Place: Grace Baptist Church of Arlington
700 S Buchannan Arlington, VA 22204
http://www.gracearlington.org/

Time:  Sunday, June 30, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

This is a concerted effort to unite together in prayer with area churches as we call upon God to stir the hearts of His people to live lives marked by fervent prayer. It is our hope that God would humble us and empower us by His Spirit so that the Kingdom of God may be advanced through Gospel proclamation so that Christ’s name would be made great among the nations.

Some of the churches participating in this evening are: Franconia Baptist Church, Good News Baptist Church, Grace Baptist Church of Arlington, Grace Church of Alexandria and Woodlawn Baptist Church.

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The following message was delivered by Mike Law Jr., pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Arlington during our last prayer gathering at Good News Baptist Church on February 24, 2013:

In 1692, puritan minister Thomas Watson published his book, A Body of Practical Divinity. In the third and final section of that work, Watson meditated on the Lord’s Prayer.  The book is a devotional gold mine, but there is a particular portion of Watson’s work which aptly reflects on what we’re considering together this evening – that God is our Father.  Watson wrote,

“See the amazing goodness of God, that he is pleased to enter into the sweet relation of a Father to us…He showed power in being our Maker, but mercy in being our Father.  That when we were enemies, and our hearts stood out as garrisons against God, he should conquer our stubbornness, and of enemies make us children, and write his name, and put his image upon us, and bestow a kingdom of glory; what a miracle of mercy is this!”

 This evening, I want us to consider from God’s Word this miracle of mercy – that God is our Father, and especially what this means for our prayer lives as Christians and as churches.  If you haven’t done so already, let me encourage you to turn in your Bibles to Matthew 6:9-13. 

The last time our congregations gathered for an evening of prayer, our brother Aaron Kraft, pastor of Franconia Baptist Church, provided us with a brief and compelling overview of the Lord’s Prayer.  We’ve decided that we would like to keep gathering our congregations together on an occasional basis and when we do, we’ll preach through the various portions of the Lord’s

Prayer and what it means for our prayer lives.  This evening we’re especially going to think about our Savior’s words, “Our Father” in the Lord’s Prayer, but before we do we ought to remember where this prayer is located in Christ’s ministry.

 The Lord’s Prayer is found in the midst of Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount.  Before Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray, he actually teaches them how not to pray.  In Matthew 6:5-6, Jesus tells his disciples not to pray like hypocrites.  Jesus speaks of men praying in public as though they’re trying to raise their reputation before other men.  They want others to think well of them, and to regard them as though they have it all together.  In other words, Jesus essentially tells his disciples, “Don’t pray as though you don’t have any needs.”  We’ve got plenty of needs, don’t we?  We are sick and we are hurting.  We are tired and discouraged.  We are tempted and we are struggling.  We are needy, and so we need to pray. 

 After Jesus tells his disciples not to pray like hypocrites, he also tells them in verses 7 and 8 not to offer meaningless and thoughtless prayers.  Jesus speaks of empty phrases being heaped up and repeated over and over again.  He tells us that we shouldn’t think that our offering up long prayers will help the Lord to hear them.  It doesn’t take him all that long to figure out what we need.  In fact, Jesus, in verse 8 speaks of God as our Father, and he says that he knows what we need even before we ask him.  

We don’t have to justify ourselves before God in prayer hoping that our long and meticulous explanation will make him sympathetic to our needs.  He’s our Father.  He is already sympathetic to his children, and he is ready and willing to meet the needs of his children.  There’s nothing we can do to earn his sympathy and love, including offering long prayers with empty phrases.  There aren’t any magic words that our Father needs to hear from us.  We are needy, our Father knows we’re needy, and so we need to pray.

 This is why Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, and in his kindness he teaches them how to pray too.  It is a prayer that we can repeat and make our own, but more than that, it is a model for how we ought to pray.  That is why Jesus says in Matthew 6:9, Pray then like this.”  And now read the read the rest of the prayer,

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.  10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

 For the rest of our time together this evening, I want us to explore Jesus’ words, “Our Father.” I want us to think for the next few moments on what it means for us to have God as our Father, and how this ought to encourage our prayer.  So if you want to take notes this evening, I’ve got two points.  First, “What does is mean that God is our Father?”  And second, “What does this mean for our prayer life?”

