A Prayer to Thank God for the Promises of Easter By Annie Yorty “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” (Luke 4:18-19, NLT) Have you ever felt like a slave to fear? I have. As a child, I feared abandonment. Painful family relationships set me on edge, and I was never sure of anything. I suppressed my anxiety behind a false front—a smile, but the iron-clad grip of my unseen master dictated what I said and thought, where I went, and even the content of my dreams. Worst of all, fear influenced how I related to God. As adults, we may continue to be controlled by fear. Even when we’re sure monsters don’t hide under the bed. Even when we know there’s nothing in the darkness. We tremble at the unknown and resist change. The possibility of rejection unnerves us, and loss of control produces anxiety. When we consider the finite and fleeting nature of our time on earth, we may worry about what happens to us when we die. Jesus left heaven and came to earth to reveal the truth and set people free (John 8:32). His glorious resurrection from the grave after the utter humility of the cross confirmed His mission’s success. Then He crossed enemy lines into Satan’s territory and released captives who languished in sin, darkness, and fear. If you’ve been set free by Jesus, Easter is a wonderful time to thank God for His promises that were fulfilled through His Son. In His own words, Jesus tells us four life-changing ways His resurrection sets us free. First, Jesus’ resurrection frees us from the penalty of sin. He said, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many” (Matthew 26:28 NLT). Because of the blood Jesus shed on the cross, we are free from the fear of God’s wrath and judgment. Jesus bore all our punishment. Second, Jesus’ resurrection frees us from the fear of rejection or retribution from people. If we believe in and surrender to Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our heavenly Father adopts us into His forever family. When the religious leaders questioned Jesus about family relationships in heaven, He said those who trust Him “are children of God and children of the resurrection” (Luke 20:36, NLT). As adopted children in God’s family, we don’t need to dread or avoid disapproval from others. Because our Father always loves us unconditionally, we seek to please Him alone. Third, Jesus’ resurrection frees us from the fear of death. Because Jesus rose to life after He died on the cross, we know He has authority and power over death. The end of life on earth immediately ushers God’s children into His presence. We place our confidence in the truth Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman He met by a well. “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25 NLT). Finally, Jesus’ resurrection frees us to live boldly for God each day. As the time of His death approached, Jesus forewarned His disciples He would be leaving them. In His place, He promised to send a Helper, the Holy Spirit. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you” (John 14:16, NLT). Friends, we are never alone. The Holy Spirit of God dwells within us. He infuses us with God’s power and truth so we produce His fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Submitted to the Spirit, we represent Jesus and His gospel to everyone we meet. What joy we have when we consider the freedom Jesus gives us. Because of our sins, we were indebted—enslaved—to Satan as helpless captives. But Jesus fulfilled His promises, so we rejoice in the freedom He purchased with His precious blood. Let’s thank Him in prayer for these promises of Easter every day. Let’s pray: Father God, as I consider the fulfilled promises of Easter, my heart overflows with praise. You did not withhold Your only Son, whom You dearly love. He willingly endured the agony of the cross to purchase my freedom. Jesus, thank You for taking the punishment for my sin upon Yourself so I may rest in a secure relationship with You. Your Spirit guides me in Your ways each day of my life, and I live in the light and hope of eternity spent face-to-face with You. Humbly and gratefully, I offer all I am and all I have to You this Easter and every day. Amen. Photo credit: ©GettyImages/leolintang writes and speaks to encourage others to perceive God’s person, presence, provision, and purpose in the unexpected twists and turns of life. Married to her high school sweetheart and living in Pennsylvania, she mothers a teen, two adult children (one with intellectual disabilities), and a furry beast labradoodle. She has written Annie Yorty Please connect with her at http://annieyorty.com/, Facebook, and Instagram. From Ignorance to Bliss: God’s Heart Revealed through Down Syndrome . Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below! Now that you’ve prayed, are you in need of someone to pray for YOU? Click the button below! Visit  iBelieve.com  for more inspiring prayer content.

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