Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The author of Hebrews is now in the final part of the letter, and he opens it with a prayer of purpose. Let’s take a closer look, for it is quite instructive.
Our God is identified as the God of peace, something we might want to keep in mind, and then goes on to an interesting statement that has a way of summarizing the letter. “The blood of the eternal covenant” is a reminder that God has committed Himself to the New Covenant and its promises. Notice that it was through the blood of the covenant, the superior sacrifice of our superior high priest, that brought Jesus back from the dead; you don’t see that spelled out very often, for usually we see God’s power cited for this. Think about it: Jesus arose from the grave by the power of an indestructible life, He was raised by the power of God… and now He is brought back by the blood of the covenant. What does that tell you about His blood?
I don’t know about you, but it strikes me as pretty powerful stuff. It is the same stuff that all of our hopes are based upon… so what does that tell you about our hope and God’s promise?
“Powerful” is one word I can think of.
Next, Jesus is called “the great shepherd of the sheep,” reminding us that He is our Lord, our Master. Here we come into the “what” that the author is praying for: May God “equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him”. Notice that the author is asking only for things that accomplish God’s will and that please Him. He is not asking anything for himself. This, dear reader, is a prayer of power and purpose. Jesus told us many times that whatever we ask for in His name will be given to us, but each time He said this, the context was clearly upon doing God’s will. I have no doubt whatsoever that God answered this prayer directly. Obviously, praying in Jesus’ name is what follows when the author adds, “through Jesus Christ…”
I wonder how often we pray like this: Boldly for God’s purposes to be done and not our own; in power for God’s will in our lives, as opposed for our list of goodies.
Yes indeed, this is a prayer of purpose and power, may all of us pray such prayers.