Evening Prayer: August 21, 2017

 

  1. Take a moment of silence to calm and center yourself before God; before you begin to speak to God, first come to Him ready to quiet your heart and to listen.  Allow the Holy Spirit to focus your attentions and affections as you begin.

 

  1. Meditate on and consider this statement of the gospel:

 

The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, and that in him, the Kingdom of God is near. Through Jesus Christ, God is redeeming, restoring, and recreating everything that was broken, lost, and destroyed by sin in the fall. The Gospel is the proclamation of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection according to the Scriptures fulfilling the redemption begun in covenant with Israel and now carried out through the Spirit-empowered ministry of the Church to make disciples of all nations. The Gospel is freely given by God’s grace bringing salvation and eternal life to all who receive it and obey it by faith.

 

  1. Consider the moment the truth of the gospel intersected with your life or broke through in a way that led you to truly proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior. When did you receive the “good news”? What, in that moment was the good news for you? Praise God for opening your eyes to the beautiful truth of the gospel message.

 

  1. The good news of the gospel, at some point, was offered to you through the faithful witness of others. Who were the people whose faithfulness allowed you to receive the good news of the gospel? Who loved you enough to proclaim the good news to you? Thank God for their faithfulness and pray His blessings upon them; commit yourself to the same faithful proclamation and obedience that brought you the gospel through others.

 

  1. Read Paul’s words to the Corinthian church:

Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand and by which you are being saved, if you hold to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.  Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me.

For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, so we proclaim and so you have believed.

 

  1. Pray that the Spirit would awaken a new and fresh love for the beauty of the gospel, that it would be the foundation on which you stand each day, that it would be to you (as it was to Paul) of greatest importance.

 

  1. Praise God that the message of the gospel is the message of your sins being decisively dealt with, that the record of debt that stood against you has been paid in full by Christ’s sacrifice. Let that truth penetrate beyond your head and to your heart; accept the full forgiveness of sin from Jesus, the sinless one who became sin so that you might be made righteous before God.

When you were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our trespasses, having canceled the debt ascribed to us in the decrees that stood against us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross! (Colossians 2:13-14)

 

  1. Praise God that the gospel fundamentally changes us; praise God that just as Paul, a persecutor of the church, was changed by the power of the gospel, so are we. Praise him that by the grace of God, you are who you are, not who you used to be!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

  1. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

 

Be blessed as you go; know that the work of prayer is a work of eternal significance.

“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world” -Karl Barth

 

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