A Prayer To Be A Vessel Of Mercy
Powerful Prayers for Hope, Strength and Miracles [Quotes & Verses]
God never leaves us, never abandons us and never gives up hope in us. When you pray a prayer for hope, you are asking God to restore your hope.
If you would your prayer to be heard in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the holiest points on earth, we can help you. Send us your personal prayer for hope and we will take it to the church, where the religious order there will pray over it and for you.
Then we send photos of your prayer and candle back to you. Experience the power of prayer request for yourself.
Hope is what gives us a reason to continue in life and if you believe in God, you are never without it.
Hope is something that He can provide, ensuring that you are always strong and with a reason to follow Him.
However, there will be times when you feel low and may not understand what the reason is behind the difficult times you face. When the obstacles are all around, prayers for hope can help you move forward.God will never give you more than you can handle . . . but He may give you more than you can handle on your own. Remember to turn to the Lord when things are too much and when you feel there’s no hope left. He will give you the hope you need and provide you with the strength to carry on. His everlasting love is all you will ever need.
Here on this page, you’ll find prayers for hope that will help you as you go through life. Whether you are dealing with difficulties or trying to build your faith in the Lord, there will be tribulations and trials. Bask in the hope that the Lord provides and you will make it through.
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
PRAYERS FOR HOPE AND STRENGTH
Our Heavenly Father, we are gathered here today to pray for our brother/sister ________. He/she is facing a difficult situation right now, Lord, as you know and we ask that you bless him/her with your peace and hope. Give him/her strength to face the adversaries and to overcome the obstacles in his/her way. But above all, Lord, give him/her hope for the future. Amen.
INSPIRATIONAL PRAYERS FOR HOPE
Dear Lord, I am your humble servant and I kneel before You today, helpless and weak. I need Your hope for love, kindness and for a better life, Lord.
I ask that You fill me from head to toe with Your everlasting light. Bathe me in Your glory, Lord and show me that everything is according to Your plan.
Help me walk in Your glorious light and show me the path so that I may follow You in faith. Amen.
PRAYERS FOR HOPE AND FORGIVENESS
Lord, thank you for the gift of forgiveness that You have given me. Thank You for Your mercy that you showed me and for sending your Son to die for me. Help me release my anger and frustration with _____.
Allow me to be a vessel of Your divine forgiveness and allow me to forgive him/her. Just as I have been forgiven for my sins, so must I extend forgiveness. I choose to forgive ___ and set him/her free.
In Your Name, Amen.
PRAYERS FOR HOPE, STRENGTH, AND FAITH
Dear Heavenly Father, as I come before you with my heart heavy, I ask for Your help. I lack hope, Lord and pray that You grant me Your eternal hope. Without You, I am nothing, Lord. Without You, I cannot face these obstacles alone.
I am at the end of my rope and I need You to carry me, to lift me in your arms and restore my faith and hope, Lord. Bring me the strength I need to survive and to carry on Your will. I acknowledge that this is not something I can do without You.
I trust in you, Lord, and Your will is mine. Amen.
SHORT PRAYERS HOPE
O Lord, we stand before You, your humble servants, broken and in need of Your love. You are the God of Hope and of all things good and we pray that you lift ________ up in your arms right now, dear God and give him/her the hope he/she needs. Amen.
PRAYERS FOR HOPE AND HEALING
Dear God, we are here today, kneeling before You, Lord, to ask for your hand upon our brother/sister ______________. He/she needs Your healing touch and we ask that You bless him/her. It’s been a difficult week/day/year and we are here to humbly ask for Your healing for ______. Please, restore his/her body and his/her hope. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Lord, You provide us with perfect love at all times and have given us everything we need. We pray that you increase our faith and help us through the rocky times. Give us the strength to face these obstacles and let the difficult days strengthen our faith until we rely only on You, Lord. Amen.
Our Father in Heaven, we pray to you as your servants, asking for an outpouring of love on this person/group.
They have been faithful and follow you, Lord, but they are in need of Your heavenly love. Show them how strong You are and how powerful.
Shower them with your love and blessings and let them never doubt again that they are truly loved in the Kingdom of God. In You we trust, Amen.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in His unfailing love..
