A Gospel Prayer based on Ephesians 5:21-33

O holy God of love,

Long ago, in eternity past, You planned great good for Your people. Your intention all along has been to create a new community called the church that would stand before You in shining-greatness, in blameless holiness. Your purpose has been to create a people – to bring out their best – free from spots, wrinkles, or any other disfigurement.

Yet as I look at my life, I see darkness, shame, impurity, and uncleanness. And the people around me – family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow believers – are full of faults, blemishes, and unholiness, too.

It is impossible for an unholy person, like me, and an unholy people, like us, to experience intimacy with You, a holy God. Apart from grace, we are doomed to miss out on a good and glorious future.

You, however, are full of grace. In spite of our faults, You sent Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to love us and to save us. He gave Himself up for us so we could become the church, His new community. On the cross, Jesus sacrificed Himself with a love marked by giving, not getting. His love makes us whole. Jesus nourishes and cherishes us. His love sanctifies the church and cleanses us by the washing of water with the word. His word brings about our beauty.

One day, Jesus will present the church as a bride to Himself in splendor, beauty, and glory. Until that day, Lord God, You have made marriage to be a profound, mysterious picture of the relationship between Christ and the church.

May husbands and wives leave their fathers and mothers and be joined together so that the two become one flesh. May husbands and wives be filled with the Spirit, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. May wives respectfully yield to their husbands with a passionate strength just as the church submits to Christ. May husbands lovingly lead their wives with a sacrificial tenderness just as Christ loves the church. May our marriage relationships be so blessed by You so that husbands will help their wives and wives will help their husbands stand before You in holiness one day and hear You say, “Well done.”

Father, You have made the marriage relationship to be a great mystery that speaks of something profound – the marriage of Christ and His Church. Thank You that Your love through Christ will fulfill Your plan, Your intention, and Your purpose by creating a new community. You will make Your church an altogether glorious bride in Your eyes.

Amen.

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This prayer has been inspired by Ephesians 5:18b, 21-33. Some of the words and phrases in this prayer have been taken directly from the English Standard Version, J.B. Phillips New Testament, The Message, New Living Translation, and the New Life Version.

ephesians

A Gospel Prayer based on Ephesians 5:8-14

O God of hope,

In a world filled with distress and despair, darkness and death, You are the blazing center of light and life. Because of who You are, You are able to fill everyone who comes to You with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope (Romans 15:13).

Yet I have chosen to walk in the world’s darkness rather than in Your light. I have chosen to embrace what is bad and wrong and false. Over and over, I have done what is displeasing in Your sight. I have wasted time pursuing the fruitless deeds of darkness. It is shameful to even speak of the things I have done in secret. No wonder I feel depressed and dejected.

Even though I don’t deserve Your light in my life, You graciously offer me hope. You sent Your Son, Jesus, the Light of the world, to step down into my darkness. He lived the life I could not live. The fruit of His life was light, all that is good and right and true. He died the death I should have died. He suffered on the cross in darkness to pay for the shameful deeds I have done in secret. He rose again to give me light and life. Jesus is the Source of new life and new hope for all who believe. Truly, this is good news!

So, again today, I repent and believe the gospel. At one time I was darkness, but now I am in the light. Therefore, help me to walk as a child of Your light, taking in and giving out all that is good and right and true. Let my life be a living proof of all that pleases You, God.

May I take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness. Instead, help me to expose them. Keep me from a scandalous waste of my life. Save me from doing shameful things in secrecy.

Remind me that nothing escapes Your eternal, watchful, loving eyes. Your light shows everything for what it really is. All my intentions will be exposed when Your light shines on me. Your light makes everything visible.

So, Lord God Almighty, awaken me. Don’t let me sleep spiritually! I now live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. By Your grace and for Your glory, I have risen from the dead to new life in Christ.

So, may there be no more distress and despair, darkness and death for me. Because of the power of Your indwelling Spirit, I abound in hope. I claim the promise that Christ will shine on me. Shine, Jesus, shine on me, in me, and through me. Right now. This day. And every day.

Amen.

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This prayer has been inspired by Ephesians 5:8-14. Some of the words and phrases in this prayer have been taken directly from the English Standard Version, the New Living Translation, The Message, the New International Version, and the J.B. Phillips New Testament.