This is a portion of the pastoral prayer by Ron Martina, one of our elders at Emmaus, on this past Sunday. I was so encouraged I figured it was good stewardship to share with others during this 500th year anniversary of the Reformation.
Dear heavenly Father, we praise your name this Lord’s Day morning. We are indebted to you for preserving us for this glorious privilege of assembling together in obedience to your Word. We thank you for your everlasting covenant love. Dear Lord Jesus, we are indebted to you for our redemption; for dying for our sins. Oh, Holy Spirit, we are filled with gratitude for your convicting us of our sins when all we deserved was eternal judgment; thank you for turning our hardened heart of stone into a heart of flesh; for granting us repentance and faith, and for daily sanctifying us through your Word.
Lord, we are eternally grateful to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We thank you for that providential and courageous and monumental hour in history and that we are reaping its triumphant benefits to this very day. We thank you for the unflinching audacity of those who would not back down from Pope, prelate or the devil himself.
We are grateful for the five Solas that set in stone a renewed foundation for the church.
- We thank you for Sola scriptura: “Scripture alone” – without the inspired, inerrant, infallible, all-sufficient Word of God we would be lost in a maze of the traditions and schemes of men.
- We thank you for Sola fide: “faith alone” – that wonderful gift granted to us through no merit of our own.
- And we rejoice that Sola fide is closely knit to Sola gratia: “grace alone” the banner that was raised high destroying the damnable doctrine of salvation by works by which no one could ever hope to be saved. For by grace we are saved through faith and not of works, but by that glorious free gift of God. Thank you for delivering us from legalism.
- Oh Lord, where is boasting when as we ponder that great reformation cry Solus Christus: “Christ alone” – the Lamb of God that bore the wrath of God for undeserving sinners condemned by God. We are humbled today that in Christ alone we have been given a righteousness that is not our own. Well did Luther sing: Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing; Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing.
- Together we cry with our fellow reformers, Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone.” Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! (Psa 115:1)
We thank you for the Luthers, the Calvins, the Zwinglis and so many more who stood in the face of Rome and brought great light out of darkness, hope from oppression, truth out of error, liberty from tyranny, sanity to shear madness.
Oh Lord, give us the backbone and determination to stand as they did; We hear their calls, and hunger for the day When with [them and] Christ we stand in Glory.