Praying for Baptisms (Matthew 3:16–17) - Radical

Praying for Baptisms (Matthew 3:16–17)

“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water and behold, the heavens were open to him and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him. And behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased.'”
-Matthew 3:16-17

Oh, there’s so much in these two verses. It’s a powerful picture of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, all beautifully, powerfully portrayed in these two verses. The Son, filled the Son, endued with power from the Spirit in a way that is pleasing to the Father. One God, three persons, the mystery of the Trinity.

Lord, we ask that You save people all over the world. Might churches be filled with many who are obedient to Christ in believer’s baptism.

Then what this leads to in the gospel of Matthew, we know, I trust anyone who’s read the gospel of Matthew, you know that at the very end of this gospel, Jesus will tell his disciples to go and make other disciples, doing what? Baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. One of the things I miss most during this pandemic when we have not been able to gather together in person as the church is seeing people baptized, celebrating people, putting their faith in Jesus and following his example, doing what he has commanded us to do.

I would certainly encourage anyone who’s listening to this right now, who has trusted in Jesus but has not been baptized, to do that as soon as you possibly, physically, safely in light of a pandemic can do that. To follow Jesus’ example. And the whole picture, even as we are baptized in the name of the father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, it’s a picture of us proclaiming to the world that we belong to the son, that his spirit rests on us and that by God’s grace, through what Jesus has done on the cross and the resurrection, that we are now pleasing to God, the father. We as sinners who’ve rebelled against him are now his beloved children.

Why? Because we’ve earned that, because we’ve done enough good works in order to merit that? No. Because we are united with Jesus, the son. His life is our life. And in Galatians 2:20 kind of way, we’ve been crucified with Christ. We no longer live, Christ lives in us. And baptism is a powerful portrayal of that reality. We have died to sin. We now live in Christ. Christ lives in us. Oh God, just thinking about these truths makes me long to see more and more and more people baptized. Makes me long to get together and celebrate how you are bringing people from death to life. God, we pray that this would happen soon.

God, we pray that you would bring us back together in our churches. Some starting to open up, and God give us wisdom in how best to do that. And God, as we do, we pray that there would be baptism celebrations as soon as that’s safe wise in a physical way, God, we pray the rebaptism celebrations all over the place. Just people celebrating, going from death to life. God, we pray for that. We pray for people who have come to know Christ. And during these days, I think about so many people who through online means have been exposed to the gospel, have believed in Christ, have trusted in Jesus. God, we pray that you would bring them to follow through in obedience to you through baptism.

God, we pray that you would help us to be all the more zealous in the days to come, to live with the urgency of eternity, to lead people to life in you, that they might celebrate salvation in you through baptism. Oh God, we exalt you as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We exalt you God, our father. We praise you God, the Son, Jesus who set the example for us, who lived a perfect life, who fulfilled all righteousness, who died on the cross for us, who rose from the dead for our salvation, for our life. We praise you, God, the Son, and we praise you, God, the spirit dwelling in us even right now, all glory be to your name, our Trinitarian God, three in one.

We praise you. We exalt you. We pray that you would use our lives to lead many, many other people to celebrate new eternal life in you. God, we pray this for our friends, our family members. We pray this for the Jambi people in Indonesia, over a million of them who’ve hardly ever seen anyone baptized in the name of Jesus. God, we pray that you would change that. We pray that as we come back together here and around the world, God, that many people would be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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