1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are Godʼs handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Ephesians 2:1-10 (NIV)
Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post. Today we are looking at all that we are for those of us that are in Christ — a term that is incredibly important, but one that not many people perhaps know much about.
Did you know that if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, if you believe that He died on the Cross for our sins and was resurrected from the grave, that you are now in Christ in regards to how Jesus lives in your heart? Furthermore, did you know that none of us can earn our way into heaven, that there is absolutely no work that we can perform that will gain enough good standing for us to take away all of our sinful natures? The only way we can have eternal life is through saving faith, that faith that believes that Jesus died for us. None of us deserve to be given the gift of eternal life — we all have sinned, and God can’t be around sinners. Despite that, though, God has given His Son, Jesus Christ, to us, and those of us that choose to believe in Him, and believe why He was sent to earth, and to live with Him in our hearts — well, we have been given eternal life by God as a result of that faith.
In this Christmas season, we are looking for the perfect gift for all of our family and friends. We look for that special gift for our children, that special gift for our wives and husbands, that special gift for our parents, etc. The gifts that we will give and receive on December 25th pale in comparison to the gift that we received from God when we accepted Jesus into our lives.
This Christmas season, I urge you to go and get the presents for those special people in your life. But go beyond that. Remember why Jesus was sent down to earth. Remember how far our world has fallen, and remember how we can improve things on this world and also gain a victory with Jesus for the next life. Beyond jewelry, beyond toys, beyond all of that, teach your family what it is like to have Jesus in your life, and guide them towards that moment when they have Jesus in their life as well, if they don’t already. That is the ultimate Christmas gift you can ever give to someone.
Now, please pray with us our prayer requests and praises.
Prayer Requests and Praises
- My friend Shannan has a prayer request for her friend Caroline. Here’s what Caroline wrote: We are at the hospital with Taylor for testing. Keep the prayers coming please. She has having difficulty walking.
- Our prayers go out to everyone affected by the Ohio State University incident. It’s just one more occasion illustrating just how fallen our world is.
- Continued prayers for Jodi on the bank fraud investigation that is ongoing.
- Because not all is bad in this world, let’s give Praise to God for the anniversary of my friend Theresa to her husband Chris. We also give praise for all of the anniversary celebrations that we have.
- Prayers also go out to everyone affected by the fires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. So many fires, so much destruction and loss of life. God, hear our prayer and help those in need. Amen.
- My friend Brandi has a prayer request: “I’d really appreciate some prayers for Tyson. God knows the details so if you’d just lift him and us up, I’d be so thankful!“
- Shannan has a prayer request for her friend Laura: Laura’s 16 year old daughter Beth passed away in July after battling cancer. Laura is understandably taking it very hard, and has requested more time off from work. Prayer requests are for her to not lose her job as she fears she might, and prayers for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon Laura and all of her family and friends in their grief.
- Amanda’s been in our prayers for many months — here is the latest in her husband Daniel’s fight with cancer: OK, prayer warriors! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Just a quick note to say Daniel has his 3 month scan tomorrow so extra prayers for progress to or achievement of no evidence of disease would be awesome! We will have the results next week. I’ll post an update as soon as I have all the pertinent details. Thanks!
- Lastly, I’ve heard about a fire in Oakland that killed at least 9 people. I don’t have many details, but prayers for all of those affected. Prayers for God’s Healing, Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love upon all of them.
Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.