Praying Through the Scriptures: Genesis 1

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Over the years it has been my practice, learned from others, to offer up praises and petitions framed by a passage of Scripture. Some of these passages were read in preparation for preaching, others offered material for meditation in daily devotion; still others were plundered specifically for the purpose of finding fresh material for prayer. As I continue to learn how to pray I have shared a few prayers with my family and friends for their use or adaptation. The Alliance has asked me to share some with you too:

Genesis 1: The Beginner

Our great and glorious God, creator of the heavens and the earth: We come before you this morning, for you are the beginner of all good things. All creation sings your praises. From morning light to evening shade, from the expanse of the sky to the breadth of the sea, all that you have made declares that you are God and that there is none like you.

You caused the earth to sprout, to yield, to bear sweet fruit of many flavors. You gave the sun to warm us with its golden rays, the moon to illume the evening tide, the stars to keep us wondering and to prevent our wandering. You made the secret creatures of the sea and the soloists of the sky. You alone fashioned cows to feed in the open field, lizards to leap across desert rocks, and great beasts to pad along the forest floor. For all these things we praise you. They are all of your design, your execution, and exist for your pleasure.

And yet as if all of this were not enough for you, you have done even more. You created man in your own image, male and female. You've called us to multiply ourselves, commanded us to exercise dominion over this world, and encouraged us to enjoy its food for our need. How easy it is for us at this moment to share in your judgment that this is all good, even very good!

And still we wonder. If the lights of our heaven are so glorious, how much more the lights of yours? If by your word alone you have commanded into existence a world of astonishing creatures, what have you commanded for the creatures around your throne? If this is the glory of the world that is seen, what will be the glory of a world unseen? If we are left breathless at the sights of a world that is tarnished by sin, what will be our wonder at a world where you have banished all evil? If we are stunned at the sight of your creation, how will we measure our amazement if we are granted even a glimpse of the Creator's glory?

And so we come to you this morning not merely to sing your praises, but also to bring our petitions. We confess that we have not respected enough your creation. We confess that we have not reverenced enough you our Creator! Forgive us Father, and fit us for the new heavens and the new earth. Forgive us, male and female, for all that we have done that is not good, and refashion us, in your mercy, into the image of your Son. Call the Spirit who once hovered over the waters to hold sway over our hearts. And hear us for the sake of our loving Savior, who for our sakes hung on a tree bearing the bitter fruit of all our sin. AMEN. 



Chad Van Dixhoorn is Chancellor's Professor of Historical Theology for Reformed Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM) and the University of Cambridge (PhD). Chad has taught theology at the University of Nottingham, and has held three fellowships at the University of Cambridge, where he has researched the history and theology of the Westminster assembly and taught on the subject of Puritanism. A former British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, in 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in recognition of his five-volume work on the Westminster Assembly, published by Oxford University Press. Chad and his wife Emily have five children. He organizes his free time by coaching little league, losing tennis matches against all comers, and reading NYT bestsellers.


[Editorial note: This prayer may be used or adapted freely and without authorial attribution. If printed in an order of service, simply cite the source of the prayer as "reformation21.org." As with other written material on Reformation21, it may not be reproduced for any commercial purpose without the author's written permission.]
Posted September 5, 2016 @ 5:44 PM by Chad Van Dixhoorn
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