Luke 11:1-13 tells us about Jesus training his disciples regarding prayer. As we begin 2021, our study of the Gospel of Luke has slowed down so that we can savor Jesus’ teaching in this passage, thus making January a “prayer emphasis month.”
In the service this Lord’s Day, we will focus on the fourth request in Luke’s account of the Lord’s Prayer: “forgive us our sins . . .” (Luke 11:4). One question we will ask and answer is, since we receive forgiveness for sin once and for all when we come to Jesus in faith, why does Jesus teach that we should continually seek forgiveness of sins?”
The hymns selected for the worship service express our desire to learn to pray, seeking God’s merciful forgiveness that Jesus died to secure.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Psalm 34:11-18
Hymn HLG 274 (tune: ST ANNE, HGG 49): Lord, Teach Us to Pray Aright
Note: Our opening hymn echoes the request offered by that unnamed disciple, “Lord teach us to pray” (11:1). The third stanza reflects the sermon text’s concern for God’s forgiveness, “give deep humility, the sense of godly sorrow give.” (We will sing the hymn to the familiar tune, O God, Our Help in Ages Past).
Hymn HLG 88 God Be Merciful to Me
Note: God calls us to himself requiring only repentant faith as we trust the mercy and grace extended to us through his Son, Jesus. So, we sing words shaped by the repentant prayer of David (Psalm 51).
Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:1-10
Note: First John is a brief letter that explains the inseparable connection between the Christian and a commitment to live like Christ. Can we do that? What happens when we fail? John gives us the promise that if we (Christians) confess our sins, we find forgiveness and cleansing.
Hymn Insert Depth of Mercy
Notes: This moving hymn confesses sin in vivid language. Jesus, through his death, “disarms the wrath of God” so that now the Father “receives me with his love.” Praise God that his mercy is never depleted by our sin.
Message: Forgiven and Forgiving
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn Insert Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
Notes: Those who follow Jesus, pray. Our prayers express our dependence on Jesus for forgiveness that establishes and sustains our relationship with God. As repentant sinners we initially come to Jesus with repentant faith for salvation. As children of God, we continually come to Jesus with repentant faith for spiritual renewal. Jesus’ current intercessory work sustains our spiritual well-being. So we sing this additional verse:
Lo! th’incarnate God, ascended,
Pleads the merit of his blood;
Venture on Him, venture wholly;
Let no other trust intrude.
Prayer Response: Eric Hicks Jr.
Benediction: John Miles