Stained Glass Windows: Praying through Scripture

Stained Glass Windows: Praying through Scripture

The Epistle of 1 Peter 

May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish—an inheritance that is presently kept safe in heaven for you. Through his faithfulness, you are guarded by God’s power so that you can receive the salvation he is ready to reveal in the last time. – 1 Peter 1.3-5

Almighty God, thank you for giving me new birth and a hope of eternal life. With gratitude I receive the inheritance that does not perish or fade away but is kept safe. In faithfulness I receive the salvation of my soul. Amen.

You now rejoice in this hope, even if it’s necessary for you to be distressed for a short time by various trials. This is necessary so that your faith may be found genuine. (Your faith is more valuable than gold, which will be destroyed even though it is itself tested by fire.) Your genuine faith will result in praise, glory, and honor for you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you’ve never seen him, you love him. Even though you don’t see him now, you trust him and so rejoice with a glorious joy that is too much for words. You are receiving the goal of your faith: your salvation. – 1 Peter 1.6-9

Faithful One, it is with joy that I celebrate the trials that are necessary to ensure that my faith is genuine.  May you receive all glory and honor that comes from my persecution. I love you, Lord, and I trust you. I receive my salvation by faith with joy. Amen.

Therefore, once you have your minds ready for action and you are thinking clearly, place your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Don’t be conformed to your former desires, those that shaped you when you were ignorant. But, as obedient children, you must be holy in every aspect of your lives, just as the one who called you is holy. It is written, You will be holy, because I am holy. – 1 Peter 1.13-16

Holy One, keep my mind ready for action and my thinking clear. In my ignorance keep me from being conformed to the earthly desires of my flesh. May every aspect of my life be holy. Amen.

Since you call upon a Father who judges all people according to their actions without favoritism, you should conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your dwelling in a strange land. Live in this way, knowing that you were not liberated by perishable things like silver or gold from the empty lifestyle you inherited from your ancestors. Instead, you were liberated by the precious blood of Christ, like that of a flawless, spotless lamb. Christ was chosen before the creation of the world, but was only revealed at the end of time. This was done for you, who through Christ are faithful to the God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory. So now, your faith and hope should rest in God. – 1 Peter 1.17-21

Father God, you show no favoritism. Help me live my life in reverence, not desiring perishable things or an empty lifestyle. You have liberated me by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and have made me faithful. Amen.

As you set yourselves apart by your obedience to the truth so that you might have genuine affection for your fellow believers, love each other deeply and earnestly. Do this because you have been given new birth—not from the type of seed that decays but from seed that doesn’t. This seed is God’s life-giving and enduring word. – 1 Peter 1.22-23

Life-Giving God, I choose to set myself apart in obedience to your truth that I might possess genuine affection for my fellow believers. May my heart grow to love each person deeply and earnestly. Amen.

Therefore, get rid of all ill will and all deceit, pretense, envy, and slander. Instead, like a newborn baby, desire the pure milk of the word. Nourished by it, you will grow into salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good. – 1 Peter 2.1-3

Good Lord, I choose to rid myself of ill-will and deceit, pretense, envy, and slander. Wash my mind of all unhealthy responses to the world around me. Let me crave the Word as my primary nourishment. May I grow up in my salvation. Amen.

Now you are coming to him as to a living stone. Even though this stone was rejected by humans, from God’s perspective it is chosen, valuable. You yourselves are being built like living stones into a spiritual temple. You are being made into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2.4-5

Living Stone, You were rejected by humans but the Chosen One of God Almighty to accomplish his work on earth.  Build me into a spiritual temple, a holy priest. May I offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to You in and through the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light. Once you weren’t a people, but now you are God’s people. Once you hadn’t received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2.9-10

Merciful God, I thank you that I am chosen, royal, holy, and Your possession. I thank you that I have become Your people, and that you have called me out of darkness and into Your amazing light. I thank you that I have received your mercy. Amen.

For the sake of the Lord submit to every human institution. Do this whether it means submitting to the emperor as supreme ruler, or to governors as those sent by the emperor. They are sent to punish those doing evil and to praise those doing good. Submit to them because it’s God’s will that by doing good you will silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Do this as God’s slaves, and yet also as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Have respectful fear of God. Honor the emperor. – 1 Peter 2.13-17

Loving God, You have set up an order of leadership in this world we live in. Help me to honor those who are sent by You to do Your will here on earth. Help me to honor everyone, to love the family of believers, and to respectfully fear You. Amen.

Household slaves, submit by accepting the authority of your masters with all respect. Do this not only to good and kind masters but also to those who are harsh. Now, it is commendable if, because of one’s understanding of God, someone should endure pain through suffering unjustly. But what praise comes from enduring patiently when you have sinned and are beaten for it? But if you endure steadfastly when you’ve done good and suffer for it, this is commendable before God. You were called to this kind of endurance, because Christ suffered on your behalf. He left you an example so that you might follow in his footsteps. He committed no sin, nor did he ever speak in ways meant to deceive. – 1 Peter 2.18-22

Suffering God, assist me to respect the authority placed over me in life. Strengthen me to endure suffering unjustly. Help me to endure all things as Christ Jesus suffered and died for me. May His example that I follow with my every step. Keep me from all sin that I may never speak deceitfully. Amen.

When he was insulted, he did not reply with insults. When he suffered, he did not threaten revenge. Instead, he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.  He carried in his own body on the cross the sins we committed. He did this so that we might live in righteousness, having nothing to do with sin. By his wounds you were healed. Though you were like straying sheep, you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your lives. – 1 Peter 2.23-25

Wounded Savior, teach me your ways that I might endure insults with mercy. Grant me the grace to suffer threats without taking revenge. I entrust my soul to the One who judges the matters of the heart justly. Thank you, Jesus, for enduring the cross, and taking my sins. Thank you that you were wounded for my misbehavior, and that you always seek to find me when I stray from the pathway.  Amen.

Wives, likewise, submit to your own husbands. Do this so that even if some of them refuse to believe the word, they may be won without a word by their wives’ way of life. After all, they will have observed the reverent and holy manner of your lives. Don’t try to make yourselves beautiful on the outside, with stylish hair or by wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Instead, make yourselves beautiful on the inside, in your hearts, with the enduring quality of a gentle, peaceful spirit. This type of beauty is very precious in God’s eyes. For it was in this way that holy women who trusted in God used to make themselves beautiful, accepting the authority of their own husbands. For example, Sarah accepted Abraham’s authority when she called him master. You have become her children when you do good and don’t respond to threats with fear. Husbands, likewise, submit by living with your wife in ways that honor her, knowing that she is the weaker partner. Honor her all the more, as she is also a coheir of the gracious care of life. Do this so that your prayers won’t be hindered. – 1 Peter 3.1-7

Guardian of my Soul, guide my behaviors that I might become reverent and holy. Help me to be humble, gentle, and peaceful in spirit. May I submit to the needs of my spouse, doing good. Let us respect and honor one another with mutual authority. May my prayers be unhindered with a heart that is fully devoted to living a holy life. Amen.

Finally, all of you be of one mind, sympathetic, lovers of your fellow believers, compassionate, and modest in your opinion of yourselves. Don’t pay back evil for evil or insult for insult. Instead, give blessing in return. You were called to do this so that you might inherit a blessing.  For those who want to love life and see good days should keep their tongue from evil speaking and their lips from speaking lies. They should shun evil and do good; seek peace and chase after it. The Lord’s eyes are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord cannot tolerate those who do evil. – 1 Peter 3.8-12

Master, may I be united with one mind with the believers in Christ Jesus. Help me to be sympathetic, compassionate, and modest in my opinions. Assist me not to pay back evil or insults. Let me bless others always. Harness my speech that good may always come forth from my mouth. Let me seek and chase after peace. Amen.

Who will harm you if you are zealous for good? But happy are you, even if you suffer because of righteousness! Don’t be terrified or upset by them. Instead, regard Christ as holy in your hearts. Whenever anyone asks you to speak of your hope, be ready to defend it. Yet do this with respectful humility, maintaining a good conscience. Act in this way so that those who malign your good lifestyle in Christ may be ashamed when they slander you. It is better to suffer for doing good (if this could possibly be God’s will) than for doing evil. – 1 Peter 3.13-17

Christ Jesus, guide my heart to be zealous in seeking after goodness with a holy heart always respectful, humble, and of a good conscience. May I always seek God’s will. Amen.  

Christ himself suffered on account of sins, once for all, the righteous one on behalf of the unrighteous. He did this in order to bring you into the presence of God. Christ was put to death as a human, but made alive by the Spirit. And it was by the Spirit that he went to preach to the spirits in prison. In the past, these spirits were disobedient—when God patiently waited during the time of Noah. Noah built an ark in which a few (that is, eight) lives were rescued through water. Baptism is like that. It saves you now—not because it removes dirt from your body but because it is the mark of a good conscience toward God. Your salvation comes through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at God’s right side. Now that he has gone into heaven, he rules over all angels, authorities, and powers. – 1 Peter 3.18-22

Resurrected One, thank You for taking my sins on the cross so that I may stand in the presence of God Almighty. I am grateful for the mark of baptism upon my conscience that secures my salvation. Blessed are You who reign at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven, ruling over angels, authorities, and powers for Your name sake. Amen.

