In Luke 7, we get several stories that all point to Christ’s divine identity, revealing his power over sin, disease and even death. Response to him will be divided. Some see their need for him while others do not.
Dear Father in heaven,
We come before you in humility knowing that in ourselves there is nothing that would make us worthy to have you listen to our prayers. We truly have nothing to offer but our faith in Christ. We know that he came to proclaim forgiveness to sinners like ourselves, so we ask you to cleanse us of our sins.
We ask you to make us faithful intercessors, much like the centurion, with respect to those we love. Please hear the prayers that we offer up for others.
Help us to remain faithful in the midst of our own trials, even as John had to remain faithful in prison.
And as we recognize how great your forgiveness has been toward us, make us people who would show you great love.
Dear heavenly Father,
Help us to truly follow Jesus by renouncing all condemning, unloving and unforgiving attitudes that might still linger in us, even if we have held them for years. And let us turn all of that into positive action, learning to love our enemies, doing good to those who treat us badly. Teach us to pray for all those who oppose us, so that they might come to know your mercy even as we have.
Teach us to truly treat others just as we ourselves would wish to be treated.
May our lives be full of good works, all consistent with the teaching of Christ, and may the foundation of our spiritual house be built on the rock, so that it will stand when the inevitable storms of life pound against it.
Dear Heavenly Father
We thank you for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This event shows us that he was more than an ordinary man.
We believe and rejoice in the fact that he died for our sins. We accept the fact that he rose and then ascended into heaven. We are grateful for his present intercession for us and look forward to his soon return.
We offer up our prayers to you in his name,
5 When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I often pray “in Jesus’ name,” but I am not sure I recognize his authority or my own unworthiness to ever have you answer my prayers. Neither is my heart sufficiently moved by the needs of others. Give me the faith of this centurion.
Let it start by being willing to ask. So often I simply fail to pray when I know full well that I am in need of answers from you.
Further, I sometimes retain a hint of my own self-righteousness. I expect you to do things for me because of who I am or what I have done, or the justness of my cause. In reality I deserve nothing. All that I have or ever will have from you is purely of grace. I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.
I also see that this centurion was praying for his servant. He was clearly not an arrogant man in his dealings with others. Considering his rank and position I wonder if it might have been completely acceptable for him to to care very little about this servant’s well-being. His concern was personal as he transformed his servant’s need into his own. Move me to that kind of intercession.
Finally, there is the matter of Christ’s authority. I am not certain that I see him as Lord of the universe and Lord of my life as I pray in his name. Maybe I know these things as facts, but there are too many times when I treat Christ as more of my servant than my Master. Help me to make this a thing of the past and never treat Christ as anything but the King of kings that he is.
Again, give me the faith of this centurion as I lift up my requests to you.
In Christ my Lord,