Sunday, December 14, 2008

1 Corinthians 1:4-9 again

1 Corinthians 1:4-9
4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way —in all your speaking and in all your knowledge — 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

Today I want to pray this prayer again, but this time for my husband Jeffrey.

Thank You so much for my husband LORD. Thank You that he has faith in You, that he loves You and earnestly seeks to follow You will. LORD, I thank You for calling him to be one of Your elect and chosen people, that he might live a life that is for Your glory rather than his own. I thank You for the work of Your Holy Spirit in his heart, regenerating him and making him into a new creation, so that he would place his trust in You and build his life upon the foundation of this trust. I thank You for the people You have used in his life to teach him about You. I thank You for his mother and the biblical knowledge which she taught him. I thank You for the work of Neil, his pastor when he was a teenager, and the relationship he had with their family and which we continue to have despite living so far away. I thank You especially for Rob and Bev who ran that Alpha course. I thank You for Rob's life and I pray that he might receive a reward in heaven for the work he did in sharing the gospel of Your Son, Jesus Christ, with us.

LORD, I thank You for the amazing way in which You have transformed him more and more into Your likeness. I thank You especially for those people who have taught and edified Jeff so that he has come to a sound understanding of Who You have revealed Yourself to be in the Bible. I thank You for Rob and Bev again, that they were able to welcome us into their home following the Alpha course for regular Bible studies where we grew and were encouraged in our faith. I thank You for Rob's encouragement to Jeff to begin preaching at DBC and that You were faithful in gifting Jeff for this ministry. I thank You for the elders and other pastors at DBC who allowed Jeff this opportunity as well, and for the way the church there has faithfully given to us for the past three years so that we might have a little more to live on here in Perth. I praise Your name for the faithful, Biblically-sound and enthusiastic way we were taught by Your people, PH and Aimee, when they came to Darwin and were part of our Bible study small group there. I thank You for the way You used them to "make the way of Christ known more fully" by Jeffrey, especially in the matter of predestination and Your will to save the people You have chosen. I thank You for all of the lecturers at Trinity and I ask that You will bless them with rest and refreshment over the coming weeks before college begins again for another year. I thank You in particular for the close friends he has made at Trinity in the other students in his year. I pray that they will know where best they should minister in the coming year and after they graduate and I pray that You will give them enthusiasm for the task ahead rather than reticence or fear at the changes You have in store for them. I thank You for the work of Steve in Jeff's life, that he has walked alongside Jeff in all of his time at NUC and that he has agreed to continue to mentor and be an example to Jeff as he takes on the role of Pastor at BCC.

O wow LORD there are so many people You have used in Jeffrey's life to bring him closer to You and to shape him into the person You want him to be. I pray that You might also use me for this task: that I will always be honest in both my criticism and affirmation of his conduct and character, and that any comment I make will be based in my love for him and for You, so that I will not be swayed by selfish desires and complain or be bitter about things which I see as a problem but which You, who are omniscient, do not; which I want to change but which You, who are omnipotent, do not. LORD, make me a good wife for Jeffrey so that I might support and encourage him in his ministry and also join him in it in a way that will bring glory to Your holy name. May Your name be praised in both of our lives!

LORD, I thank You for the process of sanctification that You have worked in Jeff's heart and life. I thank You that You have refined his knowledge and understanding of You so that he has a much better, more Biblically-based knowledge of Who You are. I thank You for leading him to place his trust in You and for causing him to desire to serve You in the special ministry of pastor to a church congregation. LORD, I thank You for the determination You have placed in his heart to preach Your word faithfully, to tell the gospel to people here in Perth who do not know Who You are or what you have done for them in Christ Jesus. I praise You for giving Jeff a thirst for Your word and I ask that You will continue to draw him into the Bible so that he might never grow tired of meeting You in its pages. LORD, I pray that You might continue to enrich Jeffrey in his speaking, as he endeavours to teach others about how You would have them live their lives in response to Who You are and what You have done for them. Help him to be a good discipler of the people in his congregation, so that their relationship with You might be strengthened through his words in sermons and also on other occasions and in his very life as well. Keep him from becoming a hypocrite in anything, LORD. Keep him humble and accountable to You for the sins he commits, LORD and draw him into an ever-closer walk with You.

Thank You for making his life a testimony to Your grace and power in making his life new. LORD, I thank You for the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Please make Jeffrey eager for Your return and help him to keep his sight on You LORD, the author and perfecter of his faith. LORD, keep him focussed on the goals You would have him give his attention to. Help him not to be distracted but to be holy, set apart for Your use and not his own worldly desires. Help him to seek Your will and help the elders of our church as they guide him and direct him as to where he should place his energies.

LORD, I pray that You will keep Jeffrey strong and sustain him through the coming weeks, months and years of ministry. Strengthen our marriage and help us both to submit to Your will rather than to disagree. LORD, keep us together for Your name's sake through the long haul and difficult and challenging years ahead of us. Strengthen us to do Your will in all parts of our lives, so that we may not become like the Pharisees who proclaimed You but did not acknowledge You when You came as a man. LORD, I pray that You will help Jeff to do Your will even and especially when it is hard. I pray that You will keep his back strong (and I thank You for the improvement there has been in his back over the past 8 years). I pray that You will help him to rest when he needs it. I pray that You will continue to sustain him as You have throughout his life, not just with food, water and shelter but also through Your love, whereby You care for him as a mother hen cares for her chicks. Keep him reading Your word in his Bible each day so that his faith will continue to grow. Keep him persevering to the end, so that on the Day of Judgement, when Your Son Christ Jesus is revealed to all people everywhere in His full glory and majesty, Jeff will be judged blameless in Your sight because of the faith You have given him in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

I give You praise because You are faithful. You are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. You made all things and sustain them in Your hand. You are Lord over all creation because You made it and it belongs to You. You are my God and Jeffrey's God and we are Your people, chosen and made righteous by You. In all things, I give You honour and worship because You deserve it and there is no higher privilege than to worship You.

Thank You for the fellowship I have with Jeffrey because Jesus died for both our sins. Thank You for the way we can work together, as husband and helper, on the work You have given us. Please grant us faithfulness as we enter into closer fellowship with the congregation of BCC.

I give You honour for Jeff's life so far and I pray that You will continue to use him for Your purposes for Your glory in the future. Amen.

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