My Prayer for You
My Prayer for You
Text: 1 Peter 5.10
If you go to a jewelry store and ask to see a certain jewel, the Jeweler will bring out his piece and display it on a black cloth. And my, the jewel sparkles in all of its glory against the black background.
The Apostle prays much how I wish to pray for you tonight as your pastor, against a background of suffering.
I would like to say two things. First, the daily duty of your pastor is as much to pray as it is to preach to reprove, rebuke, exhort and instruct.
The second thing I would like to say is I don’t want to just tell you “Happy New Year.” So many things we say are just meaningless and unhelpful because they lack the truth of life, which is much sorrow. Notice he says, “After you have suffered a while.” Peter doesn’t leave out the reality of this life, but truthfully includes it in His prayer.
I want the last thing for you to know of 2008, that in 2009, my prayer is to ask of God for each of you, Four Sparkling Jewels: Perfection, Establishment, Strengthening and Settlement.
Have you ever seen the Statue of David by Michelangelo? It is an exquisite masterpiece. But imagine if Michelangelo had died before he finished it. And what is a Christian if he did not make it to perfection. What if Satan were able to triumph and sin conquered grace.
But let me tell you, the prayer will be answered. God shall make you perfect, if He has begun the good work in you. Listen to Philippians 1.6 – “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
But you cannot be perfected without the fire. This is my prayer that you accept joyfully from His hand the sufferings as you do His mercies.
Paul describes the last days a “Perilous times.” Besides all of the debauchery and immorality, one thing he says is that men will be “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” because they resist the truth. Paul prays in Ephesians that they be “rooted and grounded.”
My prayer is that you be established, that your faith built on the rock and not on the sand, that your Conviction be DEEP, your Love REAL and your Desire for Christ EARNEST – that you be fixed and established that fire of the trial not destroy you but refine you.
Picture the Soldier for Christ from Ephesians 6. He has his armor on. He is in the army of the Lord. He has the shield of faith and perfectly clad in all his armor; but when he raises his sword it strikes with a feeble force. He trembles to hold the shield and stands with knocking knees. He is weak like a child. What does he need? Strength!
The athlete, in order to strengthen his body, lifts weights that actually tear down the muscle. And when the muscle repairs itself, it is then stronger.
I pray that the Lord tear you down, so that you gain strength needed for the fight and the endurance to finish the race.
If you took a tree and transplanted it every week, it would soon die. In fact, if you moved it every year, no matter how carefully or skillfully it was done, no one would expect any fruit. Some Christians have not been settled enough in the Scriptures that they accept almost anything. What else do you have to be settled on, but the Word of God – it is the Truth.
I pray that you be settled like the man of God in Psalm 1 – “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season…”
What basis do I have to pray such a thing? Upon the Person and character of “the God of all grace!” He is not God of a few graces or little graces, but ALL grace – boundless, infinite and limitless supply.
This is my prayer for each of you that you sparkle with these Four Jewels: Perfection, Establishment, Strengthening and Settlement. “He which began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”