 1. What does it mean that God is our Father?    

The first words of the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father,” are altogether surprising.  Suddenly Jesus is speaking to his disciples as though God is their Father and they are his children.  He assumes that familial connection upon them and upon God, doesn’t he?  Jesus gives no explanation of how they became God’s children, and how God became their Father, it is simply a matter of fact.  If it were not for the one speaking these words, we would have no idea how the disciples became children of God.  But because the Son of God himself is speaking these words, we know precisely how the disciples (and we) become God’s children.

 We know that this isn’t just some general connection between God and men, this is a special connection.  Sure, it’s true that God is the Father of all mankind since he has created them and given them life and breath; however, when we see that those who utter this prayer, hallow God’s name, we see that Jesus must mean something more than God’s common Fatherhood of all mankind.  The key to understanding what Jesus means when he says that we are to call upon God as our Father is Jesus.  In John 1:12, we learn that all who receive Jesus, that is all who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

 This is good news, isn’t it?  The Holy God makes us his children.  But let’s be honest about what kind of people we are.  Our parents were stuck with us when we came into this world, but God wasn’t stuck with us.  And still he pursued us, and made us his children.  How did he do that?  How could he do that, when he is so holy and we are so filled with sin?  We’re liars and thieves.  We’re idol worshippers and mental adulterers.  We commit murder in our hearts and we’re discontent with what God has given us. How could God make us his children when we have broken his law?  The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 4:4-5.  Keeping one finger here in Matthew 6, turn in your Bibles to Galatians 4.  In Galatians 4:4-5 Paul writes,

4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,  5to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 

 Aren’t you amazed by God’s careful planning?  When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son. God prepared history for the precise moment of the incarnation of his divine Son.  God’s Son, Jesus, was born of a woman, which means that God’s Son was fully man, just as he was fully God.  Jesus took on flesh and bore our likeness.  We see that portrayed throughout the Scriptures.  He was in every way like us, yet without sin, as Hebrews 4:15 says.  Not only did the divine/eternal Son of God take flesh to himself, but he was also born under the law.  Having been born under the law Jesus was able to keep and fulfill it for us.  And Jesus did this in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

 Jesus redeems us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.  He took the punishment, penalty, and curse for sin upon himself for all those who would ever turn from their sins and place their faith in him.  This is how Jesus accomplished God’s purpose of redemption.  But Jesus was not only sent for redemption, but also that we might receive adoption as sons. Adoption is God’s work through his Son and his Spirit, to bring us into his heavenly family.  Through adoption God becomes our Father.

If you’re here tonight and you’re not follower of Jesus, then friend, I wonder what you think of this idea that God can be your Father?  This is a massive difference between Christianity and all other religions.  God has made us to relate to him as our loving Heavenly Father.  He made us in his image to serve, honor, and love him, but just like our first parents (Adam and Eve), we’ve rejected him as our Father.   We’ve decided to live our way rather than his, and this is what the Bible calls sin.  Because God is holy, loving, and just he must punish sin.  In fact because of our sin we all stand in danger of facing God’s just wrath against our sin forever in hell.

 But, in love, God sent forth his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was fully man and fully God and he lived the life that we have not lived – a life of perfect obedience to God the Father.  He died the death that we deserve to face as a punishment for our sins, taking upon himself the sins and the punishment due to sins for all of those who would ever turn from their sins and place their faith in him.  Three days later, God raised Jesus from the dead, vindicating him and proving to us all that his life and death on behalf of repenting sinners was acceptable in God’s sight. 

 Friend, if you would turn from your sins and believe that God’s Son, Jesus, lived and died for you, then you too will be adopted into God’s family as a son.  Those who are sons in God’s family receive the joy of living forever with their loving Heavenly Father.  Not only that, but today they receive the comfort of the presence of Christ in their lives through the work of the Holy Spirit.  I want to urge you to find out more about what it means to be a child in God’s family.  Please talk to someone about that tonight.  Come and find me after the service, or talk with the Christian friend you’ve come with tonight.  Become of child of God tonight, by faith in Jesus.

 God adopts us into his family by faith.  In doing so he gives us all the rights and privileges of being his children.  We’re promised the riches of heaven, and this is a staggering truth.  God wasn’t son-less.  He already had a Son.  He already had an heir, and yet he has made us co-heirs with Christ.  He has made us his children.  God’s love toward us in Christ is unbelievable, except that he’s told us to believe it, because it is true!  It is no wonder that the Apostle John exclaims in 1 John 3:1, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are!

