What follows is the Great Thanksgiving Prayer based on Romans that I wrote for worship this morning at Cleveland Drive Presbyterian Church. Most of the lines of this Great Thanksgiving Prayer paraphrase various verses of Romans, conflate more than one verse in Romans together, or directly quote various verses of Romans, with the lone exception from 1 Corinthians added for the Lord’s Supper as cited, and a few of my own additions here or there to fit the context of a Great Thanksgiving Prayer for use in the communion liturgy. I share this Great Thanksgiving Prayer here with the hopes that it will be edifying as you reflect on the Lord’s Supper.
The Creator—who is blessed forever—we give You thanks that Your invisible attributes, namely Your eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. Heavenly Father, You alone give life to the dead and call into existence the things that do not exist. We also give You thanks that in Your providence all things work together for good for those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. We give You thanks that Abraham believed You and it was counted to him as righteousness and that this was before he was circumcised so that he would be the father of all who believe and walk in the footsteps of the faith that our Father Abraham had before he was circumcised. Indeed, we give You thanks that the Jews were entrusted with Your oracles and that the Torah and the Prophets bear witness to that righteousness apart from the law. Our heart’s desire and prayer to You for them is that they may be saved. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.
We give thanks for Your gospel, which You promised beforehand through Your prophets in the Holy Scriptures concerning Your Son, who You sent to be born of a descendant of David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. At this table, we remember that while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For you have shown Your love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification by faith. Since we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from Your wrath when He comes. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Christ died for us, Christ is risen for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us, and Christ will come again for us.
Heavenly Father, fill us with Your Spirit, who helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but Your Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are Your children. Help us to live in harmony with one another. For we, though many, “because there is one bread” (1 Cor 10:17) are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. We confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that You raised Him from the dead. You promised that everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame and that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. The word of faith that we proclaim is near us, in our mouths and in our hearts. All those righteous-by-faith shall live. Thus we present ourselves to You at this, the Lord’s Table, as those who have been brought from death to life, and we present to you our hands and feet and eyes and mouths as instruments of righteousness. We present our bodies to you as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to You, which is our genuine worship. Set our minds on the things of the Spirit for to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace but to set the mind on the flesh is death. Don’t let us be conformed to this world, but let us be transformed by the renewal of our minds, that by testing we may discern what is Your will, what is good and acceptable and perfect. The hour has come for us to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. When we eat of this meal, wake us up and send us from here to preach the good news. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Through Him, with Him, in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory are yours, Almighty Father, now and forever. Amen.
The benediction for the service with the Great Thanksgiving Prayer above was based on Romans 16:25-27:
Now to Him who is able to strengthen you according to Paul’s gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.