Chosen for Prayer

Last Sunday, Ryan Heard closed our Christmas series with the final reason for the incarnation of Jesus Christ, namely that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). In recap of our series, Jesus came in order to: 1) Give life. 2) Take away sin. 3) Defeat Satan. Praise the Lord!

Read: Hebrews 4:14-16

This Sunday, Pastor Ken will preach a sermon entitled “The Privilege of Prayer” from Hebrews 4:14-16. As you prepare your heart for our corporate gathering, let this devotional from Milton Vincent inspire you to freshly consider the gospel of Jesus Christ and “do the praying that [you were] elected to do.”

Reflect: “Chosen for Prayer”

When God chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world, He did not merely choose me to be “holy and blameless”; He chose me also to be “before Him in love” (Ephesians 1:4). To be sure, I am always in God’s presence on earth, and in heaven I will be in His presence more fully than ever. But it could also be said that in this life I am especially “before Him in love” when I come “before Him” in prayer and worship (Psalm 100:2; Psalm 68:4; 1 John 5:14).

Therefore, I can infer that prayer is not simply something I am allowed to do as a Christian; prayer is actually one of the great purposes for which God chose to save me. Christ Himself confirms this fact when He makes the following statement to His disciples: “I chose you . . . that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (John 15:16). As a chosen one of God, I was saved to pray; and whenever I come into God’s presence to behold Him, worship Him, or make request of Him, I am arriving at the pinnacle of God’s saving purposes for me.

God is radically committed to my life of prayer. He shed the blood of His Son so that I might be cleansed and rendered fit (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 5:9) to stand before Him in love. He also permitted the brutal rending of His Son so that I might now have a way into the Holy Place through the torn flesh of Jesus. (Hebrews 10:19-20) “Draw near” He says in Hebrews 4 (Hebrews 4:16); “draw near” He says in Hebrews 10 (Hebrews 10:19-22); “pray without ceasing,” He urges elsewhere (1 Thessalonians 5:17). How can I not feel the infinite sincerity of these invitations, especially when considering the painful lengths that God endured so that I might enter His presence in prayer?

Indeed, the gospel itself serves as the sweetest of invitations to pray; and preaching it to myself each day nurtures within me a mighty impulse to come “before [God] in love” and do the praying that I was elected to do.

“Chosen for Prayer,” in A Gospel Primer for Christians, by Milton Vincent

Sing: Song List for Sunday

1. “How Great Thou Art,” Arr. Paul Baloche
2. “Jesus, Thank You,” by Sovereign Grace Music
3. “Before the Throne,” Arr. Shane & Shane
4. “What a Beautiful Name It Is,” by Hillsong Worship
5. “Lord, I Need You,” Arr. Shane & Shane