To start off the New Year I thought I’d begin with a helpful prayer from Ray Ortlund:
Lord Jesus, in this new year of grace, 2011, give us eyes to see where our churches need repair, hearts to desire the experience of your glory, and above all else, the sheer grace of your felt presence coming down on your imperfect but yearning churches!
His prayer results from solid reflection on the need of our churches to experience the active presence of Christ:
“Our aim as pastors is not only that our churches will be well assembled, thoughtfully and carefully and biblically obedient. That is important. But our desires don’t end there. We desire the dwelling of the risen Christ among us. We desire his felt presence. We desire him.
If we are not experiencing his glory coming down upon us, we need to ask if we have been disobedient in any aspect of what we have built or failed to build. Even if we have built well, we need to ask if we have settled for mere constructional obedience. The Lord has more for us than that. He has himself to give.”
The whole post is well worth reading.