What Is the Mercy Prayer?
What if the mercy prayer, “Lord, have mercy,” was not only the most prayed prayer in the Bible but in your life as well? Many Christians through the ages believed that this should be the case.
We have so much to learn from Christians who are different than us.
I grew up as a Southern Baptist. Then I spent eight wonderful years in a Presbyterian church. Today, I’m the pastor of an independent, interdenominational church.
We aren’t officially associated with any particular denomination not because we believe the denominations are bad; rather, we desire to look back over the last two thousand years and see what we have to learn from all the different groups of people that have followed Christ.
The different labels – Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Episcopal, Catholic, and the list goes on – simply represent the variety of ways and approaches others have taken in following Jesus.
One denomination has majored on the mercy of God: the Eastern Orthodox church. For almost two thousand years this segment of Christianity has made the mercy of God central to their understanding of the meaning of following Jesus – especially when it comes to prayer. They recognize that Daniel was right when he prayed,
We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. – Daniel 9:18
The Eastern Orthodox church is rather unknown to most Western Christians. These followers of Jesus are mostly located in Russia, Greece, the Middle East, and Africa. When it comes to understanding the most prayed prayer, we would do well to learn from them.
The Mercy Prayer in the Psalms
Their theologians first recognized our tendency to pray for God’s mercy. They were the ones to remark on how common it was for the people of God to cry out to Him for mercy in the Psalms:
Answer me when I call to You,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
– Psalm 4:1
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
– Psalm 6:2
Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death.
– Psalm 9:13
Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to You for help,
as I lift up my hands toward Your Most Holy Place.
– Psalm 28:2
To You, O Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy.
– Psalm 30:8
It was also the Orthodox that noticed that the one sentence spoken to Jesus more than any other was, “Kyrieeleison.” This branch of Christianity pointed out that all of us are in a line leading to God’s courtroom, and we all have one hope in that setting: that God is merciful.
They even began to ask, could it be that the closer you get to God the more you pray the mercy prayer? What if our closeness to Christ actually increases the frequency of our requests for His mercy?
We normally think the opposite – something this: I was living a really bad life and was in need of mercy. But once I embraced Jesus and asked Him into my heart, He took the burden of sin off of me. Now I can leave behind the consequences of my sin, move on, and grow closer to God.
Our Mercy Prayer Intensifies the Closer We Get to God
Eastern Orthodox believers say the opposite is true. Our recognition of our need for mercy only intensifies the closer we get to God. It’s as if the cross awakens our appetite for His compassion. We actually desire God’s mercy more the closer we get to Him, not only because we see our shortcomings in light of His perfection but also because knowing God is knowing that He is merciful.
This is a lesson we can see illustrated in the tabernacle found in the Old Testament.
The architecture of this ancient worship space communicated the spiritual life in tangible reality. As worshippers walked into the tabernacle, they saw a large courtyard with a number of furnishings signifying different aspects of knowing God.The large basin of water represented cleansing. Burning incense signified the prayers of God’s people. Furthest away from the entrance, deepest within the tabernacle, was the Holy of Holies. To enter that space was to enter the presence of God.
The closer one was to this most holy place, the closer one was to God’s glory. Very few people were actually allowed to enter this sacred room. But if you were to go in beyond the veil and enter, you would see the ark of the covenant – the throne of God.
What was the name given to the throne? The mercy seat!
Watch The Mercy Prayer Video
Excerpted from The Mercy Prayer: The One Prayer Jesus Always Answers by Robert Gelinas, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2013.
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How has your understanding for your need for mercy changed as you’ve grown closer to God? As you’ve sought His face has it intensified? Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you!
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The mercy of the Lord
The Journal of Biblical Accuracy
The mercy of the Lord is a much spoken subject in the Word of God. Really, the word «mercy» appears there over 250 times and today we will have a look at some of these occurrences.
1. Mercy: what is it?
To understand what mercy is, we will start from Luke 10:30-37. There, Jesus is using a parable to answer the question of a lawyer about who is his neighbor:
«Then Jesus answered and said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
wise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.
So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, «Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.» So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?» and he said, «He who showed MERCY on him.»
