“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.”
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! 7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”
Exodus 14:14 — “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Psalm 46:10 — “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
“But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. 17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”
okay. So I shared that, um, our service would be a little bit different this morning. Um, and there’s one main reason for that. Um, we spent our time, uh, throughout each week praying and thinking, praying through that what the service will be like. And as we’ve decided, as the Lord has led us, um, he’s brought us back to one thing that we want to be about Galatians five, um, is all centered around following the spirit.
If you have the spirit live life, walk in the spirit and trust him. And so our staff gathered earlier this week and just felt the spirit prompting us to have a service to just pray together this morning. And so we’re going to be leading you through. Uh, four different passages of scripture that really tied to four different postures of prayer.
Now you may be feeling like, okay, what are we supposed to do here? This is kind of feeling a little bit weird. Um, postures is nothing more than just a, uh, a position to symbolize yourself saying, Lord we’re here. Um, there’s going to be the posture of just opening your hands before him and just receiving the posture of kneeling before the Lord and just begging the posture of silence and we’ll have others as well this morning.
Um, and so we want to just begin our time, um, really centered on the fact that a number of weeks ago, pastor mark had emergency gallbladder surgery and is still facing complications around that. Um, his own frustration, not wanting to be away and wanting to preach, uh, was kind of one of the things that we held in our minds.
Uh, earlier this week, well, last Sunday, um, his wife Marion went into the hospital. She was having a pretty severe head pain and, um, is still there with, uh, undergoing lots of different tests, trying to figure out what’s going on. Um, but we just felt constrained to say, Lord, we don’t know in this moment of suffering what you’re doing, but we want to pray.
That’s the core function of, of our church. There are many other needs in our own church, family, physically that we’ve heard about, or that you’ve. Written to us about, and we’ve actually taken all of those needs that have been given to us and put them on some cards. Hopefully you got one of those, either strips of paper or card on the way in with a specific prayer need of people that are in our church.
If not, they are stationed right back there. And just a minute, I’m going to ask you to go get one, just to have that person or that family in mind, as you pray this morning. Um, the first passage we, um, want to talk through is out of, uh, the book of Psalms. And, um, this passage is written by David and the posture that we’re going to ask you to have this morning.
And we’ll ask you to do that in just a minute, but it’s just your hands open to receive. Uh, let’s read this together. Some 1 43, 5 and six. I remember the days of old, I meditate on all that you have done. I ponder the work of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you, my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
The words that stuck out to me, I remember I meditate. I ponder, and then I stretch out my hands to you knowing all that you are all that you’ve done. All that. You’ve been just going to stretch out my hands to you and my soul. Just longing for you. Like my, my soul thirst for Heartland.
Say a couple of things, as far as prayer free for maybe if you’re here and you’re visiting and you’re like, what did I come to this morning? This is the worst service for me to be at. I’m going to say, this is one of the very best services that you could be at because we’re not forcing you to do anything this morning.
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable praying at all. Well, certainly as we maybe gather in some smaller groups, you can just be parked. Let’s your heart. Join with people talking to the Lord. And that’s as simple as prayer needs to be. Just you talking to God. You’ll have a chance even to listen as just the spirit gives you these words from the scriptures up here, just to meditate on those things, to let them sink in.
Um, we’re going to be in a couple of times, we’ll be in a little small group, just maybe three or four of you around in your section, just to gather other times we’ll direct you to just be on your own. Um, and so we’ll have you do that. Um, when you’re in your groups together, we’re not going to spend a long time sharing or talking or catching up, not chat time.
Although there is plenty of time for that after the service, we really are coming with the core belief that we are just coming into sit before the Lord and pray. And so when we lead you through that section, just head right in to prayer as the time segment kind of finishes up, um, we’ll kind of gather you back around and refocus our hearts and to, uh, another passage of scripture this morning.
So, uh, I’m going to ask you as, um, As people that come here that want to know Christ to join me in the posture of prayer this morning with just your hands open and so gathering a little group around you, maybe you have some of those prayer needs there. Um, and you will just take that time over the next few minutes here, just to pray together with your hands open to the Lord, meditating on, uh, Psalm 1 43.
