“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints. I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.”
In Ephesians 1:3-14, St. Paul writes a euphoric prayer of praise and blessing to God for His “glorious grace.” This prayer is the longest [run-on] sentence in the entire New Testament at 204 words. What follows in 1:14-23 is a prayer for the saints that God would give them “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” and that they would know the eternal hope that is theirs in Christ. This [run-on] is the second longest sentence, coming in at 169 words. But in the words of these two prayers, Paul reminds us of how the saints are to pray, both praising and petitioning God. We have so much for which we give thanks and praise to God for all of the blessings that He has lavished upon us. But as we labor this side of eternity, there are also so many things for which we ask God to give to us by His grace.
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod will gather in convention beginning Saturday evening in Tampa, Florida. For what will you be praying? Our prayers are not about candidates or even resolutions, but ultimately that all that we do and all votes that are cast will be focused on the praise of our gracious God, the proclamation of His saving name and that His kingdom would come among us also. I would encourage you to be fervent in prayer for our Synod over the coming days that God would indeed give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. You are invited to utter long, run-on sentence prayers to a God, who has promised to hear our prayers, even for an occasion such as this.
As our Synod gathers in convention, consider these words of our first president, C.F.W. Walther as he reminds us of the reasons for our existence. He writes, “It is a primary duty of a confessionally faithful synod that it take an enthusiastic part in all God-pleasing organizations dedicated to the spread of Christ’s kingdom in the world. That is the duty of every synod, including our own. It is to join the ranks of that great army of laborers in the harvest field of Christ. For the harvest has long been ‘dead ripe’…It should cooperate with every organization of both home and foreign missions for the spreading of the holy Scriptures. That also applies to the establishment and preservation of institutions for the preparation of pastors. In short, a synod is to be a living member of the body of Christ, and together with every other living member of that most sacred body in the whole world, it must do whatever it possibly can to spread Christ’s kingdom and wherever possible, to win for Christ and to lead into His sheepfold all those whom Christ has bought with His precious blood, and ultimately to lead them in the salvation of everlasting life.”
While the world does not need the Missouri Synod, it most desperately needs Christ and servants who proclaim the truth of God’s Word. Our cities and towns need our service in His name and our confession of His Word. Also, there are so many people who have not yet been brought to saving faith. We give thanks to God that He has made Christ Jesus the head over all things to the Church, which is His body. May the coming days be days full of long prayers for our Synod to be faithful to God and His Word, in proclaiming the Gospel of salvation, and in our love for all the saints.
Prayer – Almighty and everlasting God, You have given the Comforter to Your Church and have promised to abide with it forever. Pour forth the blessing of Your spirit on our pastors and lay delegates about to assemble in Your name. Grant them abundant steadfastness of faith, purity of love, and a sincere desire for peace that they, by the help of Your abiding Spirit, may conduct the affairs of Your Church in all humility and godliness, and to the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan