O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens and when we gaze upon them, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what are we Lord that you are mindful of us? What are we that you care for us enough to condescend to us? You the King of kings becoming a Servant of servants?
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“…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
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.
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.
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.
Lord God, from all eternity You have existed as one God in three persons. You worked together for our salvation, bringing us near to You forever. As our Father, You set Your loving affection upon us, Your people, even before the creation of the world, to make us Your very children who You would redeem through Your Son and Spirit, bringing glory to Your name. As our Saviour, You Lord Jesus took upon Yourself human flesh to live a life in perfect righteousness from our side, suffering the judgment we deserve for our sins, in our place, and rising to life by the very divine power at work within You. As the One who would apply that redemption and bring us to You, in time Your Holy Spirit drew us out of our sin, helping us to see our broken, fallen estate and the greatness of the majesty of Christ. You gave us the gift of faith, eyes to see and ears to hear Your call, and graciously drew us when we were wayward and turned away. Lord we praise You that You have revealed who You are to us through Your Word, illuminated by Your Spirit, that You are One God in three persons, the Holy Trinity. We ask that You would impress this wonderful mystery of the Trinity and Your work of salvation into our hearts that we might revel in Your glory and so be changed into Your likeness.
Father in all of your ways You are righteous and holy and good. In Your sovereignty, you reign as the One who works all things after the counsel of Your own will and providence, for the good of Your people. In Your justice and righteousness you right all wrongs and yet Christ chose in mercy to bear the very punishment we deserve in our place. Lord we see in Scripture the unfolding beauty and glory of Your redemption plan as You work it out through time, seeing Your faithfulness throughout generations and generations. Lord in our own lives though, we are so tempted to doubt Your goodness and faithfulness to us. In trial and suffering Lord help us to set our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ by seeing Your faithfulness in Your Word and also how You have proved Yourself time and again in our own lives. May we not be tempted to doubt Your goodwill toward us when difficulty enters our life. And in our prosperity and material blessing Lord, may we not forget You and Your love toward us and have our faith crowded out by the things of this world. In both trial and blessing, may we not miss the hope and glory of the mercy we have received and would You impress Yourself upon our hearts by Your Spirit, giving us peace and joy.
Father God, it is out of our own weakness and frailty that You show Yourself strong and mighty, to those who wait for and call upon Your name; it is out of our own lack of internal resources or the ability to lift our hands to do anything to help ourselves where you show up and provide an abundance of greatness with all of Your benefits, lifting us up from the mire and breathing life into our souls; it is out of our poverty and wanting that You produce a wealth beyond what this world could never offer or provide, because You Jesus are our treasure; it is in suffering and experiencing the corrosion and decay and loss within this world that You show Yourself to be the only one who could ever console, heal, satisfy, and comfort us at the deepest level of our being, in our heart of hearts, creating a joy in us that transcends understanding. It is You who loved us even when we were turned away from you in disobedience, while we were yet sinners. It is You who set a plan in motion together with Your Son to bring us back to Yourself, and it is You who is with us even as we await the fullness of our salvation when Your Kingdom comes in power and glory at Your return.
Father, we’re in need of your light to shine in our darkness. Just as the people were turned away and seemingly without hope before the time of Your Son’s arrival and His revelation as Your beloved Son, so also Lord our world is in darkness and without hope apart from the gospel of Your Kingdom. We thank You that You made Him known to us in power in Your Word and by Your Spirit, such as when Simeon proclaimed that he had seen the salvation of God in the temple while holding Jesus in his arms, and at His baptism when You Father proclaimed that this is Your well beloved Son in whom You are well pleased. And not only this but He demonstrated His power in miracles, at the cross and ultimately in the resurrection, to show beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is the Christ and that He is good and merciful and just and that He is the One who rescues us from our sins, making us citizens of His Kingdom. Lord grant us to love Him with all of our affections, our hearts and minds, our wills, with our actions and the way we live, as those who have been delivered from sin, and that in this way we would honor Him as the One who reigns and the One who delivered us from evil.