Prayer Request from Rev. Greg Hobaugh, Dean of Students
"The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.”
I first came across this quote by Samuel Chadwick early on in my time at Westminster. It was posted on Bob Sexton’s office door in the catacombs of Machen. It succinctly captures the biblical principle that no matter what we seek to accomplish for God’s Kingdom, if we are not in constant, dependent prayer, we are serving from our own short-lived strength and wisdom and not from Holy Spirit-filled, resurrected power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the prayers of Paul we see a call to his readers that they might understand, grasp and experience the power-filled love of God in Christ as they humbly come and seek his purposes:
"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:14-19).
As I begin my time as the Dean of Students at Westminster, I am asking for your prayers – primarily for the students but also for the faculty and administration, and me – that we would be humble and dependent in seeking after God as we begin a new Fall semester. Furthermore, to echo Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, pray that we as a community would be strengthened by the Spirit, rooted and established in love, and that we would grow in our knowledge and application of the love of Christ in all that we do, say and think on campus.
John Piper in his book, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, conveys the importance of praying for institutions like Westminster in this way: “Brothers, let us not merely criticize or commend the seminaries. God loves His church and His truth. He ordains to do His work through the intercession of His people. Generations of faithfulness are at stake. Therefore, brothers, let us pray for the seminaries” (p 266).
Below are some practical ways to pray for Westminster. The chapel times (10-30-11:00am EST, M-F with Thursdays being devoted to prayer groups) will work through the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), and here are some suggested ways you can pray for our students:
…that OUR FATHER would practically remind us of his grace, goodness and restored relationship that we have through the cross of Jesus Christ
…that His name would be MADE HOLY by all that we do, say and think on campus.
…his WILL WOULD BE DONE, his KINGDOM WOULD COME, even when we, in ourselves, might be overwhelmed or confused.
…he would provide the DAILY BREAD of feeding both our physical bodies as well as our hearts through Jesus Christ.
…that we would bask in the FORGIVENESS we have been granted in Christ, as we then FORGIVE THOSE WHO MAY HAVE TRESPASSED AGAINST US – that we would not hold grudges and no heart would become embittered.
…that we would NOT BE LED INTO TEMPTATION, but that we would be DELIVERED FROM EVIL in the midst of our ongoing struggles against the Kingdom of this present evil age.
One more request: If possible, please make this an ongoing or recurring prayer item. Consider setting an appointment in your scheduling software (Palm, Outlook or Entourage) to have a daily, weekly or monthly reminder to pray for the on-going Kingdom work of the seminary.
Paul concludes the above-mentioned prayer with the reminder that all of our ministry is in, through, and to the glory of the Triune God of the Bible alone:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21).