 To have God has our Father means that God has sent the Spirit of his Son, the Holy Spirit, into our hearts thus establishing real union with God.  And it is the Spirit who urges us to look to God as our Father. We no longer cry out to God in anger, but we cry out to him in love.  The phrase “Abba! Father!” in Galatians 4:6 carries with it an understanding of intimate familial love for our Father.  Because of the Spirit’s work in our hearts, we look to God as our Father – as the one who loves his children, and is in every way extending the utmost care to them.

 If this is what it means to have God as our Father, then what does this mean for our prayer life?  This is the second question we want to consider together this evening.  Turning back to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 then, I want to draw out five implications of what this means for our prayer lives.

 2.  What does this mean for our prayer life?

First and foremost, this means that we really should approach God in prayer.  If we have this privilege, we really should exercise this privilege.  Not everyone has this privilege.  Not everyone is a son or daughter of God by faith, but those who are should talk to God in prayer.

Secondly, when we address God the Father in prayer, we approach God as our Father.  This is more of a heart orientation than anything else.  We ought to adore our heavenly Father.  We ought to honor and revere him.  While earthly fathers do not always deserve the adoration of their children, our Heavenly Father always does.  While we ought to approach our Heavenly Father with reverence, we should also approach him confident that he will hear our prayers through Jesus Christ.  He has a ready and willing ear turned toward his children because of Christ’s work.  In my sinfulness, I don’t always want to hear the pleas of my children, but God always wants to hear the cries of his children.  He is ready and able to help us. 

 As we adore God as our Father in our prayers, we will come to see with painful clarity that though we are his children, we have not lived as his children.  We have not lived as those who stand to inherit heaven.  This though is not a time to panic in our prayers.  In his mercy and grace, he will not forsake us.  Because he is so ready and willing to listen and to forgive, we (and this is the third implication) ought to run to him and confess our sins to him in prayer.  When we sin, why do we stay so long away from the throne of grace?  If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.  Christian, run to him.  He forgives his children.

The fourth implication for our prayer lives is to thank God for his gracious forgiveness in Christ.  Thank God for the righteous life of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Thank God for the sacrifice that Christ offered on your behalf.  Thank God that Jesus Christ got up from the dead and that you have the hope of the resurrection.  So often in our prayers we first run to God with our needs, and we should run to God with our needs, but we should not forget that he has already met our greatest need in Christ.  And we should thank him for the costly redemption that was purchased by Christ.

Here is the fifth and final implication for our prayer lives that I’ll mention tonight – in our prayers we should seek the advance our Father’s kingdom.  In other words, we should seek the advance of the family name.  We should pray with others and for others.  You see, Jesus said, “Our Father,” and all throughout the New Testament Christians are called brothers and sisters.  In his letters, Paul even informs a congregation in one place, how a congregation in another place is doing.  It seems to me, that we ought to at least be aware of other congregations in our area, around the globe, and be praying for them.

 Pastors, let me encourage you to pray for other congregations in your pulpit on Sunday mornings.  It is good for you to pray for other congregations in your quiet times and at other times throughout the week, but model for your people that the kingdom of God is bigger than your church.  Model for your people, that the kingdom of God is bigger than your denomination.

Model for your people, that the kingdom of God is bigger than your state, your region, and your nation.  Pray for churches in your area, and pray for the Church around the globe.

 For those of you here tonight who don’t regularly pray in pulpits on Sunday mornings, please do pray for your brothers and sisters in your congregations.  Not just on Sundays, but throughout the week.  Plan to pray for every member of your congregation over the course of a month or two.  Pray that our Father would fill them with the fruit of his Spirit.  They are a part of God’s family and they need your prayer, and frankly, you need their prayer too!

 Pray for your brothers and sisters in your local church, but also pray for brothers and sisters in other congregations too.  If you don’t know what other congregations to pray for, just put your pastor on the spot and ask him what other churches you can be praying for.  Parents, pick up a worldwide missions prayer guide and as a family, work through it.  Children, make your parents teach you about the global church.  When you get home tonight, ask your parents to tell you about a country that really needs gospel messengers.  Ask your parents this question, “Dad/Mom, what country do you think has the fewest Christians in it?  Can we pray (right now) for God to cause the message of the gospel to run rapidly there?”  Children, I can’t think of a better thing to pray about before you go to bed tonight, than to pray for God to bring more children into his worldwide family.

