With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief 3 for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
Father, together with the Apostle Paul, himself a Jew; together with Jesus, born a Jew; remembering our ancestors in the faith, Abraham and Sarah, patriarch and matriarch of the Jewish people; we pray for our brothers and sisters in the Jewish faith. We pray in gratitude for the Bible, which arose and was preserved through their hands; we pray in gratitude for the Psalms, the prayers of the Jewish heart, which have become our prayers, our songs; we pray in gratitude for Joseph and Mary, Peter and Andrew, Mary and Martha, Barnabas and Silas, Phoebe and Priscilla, and all those of the early days of our faith who followed Jesus, and saw in him the Messiah for all; and as they did, we pray that all would come to see in Jesus the love of God made manifest in our world, and would open their hearts and minds to him. Amen.