Prayer of Preparation
welcome, announcements, joys and concerns
*Hymn Precious Lord #422
*Call to Worship
Psalm 84 (C) -- "How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord...
*Invocation / Lord’s Prayer(sung) # 433
In confidence we come to thee, O Lord, asking assurance in our faith, asking direction in our decision making, asking strength in our difficult work, and asking love in our relationships. In Christ's name we pray. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, at it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever.Amen
Young’s Peoples Moment
Call to Prayer
Hymn Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart #182
Scripture Text Ephesians 6: 18-20
18Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.
Paul addressed a people who faced troublesome times. He assured them that they were armed by God for the days ahead and they need not fear. For with them is prayer, that enormous power, the enormity of which we only dimly imagine. Let the evil spirits rage against us. Let those hostile forces in our often dangerous world attack us if they will. We have already won the battle when we receive within ourselves the powers of light and love. Of course there will be pain, and setbacks, and discouragement. If human growth always comes at the price of those very forces, then the effect of our troubles can only be that, with God, we will become greater than we might otherwise have been.
1. Prayer must be constant. This doesn't mean we should become religious fanatics. It means we should lead our daily lives with a sense of God's presence. It means we should make our choices, speak our words, do our work, with an awareness of the obligations we assumed when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior.
2. Prayer must be intense. I think Paul meant here what Jesus meant when he told us to persevere in prayer. All of us have prayed for something which didn't seem to happen. He meant we are to keep on praying anyway. [I have witnessed to this in reporting that when I was praying to find my way in life, I promptly got fired from a job I loved. I continued praying to find my way in life and had an anxiety attack. I continued praying to find my way in life and had a business failure. I continued praying to find my way in life and was called to the ministry. But had I not been fired, then forced to look deeply within, then found that my business pursuit was not right for me, I would never have found my true path. Now I'm happy.]
3. Prayer must be unselfish. Pray for others. I would expand on this to observe that on a few occasions I have felt hard feelings against another individual. I found that by praying for those people, not praying that they change or that they see my side, just praying for their welfare and happiness, my own feelings of a negative kind were erased. Intercession for someone else or for others is an indispensable part of true prayer. As Shakespeare would have said, "It is twice blest; it blesseth him who gives and him who receives." I would also urge that this prayer is to influence how we treat people, so that the love of God which flows into us in prayer flows out of us in the marketplace and the home.
One of the reasons for our sense of futility in prayer is that we have lost our power to visualize. We can no longer even imagine putting ourselves deliberately before God. It is actually more important to be broken bread and poured-out wine in the area of intercession than in our personal contact with others. The power of visualization is what God gives a saint so that he can go beyond himself and be firmly placed into relationships he never before experienced.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).
Is your mind stayed on God or is it starved? Starvation of the mind, caused by neglect, is one of the chief sources of exhaustion and weakness in a servant’s life. If you have never used your mind to place yourself before God, begin to do it now. There is no reason to wait for God to come to you. You must turn your thoughts and your eyes away from the face of idols and look to Him and be saved (see Isaiah 45:22).
Your mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. You should seek to be “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ …” (2 Corinthians 10:5). This will be one of the greatest assets of your faith when a time of trial comes, because then your faith and the Spirit of God will work together. When you have thoughts and ideas that are worthy of credit to God, learn to compare and associate them with all that happens in nature—the rising and the setting of the sun, the shining of the moon and the stars, and the changing of the seasons. You will begin to see that your thoughts are from God as well, and your mind will no longer be at the mercy of your impulsive thinking, but will always be used in service to God.
“We have sinned with our fathers … [and] … did not remember …” (Psalm 106:6–7). Then prod your memory and wake up immediately. Don’t say to yourself, “But God is not talking to me right now.” He ought to be. Remember whose you are and whom you serve. Encourage yourself to remember, and your affection for God will increase tenfold. Your mind will no longer be starved, but will be quick and enthusiastic, and your hope will be inexpressibly bright.