 Well, we should conclude.

Brothers and sisters, God is our Father.  This is the miracle of mercy that Christ teaches us in teaching us to pray.  As we pray, let’s not forget the lengths he went to, in order to make us his children.  God the Father already had a child, and yet he wanted more.  His love is gracious and generous.  In teaching us to pray to God as our Father, Jesus teaches us to take up the privilege that we have as sons and daughters of God. Would you join me in praying to our gracious and generous heavenly Father? Let’s pray together.

 

 

 

 
 

Place: Good News Baptist Church

Time:  February 24, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

The purpose of these gatherings are to unite together in prayer, to call upon God to stir the hearts of his people to live lives marked by fervent prayer. Through these gatherings, it is our earnest hope that God would humble and pour out his Spirit upon us, so that in his power the Kingdom of God may be advanced through bold and powerful gospel proclamation. We intend to gather to ask that our great God and Father would make Christ’s name great among the nations.

The following is the second part of Aaron Kraft’s message at the 12/2/12 prayer gathering, which took place at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia:

It is to Him we say…

“hallowed be your name.”

In the Bible a person’s name is very important. It does more than simply distinguish one individual from another. Frequently someone’s name is an indication of their character. So important were names that when Abram was called to be the heir of God’s covenant promises he received the new name, Abraham. When Jacob was called to be the first of God’s chosen people he received the new name Israel reflecting his new life.

To pray hallowed by your name is a reminder of who God is. He is El-Shaddai, God the almighty. He is Elohim, the fullness of His power. He is Adonia, the Lord and Master. He is Yahweh, the one who is and was and who is to come. To hallow God’s name is to hold it in reverence; to honor Him, to glorify Him, and to exalt Him. If we pray to hallow the name of God then we are praying that are lives will achieve these goals.

After we declare to whom we are praying, we then petition…

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (v.10)

This expression of prayer is so much deeper than it is normally understood. Here we are not only praying the Kingdom of God will reign in our lives this evening. We are praying for the Kingdom of God to come in its fullness. This prayer has implications on multiple levels. We pray that the kingdom will come through our missionary activities as it is expanded on earth through the conversion of the hearts of mankind.

We also pray in a manner that anticipates that day when the will of God will be done perfectly as a result of the return of Jesus Christ. The ultimate establishment of the Kingdom occurs only after the King blessedly returns and establishes His perfect reign. To pray this with conviction is to properly remember our future hope.

Christ’s model shows that only after we give God His proper due should we turn to Him to supply our needs.

“Give us this day our daily bread,” (v.11)

Contra to the way many of our prayers are formulated here Jesus tells us to pray just for our “daily bread”. When the people of Israel were wandering around in the wilderness they needed food to eat so God miraculously gave them Manna in a desert, but He gave them just enough to meet their basic needs.

In fact they were not allowed to store up more than they could eat in a single day. Why? Moses tells their descendants in Deut 8:3 “He humbled you and let you hunger and fed you manna… that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but… by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD”. This is why we pray only for our daily bread.

Lord help us to live by faith. Teach us to ask you for what we need, not what we want or desire. Help us to respond to the temptations of our flesh like your Son Jesus Christ who proclaimed these very words to the devil when He found himself tempted in the wilderness. God our lives are much like the wilderness experiences of the Israelites and of Jesus. Help us to respond not by grumbling but instead to say “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD”.

“and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (v.12)

Why do we need to ask God to forgive us for our sins? Are we not already forgiven? Yes and nothing that you do can add to your forgiveness. However we continue to sin even though we are already forgiven. Think of the Prodigal Son. His Father loved Him before, during, and after his disobedient act. His Father gave him an inheritance and his son blew all of it. When the son came home his father, without hesitation, welcomed him back.

He was never lost from the family, what was lost was all the time that they could have spent in fellowship with each other. 1 John 1:8-9 says that “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” so that we can walk with the Lord in the light. Forgive us our sins so that we may walk with you in untainted fellowship.

Lord may we also forgive those who have sinned against us so that they might see your Gospel forgiveness demonstrated through our forgiveness of them. There is no one from whom we have the right to withhold forgiveness if God did not withhold His forgiveness from us.

