Epaphras Prayer Letter

The Epaphras Prayer Letter encourages people to support the Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT) through their prayers. The Apostle Paul named Epaphras, saying of him, "He is always wrestling in prayer for you..." (Col.4:12). The letter comes out every week. ILT makes it available on its website and through email subscription. Each letter contains an inspirational thought and several prayer concerns for you to pray in support of ILT and its mission—to raise up faithful preachers and teachers of Jesus Christ and him crucified.

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Monday Morsels

Epaphras Prayer Letter - Week of June 01, 2020

Prayers for those weary of praying and who have run out of words.

 

“Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)

 

Paul has just previously declared that in the Spirit of adoption we call upon God, “Abba! Father!” (Ro. 8:15). What is our weakness with which the Spirit helps? It is that we cannot get ourselves out of the way. Only the Holy Spirit can intercede for those with hearts as corrupt as ours. Our Father, who is the one who searches hearts, knows their corruption but the “Spirit intercedes.” The Spirit has the pure, uncorrupted heart of Jesus Christ upon whom the will of God has been proven already.

 

Abba! Father! Listen to the Holy Spirit when we pray to you for safety in the midst of pestilence, for wealth in the midst of poverty, and for joy in the time of lament. In our weariness, lack of words, and poverty of resourcefulness, we pray: Father, for Jesus’ sake, hear our prayer.

 

Abba! Father! Listen to the Holy Spirit when we pray to you for our faithfulness even as we betray you, for our thanksgiving even though we are known for our neglect, and for our true joy in Jesus Christ even as we readily seek holiness substitutes. Father, for Jesus’ sake, hear our prayer.

 

Abba! Father! Listen to the Holy Spirit when we pray to you for our loved ones and their safety, for our loved ones and their health, for our loved ones and their salvation. Father, for Jesus’ sake, hear our prayer.

 

Abba! Father! Listen to the Holy Spirit when we pray to you for the nation and its leaders, for the church and its preachers, for families and their heads; grant them wise and confident decisions and the certainty of your forgiveness when they come to you in repentance. Father, for Jesus’ sake, hear our prayer.

 

Abba! Father! Listen to the Holy Spirit sigh and groan our deepest needs into your ear: our need for love and admiration, our need to be free from the fear of death and pain, and our need for meaning and truth—all of which are found in Jesus Christ our Lord. Father, for Jesus’ sake, hear our prayer.

 

Abba! Father! Listen to the Holy Spirit when we pray to you for our neighbors, those both near and far. Some struggle beneath the immediate affliction of this plague visited upon us; others struggle beneath the indirect consequences of economic hardship and social isolation; all of them together suffer the brokenness of sin which only Jesus Christ can bear. Father, for Jesus’ sake, hear our prayer.

 

Abba! Father! Listen to the Holy Spirit when we pray to you for rest and refreshment; for a Sabbath that goes deeper than a few hours of the week; and for the deepest rest that comes as your Word envelops us and becomes our life. Father, for Jesus sake, hear our prayer.

 

Heavenly Father, into your hands we cast all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen

Epaphras Prayer Letter - Week of May 25, 2020

Prayers for Our Relief from the Plague

 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

 

Here, in these verses, we are given a confession to cling to and an announcement to rejoice in. The love of the Lord never ceases! He remains faithful even as our faith and love for him waxes and wanes. His mercies never end because they are new every morning! We will never exhaust them; they come afresh each day! And so we pray in the confidence of this Easter acclamation:

 

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to keep us in the unity of your name so that the unity which the Son enjoys with the Father would be ours as well. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to keep us in the one family called the children of God and the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to keep the confession of your name on our lips so that the world would hear of our unity. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to keep us together in the mind of Christ so that we act with peace and unanimity. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to keep us in the blessings and fruitfulness of our earthly families united in your name. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to keep us honorable and respectful to those in authority over us for they are extensions of the family’s authority. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to keep us mindful of our fellow citizens who have died in the defense of this our nation. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

Heavenly Father, into your hands we cast all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen

Epaphras Prayer Letter - Week of May 18, 2020

Prayers for Our Relief from the Plague

 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

 

Here, in these verses, we are given a confession to cling to and an announcement to rejoice in. The love of the Lord never ceases! He remains faithful even as our faith and love for him waxes and wanes. His mercies never end because they are new every morning! We will never exhaust them; they come afresh each day! And so we pray in the confidence of this Easter acclamation:

 

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that your Holy Spirit would fill us with Jesus Christ who is our life. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that the complete and confident faith of Jesus Christ who is our life would be ours. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that the pure and total righteousness of Jesus Christ who is our life would rid of us of coveting a righteousness of our own. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that the immortality which belongs to Jesus Christ who is our life would put to death our fear of death. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that Christ who is our life would alone reign in our conscience and keep us free of the Law’s accusation. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that with the eyes of Christ we might see our neighbor in all her needs and look upon her with a love that works to fill those needs. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves that Jesus Christ who disappeared into the cloud on Ascension Day would be continually with us unto the end of the age. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

Heavenly Father, into your hands we cast all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen

Epaphras Prayer Letter - Week of May 11, 2020

Prayers for Our Relief from the Plague

 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

 

Here, in these verses, we are given a confession to cling to and an announcement to rejoice in. The love of the Lord never ceases! He remains faithful even as our faith and love for him waxes and wanes. His mercies never end because they are new every morning! We will never exhaust them; they come afresh each day! And so we pray in the confidence of this Easter acclamation:

 

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that your Holy Spirit would fill us with Jesus Christ who is our life. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that the complete and confident faith of Jesus Christ who is our life would be ours. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that the pure and total righteousness of Jesus Christ who is our life would rid of us of coveting a righteousness of our own. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that the immortality which belongs to Jesus Christ who is our life would put to death our fear of death. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that Christ who is our life would alone reign in our conscience and keep us free of the Law’s accusation. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves so that with the eyes of Christ we might see our neighbor in all her needs and look upon her with a love that works to fill those needs. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

In the name of the risen Lord Jesus, we call upon you, our heavenly Father, to empty us of ourselves that Jesus Christ who disappeared into the cloud on Ascension Day would be continually with us unto the end of the age. Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer!

 

Heavenly Father, into your hands we cast all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen

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