Of the seven churches in the book of Revelation (Rev 2 & 3), only two did not receive a rebuke from the LORD: Philadelphia and Smyrna. Smyrna was under great persecution, suffering for the LORD. Philadelphia was faithful to keep the LORD’s word. Today, we see the Church of Smyrna in the suffering church worldwide. The LORD has no rebuke for the Church that is in prison, being beheaded and martyred, and enduring much suffering for His namesake.
We, in America, for the most part, have not had that kind of intense persecution. Will our churches be rebuked? Rebuked for losing our first love as Ephesus? Rebuked for tolerating sexual immorality as Pergamum? Rebuked for tolerating false prophetesses as Thyatira? Rebuked for being dead and Spirit-less as Sardi? Rebuked for lukewarmness as Laodicea? Oh, that we may live in such a way that we receive no rebuke, for a rebuke means that we have displeased our LORD who loves us so! Our hope of no rebuke is to love Him, keep His word and be a church that loves our brother, as the name Philadelphia implies.
Is it a coincidence that the Declaration of Independence for the United States of America was signed in the city of Philadelphia, the “city of brotherly love”? Is this not our Godly heritage and destiny that America should live up to her namesake and represent a church without rebuke but full of love for her LORD, her brothers, and His Word? We should also be representing liberty to its inhabitants! Let it be so. Amen.
Therefore, I offer this acrostic prayer for the Church.
Our Father, for Your church, we pray:
Pattern us after the revelation of God which is in Christ Jesus Our Lord who is holy and true. May we be like You.
Holding the Key of David, You gave authority on earth to Your Church. Therefore, we pray, “Your will be done and Your Kingdom come.”
Intimately, may we know You more, even in the fellowship of Your suffering.
Loving You for You loved us first, may we live up to our calling and designation as the community of “brotherly love”,
Abiding always in Your love.
Doors of opportunity, please open for us: to show Your love, to share Your Word, and to do Your work.
Enduring patiently through trials, may we ever be found true and faithful.
Let us never deny Your Word or Your Name.
Protect us through the dark hour to come according to Your promise.
Help us to hold fast and firm that no one may take our crowns, so that we may lay them down at Your feet in the New Jerusalem.
Inspire us now by Your Holy Spirit, that we may be pillars in the house of our God, standing firm on the only sure foundation that can be laid – Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Our Savior.
*Based on the letter to the unrebuked church of Philadelphia in Revelation 3:7-13
by Carolyn Anne Venable, His Inheritance Ministries ©2005 HIM/cav