Finally, dear Lord…

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (v.13)

Temptation comes from the tempter. Deliver us from the evil one, the tempter, Satan, the devil. Whether that deliverance comes by a spiritual shield or a spiritual sword we pray Father that we do not fall into the temptations of the evil one. Help us to respond like Jesus with the word of God in our hearts and on our lips believing that against your Word by the power of your Holy Spirit no temptation can stand.

CONCLUSION

Notice that over the course of this instructional prayer we have been called to confess our sins, to acknowledge our spiritual and physical reliance upon God, to align ourselves with His mission on heaven and earth, and to humbly recognize to whom we are praying.

Now, ask yourself, is this the model of your prayer life? If it is, Praise God, keep on praying like this knowing that God is faithful and that He will ultimately deliver according to His promises. If it is not, then humbly confess your shortcomings to God and ask Him to reshape your prayer life accordingly to the instructions of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May we all begin to see the fruit of a movement of righteous prayer in our lives, in our churches, and in our communities.

Amen? Amen

(Aaron Kraft is pastor of Franconia Baptist Church, Alexandria, Virginia)

The following message was delivered by Aaron Kraft, pastor of Franconia Baptist Church, at our recent prayer gathering:

Let me ask you what’s going to sound like a silly question given the purpose of our gathering tonight. Should we pray? There you go. That’s a pretty hearty amen.

Let me tell you why I think we can’t just take it for granted that Christians “get” it when it comes to prayer.

An Episcopal bishop recently admitted in an interview with the Associated Press, that he does not “believe that God answers prayer in the sense of granting special favors…” There was a particular ring of cynicism in his phrase, “special favors” implying that those who believe that God listens to His children are nothing more than simpletons who have not attained to a certain level of theological erudition.

At the Harvard Divinity School, albeit not known for its theological conservatism of late, a professor recently wrote, “I do not believe that the religion of tomorrow will have any more place for prayer than it will have for any other form of magic.”

You can argue that these are representatives of a certain kind of theological persuasion, but I would then challenge you to investigate the prayer climate a little closer to home and see what you find.

Ask the average Christian if they believe in prayer and they will almost certainly say yes, but try digging a little deeper by asking them when they pray, how long they pray and what they pray about. You may get a different picture concerning their prayer life, or maybe even your own. Many Christians acknowledge prayer because they have heard that it’s in the Bible, but practically speaking they’ve given up on it because it didn’t work out like a spiritual gumball machine where each prayer results in some sort of personal treat.

The problem is that far too often we do not really understand how to pray which is unfortunate considering the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ took time to teach his followers all about it in the Sermon on the Mount. We can barely scratch the surface of this crucial text tonight, but I hope to reintroduce it to some of you and maybe introduce it to others so that you can reconsider how to pray according to the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.

With that in mind let’s turn in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 6. You will find the words of the “Lord’s Prayer” recorded in vv. 9-13 but before we get to the prayer itself, let me say a word or two about the background.

First of all Jesus’ teaching on prayer actually begins in verse 5 where he starts out with a list of “what not to do” in your prayers. We’ll save that part of the text for another night. The one thing that I want to point out is the phrase “when you pray”. There is assumption on Jesus’ part that you are already praying. Jesus doesn’t spend any time trying to convince His audience that they are supposed to be in prayer. That much is a given. The question he addresses is how we should go about doing it.

So then in verse 9 Jesus says…

“Pray then like this:”

There is nothing wrong with praying the specific words of the Lord’s Prayer, but that is not what Christ was commanding. It’s important to understand that the following prayer is a model for how to pray. Jesus literally says “you are to pray thusly”, in other words “in this manner”. Why is this important? Our prayer life is not supposed to go on autopilot, quickly running over some familiar words with no consideration to what they mean. When you pray you are to pray with meaning and conviction.

The actual prayer begins by saying…

“Our Father in heaven,”

Our Father, which means God the Father… He is the focus. This is an invocation. It is a privilege to be able to pray this. Not everyone can call on God in this manner, He is in a way the Father of all as the Creator but here we are addressing our spiritual Father. Some are spiritually children of God. Others are spiritually children of the devil. Prayer is a blessing and an honor. It should be treated with respect and due consideration. We are addressing our Father God who not only created all things but called us individually out of death into a new life.

