I was honored to open in prayer a service of remembrance for the mother of my dear friend, Richard Murray. Richard has been attending our early Friday study sponsored by Micah 6:8. He has been a dear brother, and it has been a sobering time to see how our communities are truly built upon the weeping and rejoicing of fellow saints. Here is my opening prayer this morning at Hickory Hammock Baptist Church:
‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ says the Lord. ‘Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’
Most Holy God, Father, Son, and Spirit, we give you thanks for the life of Christine Murray; for her loyalty to you in life and for her continuing love for you even now as she adores your only beloved Son Jesus Christ face to face. We rejoice that the voice of evil was not louder than the voice of triumph. Your voice of victory on that cruel tree was embraced by our dear sister in life. We delight that your story is brought to greater light in the seed of the woman, who crushed the seed of the serpent, and who opened the door of redemption to all who would place their trust in Messiah.
Cause us on this day to remember the unnatural nature of death, and cause us to look forward to the complete abolishment of death, when the world will be made right and your kingdom shall be known in all the earth. Though we weep, we do so with the hope given by a Resurrected Lord, knowing that death is not the end of existence, but a portal to the presence of our Lord; the beginning of eternal life.
The Psalmist declares that precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Though our sister’s body has fallen asleep, her soul is very alive in your presence. Teach, us, O Lord, to number our days that you might be to us our greatest joy in life and in death.
We remember, O God of all consolation, that your Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears at the grave of Lazarus his friend. So, we pray, that you will look with compassion on your children in their loss; and that you would give to troubled hearts the light of hope and strengthen in us the gift of faith, in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.