In contrast to the priest and the Levite, the Samaritan denied to be indifferent to the half-dead traveler. Instead, he had compassion on him; he showed him mercy and helped him. Mercy therefore is to have compassion on someone; to help love without expecting something in return. And the Lord is very rich in it. As Ephesians 2 characteristically tells us:
«BUT GOD WHO IS RICH IN MERCY, BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE WITH WHICH HE LOVED US, EVEN WHEN WE WERE DEAD IN TRESPASSES, MADE US ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.»
However, the Lord «WHO IS RICH IN MERCY, BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE WITH WHICH HE LOVED US, EVEN WHEN WE WERE DEAD IN TRESPASSES, MADE US ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST» He stretched His hand and «delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love» (Colossians 1:12-13). As I Peter 1:3 tells us:
I Peter 1:3
«Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who ACCORDING TO HIS ABUNDANT MERCY has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead»
and Romans 5:8
«But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us»
We were dead. He was full of love, mercy and compassion. He stretched out his hand and made us alive. Though unworthy, He made us worthy. Though sinners, He made us righteous. Though His enemies, He reconciled us with Himself. Though in the kingdom of darkness, He transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Really, how great His grace, love and mercy for each of us personally.
2. «Vessels of mercy»
Continuing on the same topic, we will go to Romans 9. There in verses 15-16 we read:
Romans 9: 15-16
«For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.» So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, BUT OF GOD WHO SHOWS MERCY»
In other words, it is not how much we run. It does not have to do with our power and efforts but rather with the mercy of God. Without His mercy, of our own selves, we can do nothing (John 5:30, 15:5).
Keeping on, Romans 9:22-24 tells us:Romans 9:22-24
«what if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering, the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the VESSELS OF MERCY, which He had prepared beforehand for glory EVEN US whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?»
Though there are vessels of wrath, we are NOT of them. In contrast, we are vessels of mercy that God prepared beforehand to know the riches of His glory. HE PREPARED US FOR GLORY! His mercy is from generation to generation. As Luke 1:50 tells us:
«His mercy is on those who fear Him, from generation to generation»
And as Psalms 25:10 say:
«ALL THE PATHS OF THE LORD ARE MERCY AND TRUTH, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies»
Continuing in Psalms and the subject of mercy, we give below some further characteristic references to it:
«Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy»
«He who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him»
«The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord»
«How precious is Your lovingkindness [mercy- same Hebrew word as in all other places], O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your pleasures. For with you is the fountain of life; In your light we see light.
Oh, continue your lovingkindness [mercy] to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright in heart.»Psalms 57:10
«Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, and your truth unto the clouds.»
«Your lovingkindness [mercy] is better than life»
«Your lovingkindness [mercy] is good»
«But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth»
Psalms 103:13, 17
«As a father pities [the Hebrew word means «to love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate»] his children, SO THE LORD PITIES THOSE WHO FEAR HIM….. the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him..»
«Mercy and truth go before Your face»
«For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him»
«Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies»
«Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever»
Though there are many other references to the Lord's mercy, summarizing what we have seen till now:
• God is rich in mercy, and He has begotten us again according to His abundant mercy.
• All His ways are mercy and truth and these are going before Him.
• All the earth is full of His mercy. His mercy remains from generation to generation to those who fear Him.
• His eye is on those who trust in His mercy and mercy surrounds them.
• His mercy is good and precious. It is better than life!
• As a father pities His children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.
• His mercy on us is as big as the distance of heaven from earth and He crown us with mercy and lovingkindness.
• We are vessels of mercy, prepared by Him for glory!
3. More examples of the Lord's mercy
Moving further, we will see some more examples of the Lord's mercy as these are given in the Bible. Thus, it was the Lord's mercy on Abraham, that lead his servant in the land of his ancestors, to find a wife for Isaac. After all that is recorded in Genesis 24:1-25 and after meeting Rebecca, Isaac's future wife, the servant:
«bowed down his head and worshipped the Lord. And he said, «Blessed be the Lord God of my master, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master.»
It was the Lord's mercy that saved Lot and his family from Sodom's destruction:
«So it came to pass, when they [the angels] had brought them outside, that he said, «Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain.
Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.
» Then Lot said to them, «Please no, my lords! Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and YOU HAVE INCREASED YOUR MERCY which you have shown me by saving my life»It was the Lord's grace and mercy that kept Joseph during the first difficult years in Egypt:
«But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison»
Despite the difficulties, that were all in the plan of the Lord, the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy.
4. «Let us therefore come boldly….»
The mercy of the Lord is not something that is given with measure. It is not something the Lord gives sometimes. He does not have mercy on us on a periodic basis but rather on a permanent basis. IT IS A CHARACTERISTIC OF HIS VERY NATURE. As He advises us in Hebrews 4:
«Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
LET US THEREFORE COME BOLDLY TO THE THRONE OF GRACE, THAT WE MAY OBTAIN MERCY AND FIND GRACE TO HELP IN TIME OF NEED»
We need mercy. There is no-one that does not need it. Let's therefore come boldly to the throne of grace to receive what we need. Let's open our hearts to God. Let's ask for His mercy and compassion on us, as David did in respective situations:
«have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.»
«Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak»
«Have mercy on me, O LORD! Consider my trouble from those who hate me»
«Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted.»
«Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me; LORD, be my helper!»
«Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble;……. Make Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me for Your mercies' sake.»
«Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.»
«Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me! Give Your strength to Your servant, And save the son of Your maidservant.»
«…as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, until He has mercy on us. Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us!»
None of those who sought the Lord's mercy left empty. Really:
The two blind men
«When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, «SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON US!» And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him.
And Jesus said to them, «Do you believe that I am able to do this?» They said to Him, «Yes, Lord.» Then He touched their eyes, saying, «According to your faith let it be to you.» AND THEIR EYES WERE OPENED.
The woman of Canaan
«And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, «HAVE MERCY ON ME, O LORD, SON OF DAVID! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.» But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, «Send her away, for she cries out after us.» But He answered and said, «I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
» Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, «Lord, help me!» But He answered and said, «It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs.» And she said, «Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
» Then Jesus answered and said to her, «O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.» AND HER DAUGHTER WAS HEALED FROM THAT VERY HOUR.»
The child with the demon
Matthew 17:15, 18
«LORD, HAVE MERCY ON MY SON, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water……And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came him; AND THE CHILD WAS CURED FROM THAT VERY HOUR.»
Another two blind men
«And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, «HAVE MERCY ON US, O LORD, SON OF DAVID!» Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, «HAVE MERCY ON US, O LORD, SON OF DAVID!» So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, «What do you want Me to do for you?» They said to Him, «Lord, that our eyes may be opened.» So JESUS HAD COMPASSION and touched their eyes. AND IMMEDIATELY THEIR EYES RECEIVED SIGHT, and they followed Him.»
The Lord's mercy and compassion for His children is really without measure, as the distance of heavens from the earth. We are vessels of mercy, vessels prepared by Him for glory! He has surrounded us with His love and compassion. He is rich in mercy. To reiterate the invitation of Hebrews 4
LET US THEREFORE COME BOLDLY TO THE THRONE OF GRACE, THAT WE MAY OBTAIN MERCY AND FIND GRACE TO HELP IN TIME OF NEED»
Top 20 prayer points for divine mercy and favour you should know
Are you in need of God’s mercy and favour over your life, over your family, over a situation? Here are some prayer points for mercy and favour that you can use to pray.
Favour is defined as a liking, an approval, an act of kindness, a support for someone beyond what is usual or what the person deserves. It is a very bad thing to lack mercy and favour in life.
This is because, there are times when some situations are beyond our control or limit, and only God's mercy and favour can help. This kind of situations or problems can result to a life of struggles and frustration.
To overcome these difficult situations in our lives, we need God's mercy and favour.
Things you should note and do to be able to enjoy God’s mercy and favour
These are some of the things you should take note and practice so that your prayer for mercy and favour can be answered:
- Stay connected to God.
- Repent of any sin and from secret unholy dealings that might be a hindrance.
- Decide to live in obedience to God’s word and trust God to help you with the decision
- Walk in love daily.
- Be a person of prayer and trust God for the grace to always pray.
