We spent the second half (or so) of last night's sermon praying together about God's Spirit working in our church. I love the prayers because they come straight from scripture, and ask God to breathe his life into our church. Since I have a problem with talking too much, we did not get to pray several of the prayers I had listed together. I want to share them with you this morning, though, and ask that you pick at least one or two and pray with me. Please feel free to pray the basic prayer listed (for example, "rest on us"), but then continue in your prayers however you think appropriate. (These prayers are in no particular order.)
Let's thank God that he wants to work in us--even us!
- Rest on us: "If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you." (1 Peter 5:14)
- Unite us: "eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:3)
- Give us joy: "you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit," (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
- Make us servants: "we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code." (Romans 7:6)
- Help us: "By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you." (2 Timothy 1:14)
- Convict us: "And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:" (John 16:8)
- Grow us: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)
- Lead us: "If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit." (Galatians 5:25) / "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." (Romans 8:14)
- Strengthen us: "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:14-21)
- Pour into us: "God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:5)
- Comfort us. "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God," (Romans 8:16)
P.S. I know it is always tempting to attempt to pin down exactly what all of this looks like in real life--I always find myself doing the same! Try, though, in these prayers, simply to pray what scripture is telling us. And, don't forget to ask God to help increase your understanding and mine!