By Kevin DeYoung:
O Lord, who has given to you that you should repay him? Surely we have given you nothing and yet you lavish your riches upon us. Who are we that you should have set your affections upon us?
How infinite your tenderness toward us. How astounding your glory that you should have chosen us before the ages began. How amazing your grace in forgiveness and redemption. All that we have and all that we are and all that we will be are bound up in your Son, Jesus Christ.
We pray, therefore, in the name of Jesus that you would make us strong in our inner being. Through your Spirit give us power that is not our own. With Christ in our hearts, make us steadfast that we may not give up in the face of suffering, or give in to cultural pressures, or give ourselves over to the lusts of the flesh.
We earnestly plead that by your sovereign might and majesty we may not only know, but truly grasp, the love of Christ. We want to taste and see that you are good. Give us born again tastebuds. Give us spiritual eyes. Let Jesus’ compassion, mercy, and kindness overwhelm us and overflow from us.
And fill us, Lord. We want to be more like you and know you more. It seems like we have so far to go, but you can do all things. May our fragrance be as the aroma of Christ to others. May our gatherings be so marked by your presence that sinners and unbelievers fall down and worship, exclaiming, “God is really among them!”
Do more than we can ask. Bring yourself glory in ways we have not imagined. If it means more people, bigger budgets, more influence, more programs, so be it. If it means more sacrifice and more suffering, your will be done.
May Jesus Christ be praised. Amen.