READ ALSO: Prayer points for breakthrough with Bible verses
Prayers for mercy and favour
Mercy and favour go hand in hand most of the time. That is why I have decided not to write the prayers for mercy separate and for favour separately. Here are twenty prayer points on mercy and favour that are powerful.
1. Lord, I thank you because my joy is multiplying as I receive unlimited favour of God in Jesus Name.
2. Lord, in whatever way that I have sinned against you and disobeyed your word and instructions, please show me mercy according to your loving kindness and forgive my sins according to your mercy that endures forever in Jesus name.
3. Lord, I seek your mercy and favour in my life, in my studies, in my business and so on (mention those areas where you want God’s mercy and favour), in Jesus name.
4. Father, by your mercy, listen to my cry and give me testimonies in Jesus name.
5. Psalms 102 verse 13 says: «You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favour her, Yes, the set time, has come. Oh Lord, arise and show me mercy, for it is time for me to experience your favour in name of Jesus.»
6. Oh Lord, I do not put my hope and trust in my strength, I put my hope and trust in your favour to bring me things in my life in Jesus name. Read Psalms 44 verse 3.
7. Lord, let your favour be evident in my life everywhere I go so that I can expand your Kingdom everywhere I step my foot on testifying to your goodness in the name of Jesus.8. Father, please let me experience your favour wherever I go and wherever I turn in Jesus Name.
9. Oh Lord, let your mercy and favour make me stand out among my peers in the name of Jesus.
10. Father, let your favour make me be at the right place at the right time in the name of Jesus.
11. Let the favour of God upon my life, always attract the right people into my life, into my path in the name of Jesus.
12. Almighty God, by your mercy, I decree that the hand and plans of the enemy shall not prevail over my life, in the name of Jesus.
13. Oh Lord, by your mercy, let the devil not triumph over me in the name of Jesus.
14. Oh Lord, by your mercy, where others have failed, let me succeed in the name of Jesus.
15. Father, wherever the enemy has knocked me down, let your mercy lift me up and restore me, in the name of Jesus.16. Every struggle in my life, by the mercy and favour of God, has come to an end in Jesus name.
17. Father, let the anointing of supernatural and uncommon favour rest upon my life from today in the name of Jesus.
18. I command doors of supernatural favour to open unto me from today (mention any specific area that you needs the door of favour to open unto you) in the name of Jesus.
19. Father, I pray that the lack of favour in my life comes to an end today in Jesus name.
20. Almighty God, let your favour speedily connect me with men that will help my destiny and my cause in Jesus name.
Keep these prayer points and keep praying with them daily. Pray without ceasing. May the Lord hear your prayers for mercy and favour in Jesus name.
READ ALSO: Benefits of thanksgiving to God
God’s Ultimate Purpose: Vessels of Mercy Knowing the Riches of His Glory
Let’s begin and let’s end today with the wonder of being vessels of mercy prepared beforehand for glory.
Whatever we may not fully understand about the way God works in this world, one thing is clear and wonderful in verse 23.
His ultimate purpose — in all his wrath and all his power and all his mercy — is this: “to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.”
If you are a Christian today — if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead — this is what you are: a vessel of mercy prepared before the creation of the world for glory — that is, to know the riches of the glory of God.
Open your heart to the wonder of this in your own case as you ponder with me three aspects of it. Let’s look at (1) “vessels of mercy,” and then (2) “prepared beforehand for glory,” and then (3) “knowing the riches of glory.”
Vessels of Mercy
God’s purpose in verse 23 is “to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.”
As a Christian, you are a vessel of mercy. You were called spiritual deadness and sinful darkness by mercy, through mercy, and for mercy. By mercy, because in our rebellion we didn’t deserve to be awakened and opened and subdued to God.
Through mercy, because every influence that worked on us to bring us to Christ was a mercy from God. For mercy, because every enjoyment that we will ever have, forever and ever, will be a merciful enjoyment.
And mercy itself will be supremely pleasant to taste and know.We are vessels of mercy. Which means that in all our thinking about election, and why we are saved and another not, we must continually focus on this: We do not deserve to be Christians. We do not deserve to be chosen or called or saved or transformed or heaven-bound. It is all mercy. Undeserved.
