August 14, 2013

Why There's Repetition in My Prayers

I wonder if the people who hear me pray regularly grow tired of the recurring theme.

When I talk to God, I think of His character. I think of His holiness first. But before that thought is even complete, I encounter how great His love must be, since He is so holy, to allow and even desire that I know Him.

Let me tell you how extraordinary that love is.

Ephesians 2:1-10 is a presentation of extremes. Verses 1-3 paint a morbid picture. I was dead. Enslaved to this world and my own desires. In bondage even to Satan himself. Deserving the full blow of God’s righteous fury.

Then in verse 4 we encounter the conjunction “but.” With a beginning as dark as verses 1-3, this is a beautiful word. It signals a transition to something completely different.

The tone of the text reverses. The darkness lifts. The story becomes a victorious one bursting with words like alive, saved, raised up, grace, kindness, gift. Rather than living enslaved to all things nefarious, I now live with purpose.

And what made the difference?

“God… because of the great love with which He loved us.” His love changed my whole story.

Pardon the repetition. It’s not meaningless, I promise. As long as I’m awed by His love whenever I think of Him, I will pray:

“Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love.”

You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV

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