But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
“Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55–56 (NIV)
Lord Jesus, this scene from Stephen’s life underscores your tender and tenacious commitment to be present in our lives. Stephen saw you standing at the Father’s right hand as he was being stoned. Indeed, Jesus, you are our Good Shepherd, faithfully caring for us in green pastures, as well as the valley of the shadow of death.
We begin our prayer today interceding for the persecuted church, and for those serving you in hostile, dangerous environments. Be their wisdom, protection, and joy, Jesus. Thank you for their love and sacrifice. Though they try, the gates of hell will not prevail against your church and the advancing of the gospel. Hallelujah!
Jesus, though few of us will be martyrs, all of us are called to love and serve you in painful chapters and crises of life. We too need to see you standing at the Father’s right hand for us, praying and advocating for us.
For friends wearing the label “terminal illness”, grant them a profound and palatable sense of your presence, Jesus. Because the gospel is true, “terminal” is really “transitional”, for we have already passed from death to life, and from judgment for our sin to favor with our God. Hallelujah, so many times over.
For couples in seasons of marital disconnect and hurt, Jesus—Lord of resurrection and hope, merciful and mighty Savior, we ask you to do exceedingly beyond all we can ask or imagine. Rise for the occasion with healing in your wings and grace in your hands.
We pray for friends caring for a family member with a memory loss disease, and those with a parent or child battling addiction, and friends whose faith is being tested in ways they never imagined would/could happen.
Jesus, you are a wonderful merciful Savior, and we are confident you will be exactly that in these situations, and other ones heavy on our hearts. Thank you, Lord. So very Amen we pray, in your glorious and grace-full name.