Oh, may believers hear this as humbling, and unbelievers hear it as hopeful! Nothing in us was the decisive influence on God to make it happen. That we have received anything good — any forgiveness, any acceptance with God, any glimpse of his glory, any hope of everlasting joy — this is all mercy.
“You were made to know the glory of God.”
And here the words of the Lord Jesus fly over our lives a great banner, and ring in our ears a great trumpet-call to sacrifice: “Freely you received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Oh, may the glorious doctrine of unconditional election — election unto mercy! — never, never, never lead to pride, or cliquishness, or bigotry, or provincialism, or smug indifference to the perishing.
Test yourself to see if you are in Christ: Mercy produces mercy and receives mercy again. We become merciful by being shown mercy. And we show mercy to obtain more mercy again. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7). Freely you received mercy, freely give — and you will receive more and more, “pressed down, shaken together, running over” (Luke 6:38).
Mercy upon mercy.
That is what it means to be a vessel of mercy. It means being able to say, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me — pursue me — all the days of my life.” There will not be one day — neither the day of my delight nor the day of my death — when mercy does not track me down and make me a vessel for his blessing.
Prepared Beforehand for Glory
We are still in verse 23, God’s ultimate purpose for your life: “to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.”
I think the focus here is on being prepared for God’s glory, not our glory (though that too is part of our hope — Romans 8:30). I say this because verse 23 says the purpose of God is “to make known the riches of his glory.” That is what we are prepared for.
The word “prepared” underlines that this is all of mercy. We did not make ourselves fit to know God’s glory. God did. And he did it “the same lump” of clay that others came from who do not see or love the glory of God (Romans 9:21).If you see and savor the glory of God today, you didn’t get to be that way on your own. You were shaped and molded and sometimes pounded into a vessel able to know the glory of God.
This word “prepared beforehand” simply underlines and emphasizes that our ability to see and savor God’s glory is all because of his mercy.
If you are a Christian — or willing to become one by faith in Jesus Christ — you were prepared beforehand for glory — that is to know the glory of God.
This is the ultimate purpose of God for your existence, verse 23: “to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy.” Oh, how I plead with you, let this sink into your heart.
Because once it penetrates to the deep part of your heart — once it takes hold of you — you will never be the same again. You were made to know the glory of God.
Now be careful here lest you intellectualize the word know. Know here cannot mean “be aware of intellectually while feeling indifferent.” That would not mark you as a vessel of mercy. It would mark you as a vessel of wrath.
What does chapter one say? “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who . . . exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man . . .” (Romans 1:18, 23).
That is, they know the glory of God but did not treasure it. They exchanged it.
God’s purpose is not to be known as glorious and then exchanged for images. His purpose is to be known as glorious and treasured as glorious.When Paul says God’s purpose is to make known God’s glory he means make known as infinitely precious and infinitely pleasing.
You were made to know the glory of God, to taste and see the glory of God, to treasure the glory of God, to enjoy the glory of God.
Do you live for this? Do you hear this design for your life and feel a passion to pursue it? If not, I wonder why.
‘This is Impossible for Me’
Perhaps you feel it’s impossible for you. If that’s how you feel, please remember it is all mercy. Impossible to you, yes, but not to God. “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27).
‘I Don’t Want to See Glory, I Want to Be Glory’
Or perhaps you don’t pursue this purpose for your life because you don’t want to see glory, you want to be glory. I could say some very scary things to you about that.
But perhaps I should just say, “If you seek your own glory rather than seeing and savoring God’s glory, you will be bitterly disappointed in the end.
Because in the end you will not be glorious, and everyone will see that and turn their face away.” For your own souls, don’t make that mistake.
‘I’d Rather Accomplish Something Great Than Behold Something Great’
Or perhaps you turn away from God’s design by saying: I don’t want to be lost in the crowd of ogling spectators standing in front of a work of art, saying, “Oh, look at the glory, look at the glory. I want to do something and accomplish something great.
” To you I would say two simple things: first, beware how you speak about those who praise the glory of God; and second, in all of history the people who have seen the glory of God most, accomplish most for this world.
