The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant those who mourn in Zion--to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. (Jesus, in Luke 4:21)
The words of the prophet paint a beautiful picture of gospel renewal. This renewal would be "good news" and would proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and grace. Those who mourn would be comforted, the captives would be set free, and those changed by this gospel would become "oaks of righteousness." In Luke, Jesus announces that he is the fulfillment of Isaiah's vision of gospel renewal!
Today, let's pray that gospel renewal in our church and city would result in the growth of "oaks of righteousness."
Pray that those who are captive to the tyranny of sin would be set free.
Pray for those who mourn, that they would receive comfort and the oil of gladness.
There is such a range of spiritual maturity at LBC. Pray for seekers to come to faith; for young believers to grow to maturity; and for long-term followers of Christ to press on to maturity and growth.
Pray that God will use our growing network of small groups to foster gospel community and gospel growth.
Pray that God will use the upcoming spiritual growth classes to nurture "oaks of righteousness."
Pray for growing gospel transformation in all of our lives: the renewal of our minds; the inflaming of our hearts; the empowering of our hands.
Pray that our love for the lost, our love for the needy, and our love for the world would flow from genuine heart renewal in worship and community.