Friday, September 16, 2011

Free Will versus Freed Will

A recent conversation with one of my very dear customers demonstrates the difference between what we deludingly label as Free Will and what the Lord establishes as Freed Will. What we count as free will is actually our will that has been placed under the bondage of sinfulness. It is our will that rebels against God’s holy will. Thus it is will that is in need of being freed by God’s gracious intervention, freed by having its bondage to our sinfulness broken so as to be bound again in the freedom to enjoy the life of holiness that is found only in the Lord’s Holy Communion.

The truth is that our will is either in bondage to sinful rebellion or in bondage to holiness. The one way makes the way of holiness impossible while the other way sets us free to enjoy the way of holiness once more. This contrast of binding forces could be compared to the gravity experienced while in the proximity of earth versus the sense of weightlessness experienced apart from being bound to any large body. What could be perceived as freedom of existence apart from the binding force of gravity is the freedom to drift off into the nothingness of space. What sometimes is thought of as a restrictive bondage by gravity actually allows a person to move about freely, running and even jumping, without fear of drifting away into oblivion. Astronauts employ a tether to insure this freedom while working outside of their spacecraft.

The conversation in which we shared concerned the matters of the financial bondage that the government, which is owned by the Federal Reserve, continues to create for us. As we discussed this, the last several Presidents and the current President were brought forward. As we spoke especially of President Obama, I shared my deep and heartfelt appreciation for the Our Father and the General Prayer of the Church. I shared how these override my rebellious desire to pray against Obama and the other wicked leaders so that I am led to pray for them as God has decreed to be in accord with His holy will.

My friend, however, could only hear my rebellion. The sound of my admission of the power of my sinful nature drowned out the sound of my thanksgiving for the power of these prayers to work repentance in me so that by God’s gracious design I pray contrary to my will and in accord with His will. And so, while I would pray that God punish and get rid of these evil doers, instead, I am led to pray for their forgiveness and conversion, for their everlasting salvation, and even for their current good health and blessing of every sort.

Yet what we count as free will is what my friend heard so that I had to explain the meaning that I intended to convey. He asked me to make a copy of the General Prayer so that he could examine it. It seems to me to be good to display it here as well.

The General Prayer of the Church

Almighty and most merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give Thee thanks for all Thy goodness and tender mercies, especially for the gift of Thy dear Son and for the revelation of Thy will and grace; and we beseech Thee so to implant Thy Word in on us that in good and honest hearts we may keep it and bring forth fruit by patient continuance in welldoing.

Most heartily we beseech Thee so to rule and govern Thy Church Universal, with all its pastors and ministers, that we may be preserved in the pure doctrine of Thy saving Word, whereby faith toward Thee may be strengthened, charity increased in us toward all mankind, and Thy kingdom extended. Send forth laborers into Thy harvest, and sustain those whom Thou hast sent, that the Word of Reconciliation may be proclaimed to all people and the Gospel preached in all the world.

Grant also health and prosperity to all that are in authority, especially to the President and Congress of the United States, the Governor and Legislature of this Commonwealth, and to all our Judges and Magistrates, and endue them with grace to rule after Thy good pleasure, to the maintenance of righteousness and to the hindrance and punishment of wickedness, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

May it please Thee also to turn the hearts of our enemies and adversaries that they may cease their enmity and be inclined to walk with us in meekness and in peace.

All who are in trouble, want, sickness, anguish of labor, peril of death, or any other adversity, especially those who are in suffering for Thy name’s and for Thy truth’s sake, comfort, O God, with Thy Holy Spirit, that they may receive and acknowledge their afflictions as the manifestation of Thy fatherly will.

And although we have deserved Thy righteous wrath and manifold punishments, yet, we entreat Thee, O most merciful Father, remember not the sins of our youth nor our many transgressions, but out of Thine unspeakable goodness, grace, and mercy defend us from all harm and danger of body and soul. Preserve us from false and pernicious doctrine, from war and bloodshed, from plague and pestilence, from all calamity by fire and water, from hail and tempest, from failure of harvest and from famine, from anguish of heart and despair of Thy mercy, and from an evil death. And in every time of trouble show Thyself a very present Help, the Savior of all men, and especially of them that believe.

Cause all needful fruits of the earth to prosper, that we may enjoy them in due season. Give success to the Christian training of the young, to all lawful occupations on land, [air], and sea, and to all pure arts and useful knowledge; and crown them with Thy blessing.

Receive, O God, our bodies and souls and all our talents, together with the offerings we bring before Thee, for Thou hast purchased us to be Thine own, that we may live unto Thee.

Here special Supplications, Intercessions, and Prayers may be made

These and whatsoever other things Thou wouldst have us ask of Thee, O God, grant unto us for the sake of the bitter sufferings in death of Jesus Christ, Thine only Son, our Lord and Savior, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

† † †

1 comment:

Rev. Joel A. Brondos said...

It was helpful to find this transcription of the General Prayer online when I needed it last Sunday morning (helping a vacant congregation which has LSB). There are a couple of typos, but I am grateful that you had posted this. It really is a substantive prayer.