Sunday, August 10, 2014
Penciled Prayers: May They Fear God and Give Him Glory
Los Angeles International Airport, Terminal 6, Alaska Airlines, Gate 69B, 1037 HRS; waiting to board Flight 571 to Portland.
Father, as I wait to board my flight to Portland, where I will serve for the next eight days under the authority and leadership of my beloved brother, Pastor Chuck O'Neal, I am filled with excitement, anticipation, and a great sense of sobriety regarding the task to which You have called me. I love the Beaverton Grace Bible Church Family--my family. Thank You, Father, for giving me this wonderful gift--the gift of love, support, and friendship, which I receive every day, one way or another, from my BGBC family. Lord, please help me to love, serve, challenge, teach, and encourage my BGBC family this week. Help me, Father, to show them the love of Christ as often as possible. And if You allow this, Father, please let the result be an increase in their worship and praise of Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Father, I know I will receive much love, care, and affection from my BGBC family and from those who will attend the conference. Such is the beautiful nature of fellowship among those You have elected and saved. Lord, please protect me from sinning against You as a result of the attention I will receive. Please guard my heart and mind from craving and delighting in the praises of Your people. You share Your glory with no one; help me not, even for a moment, to seek any glory for myself. Guard me from the thought or expression of false humility. Father, I want and need to be conformed to the image of Your Son in every area of my life, including the area of humility. Please help me to serve this week as He served, love as He loved, sacrificed as He sacrificed--with perfect humility.
Father, please help me to serve Pastor Chuck well this week as his aide de camp, his courier, his lieutenant, his grunt in the trenches. And Lord, if You deem it necessary, please allow me to take any fiery arrows fired by our spiritual enemies, or any shots fired by our physical enemies that are intended for him. Better for the sheepdog to be wounded in battle than the shepherd.
Father, please ordain many to come to the conference this week. Please compel those who are yet undecided to come. Lord, I ask that there would be false converts among us this week. I pray they would hear Your glorious gospel every evening and, by Your grace, be brought to genuine repentance and faith in You, Lord Jesus.
Father, in the five pulpit sermons You have allowed me to prepare, please allow me to say only what You would have me say--only the words that would bring You the most pleasure and glory--only the words that would bring the most instruction and edification to Your people. All of my sermons are very long. If I am too verbose in any of my sermons, help me to effectively edit my sermons while I am preaching. Please give me clarity of mind as I preach, Lord. In each sermon, as You know, Lord, there is fiery rhetoric. Lord, if at any point in any of my sermons the rhetoric gets too hot and a sermon begins to deteriorate into a speech, please make me aware of it. Holy Spirit, if this happens, please redirect and refocus my thoughts and my attention. Holy Spirit, please keep my eyes transfixed on my Savior and His cross, as I preach in Pastor Chuck's pulpit.
Father, I thank You for our family time in Your Word last night. Thank You for allowing us to spend this precious time with my sister and her family. Thank You, Lord, that according to Your sovereign plan, You had Ian read Revelation 14. Thank You that as we discussed the truths contained in this chapter my sister said, "Verse seven would be a good verse to preach in the open-air. You should do that!"
Lord, hoping the desire is motivated by the Holy Spirit, I will memorize, meditate upon, and preach Revelation 14:6-7 this week. I pray this passage would also encourage, motivate, and further emboldened any man of God who will preach with us this week.
O Lord, I pray many will hear and obey Your command to fear You and give You glory. While the final hour of Your great judgment is yet future, many will be sealed in and for judgment as they perish in their sins this week. O Lord, there may be those who will hear us preaching the gospel during the day who will breathe their last that very night! They will not become absent from the body and present with the Lord! They will be chained, having heaped wrath upon themselves for the day of wrath. Oh, that our hearts will break, that our voices will shake with the fear of the Lord and sorrow for the perishing. May our voices crack as we preach with a very real and present understanding of the urgency of the moment.
Lord, please help me to be filled with Your Spirit, with so much love for the spiritually dead and perishing, that I will not be allowed or able to revile those who will revile me. Guard my heart and mind and close my mouth in the face of any temptation to respond to hecklers in like manner. Please allow my speech to be wholesome, loving, whimsical yet firm, uncompromising, and gentle when I am wronged. Please, Lord, help me not to do or say anything that could bring reproach and dishonor upon Your great and marvelous name.
Lord Jesus, please save many souls this week, for Your glory. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.