El Shaddai

Ruling elder Jon Boardman leads Covenant Presbyterian Church in prayer each Sunday morning. Upon request we are posting his prayers so that their devotional content may be useful to us days after the fact. We believe you will find these edifying.

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Pastoral Prayer
Covenant Presbyterian Church, Oviedo, Florida
7/18/2010
Jon Boardman

El Shaddai

Translated, “God Almighty” this probably means ‘mountain’ used symbolically of changelessness and enduring strength, contrasted to the helplessness of man. The idea is that God is the all-sufficient One [cf. Ps. 68:14, 91:1].

The first time we are introduced to the name, El Shaddai, is in Genesis 17:1-5: “When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to him and said, ‘I am El Shaddai; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’ Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.’”

For Abraham, God was the all-sufficient One, the One who would provide a child for Abraham and who would be faithful to Abraham for generations to come. By virtue of what Christ has done on our behalf and the faith we have in Him, we are descendants of Abraham, so we can pray in confidence to El Shaddai. Let us pray…

Lord,
we pray with the psalmist when he says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High [El Elyon] will rest in the shadow of El Shaddai. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:1-2).

Almighty God, we declare our trust in You.

Indeed, You are our fortress, our refuge, our shelter, and our God.

We acknowledge our helplessness and our need to rest in Your shadow.

Like Abraham, we have no power to resolve hopeless situations.

We are in need of You in all areas of our lives.

Time and time again we have found You to be our all-sufficient God.

You have held us through a difficult time of transition and provided us with a pastor.

You have held us through times of great financial need.

You have held us through disease and death.

You have held the Nuwayhids through grief.

You have held Joseph through leukemia. We continue to pray for his strength and healing as he endures treatment.

We also pray for Jonathan and his upcoming surgery. May You hold him through it.

You have held Jim through his treatment with multiple-myeloma and through his bone marrow transplant.

You have held Carole as she cares for him.

You have held our missionaries on the field through financial and prayer support.

You have held our evangelists through their efforts to share the gospel.

You have held our church as we seek to follow you and find a place to worship.

You have held our children, our singles, our marriages, and our families through the trials and tribulations of this life.

You are our refuge, our rock, our very present help in a time of trouble.

Where can we run when we are hurting and afraid?

Where can we go when we become frantic, anxious, and overwhelmed?

We can run to You.

For our weaknesses and difficulties—all human impossibilities—present no problem to You, El Shaddai.

So we come before you this morning to find our rest in You.

Specifically, we pray for Penni’s mother as she continues to struggle with her health. Grant her rest and healing, and we pray too for Penni’s father that You would uphold him.

We lift up Anita Samuels and her family as they grieve the loss of Anita’s father. Be their refuge as they mourn his death.

And we pray for all those in our midst and in our circle of love who are struggling financially, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Grant them all rest as they trust You with each and every aspect of their lives.

We ask for your blessing on the Dumas family as they look forward to the arrival of their daughter.

We ask for your blessing for all of Your people so that they may return the blessing to You and be a blessing to others.

To You be all the glory and honor.

We pray in the name of Jesus who has secured our rest and given us the hope of heaven.

Amen.