Therefore, since Christ suffered as a human, you should also arm yourselves with his way of thinking. This is because whoever suffers is finished with sin. As a result, they don’t live the rest of their human lives in ways determined by human desires but in ways determined by God’s will. – 1 Peter 4.1-2

O God, thank You for humbling Yourself to become human. May my thoughts be the mind of Christ and my desires be the will of God. Amen.

You have wasted enough time doing what unbelievers desire—living in their unrestrained immorality and lust, their drunkenness and excessive feasting and wild parties, and their forbidden worship of idols. They think it’s strange that you don’t join in these activities with the same flood of unrestrained wickedness. So they slander you. They will have to reckon with the one who is ready to judge the living and the dead. Indeed, this is the reason the good news was also preached to the dead. This happened so that, although they were judged as humans according to human standards, they could live by the Spirit according to divine standards. – 1 Peter 4.3-6

Living God, help me to resist immorality, lust, drunkenness, over eating, partying, and idolatry. When it comes my time to be judged, may I be ready. May I live according to Your divine standards. Amen.

The end of everything has come. Therefore, be self-controlled and clear-headed so you can pray. Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins. Open your homes to each other without complaining. And serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as good managers of God’s diverse gifts.Whoever speaks should do so as those who speak God’s word. Whoever serves should do so from the strength that God furnishes. Do this so that in everything God may be honored through Jesus Christ. To him be honor and power forever and always. Amen. – 1 Peter 4.7-11

Spirit of God, strengthen me to be self-controlled, clear-headed, sincere, and filled with love for my neighbor’s sake. May I offer my personal property to others without complaint. May I seek to use my gifts and talents as a good steward of your blessings. To You I give all the honor and power that comes from the good done in my life. Amen.

Dear friends, don’t be surprised about the fiery trials that have come among you to test you. These are not strange happenings. Instead, rejoice as you share Christ’s suffering. You share his suffering now so that you may also have overwhelming joy when his glory is revealed. If you are mocked because of Christ’s name, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory—indeed, the Spirit of God—rests on you. Now none of you should suffer as a murderer or thief or evildoer or rebel. But don’t be ashamed if you suffer as one who belongs to Christ. Rather, honor God as you bear Christ’s name. Give honor to God, because it’s time for judgment to begin with God’s own household. But if judgment starts with us, what will happen to those who refuse to believe God’s good news? If the righteous are barely rescued, what will happen to the godless and sinful? So then, those who suffer because they follow God’s will should commit their lives to a trustworthy creator by doing what is right. – Peter 4.12-19

Spirit of Glory, as I walk through the fiery trials and tests in my life assist me to remember that these things are not strange to the Body of Christ. Let me rejoice at the sufferings that come in this life. Rest on me when I am mocked because of Christ Jesus. May my suffering not be as someone who is evil, but as one who bears the name of Christ. I choose to commit my will to doing what is right. Amen.

Therefore, I have a request for the elders among you. (I ask this as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings, and as one who shares in the glory that is about to be revealed.) I urge the elders: Like shepherds, tend the flock of God among you. Watch over it. Don’t shepherd because you must, but do it voluntarily for God. Don’t shepherd greedily, but do it eagerly. Don’t shepherd by ruling over those entrusted to your care, but become examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive an unfading crown of glory. In the same way, I urge you who are younger: accept the authority of the elders. And everyone, clothe yourselves with humility toward each other. God stands against the proud, but he gives favor to the humble. – 1 Peter 5.1-5

Trusted Creator, let my heart be ruled by grace and mercy as I watch over those who are in my care. May my mind be guarded by humility. Amen.

Therefore, humble yourselves under God’s power so that he may raise you up in the last day.Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you. Be clear-headed. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, the one who called you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself restore, empower, strengthen, and establish you. To him be power forever and always. Amen. – 1 Peter 5.6-11

Good Shepherd, free me from anxiety. Keep me clear-headed and alert. When darkness prowls around and the accuser roars, help me to resist and stand firm in the faith. Restore me quickly with power and strength that I will be established and rooted always in truth. Amen.

The Scriptures excerpts are from the Common English Bible, Nashville: 2011. The prayers are my own.

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