Epaphras Prayer Letter
The Day of Epiphany
January 6, 2022
“When Herod the king heard this,
he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him…”
Herod let his insecurity as king get the best of him. He feared the threat and competition a “new King of the Jews” would bring to his rule. Accordingly, the people of the city were troubled along with him. People who live under a monarchy, absolute as was Herod’s, soon learn that a troubled king is an unpredictable king; and therefore, is a dangerous king. None of them knew the manner in which Herod would restore the security of his rule. We are told in scripture that Herod resorted to genocide, wiping out a whole generation of children in the entire region of Bethlehem (Mt. 2:16-17)—a willful and insecure king resorting to mass murder to restore his job security. You can find the same sort of out-of-proportion response in today’s insecure leaders whether they be political, business, or religious. Give leaders positions of power, combine it with personal insecurity, and abuse could well be their response to a threat.
Prayers for protection from the misuse of power…
Father in heaven, you have given all authority to your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Grant that as he gathers his flock around himself, we—numbered among that flock—would be protected from the world’s abuse of power. For Jesus’ sake, make it so.
Father in heaven, as all authority in heaven and earth resides in Jesus Christ, the Word of God, make me subject to its authority so that I live in the reality of its promises. For Jesus’ sake, make it so.
Father in heaven, since I am subject to the authority of the Word of God, Jesus Christ, and live in the reality of its promises, grant that faith, hope, and love endure for me throughout the days of my baptism. For Jesus’ sake, make it so.
Father in heaven, with the promises of your Word a reality for me, open my eyes to see the plight of my neighbors near and neighbors far, and use me as your instrument to deliver daily bread to them. For Jesus’ sake, make it so.
Father in heaven, when I am delivering daily bread to my neighbors, keep me as their servant and not as the achiever of my own righteousness. For Jesus’ sake, make it so.
Father in heaven, you have given us the organizations and institutions that enable us to accomplish those things we would be unable to do alone. Grant that the Institute of Lutheran Theology continue to be one of those effective and helpful institutions. For Jesus’ sake, make it so.
Father in heaven, you have promised your Son, the one who possesses all authority, to be with us until the end of the age. Grant that he continues to “author” my life in the kingdom that will soon arrive. For Jesus’ sake, make it so.