So go ahead and do that now. Again, there are prayer cards in the back. Joe is going to be playing and, um, go ahead and go to prayer.
father. We do come with open hands. We don’t particularly like having open hands because open hands, we’re reminded of our emptiness of the fact that we can’t conjure up things.
We do hold our hands to you. We lift up the specific requests that we have.
We say, God, do what only you can do. We do remember what you have done and we pray God do it again. Name of Jesus. We pray with our hands and our hearts and our lives. Amen. Thank you, dear people of God for praying, we know that this is, um, bright. This brings up some social anxiety for some, this brings up, um, some concerns.
I’m thinking I coming, I’d be receiving this morning and I’m asked more of than, um, I thought I might be. We just thank you for your labor in prayer. Uh, It is a gift to our Lord. It is a gift to us. Something is, um, for some of you, you there’s, it, it feels like man, everyone is getting prayer, except for me, everyone knows how to do it.
Never everyone’s comfortable in this kind of situation, but me and the distraction when it comes to prayers, pretty significant. Uh, Paul Miller, a dear teacher on prayer talks about how nobody really feels like they’re very good at prayer. And I think that’s part of the humility of prayer is God, we, we only sorta know what we’re doing.
Another one of my favorite teachers talks about what does it mean to face distraction as we pray, which we will face as we pray. He says a thousand distractions is a thousand compassionate ways to return to God. So don’t judge yourself, beat yourself up, say, what am I doing? Just remember I’m loved, I’m known.
And in the midst of my brain, a million miles from God, I have the compassionate chance to return to him our next posture. Um, for those of you who are able and willing to do this is the posture of kneeling. Kneeling is, is ultimately a very vulnerable posture. Here’s a scripture that we are associating with that, oh, come let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord, our maker for he is our God. We are the people of his pasture, the sheep of his hand and kneeling. What kneeling is, is a posture. It’s an incredibly vulnerable posture. I’m not ready to defend myself very well. I don’t have the access to my eyes, my legs, my hands. Like I would, if I were standing, coming before God and kneeling is ultimate lead, laying down so much of what I use to feel confident or strong and saying, I need someone else to do this.
I submit myself to one greater than I for he can is the only one who can do this. Kneeling is like the fetal position, right? That’s the very position of it. And it is crying out to our father. The image of sheep here is a very vulnerable position. So if you are able, we would love for you to take a moment and Neil.
And we realized that’s, that’s a big ass and people who are online, we love for you to do this as individuals or in your families as well. And as you come in, as you kneel to honestly, come with that image that I am a child, I am a child submitting myself and asking God, please, please help. Please help the situation.
But I’m holding in my hand as a request, please help other requests that I’m aware of in my head that didn’t ever make it to paper this morning, as we pray. And we take this next time, if you would, and this one’s going to be by yourself in the Lord, take a moment to Neil. You’re welcome to come and do that at up here.
You’re welcome to do that in your seat, but we ask you to do that. Now, as we enter into this next segment, in this posture of prayer, as you read with me one more time, this passage, oh, come. Let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord, our maker for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his kneel with me, a few words.
Thank you for joining our hearts together this morning in a posture of kneeling, I, uh, asked Joe to during this time in this posture, we’d like to consider silence, which is certainly something we’re not very attuned to in our culture. Um, but it’s, it’s a way that an, this posture of personal prayer of silence, um, and listening to the spirit, it’s just a beautiful way.
Uh, quieting one’s own thoughts, making oneself present to God. So during our time of kneeling, we were in that position that Ben described really well of. Um, being vulnerable and bringing our requests. So we had these thoughts and these people that are on our hearts and we were just crying out to God.
And now we’d like to think, um, about how being quiet with God and listening is such a valuable, I set in our time of prayer. The place in the posture of prayer, uh, really does matter. Uh, Jesus withdrew to a solitary place for a reason, Henry. Now, instead of like this solitude and silence can never be separated.
They are the context within which prayer is practiced. Oftentimes I find myself when I go to prayer, I’m rushing in either with a, a list for God or whether it’s a grocery list of concerns or things that we’re asking. And, um, I think there’s such value in being able to come quietly, uh, and listen. And so that’s what we’re going to ask this morning for four, five minutes of your time to just in your place, whether you can kneel again, you can sit, you can move to another spot if you want, but we’re going to ask you just to listen, listen to God’s spirit speaking to you, um, and asking him to do that.
