Friday, July 28, 2017

Worship Preparation Guide for Sunday, July 30

Worship Preparation Guide for Sunday, July 30
Sermon Text:  Isaiah 63:7 – 64:12

Martin Luther said, “None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience.”  The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who learned by experience the power of prayer.  This week we see the example of Isaiah. 

Isaiah has already shown us God’s call for intercessors:  On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent.   You who put the LORD in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth. (Isaiah 62:6-7)

This Sunday we will see and hear Isaiah himself step up (or kneel down) in response to this call.  Through his example Isaiah not only instructs us in how to pray as we should, but also opens our eyes to the biblical realities that are foundational to true intercession. 

Paul reminds us that on our own we do not know how or what to pray (Romans 8:26).  This week’s text is a clear answer from God to this predicament. 

For instance, in Isaiah 63:7-14 we see the foundation of prayer, which is the character of God.  Simply put, biblical prayer begins by talking to God about God (Is 63:7-14)

It begins with the character of God, specifically his goodness & love (v7), his gracious salvation (v8), his care and presence (v9), his purposeful discipline (v10-14). 

As you prepare for worship I ask you to do the following:  Take time to carefully read the sermon text.  Then ask God to help you remember specific examples of his goodness & love to you, his gracious salvation in your life, his care and presence in your life, and even his purposeful discipline that has proven his love for you.  Write them down, and then tell them back to God.  Tell God how faithful and good he has been to you! 

Taking time to do this will fill your heart with praise and thanksgiving and deepen your desire to love and worship him.

10,000 Reasons is one of the worship songs we will sing this week.  It describes the joy and blessing of praying this way. 

Chorus: Bless the Lord O my soul, O my soul; 
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul; 
I’ll worship Your Holy name

The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning; 
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, 
Let me be singing when the evening comes.

You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger; 
Your name is great and Your heart is kind;
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing, 
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find.

And on that day when my strength is failing, 
The end draws near and my time has come;
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending, 
Ten thousand years and then forevermore.

I look forward to seeing you in church this Sunday. 

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