Faithlife Sermons

Prayer Service 3-1-23

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Ephesians 1:3 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Not promised temporal blessings, per se...
In Christ, we have EVERY eternal blessing guaranteed to us.
Ephesians 1:4 (ESV)
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him...
Ephesians 1:4–5 (ESV)
4...In love
5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ...
Next, Paul tells us the criteria for our adoption...
He tells us why we were chosen.
Ephesians 1:5 (ESV)
5 ...according to the purpose of his will,
Notice what he doesn’t say:
because of something good He foresaw in us.
Because of His foreknowledge of our will or desires.
No! Nothing man-centered like that!
Paul says, simply:
Ephesians 1:4–5 (ESV)
4...he chose us in him before the foundation of the world...
5 ...according to the purpose of his will,
And then he adds this in verse 6:
It’s the “telos” of this election.
Ephesians 1:6 (ESV)
6 to the praise of his glorious grace...
The Glory of God!
That’s the end goal of this predestination
Not to make us arrogant
But to humble us in order that...
…we would ascribe to Him all the credit and glory for our salvation.
Then, of this “glory-filled grace,” Paul says:
Ephesians 1:6 (ESV)
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Then He lists out some of those blessings:
Ephesians 1:7 (ESV)
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Of that grace that wrought redemption and forgiveness, Paul says that He:
Ephesians 1:8 (ESV)
8 which he lavished upon us...
Caused to abound...
But, watch this… NOTrecklessly” as some say:
Ephesians 1:8–9 (ESV)
8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
Insight = prudence or understanding.
Insight into what?
9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
Ephesians 1:10 (ESV)
10 as a plan for the fullness of time,
What was the Plan that came to fruition at the Cross of Christ?
to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Holy God
Sinful Men
Narrowing his focus a bit, Paul says:
Ephesians 1:11 (ESV)
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance,
Because of our greatness?
Because of our physical ancestry?
having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
And again, why do it this way ?
What is the ultimate goal in this design?
Ephesians 1:12 (ESV)
12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
And if that wasn’t cause enough...
…to lift our hearts and minds in adoration...
He adds this:
Ephesians 1:13–14 (ESV)
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Do we have ample cause to praise Him?
Let’s do that!

Prayer of Adoration


2 Timothy 3:16–17 (ESV)
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God...
Here’s what that means:
2 Peter 1:20–21 (ESV)
20 prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.
21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Paul goes on to say:
...and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Why would I put this in the category of “Confession?”
Because so often, we:
Neglect to read it
Fail to recognize the inestimable gift that it is (especially us today)
Look to “un-inspired” men for these “profits” . . .
over and above/more frequently than Scripture itself.
Look to:
The internet
Social Media
Celebrity Pastors
Confessions, Creeds, Sacred Traditions
Our own feelings, desires, impulses.
None of these things are inherently bad...
…but if God has spoken to us FULLY...
…through His Son...
Then above all other things, we must listen to and obey Him!
We see the principle illustrated at Jesus’ Transfiguration:
Matthew 17:1–8 (ESV)
1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.
4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

Prayer of Confession


John 17:6–10 (ESV)
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me...
9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
He goes on to pray:
John 17:23 (ESV)
23...that you . . . loved them even as you loved me.
Union with Christ!
Last verse:
John 17:26 (ESV)
26 I made known to them your name . . . that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
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Galatians 2:15–20 (ESV)
15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;
16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

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