September 17, 2023
Heavenly Father, you are both powerful and good. Your power is displayed so clearly in this psalm. You split the Red Sea, you held back the Jordan River, you made Mount Sinai quake, you brought water from the rock—enough to quench the thirst and meet the needs of more than a million people. How astonishing, how unique, how memorable were these powerful deeds of yours!
And how they showed your goodness as well. You were delivering your people from slavery in Egypt. You were bringing them to a good land. You protected them from the threatening waters; you provided them with the nourishing water. You gave them your good law for instruction and wisdom and fruitful living.
We praise you for being both powerful and good. Your power, as awesome and overwhelming as it is, is wedded to your goodness. Your goodness, as caring and abundant as it is, is fortified by your power.
This power and goodness created a people that were your sanctuary and your dominion. You manifested your special presence among them; you exercised your wise and life-giving rule over them. And so it is with us today in the new covenant. We believers are indwelt by your Spirit and ruled by your Son, King Jesus. You have delivered us from slavery to sin, to Satan, and to death. You worked miracles that exceeded those of the exodus. You sent your Son to become a man; he lived a perfect life; he died a unique and powerful sacrificial death; he was raised to life, the first one to experience resurrection. In union with him we have forgiveness, new life, the presence of your Spirit, the rule of your Word. We can drink deeply of the water of life.
We ought to tremble, Lord, at these astonishing expressions of your power and your goodness. Teach us to tremble at who you are and what you have done. Forgive us for marginalizing you. Turn us from trivializing you. Lead us to repent of making anything in our lives more important than you. Teach us to treasure your presence and revel in your rule.
Heavenly Father, we bring to you a number of concerns this morning—persons, situations, circumstances. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are being persecuted for their faith. Sustain them, refine them, give them courage, provide their needs, increase their witness. Thank you for their faithfulness.
We pray for the new school year now under way. We’re lifting up to you students of all ages, teachers, and administrators—in public, private, and home schools. Carry out your will, Lord, and use this year’s circumstances to deepen the faith of students and teachers who are part of our church family. Thank you for the ministries of Explorers and the Edge. Prosper Sandy and Jennifer as they lead, the teams of volunteers who serve this next generation of your people, and the children and teens who are at such a formative stage of life.
We thank you for the ladies’ retreat the past two days. May your Spirit bring rich and lasting fruit from this event: refreshment, renewal, equipping, and vision.
And we pray for the launch later this afternoon of Grafted Church in Edina. Thanks for Pastor Matt Frey and the core team of believers who are seeking to reach Jewish friends and neighbors with the good news of Jesus the Messiah. Guard and guide and make fruitful today’s gathering, and this work as it unfolds in the weeks and months to come.
And as we see, in our journey together through the book of Acts, the message about Jesus the Messiah expanding and growing, may you teach us and align us with your mission.
We pray in the preeminent name of Jesus. And all God’s people said, “Amen!”