Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the July 9th, 2017, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on the Life of Elijah. I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “Fervent Prayer”. The main Scripture for the day is 1Kings 18:41-46. 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 1Kings 18:17-40, James 5:16-18, Luke 18:1-8, Matthew 7:7.
(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 do Christians need to pray?
A116. Because prayer is the most important part of the thankfulness God requires of us.1 And also because God gives his grace and Holy Spirit only to those who pray continually and groan inwardly, asking God for these gifts and thanking God for them.2
1 Ps. 50:14-15; 116:12-19; 1 Thess. 5:16-18
Q117. What is the kind of prayer that pleases God and that he listens to?
A117. First, we must pray from the heart to no other than the one true God,
revealed to us in his Word, asking for everything God has commanded us to ask for.1
Second, we must fully recognize our need and misery, so that we humble ourselves in God’s majestic presence.2
Third, we must rest on this unshakable foundation: even though we do not deserve it, God will surely listen to our prayer because of Christ our Lord. That is what God promised us in his Word.3
1 Ps. 145:18-20; John 4:22-24; Rom. 8:26-27; James 1:5; 1 John 5:14-15
2 2 Chron. 7:14; Ps. 2:11; 34:18; 62:8; Isa. 66:2; Rev. 4
3 Dan. 9:17-19; Matt. 7:8; John 14:13-14; 16:23; Rom. 10:13; James 1:6
Heidelberg Catechism Question 128-129
Q128. What does your conclusion to this prayer mean?
A128. For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever” means: We have made all these petitions of you because, as our all-powerful king, you are both willing and able to give us all that is good;1 and because your holy name, and not we ourselves, should receive all the praise, forever.2
Q129. What does that little word “Amen” express?
A129. “Amen” means: This shall truly and surely be! It is even more sure that God listens to my prayer than that I really desire what I pray for.1
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
Out of the Depths I cry PH256: Lyrics,
Lord have mercy upon us, PH 258: Lyrics,
Fervent Prayer (Stampley): Lyrics, Video
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
How would you respond after praying for 4 or 5 times and not getting an answer?
How does Elijah’s story encourage us to press into prayer?
What promises of God can you claim in prayer?
Consider praying from these Precious Promises of God
The Sermon will be available online on July 9, 2017 at 12:30 pm.