Elder's Prayer - January 28, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
This past week marked the forty-fifth anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized the killing of unborn babies across the United States. Our country has condoned the ending of millions upon millions of lives. It is heart wrenching to contemplate the magnitude of this atrocity against humanity and against God alike. We mourn together the innocent lives taken over the last 45 years. We know every life has intrinsic value and worth. Scripture is clear that every human being is created in the image of God and therefore has value.
While we are mindful of the innocent lives cut short before birth, let us not forget to pray for the other casualties of abortion – namely the mothers and fathers who made the decision to end the life of their child. Or even grandparents who might have suggested or condoned a daughter's abortion to avoid the embarrassment or stigma created by church culture that might wound that family instead of come alongside them in a very difficult situation. They need our prayers. They need our gospel- motivated care. Our gospel informed counsel. They need the mercy of God offered only in the gospel of Christ.
Heavenly Father, you are the creator of all and the giver of life. You have created mankind in your image to reflect your glory to this world. We praise you that every person is created in the image of God. There is no such thing as a wasted human life. There is no person who is any less of a person than another. Every person, including the unborn, bears the image of God and therefore bears all of the rights of life. Help us to proclaim this truth rather than dismiss or deny it. Make us people who value all human life, particularly the lives of the vulnerable who need our protection. We pray you would increase our empathy, compassion, and love for our neighbors, no matter their age, race, ability, background, or need.
Help us to be a church marked by both truth AND grace.
I'd ask that you would make abortion an unthinkable option for anyone in our midst or our circle of influence to ever consider as an option. Not simply because it destroys life, but because it is an affront to what you have created, what you have sovereignly knit together in a mother's womb.
I pray for gospel compassion. Jesus, show us how to love and care for women and men whose lives are marked by abortion. Only the gospel is sufficient for that guilt. Only the gospel can bring healing. Only the gospel can transform. The blood of Christ cleanses every soul that cries out to you in belief and repentance. Don't let anyone think this particular sin or any sin is too great for your mercy and grace to cover.
Help us to look forward to glorious day spoken of in Revelation 21 when a loud voice from the throne will be heard announcing " … " the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."  And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new."... Father, how we long for the day when death is no more. When tears will be wiped away. When the mourning will be no more. Until that day, give us wisdom. Give us strength. Give us perseverance. Give us the sufficient grace we need to live according to your word and be faithful ambassadors of Christ and advocates for life in our communities and among the nations of the world.