Every Sunday morning at PBC we begin our services with a Scripture reading followed by a prayer of praise. These are some of the most powerful times of our worship gatherings as different brothers and sisters lead us in praising God for who He is. The following prayer was prepared and prayed by Susan Thomas during our worship service on January 3, 2021.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! There's just something about that name. Yes Jesus, there is something beautiful about Your name because it means, "Savior." In Matthew 1:21 the angel of the Lord told Joseph, "She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” God, long before you took on flesh and came to us in a manger in Bethlehem, Your servants of old recognized You as Israel's Savior.
Isaiah said "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you. . ." and in the Psalms Asaph said: "Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!" While these two passages speak of You saving Your people from their sin as a nation, in most cases when the Old Testament writers refers to You as Savior, they speak of Yahweh, granting deliverance to Israel from their enemies and rescuing his people from catastrophes of one sort or another.
But Jesus, when you came to us in the flesh and began Your earthly ministry, You expanded the focus of Your saving grace. You are no longer just a Savior to the nation of Israel, You are now the Savior of all peoples, and salvation now points to salvation from personal sin. In 1 Timothy 2 Paul said: "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." And in 1 Timothy 4:10, Paul added, "We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe."
God we thank you and praise you for being our personal Savior. The world says "I don't need a Savior," but God, by your grace You have shown us who believe that we are completely and utterly helpless without Jesus, our Savior. We were once dead in our sin, striving to save ourselves; striving to climb out of the pit of pride that blinded us to our condition. Until "the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, [and] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of Your mercy. You saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom You poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by Your grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."
Father, we pray that You pour out Your grace on those who do not believe so that they too will come to embrace Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
Lord, we love you so very much and thank you for coming into this world, for taking on flesh and living the sinless life that we could not live. We thank you for your total abandonment to God the Father, so that He would accept You as the spotless Lamb of God, ready, willing, and able to lay down Your life for the sins of the world. And praise be to God that on the third day He raised You from the dead to be the Savior of all those who would believe in your beautiful name--Jesus. To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.