A Prayer inspired by Hebrews 12:14-29

image 3 - Hebrews

Throughout our new series “The Final Word: Knowing Christ through Hebrews,” I am writing prayers related to the text on which we are preaching each week. This prayer is drawn from Hebrews 12:14-29. The complete list of prayers inspired by Hebrews is included at the bottom of this post. You can also view my message, “Make Every Effort,” drawn from this passage here.

Holy, holy, holy are You
Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come—
You alone are God.

We humbly approach You
knowing that we have nothing in ourselves to bring
other than our emptiness
that only You can fill with Your great provision.

Thank You for your abundant provision
through Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant.
In Him we have been graced
with every spiritual blessing You could possibly give. 

We trust the blood of Christ
as fully sufficient above every other thing.
We turn from sin and idolatry
to You, the One and Only God.

May our lives be built on Christ alone,
the firm foundation for our faith
and the all-sufficient sacrifice
Who brings us life and salvation.
 

All this we pray through You, Father,
who with Jesus the Eternal Son
and the indwelling Holy Spirit,
are One God, both now and forever.
Amen.


Prayers from Hebrews:

A Prayer inspired by Hebrews 12:1-13

image 3 - Hebrews

Throughout our new series “The Final Word: Knowing Christ through Hebrews,” I am writing prayers related to the text on which we are preaching each week. This prayer is drawn from Hebrews 12:1-13. The complete list of prayers inspired by Hebrews is included at the bottom of this post. You can also view my message, “Run,” drawn from this passage here.

Father,
thank You for Your greatest gift
in Jesus Christ, our Savior and High Priest.

Thank You for Your tender care of us
that enables us to daily walk with You and live for You.

Thank You for Your firm discipline of us
that strengthens us with perseverance for the journey.

Thank You that in all of this You are a good Father to us,
transforming us day by day over the course of our lifetime.

Help us to submit to Your Fatherly care
in both Your tenderness and Your discipline
so that we might look more like Jesus year after year
in every aspect of our lives from top to bottom.

We know this is not something we do ourselves
but that You do this in us by Your great power.
Help us, though, to surrender our lives to You
so that Your kingdom might come and Your will might be done
here on earth as it is in heaven.

All this we pray, Father, in Your name,
who, with Jesus the eternal Son and the Holy Spirit,
reign, One God, both now and forever.
Amen.


Prayers from Hebrews:

A Prayer inspired by Hebrews 10:19-39

image 3 - Hebrews

Throughout our new series “The Final Word: Knowing Christ through Hebrews,” I am writing prayers related to the text on which we are preaching each week. This prayer is drawn from Hebrews 10:19-39. The complete list of prayers inspired by Hebrews is included at the bottom of this post. You can also view the message Pastor Dan Ryan preached drawn from this passage “Persevere,” here.

We draw near to You, God, because of Jesus,
the One who washes us clean and makes free.
We approach you with our hearts that are real
and deep conviction that You are for us.

We admit to You, God, that we
are wishy-washy in our commitment.
As the old hymn says, “prone to wander”—
Lord, we feel it.

Change us from the inside out that we
might persevere in our life of faith
even when troubles surround and trials rise up
may we continue to seek You and live for You.

Unchanging God, You are our hope
and we fix our faith-filled eyes on You,
until the day when we see You face to face,
we pray in Your name, Triune God,
Amen.


Prayers from Hebrews:

Three Ways God Uses Suffering in Our Lives

perseverance

We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

The sufferings we endure are not meaningless within the hands of God. This is true regardless of whether we have brought the suffering upon ourselves or whether it has come upon us through the hands of others or our environment. When we put ourselves in the hands of God by faith, our sufferings are invested with another purpose. As the Apostle Paul outlines here in Romans 5, God takes us in the midst of our sufferings and shapes something valuable into our lives.

First, Paul writes, God shapes perseverance into our lives. This is the capacity to keep going, even in the midst of adverse circumstances. Perseverance does not just magically appear in our lives. It is something that we must develop, like a runner suffering through training until she can run a full marathon. While none of us desire suffering, when we submit our suffering to God we free Him to develop perseverance into our lives. Without perseverance, nothing else will come because we will continually push against our circumstances and against God. But as we grow in perseverance, God can have His way in developing us for His glorious purposes.

Along with perseverance, Paul tells us, God uses our sufferings to shape character into our lives. Character is not an abstract gift from God—just an idea about virtue—but is something tangibly confirmed in our lives through the furnace of our trials. If you want character without suffering, you are looking for something else; perhaps a good reputation. If you want character without perseverance, you really want something else; perhaps informational knowledge of what character is. But if we really want character, there is no other way than through the furnace of suffering. Character is developed through trying and testing, like a precious metal refined in the fire as the dross is burned away to reveal its highest quality. Our character is developed and revealed through the fires of suffering combined with our willingness to persevere.

Third, Paul tells us that hope follows character and perseverance when our suffering is given into the hands of God. Hope arises as we persevere amidst the fires of suffering in which character is shaped. Without hope we give up in life, as we know from those who lose a will to live in dire health circumstances or imprisonment. But with hope, we can find meaning in life and keep going. It is by clinging to God by faith amidst suffering that we begin to see that God is indeed doing something else as we bear up in the challenges of life. Contrary to what we perceive with our eyes, God is at work, and this revelation that God is at work brings hope into our lives. We walk by faith and not by sight, as Paul writes elsewhere (2 Corinthians 5:7), but it is hope that keeps us walking. When we yield our sufferings to God, letting Him shape Christlike character in us, hope simultaneously springs up as we realize God has not left us alone and is working in our lives.

All of this meaningful work of God amidst suffering is sustained not by sheer human willpower (although the will is significant), but by the Holy Spirit who is the bond of love tying us into the presence of God through Christ. God is at work, completing what He begins in us (Philippians 1:6). God is working within us with the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20). And so, even as Christ’s suffering was powerful significant, so, too, when we yield our sufferings to God they bring forth a harvest of righteousness for His glory.

Faith at the End of All Things [Daniel 12]

I concluded our series on the book of Daniel last weekend at Eastbrook Church by focusing on the final words of the book found in Daniel 12:5-13. This concludes the final vision of Daniel, which is also the longest vision, stretching from 10:1-12:13. This message brings together themes of persevering in our faith and the hope of the resurrection.

You can view the message video and sermon outline below. You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

Read More »