Worship prayers for 04/26/15 (Belonging to Christ)

I offer these prayers to you for the glory of God; prayers written/compiled for worship on Sunday. A common thread running through many of these prayers is the theme of “belonging to Christ”. The sermon text is Mark 9:38-41 with the focus verse: [41] For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward. 

May God be glorified in our worship.

Opening prayer [the italicized portion are the words of Charles Spurgeon]
“Hallowed be Thy Name.” Oh that all the earth would ever reverence it. As for ourselves, enable us by Thy grace to use it with awe and trembling; and may a consideration of the glorious character which is intended by Thy gracious name, ever lay us in the very dust before Thee, and yet lift us up with holy joy and with an unwavering confidence. We come before Thee this morning through Christ Jesus to express our entire confidence in Thee. Oh God, may our songs and praises be pleasing to your ears as we come before You in humble obedience. All praise and worship to you, holy Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayer before the sermon
Holy Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to You, for You are worthy, oh God. May we be found faithful and obedient to Your Word and to Your commands. So please send Your Holy Spirit to give life to the words that I speak here this morning; that they may create and/or nourish faith. May the ears of those listening be turned away from me and directed towards You. May any praise that comes from the lips of those listening be directed towards You and not towards me. And therefore may all praise and glory and honor and worship be to You, holy Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayer after the sermon
Once again, holy Father, I ask that Your Holy Spirit may take the words I have spoken here and use them for Your glory. May those hearing these words this morning see their lives as belonging to Jesus, for without Jesus there is no life. It’s a hard thing to be submissive like this; to turn everything over to Jesus; including our very lives, but it’s our very lives You came to redeem from sin and death and the power of Satan. So send us forth as beloved children belonging to You through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Offering prayer
We offer these gifts this morning as an act of faith and worship; remembering that all that we have belongs to You. Be pleased to use them for Your glory and multiply these gifts as You see fit to advance Your kingdom. Through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom we belong, Amen.

Benediction/Blessing [based on Colossians 1:11-14]
May you be strengthened with all power, according to HIS glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. So go and make disciples; proclaiming this Good News, as people belonging to Jesus. Amen.

May the joy of the Lord give you hope and peace this day and always.

The Pastor -|—

Belonging to Christ (Mark 9:41)

“For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.” [Mark 9:41]

The text for preaching on Sunday is Mark 9:38-41. And as I pray about and ponder this text I am caught by the phrase, “belong to Christ”.

And as I reflect on this phrase a few thoughts come to mind:
~ There is a big difference between Christ belonging to you and belonging to Christ.

~ Saying, “I’m a Christian” is not the same as belonging to Christ, often that simply reflects that Christ belongs to you.

~ If Christ belongs to you then you are in control of the relationship.

~If you belong to Christ, He is in control of the relationship, and you’re glad about that.

~ Belonging to Christ implies commitment and love.

~ Christ belonging to you implies manipulation.

~ If Christ belongs to you then you are less apt to share that which belongs to you.

~ If you belong to Christ you are more apt to shout this from the mountains tops and worship him.

Just a few thoughts as I prepare for the sermon on Sunday. What do you think? Does anything here resonant with you? What does it mean to you to say, “I belong to Christ”?

Here’s what it means to me:
Jesus is Lord of my life. He has saved me through his death and resurrection and therefore I owe him everything; especially including my very life. On my own I am weak and vulnerable but under Christ’s Lordship I am safe in his loving arms. But that’s not why I gather under his wings like chicks with a hen. I am drawn to Christ because of his awesome love for me; a love that I know will never fail despite the fact that I am a miserable sinner. And so therefore, I worship Christ and praise his name. I belong to Christ and gladly submit to him.

Now you’re turn…

Holy Father, thank you for coming to us in Jesus Christ. My life is yours. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

The Pastor -|—