Give us faith, Lord ... May Jesus be our Joy ... Holy Spirit, we welcome You (prayers based on Ezekiel 35 - 37).
‘You will be desolate, O Mount Seir, you and all of Edom. Then they will know that I am the Lord’ (Ezekiel 35:15). The people of Edom knew You, Lord, as their Judge. We thank You there is a much better way of knowing You. We can know You as our Saviour. Those who refuse to come to Jesus Christ, trusting in Him as Saviour, place themselves under God’s judgment. They are ‘condemned already because they have not believed in the Name of God’s one and only Son.’ They will know the Lord as their Judge - but they could have known Him as their Saviour if they had submitted to Your saving purpose for their lives: ‘God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him’ (John 3:17-18). Each of us must choose. You're asking us a very important question - Do you know Christ as Saviour, or will you face Him as Judge? Give us faith, Lord - faith in Your Son, our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
‘I will look on you with favour’ (Ezekiel 36:9). Through Christ our Saviour, You, Lord, look upon us with favour. Teach us to rejoice in the ‘wonderful grace of Jesus.’ It is ‘greater than all our sin.’ It 'reaches us.' We thank You, Lord, for Your wonderful grace: "Let me introduce you to a friend called Grace. Doesn’t care about your past or your many mistakes. He’ll cover your sins in a warm embrace. Let me introduce to a friend called Grace." "‘His grace reaches lower than your worst mistake and His love will run further than you can run away." "He believes in lost causes when common sense would just give up. He believes in lost causes and changes people with His love. There’s nobody too far gone, no one beyond His reach. He believes in lost causes ‘cause He believed in me" (Phillips, Craig and Dean). Teach us to let Jesus be our Joy!
It was ‘a valley of dry bones’ (Ezekiel 37:1-2). Then, Lord, You changed everything - ‘I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live’ (Ezekiel 37:5). What a difference You make! ‘Breathe on me, Breath of God. Fill me with life anew’ (Church Hymnary, 103). What happens, Lord, when Your Spirit breathes new life into Your Church? - ‘The Church that seemed in slumber has now risen from its knees and dry bones are responding with the fruits of new birth.’ ‘Holy Spirit, we welcome You. Holy Spirit, we welcome You. Let the breeze of Your presence flow that Your children here might truly know how to move in the Spirit’s flow... . Please accomplish in us today some new work of loving grace, we pray. Unreservedly, have Your way. Holy Spirit, we welcome You’ (Mission Praise, 274,241).