Um, and so we’re going to do that without Joe playing in the background, it’s going to be quiet and that is good. We’re going to center our thoughts on a couple of verses, um,
Exodus 14, 14. The Lord will fight for you and you have only to be silent Psalm 46, 10. Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. So let’s just take a few moments. 3, 4, 5 minutes to just listen to the spirit of God. Speaking to us.
Good morning. Um, I’ve been given the opportunity to speak a little bit about praise and worship and Thanksgiving. You know, often we go through our prayer life and sometimes we forget to talk to the Lord about praise and Thanksgiving. You know, I, I just think that, uh, we forget that in the spiritual realm that there’s such power, such power when we’re praising our Lord, when we’re thanking him for what we’ve been given.
And so often I think we forget that we have the opportunity to be praising and thanking the Lord for the gifts that we’ve been given. You know? Um, so often when we’re in that pain, when we’re in those trials, when we’re really hurting. It’s really difficult for us to praise and thank the Lord. You know, we just are, we’ve run out of gas.
We’re just, we’re spent. And yet our Lord is asking us in those times to come before him and to praise him and thank him. And you know, what I think is so interesting about that is when we are lifting up our praises and thanking him and worshiping God, think about this, we’re really changing the atmosphere.
That’s around us, the atmosphere that’s around us. And when we walk in that atmosphere, it stays with us during the day. And so often we don’t think we can do that, but. It’s just a beautiful thing when we are worshiping and praising the Lord and we take it that atmosphere, that spiritual atmosphere you’re with us, wherever we go.
So this morning, we’re going to take a few minutes and we’re going to be praising and worshiping and thanking the Lord for all we have, you know, it’s something we should be doing every day. And so often I think there’s times that we forget to do that. So this is a beautiful time when we can come together as a community of faith and let us praise him and worship him.
And we have a Psalm that goes along with that, but I will sing of your strength. I will sing a loud of the steadfast love in the morning for you. Have been to me, a fortress and a refuge and the day of my distress. Oh my strength. I will sing praises to you for you. Oh God are my fortress. The God who shows me steadfast love for me personally, there’s two beautiful well things that I look at when I look at this part of the Psalm, I look at his strength, his spiritual strength that he gives us.
And then I go down to that steadfast love that unfailing love that we receive so that when you go into prayer today, think about that spiritual strength that only the Lord can give us. Think about that. Steadfast love that unfailing love that only the Lord can give us. These are all things that come from the Lord.
So let’s spend some time. Praising the Lord and thanking the Lord for what he’s done for us today.
we’re so thankful for you being with us this morning. Thank you for who you are and for your presence here, we realize that, uh, not everyone may read every email. That has come from us. Uh, we also recognize that many of you might be newer people and didn’t even get an email that we were doing such a service as this, and there may be requests that you have that didn’t make it to a card this morning.
And that, that might be because you weren’t aware of what was going on and didn’t get a chance to write that in. It might be because you didn’t feel comfortable with what that particular request was and thought it wouldn’t be great to distribute to everyone in the body or to people who might get your card.
What we’re going to do is we’re going to dismiss in a moment, but if anyone’s here would like to just stay and receive some prayer this morning, we’re asking two things we’re asking that you would stay, that we could pray over you. And we also ask that some of you. Um, might stay and be able to lend some prayer support as we recognize in these postures that our Lord is great.
And so is our need of him. And the beauty of prayer is that it is the matching of two wonderful things of the king of the universe and the wonderful people he has made. So if you would like to stay, we’d love to spend some time praying for you specifically, um, so that you are not missed in the midst of all of these other requests.
Would you stand as we receive the blessing and are dismissed, and if you are not going to stay in the sanctuary and actually yet to leave quickly, um, so that those who would like to stay, uh, would be able to do so, just want to remind you this morning, even as we pray, even as we enter that you are not what you make.
You are not the, what you do. You are not the sum of all your relationships. You are not your greatest fierce. You are not your greatest triumphs that you are something and someone so much more, you are the beloved of God. It’s great to be with you dear beloved. And then we’ll exit silently and quickly, um, that those who would like to remain can do so now thank you.