Irrelevant Fear

Holy Father,
with You,
fear of this world is irrelevant
as You have given us a sure and certain hope
through Jesus.
As Jesus has won the victory through his resurrection,
so we, too,
have won the victory through faith in him.
May our only fear be a holy awe of You
as we worship You
through Christ Jesus our Lord,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

To Know You, oh God

I’m preaching on John 17:1-11 and this is the Prayer of the Day I wrote for worship:

Holy God,
through faith we know Jesus,
and because we know Jesus we know You,
and because we know You we have eternal life,
so therefore,
all praise be unto You,
oh God.
Now may our words and deeds
make You known
that others may come to eternal life
through faith in Jesus,
and together,
we praise Your holy name forever.
All praise and worship be unto You,
holy God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

A Mother’s Day prayer

I know there are a lot of them out there, but here’s my humble submission to the bunch. Happy Mother’s Day and may God be glorified.

Holy God,
on this Mother’s Day,
we come first and foremost to worship You.
May we not lose sight of that.
For we are especially reminded,
on this day,
that it is You, though the love of mothers of all types,
who show what it truly means to love a child.
For it is through the death and resurrection of Your one and only son,
Jesus,
that we have eternal life.
That is love
and that right there is deserving of our worship and thanks.

But also, Lord God almighty,
we honor those women
You have used as instruments of Your love in our lives.
In whatever form they come,
we thank You, oh God.
In whatever role they have played in our lives,
we thank you, oh God.
Therefore,
it is not only the passage of DNA that determines the motherhood of a woman
but rather the love that they show.

May You continue to nourish Your children
through the self-sacrificing love of a mother.
May you continue to bless these women
that you may be glorified through them.
To You,
oh God,
be all worship and praise this day and always.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Shepherd – A Prayer

This coming Sunday we have Psalm 23 and John 10:1-10 (“I am the door of the sheep“). Along with those texts we are singing, Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us (among other hymns). The following is the Prayer of the Day that I wrote for worship. Use as you feel so inclined. Praise be to God.

Holy God, through Jesus Christ you lead us as our shepherd, much we need your tender care. Through your blessed Son, Jesus Christ, you have bought us and thus we are Yours as You guide us, feed us and anoint us. Oh God, through your grace we will dwell in your holy courts forever and thus we give You our worship. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

 

An Easter Prayer of Faith

Holy and awesome God,
We come to this place this morning to worship YOU
because of the LIFE we have through faith in Jesus.
But I am keenly aware,
oh God,
that there may be people here this morning
only because they are visiting family
or because grandma and grandpa said,
“You’re going to worship this morning”
or because they were taught this is just what you do on Easter.
Whatever the case,
oh God,
I pray that the words I speak here may have power,
not because I say them,
but because they are ordained by YOU
and infused with Your Holy Spirit.
If it be Your will,
may someone who doesn’t know You come to faith,
so much so,
that they proclaim Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
May people be drawn to You
that You may be glorified.
And so, may the words of my mouth
and the meditations of our hearts
be acceptable to You,
oh God,
our rock and Redeemer,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Living Worship

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [Romans 12:1]

Weekly gathering for corporate worship is just part of what we do as members of the body of Christ. We worship not to become Christians, we worship because we are Christians. Worship is not a have to; a duty, but rather a get to; a want to; a joy. That’s part of our worship life. Another part of our worship life happens “Monday through Saturday” as we present our bodies; our very lives to God. We offer our lives to God as a living sacrifice; forsaking all others and all things; placing God first. We live in such a way that is different from the world and that, right there, is really what is at the core of worship. You see, everyone worships. It is just a matter of who or what. What makes Christians different; holy, is that we worship a living, eternal God, not a finite, powerless god. We worship a God that is holy and thus demands that we be holy. God does not demand just part of our life, but the whole thing.

When you present your body to God as an act of worship you are saying to God, “Here I am. Mold me, shape me, guide me, direct me. Help me be more like Jesus. Help me be more holy as You are holy. Here I am, all of me.”  Don’t mistake worship as a weekly event but rather see your worship as a 24/7 way of life that submits to and glorifies God. When we divide our worship out or only present part of our bodies/lives to God, there is conflict and tension within our lives and our very being but when our whole being and life is presented to God, then you are at peace. Don’t divide your life up, present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. In the words of a popular praise and worship song…

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

The Pastor -|—

Joyful Noise

“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”
[Psalms 95:1-2]

Many of you did this yesterday. Many of you entered sanctuaries and other places of worship. You gathered with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to worship our awesome God through Jesus Christ. You sang songs/hymns using a variety of instruments. You confessed your sins and heard absolution in the name of Jesus. Scripture was read and the Word was preached. Some of you celebrated and participated in the sacraments. You gave your offerings and lifted your petitions to the Lord.

[At least, I hope all this happened in your worship. That’s me, but I digress…]

My point this morning?

I love the fact that scripture encourages me to make a “joyful noise” to God, because when I make a sound with music, to others, that’s exactly what it is, noise. Call it what you want, coming out of me, though, it is a joyful noise because of who God is through Jesus Christ. Therefore I will “sing”.

So sing your hearts out and never let someone tell you to keep it down. And not just on Sunday’s (or whenever you worship) but everyday. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord that the whole world may hear and give glory to God. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord because trust me, no matter what anyone thinks, when the “noise” comes from your heart, God smiles 🙂

The Pastor -|—