We began a topical series last Lord’s Day evening on the subject of prayer. We showed how prayer is one side of a conversation between at least two parties, me and God. My part of the conversation comes to Him directly in the form of praying, and His part of the conversation comes to me indirectly through His written Word in the Scripture. However, we need to ask the very important question, “On what basis may I approach the living God in prayer? On what basis will He permit me to draw near to His presence?” This question naturally arises when you consider the great enmity that exists between man and God because of sin, and the resulting consequence of the separation of man from God. Man’s sin leaves him entirely helpless to restore his relationship to God and gives the fearful expectation of His righteous judgment. God’s provision of a way to remove man’s sin and to restore the relationship is man’s only hope and the only basis upon which God will permit sinful man to approach Him. This gracious provision is found in the death of Christ for man’s sin.
The hymns selected for the worship service this Lord’s Day will dwell on man’s sin that separated him from God but will also acknowledge God’s provision for the removal of our sin and for an all-prevailing basis for coming to Him in prayer.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: John 1:29
Hymn Insert Depth of Mercy! Can There Be
Note: This hymn asks the very personal question of how God can show mercy to a sinner like “me.” The second stanza especially dwells upon the various ways in which we have sinned that makes His mercy so underserved and unthinkable:
I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.
Hymn 248 Grace Greater than Our Sin
Note: While our sin is infinitely great because it is against the God of infinite worth, this hymn draws our attention to the grace of God that is much greater than our sin.
Worship through Giving
Hymn 174 Arise, My Soul, Arise
Note: This grace from God comes to us through the “bleeding sacrifice” of Jesus Christ. This provision for the removal of our sin is so sufficient and thorough that we may “shake off [our] guilty fears” before an unbendingly righteous God.
Scripture Reading Psalm 51:1-19
Note: King David wrote this Psalm after his great sins of adultery and murder. Most striking in this Psalm is David’s acknowledgement that his sin was not ultimately against man but “against [God] only.” God’s gracious provision for removing sin extends to the worst of sins and sinners. David pours out his heart in genuine repentance, confessing that God wants a broken heart over sin (16-17). In 2 Samuel 12:13 we learn that when David confessed his sin, God immediately forgave it.
Hymn 670 Behold the Throne of Grace
Note: This hymn directly connects God’s provision in Christ’s atoning death to coming to God in prayer.t.
Message: The Divinely Given, All-Prevailing Basis for Prayer (Part 1)
Text: Hebrews 10:19-22
Pastor Ethan Hamilton
Prayer Response: Joel Owen
Hymn 675 Approach, My Soul, The Mercy Seat
Note: This hymn especially reflects upon the rest and safety the sin-burdened soul finds in coming to Jesus. The safety found in Him is so secure that “none can perish there.”
Benediction: John Miles