(Continued in part 2)

We thank you Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the faith of our brothers and sisters in the Christ and for the love that you have for all your saints (Col.1:3-4), and for your Son in whom we have breath and life and salvation (Ac.17:25). We thank you Lord for the hope we have in the life and work of Jesus our Savior, and for His death on our behalf, and for His resurrection guaranteeing us new life wherein we now walk by the power of your Holy Spirit (Heb.6:19). You have blessed us with so many things that we take for granted: the air we breathe, the fresh scent of flowers, the taste of foods that we enjoy, and the splash of colors that entertain our eyes—so many simple things that enrich our lives. And you have not simply left us entertained but you have blessed our lives in much greater ways.

Thank you Lord for the freedoms we enjoy in this nation in which you have placed us. For the families you have blessed us with, and the ability to care for them. For a land in which we may travel and interact freely and where we may worship you without compulsion nor persecution. We thank you for the salvation of our dear friends and loved ones, and for wonderful relationships you have blessed us with here in this brief life.

Thank you Father for the great men who have trod the path of faith before us, making the way smoother for us and for leaving us signposts that make the way less perilous. Thank you for men you called to your service that love you and your Word, and for education that is available for those whom you have called to Shepherd your flock and for the time and effort they invest in the study of your Word. We thank you for your Word which you have given to us in our own language, that we might know you and grow in our knowledge of you all our days. Many are the blessings that stem from your glorious and unchangeable attributes in which we can trust and find refuge. We thank you that we may find solace in you amidst turmoil and uncertainty, amidst loss of job, or health, or loved ones. We thank you for the certainty that your omnipotent hand holds our future secure and that when our days are through, we will be gathered to your glory. We come now to this time of thanksgiving to praise your name collectively. In Christ, Amen.

(Led by Cal Wallace, pastor of Good News Baptist Church)

Introduction
We have just praised God in prayer and in song. One of the things that should have stood out to us in the midst of our praise of God is the difference (the very vast and great difference) between us and him. In view of his majestic power over creation, his perfect righteousness, and his unflinching holiness it is good and right for us to confess our sins to him and to implore him for mercy. And that is what we do now together in prayer, so would you join me in prayer.

Prayer
Dear Lord, we are deeply aware that it is only by your wondrous love and grace that we can approach you now in prayer. So we humbly come before you and ask that you would give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the need of those that bear your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, Listen! O Lord, forgive!

Lord, we confess that we are in need of forgiveness for how we have misused your holy name. O Lord, instead of hallowing your name, we have used your name in our conversations and lives as though it were empty of glory and honor. We confess that far too often we have spoken of you in a manner that is careless, thoughtless, and flippant. When speaking about you, we have failed to remember that you possess the name that is above every name, and yet we have spoken of your name as though it were common – as though it were one among many. O Lord, forgive us for undermining your holy name and misusing it in our speech

And Lord, we confess that we have misused your name in other ways as well, for we are a people who not only speak your name, but we also bear your name. We, your people, have been baptized into your name. We have been baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and so as Christians we bear your name before the world. Not only with our lips, but also with our lives. And while we should each live godly, righteous, and sober lives out of fear of you, we confess that both in word and deed we have far too often reflected the character of Adam, instead of Christ. Instead of putting off ungodliness and worldly lusts, sadly, too often we have continued in them. Too often there is little difference between our words and deeds, and the words and deeds of the world. O Lord forgive us for not reflecting the character of Christ to the world. Forgive us for misusing your name.

And Lord, we confess that we have promoted our own names above your name. When we have been complimented, encouraged, or honored, we confess that we have allowed all praise to be directed at our name. Instead, we should have publically directed thanks and praise toward your name for equipping us with gifts to serve. We should have told our friends, families, and co-workers that you were the one who gave us the strength and wisdom to excel at a task. We know that everything we do, we are to do in and for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet we have done so much for our own names. Forgive us for promoting our names above yours.

O Lord, you have told us in your Word that those who misuse your name will not be held guiltless. O Lord, you know we are guilty, and we ask that you would forgive us for our sinful misuse of your name. Forgive us for these sins, indeed, forgive us for all of our sins, for the sake of the Name that is above all names. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.

Scriptural Assurance of Pardon
Friends, Brothers, and Sisters hear these words of comfort and pardon from Romans 10:13 for all of those who turn from their sins and trust in Christ, “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”

(Led by Michael Law Jr., pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Arlington)