Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the March 1, 2020, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on Prayer. I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “Prayer as Cries of the Heart.” The main Scripture for the day is Matthew 26:36-44
(Pick and choose from the many resources and options, which I have tried to make available for your devotional life.)
From the Scriptures
Please read through these passages: Matt 26:36-44, Ps 116:13, Jer 16:7, Eze 23:33, Isa 51:17, Rev 14:10, 16:19.
From the Creeds and Confessions
Belgic Confession Article 26
ARTICLE 26: OF CHRIST’S INTERCESSION.
We believe that we have no access unto God, but alone through the only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous, who therefore became man, having united in one person the divine and human natures, that we men might have access to the divine Majesty, which access would otherwise be barred against us.
But this Mediator, whom the Father has appointed between him and us, ought in no wise to affright us by his majesty, or cause us to seek another according to our fancy. For there is no creature either in heaven or on earth who loveth us more than Jesus Christ; who, though he was in the form of God, yet made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a man, and of a servant for us, and was made like unto his brethren in all things.
If then we should seek for another Mediator, who would be well affected towards us, whom could we find, who loved us more than he, who laid down his life for us, even when we were his enemies?
And if we seek for one who hath power and majesty, who is there that has so much of both as he who sits at the right hand of his Father, and who hath all power in heaven and on earth? And who will sooner be heard than the own well-beloved Son of God?
Therefore, it was only through distrust that this practice of dishonoring, instead of honoring the saints, was introduced, doing that, which they never have done, nor required, but have on the contrary steadfastly rejected according to their bounden duty, as appears by their writings. Neither must we plead here our unworthiness; for the meaning is not that we should offer our prayers to God on the ground of our own worthiness but only on the ground of the excellency and worthiness of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is become ours by faith.
Therefore, the apostle, to remove this foolish fear, or rather mistrust from us, justly says, that Jesus Christ was made like unto his brethren in all things, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted; and further to encourage us, he adds, seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast the profession. For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The same apostle says, having boldness to enter into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, etc. Likewise, Christ has an unchangeable priesthood, wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.
What more can be required? since Christ himself says, I am the way and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. To what purpose would we then seek another advocate, since it has pleased God, to give us his own Son as an advocate?
Let us not forsake him to take another, or rather to seek after another, without ever being able to find him; for God well knew, when he gave him to us, that we were sinners. Therefore, according to the command of Christ, we call upon the heavenly Father through Jesus Christ our own Mediator, as we are taught in the Lord’s prayer; being assured that whatever we ask of the Father in his name, will be granted us.
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
A Garden in the Night (Ken Bible): Lyrics
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
Read and reflect upon John Piper’s Lord, Teach us to Fight: the Double Battle in Gethsemane
Do a personal bible study on Matthew’s Gethsemane passage using this study guide: Overcome
Read and reflect upon John Piper’s The Greatest Prayer in the World
The Sermon will be available online on March 1, 2020 at 12:30 pm.
Disclaimer: Reference to a particular article or website does not constitute endorsement or agreement with everything in that article or on that website.