A Prayer of Repentance
Heavenly Father, our hearts are so prone to hardness. Please break up that fallow ground and search us, oh God, show us the hidden places that offend you so that through repentance we can offer you the praise you so richly deserve. Our sacrifices and celebrations are meaningless if they aren’t dedicated to you with a contrite heart. Thank you that Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at Your right hand interceding for us. Thank you that His blood covers our sin and makes a way for us to enjoy the bounty of Your presence. Forgive us, Lord. Turn our hearts back to You. Replace our arrogance, ignorance, and self-sufficiency with a pure, Holy, reverent fear. Enable us once again to tremble with awe at your life-giving Word. Create in us a clean heart, Lord, and restore a right spirit within us—so that with that renewed spirit we can celebrate Your Holiness that has made us whole (Jeremiah 17:9, Hosea 10:12, Psalm 139:23, Psalm 51:18, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:7, 1 John 1:9, Acts 3:20, Psalm 51:10, Psalm 51:7, Isaiah 66:2).
A Prayer of Surrender
Heavenly Father, We are not our own. You ransomed our lives from sin and death with the life of Your only Son, Jesus. Who are we, that You should be mindful of us—much less provide such a great sacrifice? Give us the grace to willingly put our lives, every part of it, into Your loving care. You are the Vine, and we are the branches, apart from You we can do nothing. Teach us to remain in You so that we can bear fruit for Your glory. Your Son willingly gave Himself for us, while we were still sinners. But we tend to cling to our identity, rights, and plans as if they were worth something. Open our eyes to see that the only way to find our life is by losing it. Give us the strength and power to lay it down, take up the cross, and follow You. Help us to celebrate You, not through empty words or vain promises, but through the spiritual act of worship You prescribed—the laying down of our lives (1 Corinthians 6:20, 1 Timothy 2:6, Psalm 8:4, Romans 12:1, John 15:5, Luke 9:23, Romans 5:8, Luke 9:24).
An Easter Sunday Prayer and Blessing of Praise and Thanks
Heavenly Father, Maker of Heaven and earth and everything that was ever made. How can we ever fully understand the price You paid for our ransom? We can’t even wrap our brains around why You did it. That kind of love goes beyond our human understanding. We disappointed you in every way, sinned against You, betrayed You. And still, out of love for us, You chose to sacrifice Your son to draw us near, made us new again, redeem us from the curse of the law, grant us eternal life, give us a new mission and purpose, and seal us with Your Holy Spirit. And as if that weren’t enough—You lavished your love upon us by calling us Your own children. What manner of love is this? How can this be? Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are Your judgments? Your paths beyond tracing out! Thank You for this indescribable gift! Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to You, Oh God, forever and ever (Psalm 146:6, Ephesians 3:19, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:13, Romans 8:2, 1 John 5:12, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 1:13, Galatians 3:26-27, Romans 11:33, 2 Corinthians 9:15, Ephesians 1:3, Revelation 7:12).
The Blessing of the Gospel
May “the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:16).
The Blessing of the Holy Spirit
May the “Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you”(2 Timothy 1:14).
The Blessing of New Hope
May “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18, 19).
The Blessing of His Unfailing Love
May you “have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”(Ephesians 3:19).
The Blessing of Eternal Peace
May “the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful”(Colossians 3:15).
The Blessing of Knowing Him
May the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17).