Prayer Emphasis Sunday
We begin each new year with a reminder of the importance of prayer, both for individual Christians and the church as a community of faith. This Lord’s Day will be our annual Prayer Emphasis Sunday. We will pause our current study of the Gospel of Luke, instead focusing on a prayer recorded by Luke in Acts 4:22-31. The day will also include a Sunday School lesson presented to a combined class (junior high and up) in the auditorium. Following a fellowship luncheon, we will have our first Deacon Care Ministry prayer meeting of the year. We look forward to enjoying the day’s events with you.
As we have taught on prayer throughout the years, we have encouraged our church to use the acrostic A-C-T-S as a mnemonic aid to remember some of the key facets of biblical prayer. The acrostic stands for:
Supplication (including both personal petitions and intercession)
The hymn selection for our worship service was made based on these themes.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship Matthew 6:9-13
Hymn 2 (Adoration) Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven
Note: The fourth verse of this hymn cries out for help adoring the King of heaven. Motivation for such worship is great. Woven within these verse we find his the themes of God’s saving work, graciousness, eternal constancy, patience, goodness, immutability, eternality, and sovereignty. Our only appropriate response is this: we praise him!
Hymn Insert (Confession) Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat
Note: John Newton’s heart-felt hymn is a prayer of confession.
O wondrous love! to bleed and die,
To bear the cross and shame,
That guilty sinners, such as I,
Might plead Thy gracious Name!
We will sing this to a beautiful tune composed by our friend, pastor Paul Hamilton.
Scripture Reading Psalm 34
Hymn 342 (Thanksgiving) When This Passing World is Done
Note: Robert Murray McCheyne draws us to contemplate the greatness of the debt we owe to our God. Thankfulness flows naturally from the hearts of those who realize their own unworthiness. The thankful heart prays:
Teach me, Lord, on earth to show
By my love how much I owe.
Hymn 670 (Supplication—Petition) Behold the Throne of Grace!
Note: John Newton reminds us that we belong to a God “who loves to answer prayer.” We can freely bring our every need to God because, as Newton says,
Thou canst not be too bold:
Since His own blood for thee was spilt,
What else can He withhold?
Message Prayer in the Face of Adversity
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 219 (Supplication—Intercession) Blest Be the Tie that Binds
Note: When the New Testament speaks of our supplications (or requests) offered in prayer, most often the emphasis is on intercession. Unfortunately, modern hymnody contains few hymns the encourage praying for one another. This hymn is a wonderful exception.
Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts and our cares.
Prayer Response Mike Towry
Worship through Giving
Response: Hymn 462 Be Thou My Vision
Note: The offering displays our devotion to God; it is reminder that everything is his. And so, we pray in the words of this hymn that the “high King of heaven” will fill our vision and cause us to desire nothing that will eclipse his place in our hearts.
Benediction John Miles