Friday, August 03, 2007

A Prayer for the Next Year

Father,
Won't you send your Son today! Much is left unsaid. Many are left unloved. Work is undone. Even so, Lord, come! Your coming is more essential and more glorious than our sermons, our fellowship, our programs, or any other good and worthy thing we find to do. Being with you is more essential than being busy in this life. Come, Lord, come.

None whom you have called are outside of your grace and love. None whom you have purchased have been lost to the world. All things are done according to your good and perfect will. You have not and you cannot fail. You rule. So, Lord, even before this is finished being prayed or read, come. Come, Lord Jesus.

But if in your inscrutable and perfect will you decide to tarry, then Lord hear my cry for this next year of life and ministry at FBC.

Oh Lord, make me to love my wife as Christ loves the church. Grant that I would sacrifice, give, labor, wash, and die for her by the love of Christ in me. More and more make me the husband that portrays to a watching, wasting, bewildered, and dying world what your love looks like. May sinners see us together and bow at the matchless love of your Son displayed at Calvary. For your glory and our blessing, make us to increasingly know the deep mystery of being one flesh.

Father, should you keep hidden the day and the hour of your Son's return, please let this year see the conversion of an innumerable number of souls! Add to your church those that are being saved. Swell the ranks of the redeemed until everywhere the work of Christ is placarded for all to see, until the power of the gospel to save is known in every land among every people. Father, grant that all of my children would be in that number. Grant that the children of First Baptist Church would all be gripped with the saving knowledge of Christ in all His glory and splendor and majesty. Oh, Lord, let this be the generation that rises in shouts of praise and acclamation to your Name.

And Father, we've heard you call us to be holy as you are holy. To be merciful as you are merciful. Grant that we should indeed know the joy of holiness in Christ. Grant that we should walk in your mercy that we might be shown mercy. Quicken us with desire and diligence in being conformed to Jesus our Savior. Oh, Lord, in a land and time where people perish pursuing petty pleasures, make FBC an overwhelming and compelling colony where true pleasure is found...the pleasures of fellowshipping with you, of longing to see your face, where the unsurpassed greatness of knowing you is lived and experienced. Grant, Father, if it pleases you, that those who have been entrapped by sins and snares of various sorts find triumphant liberty in Christ. Grant that those who have been progressing in holiness would run all the more. Make us whole. With one voice and one heart, may it be that we have nothing on earth that we desire besides You, that we proclaim and live knowing that we have nothing in heaven but you! Oh, Lord you are our portion.

And Father, demonstrate your wisdom in this church and all of your churches. Grant that the many here from various nations, one new man in Christ, would reveal to heavenly powers and mere earthlings that you are wise beyond all. Grant that the church would continue in an unceasing period of peace and unity. May a man know his brother as though knowing his own mind. May a woman know her sister as if communing with her own heart. May we all have the mind of Christ, humble, lowly, considering others better than ourselves, serving and making ourselves of no reputation. Oh, let that mind be and continue to be in us. Make us a strong family, open to all you bring, and protecting each other against the assaults of the world, rejoicing in your goodness and wisdom as we live together in your Spirit.

Heavenly Father, just and true, make us faithful. We are your stewards, grant that we would with care and diligence attend to our trust. Supply us with more teachers of your word, men prepared and seasoned and capable of rightly dividing the word of truth. Make the congregation discerning in all it hears, testing the preaching and teaching by your word. Set a plumbline in our midst. Keep us from itching ears and heaping unto ourselves teachers who flatter and speak smooth words and dull the sharp blade of your word. Grant that we would love the truth, that we would rejoice when pierced and cut by your sword, that we delight in the wounds of friends who speak the truth in love. Bless us with ears to hear what you say in your word.

May our love be evident to all, our love for You and for each other. May our hope remain steadfast and anchored in Christ. May we learn Christ and be clothed together in Him.

Lord Jesus, our High Priest and Advocate, intercede for us with the Father. I don't know how to pray as I ought, so I trust in the groanings of the Spirit and your continuing intercession. Ask and do what you will. Grant us humility and joy and faith and love as you do. We are yours, purchased with your blood, preserved by your Spirit, and eagerly awaiting your return. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.

4 comments:

Mattie said...

I can only utter a humble "Amen."

Tullian Tchividjian said...

Thabiti, words cannot express my gratefulness for both the truth and beauty of this prayer. It says it all. And not only that, it says it in the right order.

I met you once about two years ago on a Sunday night in Mark's office. Do you remember? I was visiting Josh at Covenant Life and Mark asked me to come down to CHBC and check out a Sunday evening service and than the "round table" discussion in his office. I remember you only because, thos there were commenting on your sermon from that morning and one guy said it was "Spurgeonesq." D you remember? Anyway, blessings on you brother.

Steve said...

Wow, this is really good. So strong, so rich. Thank you.

Robert said...

Amen! and Amen again brother.