Dear Heavenly Father, I confess that in Jesus Christ I have found faith and
love that I could not have imagined, for I have nothing that can reach so far
into the heavens to lay hold on these immense treasures. Your love has followed
me all the days of my life, even when I was not aware of Your presence.
This love and faith came to me only because of the words of the Gospel that
were told to me by people in whom Your love and faith lived. They told me
of Jesus and His love for sinners like me. The story gripped my heart, dear
Lord. I did not know how. Later I learned that it was your Holy Spirit, but I
was just a child and only knew that the story was true. I hungered to know
more of this faith and love.
Thank You for raising up Your faithful apostles, including Paul who wrote
this epistle to Timothy. The apostles spoke words that You gave them, not
words which human wisdom taught them, but words which the Holy Ghost
gave them. These words have meaning, the meaning that You chose to place
under them, so that when we heard the words we would know of Your faith
and love, and be constrained by Your Spirit to enter into the fellowship of the
Gospel through the words of the Apostles.
We confess, O Lord, that sound words are important, and we should not be
constantly trying to invent new ways of saying these precious things, for they
came to us in sound and clear words, words that carried the meaning that You
had revealed to us about the faith and love in Christ Jesus.
May we take the time and labor to teach people the meaning of these precious
words so that Your message of faith and love is not confusing to the mind. You,
O eternal Word and Wisdom of God, our Lord Jesus, chose words very
carefully and taught us their meaning in the Holy Scriptures. These words have
been carefully translated into our languages and we thank God for faithful men
who did this work so that we might have sound words and understand these
things. We thank you for the great creeds of the church that have carefully
defined the words in our languages also, so that we might not go astray in such
an important matter.
Teach us, O Lord, to hold fast the form of sound words. Form means as “a lively
picture”: the words must not blur the meaning, but must be chosen carefully and
used consistently until people know what they mean and can rely on the great
message of the gospel, we do confess and believe.
We thank you, especially, in our day for the clarity of words that we have in our
language that, if we are diligent, we can know the meanings of them and so not
go astray from the Gospel of faith and love which is in Jesus Christ. May we not
be guilty of shifting words so that people are not rendered confused about the
We desire, O Lord, to communicate the Gospel, the same Gospel, that our fathers
in the faith conveyed to us. We want to be able to talk to one another in sound
words that they have been taught that are not being redefined again and again,
according to the fashion and opinions of shifting public opinion.
In the precious Name of Jesus, Your Only Begotten Son, Amen.
2Tim 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in
faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
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