Habakkuk’s prayer (3:1-19) When Habakkuk was troubled, he brought his concerns directly to God. After receiving God’s answers, he responded with a prayer of faith. Habakkuk’s example is one that should encourage us as we struggle to move from doubt to faith. We don’t have to be afraid to ask questions of God. The problem is not with God and his ways but with our limited understanding of him.
How can anyone pray at all times? One way is to make quick, brief prayers your habitual response to every situation you meet throughout the day. Another way is to order your life around God’s desires and teachings so that your very life becomes a prayer. You don’t have to isolate yourself from other people and from daily work in order to pray constantly. You can make prayer your life and your life a prayer while living in a world that needs God’s powerful influence. We also should pray for all believers in Christ; so pray for the Christians you know and for the church around the world.
Prayer is the vehicle for receiving the armor (v. 18). Keeping alert is a common warning sounded by Jesus in the Gospels and Paul in his letters. The warrior must be able to take up the banner of battle at any time the command comes.
Paul closes this passage reminding the readers he is a prisoner of war. Paul, too, faces the opposition, and so asks for prayers that he might be given strength. Yet, Paul tells them to pray for the saints - other believers located in every village and town. God's army is spread throughout the land
Hymn Draw Me Nearer #353
Be willing to ask others to pray these things for you. If people want to know how they can really help you give them this list:
A - Assistance: Ask God for His assistance, empowering and directing in fulfilling His will so that the person will operate under the Biblical obedience and the Spirit’s control.
B - Boldness: Pray that the person speaks the word of God with boldness, confidence and articulative effectiveness.
C - Comfort: Ask God for comfort when one is discouraged, broken-hearted or stressed out. Pray that the Lord will help them trust and obey regardless of the opposition.
D - Direction: Ask the Lord that the person will sense God’s specific direction in activities, ministries and relationships.
E. Encouragement: Ask God to send someone or something to the person to allow the person to be a blessing to many. Trust God for the renewing of the joy of the Lord as their strength.
F. - Family: Pray that the person will guide their family in the way of God’s word, will and way.
G. Glory to God: Pray that the person will live each day to glorify God and obey His will.
H. Humility: Ask God that the person will develop a godly sense of humility and reject pride.
I. Insight: Ask God that the person will see people and things from God’s perspective.
J. Joy: Pray that the person will be full of joy from the Lord in all situations.
K. Knowledge: Pray that the person will desire a knowledge of God’s word and want to apply it wholeheartedly and with obedience.
L. Love: Ask God that the person will labor out of godly motives, not to please other people or live hampered by the fear of men.
M. Motivation: Pray that the person will be a vessel of God’s love to others.
N. Needs: Pray that the person will find all their needs met according to the riches found in Christ.
O. Open Doors: Pray that the person will find opportunities to fulfill God’s purpose for their life.
P. Prayer Partners: Pray that the person will find a prayer partner(s)who will regularly intercede with them. Trust God for a community of believes for them to fellowship with and be accountable to.
Q. Quiet Time: Pray that nothing will keep the person from experiencing personal renewal and maturity in all dimensions of life in their Biblical devotions and prayer time.
R. Revival: Ask God to work in the person’s life so they may experience spiritual revival in all things and at all times.
S. Servanthood: Pray that the person will do their work with a servant’s spirit as Christ came not be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.
T. Thankful heart: Ask God to give the person a thankful heart, even in difficult situations. Pray that the individual would see the positive instead of the negatives.
U. Unsaved: Pray that the unsaved will develop a hunger and thirst for Jesus Christ. Trust God to use people to bring many to Christ and see that many new churches are planted in unreached areas of the world.
V. Victory: Pray that the person will know victory over temptations, opposition and adversity.
W. Weariness: Pray that the person will not get bogged down in having too much to do and will remember the promises of God for strength, courage and help in times of trouble.
X. X-Ray Perception: Ask God that the person will grow in discernment, wisdom and insight into His will. Pray for the ability to analyze without being critical or judgmental.
Y. Yieldedness: Pray that the person will be completely yielded to Christ and be willing to die to self. Trust God to help this person take up their cross and relinquish all of their rights to Christ.
Z. Zeal: Pray that the person will have renewed zeal to share Christ, love people and complete the great commission for the great glory and expansion of His kingdom and righteousness.