Remember the words of Paul, “Beholding the glory of the Lord, [we] are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18), and glory-reflecting people are not fruitless.
‘I Have Never Tasted the Glory of God’
Or perhaps you don’t pursue with passion to know the glory of God because you simply have no taste for it and don’t know what it is and therefore cannot feel drawn to it. To you I would say: The glory of God is shining everywhere. You live and move and have your being in God.
When the psalmist says, “The heavens are telling the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1), it does not mean that sunrises and sunsets are the glory of God. It means, their magnificence across the bow of the earth, and their spectacular array of colors, and their evocative power to awaken deep emotions are tiny reflections and mere shadows of the glory to which they point.
God is reaching out to us to say: it’s this, only better — lots better! C.S. Lewis once said:
Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty. I had to learn that in other ways. But nature gave the word glory a meaning for me.
I do not see how the “fear” of God could have ever meant to me anything but the lowest prudential efforts to be safe, if I had never seen certain ominous ravines and unapproachable crags.
And if nature had never awakened certain longings in me, huge areas of what I can now mean by the “love” of God would never, so far as I can see, have existed.
In other words, to you who say, you have never tasted the glory of God, I say, you have tasted many of its appetizers.Have you ever looked up? Have you ever been hugged? Have you ever admired anything? Have you ever sat in front of a warm fire? Have you ever tasted sexual desire? Have you ever walked in the woods, sat by a lake, lain in a summer hammock? Have you ever drunk your favorite drink on a hot day or eaten anything good? Every desire is either a devout or a distorted enticement to the glory of heaven.
“Glory-reflecting people are not fruitless.”
You say you haven’t tasted God’s glory. I say that you have tasted the appetizers. Go on to the meal. You have seen the shadows; look at the substance. You have walked in the warm rays of the day; turn and look at the sun itself. You have heard echoes of God’s glory everywhere; tune your heart to the original music.
And the best place to get your heart tuned is at the cross of Jesus Christ. “We have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
If you want the most concentrated display of the glory of God, look at Jesus in the Gospels, and look especially at the cross.
This will focus your eyes and tune your heart and awaken your taste buds so that you will see and hear and taste the glory of the true God everywhere.
That is what you were made for. I plead with you: don’t throw your life away. God made you to know his glory. Pursue that with all your heart and above all else.
Know the Riches of His Glory
Now thirdly focus for a moment on the word “riches.” Verse 23: God’s final goal is “to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.”
Why does he use that word? The point of using that word — the word for wealth and riches — is to awaken in us a sense that our inheritance in God is infinitely greater than the greatest riches on earth.
Oh, how foolish we are to labor for the bread that perishes. Oh, how foolish we are to lay up treasures on earth when the glory of God is our portion.If we had all the money in the world we would be paupers compared to those who have only the glory of God.
Paul said these riches are unimaginable: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined . . . God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). He said these riches are immeasurable: “In the coming ages he [will] show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).
In other words, because the riches of glory are infinite it will take ages for us to know it fully — eternal ages! In other words, we will never know it fully, but will know it more fully every day forever and ever.
Our knowledge of the riches of the glory of God will increase forever and ever, world without end. And therefore, so will our joy. His mercies will be new every morning. And there will be not one boring day in heaven. Nor one day without fresh awe-inspiring discovery.
Not one day without the accumulated weight of old glories ripening in memory, and the thrill of new glories breaking on our sight every day.
Made for His Glory
Therefore, Christ commands us, mercifully, in view of these infinite riches of glory, not to seek earthly riches but to seek the kingdom; and he promised us this: “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). You were made to know the riches of the glory of God.
“Our knowledge of the riches of the glory of God will increase forever and ever.”
Jew and Gentile! The people of this inheritance are not defined by ethnic relations. They are defined by God’s call. Do you see that in the way verse 23 flows into verse 24? God’s great purpose is “to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory — even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles.”
The issue for you this morning is not your background or race or your ethnic connections or your denomination or your parents’ faith. This issue is: do you hear in this message the call of God? If you do, obey it and believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. All the riches of God’s glory are in him. They can be had nowhere else.