Rev. Matt Miller
As your church celebrates Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, we recall a special prayer from one of our ARP ministers whose wife was pregnant when he delivered his January 2011 sermon and this prayer. Rev. Matt Miller (Greenville (SC)ARP Church) and his wife, Lindsay, are now the parents of a beautiful baby girl, Elise Noelle.
Our blessed God and Father, our strength, our rock, in whom we take refuge, our shield, our stronghold;
Blessed Son, our sure and steadfast anchor of the soul,
our forerunner who has gone into the inner place of the heavenly tabernacle,
our holy, innocent, unstained high priest, exalted above the heavens;
Blessed Holy Spirit, our surety of salvation, the power of Christ who indwells us, and unites us to Him;
Our Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; ever three, ever one;
We come to You for refuge. We come to You for strength.
And we come not with praises of our own names, but with praise for Yours.
Magnify Your Name among us, O Lord, make Your Name great.
Not unto us, but to Your Name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness!
We come clinging to Your cross, for it is our peace with You.
In the cross, the true nature of sin was revealed: that our fallen nature will, if given the opportunity, crucify God in the flesh, because we would rather do what we please than have God Himself reign over us.
The seed of this sin nature has been stripped of its power in Your people, but it still remains and shows itself in our disinterest in the finer points of Your Word, in our sense of entitlement to emotions that are unruly and unholy, in the struggle of our will to follow through with our most faithful intentions.
And so, we discount Your word, and give way to anger and self-pity and contempt, and fall short of Your glory, time and again.
But You are gracious – You are our Savior, and not a taskmaster. With You there is forgiveness that is not diminished on account of being needed again and again, but is freely given the seventieth time as the first, and yet again.
Forgive us again, O Lord, and grant us help to cherish You more and have more of
Your character pour out of our lives.
It was You who formed our inward parts, and knitted us together in our mother’s womb. And for that, David praised You. As we join churches across the country in celebrating the sanctity of human life, we are humbled to the dust, O Lord, at the thought of more than 50 million abortions since 1973. We cannot comprehend the number – and yet You know each one.
O Lord, forgive us for the numbness of our hearts to the plight of the unborn. Surely, if we had Your affection for them, we would not be so idle. Forgive us also for our lack of concern for those wounded by sin and laden with guilt – one in four in any given church, we are told, for having cut short a life.
Make us to be a community of grace in which they may hear of Your grace, and may be freed from the weight of secret sins, and sing and dance and rejoice with all who know that You have separated their sins from them – as far as the east is from the west – and that You remember their sins no more.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen