Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the April 30th, 2017, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on Prayer. I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “Praying in Love”. The main Scripture for the day is 1Thessalonians 2:17-3:13. The other passages are either referenced in the message or provide additional insight for reflection.
(Pick and choose from the many resources and options, which I have tried to make available for your devotional life.)
From the Scriptures
Read and prayerfully reflect upon some or all of these Scriptures. Ask God to shape your life and your church’s life to match the heart of God:
Read or listen to 1Thessalonians 2:17-3:13, 1John 4:8, John 13:34-35, Luke 22:27, 2Thessalonians 1:3
(You can read or listen to all of these passages in a variety of translations at Bible.is.)
From the Creeds and Confessions
Heidelberg Catechism Question 116-117
Q116: Why is prayer necessary for Christians?
A116: Because prayer is the most important part of the thankfulness which God requires of us.1 Moreover, God will give his grace and the Holy Spirit only to those who constantly and with heartfelt longing ask him for these gifts and thank him for them.2
- Ps 50:14, 15; 116:12-19; 1 Thess 5:16-18.
- Mt 7:7, 8; Lk 11:9-13.
Q117: What belongs to a prayer which pleases God and is heard by him?
A117: First, we must from the heart call upon the one true God only, who has revealed himself in his Word, for all that he has commanded us to pray.1 Second, we must thoroughly know our need and misery, so that we may humble ourselves before God.2 Third, we must rest on this firm foundation that, although we do not deserve it, God will certainly hear our prayer for the sake of Christ our Lord, as he has promised us in his Word.3
Heidelberg Catechism Question 123
Q123: What is the second petition?
A123: Your kingdom come. That is:
So rule us by your Word and Spirit that more and more we submit to you.1
Preserve and increase your church.2
Destroy the works of the devil, every power that raises itself against you, and every conspiracy against your holy Word.3
Do all this until the fullness of your kingdom comes, wherein you shall be all in all.4
- Ps 119:5, 105; 143:10; Mt 6:33.
- Ps 51:18; 122:6-9; Mt 16:18; Acts 2:42-47.
- Rom 16:20; 1 Jn 3:8.
- Rom 8:22, 23; 1 Cor 15:28; Rev 22: 17, 20.
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
King of this Heart (Redman): Lyrics, Video
Kingdom (Stanfill): Lyrics, Video
How beautiful (Twila Paris): Lyrics, Video
Oh How He Loves You and Me: Lyrics, Video
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
How are abounding in godliness (Phil 1:9), abounding in love (1Th 3:12) and abounding in good deeds (1Tim 6:18) related?
How much of what you pray, for yourself or others, will matter on the day Christ comes back?
How might your prayers change so that there would be a lasting effect to your prayer requests?
Read and Reflect on this chapter from E.M. Bounds’ book Prayer and Praying Men. The whole book can be read here.
The Sermon will be available online on April 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm.