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An Easter Prayer

Here is my pastoral prayer for this Easter based off of my Scripture reading from Ephesians 2.  I introduce it first with a beautiful song performed by Fernando Ortega.  Blessings.

 
Eternal Father,it is with gratitude and joy we come together today to remember your infinite gift in Jesus Christ.
We who were dead in our sins were shown grace the is beyond our true ability to perceive as the Holy Spirit enlivened us.
We who were worthy of your wrath instead are embraced by you as children.
We who were weak and helpless instead are healed and lifted up to stand in your presence.
We who had no hope are now born again to a living hope through the resurrection of your Son.
We who worshiped anything and everything but You alone are instead ushered into the Holy of Holies in heaven because of our faithful High Priest.
We who walked in shame instead are a holy people because of Jesus who bore our shame upon the Cross.
We who were mockers and revilers are instead now a kingdom of priests according to your grace and kindness.
We who were once held captive by our lusts and desires are instead now dead to our sins in our union with the Son of Man.
We who could only name Satan as our true father now are able to with absolute confidence call you our eternal Father.
We whose hearts were veritable idol factories are instead now being built up into your dwelling place by the Spirit.
We were once far off, separated from your prophets, priests, and word are instead now sharers in the New Covenant brought about by the blood of Jesus Christ.
We who could not hope to come into your presence are instead now given full access in One Spirit.
We who were once not your people are now truly your people, a holy nation, and a chosen race.
 
With thanksgiving in our hearts we remember and confess today that Christ is risen.
He is sown into the grave in dishonor but He has been raised unto glory and power and authority.
He who offered Himself to be our substitute as sin-bearer is shown to be that acceptable sacrifice through your raising Him from the dead.
He who was to drink fully the cup of wrath that was ours to drink is now raised and is seated at your right hand in glory.
He who went to the Cross with a vision of the joy that was His through that Cross despised the shame and was our faithful High Priest and Sacrifice.
 
Oh Father may we now rejoice!
Let us sing with voices convinced of so rich a salvation.
Let us praise you with tongues made for that very purpose.
Let us lift hands, hearts and voices in exultation that we stand forgiven, adopted, sanctified, justified, purified, and even glorified.
We are your people because we have trusted in the salvation that is found only in Jesus Christ.
We are your people because we have been made alive together with our Lord and Savior.
We are your people because that life was given through the new birth by the Holy Spirit.
We are your people for you have called us by your holy, sovereign Name.
 
May this day be a day of worship and remembering.
May we see you continue to bring those redeemed by Jesus into full faith.
May we see your grace to be all the more sufficient.

Amen

Do You Believe in The Resurrection?

Here is a great little offering that is free:

Raised? Doubting The ResurrectionRAISED-low-res-250x370

This is a bit of what the authors say about the book:

We wrote this book out of our love for skeptics and respect for the questions they help us ask. We also write as believers who oscillate in real belief in the resurrected Christ. We hope it proves to be an insightful, stirring reflection on the resurrection. 

We are giving this book away in the hope that churches will make the eBook or hardcopy available to their people, especially to all their visitors on Easter. We are praying God would use it to spark gospel conversations, equip believers, and help people meet the risen Jesus. Download the entire book for free below (Kindle (.mobi), iBooks (.epub), & PDF).

Read more about it here.

H/T Take Your Vitamin Z

Just Prior To Easter Day

This man is someone I was fortunate to hear in person many times as he would sing at my church.  I even had a couple of encounters with him and his wife picking up our children in nursery, which made it all seem so down-to-earth.  If you can hear him, or buy his stuff you will not be disappointed.

My Easter Prayer

Father, today we come to
remember
and rejoice
and renew our faith
in the hope of the resurrection.
Not any resurrection,
but the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The resurrection that is the very destruction of our mortal enemy, death itself.

We give you eternal, unending praise Father to have loved us
with a love that acts
And a love that sends
that which is most precious to You.
Your Son.

We give you thanks that Jesus became our sin-bearer.
Our perfect sin-bearer
Our eternal sin-bearer
One who brings us out of condemnation and rejection
and into justification and acceptance.

We who were guilty and without hope
now are filled with eternal hope.
Peace has been given to us.
Forgiveness has been granted to us.
Adoption is our inheritance.
Access to you is our privilege.

Holy Father, today I ask that you work in our hearts
to see the glory of the resurrection of Jesus
How it causes us to not hope in vain.

Bring the Spirit upon us in a powerful way,
one that opens eyes that are blind
one that makes dead hearts alive
one that instructs and guides us in all truth.

Amen

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