Tag Archives: Worship

JESUS HAS RISEN!!!

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Holy God, You are worthy to be praised. You are worthy of all worship and honor. You are worthy to be glorified. Send now Your Holy Spirit to speak to us as Your Holy Word is read and proclaimed. May the truth of the Gospel take up residence in our hearts and may the resurrection of Jesus give us hope each and everyday of our lives. Bless now our hearing that we may be sent out into the mission field around us to proclaim that Jesus Christ has risen, he has risen indeed. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

May your Easter be a blessing as you celebrate the hope of the resurrection.

The Pastor -|—

Holy Friday ~ Good Friday

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It’s Good Friday, a day that has always been very power for me as I contemplate why Jesus did what he did for me. Last night was Maundy Thursday when we traditionally strip the altar at the end of the service. That always get me, too, not just seeing the naked altar and chancel area but being the one who is doing the stripping. It almost feels like I am the one involved in mocking Jesus. And in way, that’s what we do when we sin; we mock God and nail Jesus to the cross.

And so tonight we are going to get involved in contemplating our sinfulness by placing these nails (pictured below) at the foot of the cross (pictured above):

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Throughout the worship service (as we hold these nails) we are going to be hearing about the various ways we “nail Jesus to the cross” through our sin. Then there will be a time of prayer and confession where people are going to be invited to come up, when they’re ready, and place these at the base of the cross. Following worship and as people leave, they will be invited to take another nail but this one they keep. People will be invited to place this nail in their pocket as a reminder of their sinfulness but also of where these nails belong and what they point to:

You are a sinner
Jesus was nailed to a cross
Jesus suffered and died
FOR YOU
Jesus was buried

And then…

…well, the rest of the story (THE Good News) will be coming on the 3rd day :-)

Praise be to God!

Merciful God, we are sinners worthy of condemnation but Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. Wow! Now, there is hope. Wow! Thank you, oh God, thank you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

The Pastor -|—

New Covenant ~ A Lenten Prayer

Tonight is the final Wednesday Lenten worship service of the season. And tonight we get to hear from my brother in Christ, from First Presbyterian, as he brings the Word from Jeremiah 31:31-34. We have been talking about covenant throughout Lent and tonight we end on the sweet note of the New Covenant.

And  so, this is the opening prayer I wrote for worship tonight. Let’s pray…

Behold, the days are coming, oh Lord, the days are coming, when You will fulfill the New Covenant promised to us through Jesus. And how we look forward to that day; that when the trumpet sounds we will be made brand new; glorious new bodies that will shine with Your Glory.

In the mean time, sting us with reminder that death is our rightful punishment but through Your grace, New Life is the amazing gift we have through faith in Jesus. May the sting convict and humble us and may Your response bring us to our knees in worship.

Teach us Your ways
Lead us into all truth
Guide us in obedience,

that we may show our love for You, for all to see, that You and You alone may be glorified.

May this worship be pleasing to your ears and may Your word fill our hearts to overflowing. In Jesus awesome and amazing name I pray, Amen.

God bless you as you prepare yourself for Holy Week (which begins on Sunday).

Praise be to God!

The Pastor -|—

Your Breathed Out Word ~ A Prayer

This is the prayer I wrote to be prayed before the sermon is preached. As I have said many times before, to approach God’s word is an awesome privilege and to proclaim God’s word is an awesome task. One should never enter God’s word without prayer; seeking the Spirit to guide you and open you ears to truly listen.

So may God bless your hearing of His word today.

Holy God,

Your holy word tells us that all Scripture is breathed out by You, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that we may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Your word has a holy purpose and therefore needs to be held in utmost respect.

And there is no where else to turn for words of life; for in the words of Peter to Jesus: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.

So may we take this to heart and not try to tinker with Your word, but listen to it and submit; trusting that You are righteous and true; no matter how hard it is to receive such a word.

And so may our hearts be right that we may receive Your word and therefore be transformed. In Jesus holy name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Word and Authority ~ An Opening Prayer

Here is the opening prayer I wrote for worship. I offer it to you as you prepare to worship this awesome God of ours…

Holy God, creator and sustainer and giver of Life; there is no god quite like You. There is no authority quite like You. There is no other truth; no other lord and no other way quite like You. And we praise You that You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You are our Father. You are our Life. And so we bring our worship and praise here this morning. We also come seeking Your Word of Life; for it is THE authority in our lives. So may Your Spirit speak to our spirits that we may receive this word in all it’s glory and truth for it is from You, oh sovereign God. And in the words of Romans 12, may we not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds; which comes through Your holy word. So here we are, oh God, to worship You for You are worthy. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

May your day be an act of worship.
May your words bring glory to God.
May your acts reflect the Savior.
And may you be blessed that you may bless others.

All praise, glory, honor and worship be to our God for ever and ever. Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Techno-worship

The Pastor is going paperless tomorrow (except for my Bible and hymnal).

This will be a first for me; chucking the rock solid stability of paper for technology (but I draw the line at chucking my paper Bible). Sure, I have preached paperless for 1 1/2 years (except for that Sunday, recently, that I was thrust into the stone age through my tablet dying) but I’ve always had a paper bulletin and announcements (except for those few many Sundays I lost misplaced my bulletin).

But tomorrow everything goes on the tablet.

Call it a big boy playing with his toy (this is what my wife calls it).
Call it an environmentally conscious person saving paper (I like that).
Or even call it a pastor trying to be more efficient (that works too).

Whatever you call it I am going all in. But I am going to be keenly aware, though, of the possibility that God may humble me through some technology mishap; calling out any technology god I may have. But if that happens I will submit to God’s will and go with the flow.

And if everything does go well, don’t worry, I’m not going to be one of those that invites his parishioners to Tweet comments and questions during the sermon (yes, I have heard of someone doing that). So I am drawing the line (in the sand) there ~ but you never know, I guess. A few years ago I never imagined I would be going paperless during worship. Kind of makes me wonder what I will be doing in five years (or next year, for that matter).

OK, enough babbling, time to get my techno-worship ready for tomorrow.

So wish me luck and may God be glorified, not my technology.

The Pastor -|—

A Fiery Lenten Prayer

For Lenten worship tonight, with our brothers and sisters from First Presbyterian Church, I get the privilege of preaching. The text is Numbers 21:4-9 and below is the prayer I wrote to be prayed before I preach.

This Numbers text continues our Lenten theme of Old Testament texts dealing with covenant (Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Moses). Tonight we get the fiery serpents and then next week my brother in Christ from First Presbyterian will be closing our Lenten worship series with the New Covenant from Jeremiah 31. It’s been a great series and one of my favorites.

And so I leave you with this prayer tonight…

Father God, You have made Your expectations clear but yet we have turned away from You. You have made salvation a reality through faith in Jesus but we get impatient on our way to the promised land. You have given us Your holy law but yet we go our own way; speaking against You through our rebellion. You provide for us yet we whine and complain about what we don’t have; detesting Your holy provision. And therefore Your fiery judgment is right and we are deserving of it.

Oh God, turn our hearts to You that we may follow faithfully; placing our trust in You and our faith in Your son, Jesus Christ. May the sting of death remind us of our sinfulness but also of Your faithfulness. It’s not a bronze serpent we look at to be healed but rather the cross of Christ. May that produce a fiery faith in us as we praise you for Your grace.

And so I humbly appeal to You to bless these words we hear tonight that we may be transformed. And as we turn away from the fiery consequences of sin in obedience to You, may we see the way to eternal life through Your Son and may we give You all praise and honor and glory, forever and ever. In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen.

Have a blessed night :-)

The Pastor -|—