Elder's Prayer - November 5, 2017
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
If you are familiar with Chapter 1 of Isaiah, you know that it opens with a scathing rebuke of Judah because of its wickedness.
Speaking on behalf of the Lord, Isaiah calls them a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity- who have forsaken the Lord.
He attacks their worship- he says, “my soul hates your appointed feasts-they have become a burden to me.
Because he knows their hearts, he says, even though you make many prayers, I won’t listen.
But then, in v18 he says-“Come now, let us reason together… though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
This is the same invitation he issues to us today-to bring our sins to him-not just the obvious ones, but the sins of our hearts-our wrong desires, our unmet expectations-that often lead to anger and bitterness.
The forgiveness we are withholding from one another, the malice we are harboring against each other.
Proverbs 28:13 says “whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy”.
Holding on to sin is forsaking the Lord-it can destroy our worship and make our prayers empty-it impacts every area of our lives.
So, this morning, let’s confess our sins to a God who wants "to reason with us".
A God, who by his Word and Spirit, promises to increasingly conform us to the image of his Son when seeking his counsel.
Before we pray, take a moment to search your heart and confess your sins to our Lord, who promises to cleanse us by the blood of our Savior.
Teach us to search our hearts oh Lord and to quickly discern when we are sinning against you and each other.
Teach us to understand the sinful desires of our hearts and to increasingly recognize our sin and at the same time learn to discern what is pleasing to you.
Teach us to recognize our own impurity, evil desires and covetousness that lead to anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk and lying.
Teach us to be quick to confess and forsake our sin.
Grant us compassionate hearts filled with kindness and humility.
Teach us patience and how to bear with one another-and when there is strife between us how to be quick to forgive and seek resolution-just as you forgave us.
Lord, we lay all our sins before you now and seek your mercy and your transforming power.