Passage: Hebrews 4:14-16
Author: Rev. W. Reid Hankins, M.Div.
Sermon originally preached during the Morning Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 01/20/2008 in Novato, CA.
Our sermon for today is our third and final sermon in our series on the means of grace. Prayer in some sense might seem a bit different as a means of grace than the others. In the Word and Sacraments, the emphasis clearly is on God’s initiation. In the Word, God speaks first to us. In the Sacraments, a minister, who is a representative of God, administers the sacrament to us. But in prayer, we come to God. In prayer, according to the WSC, we come to him, “offering up our desires to God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies” (WSC 98). And yet, though there is a sense in which prayer may seem like something we initiate, our passage for today reminds us that even prayer is an ordinance of God. Even our prayer is something that he ultimately initiates, because he has commanded us to pray. Our prayers are even effective because of the work Christ has done in redeeming us and reconciling us to God. And so in the words here of Hebrews 4:16, we are called by God to “come boldly to the throne of grace.” And so, even in prayer, we find that this is God’s gracious provision for us.