made Your light to shine upon us by Your grace alone, not because of our value or worth or works, but because of the value of Your Son, Your love first displayed and shown to us through Him. Captivate our hearts once again, saturate us with the reality that we stand on the righteousness of Christ counted to us through His work in the gospel and would You work in us to live out of the reality that we’ve been united to You in Your resurrection life.