Congregational Prayer: April 20, 2014 – Easter Sunday

Our Holy Father and our God, we come on this Easter Sunday giving thanks for the many blessings You have given to us in Christ. We know beyond doubt, O God, that it is in Him and Him alone that we have life. From all eternity You set Your love upon us, with the purpose and sovereign intent of redeeming us from sin and death. To that end You sent Your only-begotten Son, the Christ, to this earth to take on human flesh and become Jesus. From the glories of Heaven He came to this earth to become like us in all respects, sin only excepted. He knew weakness and fatigue, temptation, burning sun and cold. And He knew, for us, anguish like that we would only have known had He not suffered it for us. Crucified, dead and buried, three days in the heart of the earth.

Yet on the third day, O Father, by Your power and glory He was raised. That Son, of whom You said that You were well pleased, was vindicated in His obedient service to you. Having made that once-for-all offering to You, propitiating Your holy and righteous wrath against sin, He is now our ultimate faithful high priest, ever interceding for us. You have given us a Savior who effectively pleads our cause before the Ruler and Creator of all things.

Those are the things we understand, tho’ dimly. They are the things we think we know. Lord, we are still but blind, and our vision is so clouded. Open our eyes, we pray. Let us know the Triune God both in our understanding, and by being caught up in the very life of Christ. Form, instill, secure within us love, that perfect love that drives out fear. Grant to us love that drives out our pride, arrogance, self-will, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. As we are baptized into Christ’s death, so are we resurrected with Him. Form Him in us that we might all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Make us like Your Son, bring about on us the family resemblance of the family of the Living God…whatever it takes.

Father, on Easter above all times, we celebrate that You knew what we needed before we knew to ask. Yet still You tell us in Your word to bring our supplications before You. Hear our prayers, O God…

[Congregational Concerns]

And now, Father, as we continue, we ask that You would superintend this by Your Holy Spirit, that what we do here might be pleasing in Your sight.

All this we pray in Christ’s holy name.

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