The Essential Gospel: A Prayer based on Ephesians 6:5-9

O God, Ruler of all creation,

I praise You for being the Master who rules and reigns over all. As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, so my eyes look to You, Lord God (Psalm 123:2). As Your servant, it is right for me to give You my complete obedience.

But my loyalty to You as my one and only Master has wavered. Too many times I have sought to serve two masters. You have said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24). My love for the world and the things of the world has led me down the path of disloyalty to You. I have been a faithless servant. For this, I deserve to be cast out.

You, however, have invited me to turn to You. You declared, “Return, O faithless ones, for I am your Master” (Jeremiah 3:14). You made my return possible through the gospel by sending Your Son, Jesus, to be the Suffering Servant. He is my Pardon, suffering in my place as though He were the faithless servant. He is my Pattern, showing me how to be a faithful servant. He is my Power, sending His Spirit to live in me so that I can serve You fruitfully. When I repented and believed the gospel, You forgave my faithless servitude and have now accepted me as if I had served You as faithfully as Jesus did.

Even though I am now Your servant, I still fail to obey You in everything. One day, though, in glory, I will become completely conformed to the image of Your Son, Jesus Christ. On that day, I will serve You as my Master in all the ways You have always deserved. Until then, Lord God, You have made all master-servant relationships on earth to be profound pictures of the relationship that is to exist between You, our heavenly Master, and all Your servants.

As an illustration of the relationship between You, O heavenly Master, and Your servants, may leaders and followers – may employers and employees, government officials and citizens – learn to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21).

Help followers seek to please their leaders all the time, not just when they are being watched. May employees not just do what they have to do to get by, but may they work heartily as employees of Christ, doing the will of God from their hearts. Help citizens serve with enthusiasm, as though they were serving the Lord rather than serving governing officials. And may servants work with a smile, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, they are really serving God. Help us to know that whatever good anyone does, this we will receive back from the Lord.

Help people in positions of authority reflect Your authority, Lord God. May they be conscientious and responsible towards those who serve them. May they not misuse the power over others that has been put in their hands. May they never use threatening and abusive words. Help them not forget that they are responsible and accountable to You, their heavenly Master. Remind them that as their Master in heaven, you play no favorites and make no distinction between those who lead and those who follow.

May those who have been entrusted with the stewardship of leadership glorify You by imitating Your kindness, goodness, and love as our Master in heaven. May those who have been entrusted with the stewardship of followership glorify You by obeying their leaders sincerely with a proper sense of respect and responsibility, as service rendered to Christ Himself.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

***

This prayer has been inspired by Ephesians 6:5-9. Some of the words and phrases in this prayer have been taken directly from the English Standard Version, the J.B. Phillips New Testament, The Message, the New Living Translation, and The Amplified Bible.

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