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A Prayer for Unity in the Church

A Prayer for Unity in the Church

July 5 Prayer Service

Given by: Jeff Crick

 

John 17 English Standard Version (ESV)

The High Priestly Prayer

17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,

Dear heavenly Father, if it were right for your Son to live to glorify you, may we, the Body of Christ, The Church, commit to do exactly the same. May we be unified for this purpose above all things. That you O’ Lord may be Glorified in us. Glorified by every word and deed, may you alone receive this glory, honor and praise.

2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Lord Jesus, as The Church, help us to focus our gratitude of eternal life on Knowing You AND making You Known. If We believe, as we have just sung, nothing should occupy our minds more than knowing you and making you known. Let what we say we believe and what we sing so boldly about from our lips be deeply rooted also in our hearts. As the lyrics of “We Believe” say, “Let the Church Live Love our God will see….and the gates of hell will not prevail, for the power of God has torn the vail, now we know your love will never fail, We Believe, We Believe”.

4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

Lord Jesus, thank you for accomplishing the work necessary for us to know truth and to know you. May we “consider our life worth nothing and our only aim be to finish the race and complete the task you have given us – the task of testifying to the Good News of God’s Grace (Acts 20:24)”. Your plan was perfect Lord, but all of humanity has sinned against you. We now have this broken world, full of broken systems and broken lives who desperately need a you, in desperate need of a savior. And while we were yet sinners, You proved Your love for us by taking on this sin and the punishment we so deserved for our sake, so that we may live. In true repentance and faith you restored us back into unity with You, making us a new creation, giving us new & eternal life. Thank you Jesus!

9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.[a] 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them[b] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,[c] that they also may be sanctified[d] in truth.

Lord, YES, make us one. One Body UNITED around the truth of the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, led by the indwelling of your Holy Spirit with one Mission… to know you and make you known as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the ONE True God.

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Dear fellow servants, please hear the call for unity. Unity in the Church is about unifying to glorify the Father so that the world may know His love. “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2)”.

24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Church, it is with this love, a love that comes from knowing Jesus and knowing he is in you and that He will stand with you. Therefore, “be strong and courageous, don’t be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 24:13)”.

AMEN.

Footnotes:

  1. John 17:15 Or from evil
  2. John 17:17 Greek Set them apart (for holy service to God)
  3. John 17:19 Or I sanctify myself; or I set myself apart (for holy service to God)
  4. John 17:19 Greek may be set apart (for holy service to God)

 

A Prayer for Repentance

A Prayer for Repentance

July 5 Prayer Service

Given by: Sherri Thompson

2 Chronicles 7:14 scripture focus.

  • Gods response to Solomon King of Israel
  • Finished Temple in Jerusalem, dedicated to God.
  • Solomon praised God.. love, faithfulness, promise keeper
  • David.. people of Israel
  • Solomon wise King servant
  • Knew people fall short of obedience sin against God.
  • Result suffer famine, plagues, disease Sin, wickedness
  • Solomon God to hear supplications people.

IF they turn back heart and soul forgive the people

2 Chron 7:14 is God’s response:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Our prayer

Father, We are your people, called by your name, and we come to you, humbly, seeking your face, praising you, and desiring to turn from our wicked ways. Our land and your people need healing Lord. Healing that only you can provide.

We praise you Father as our Creator, Sustainer, Master, and our Friend. You’ve been our Provider, our Peace, our Hope, and our Joy.

You are Worthy of our love and devotion, yet Father we have ignored and dishonored you. You love us when we are unloveable, and we have been. Forgive us Lord. You are the perfect Teacher and example for how we are to live. You give us instructions in Your Word The Bible. You are The Word Lord. As your people Father, we confess. We have not walked in pure devotion to you. We have not worshipped wholeheartedly, prayed without ceasing, nor have we meditated on the Bible for direction and teaching. FORGIVE US Father for not giving you the honor you deserve. We have taken your blessings for granted and have become an “all about me” generation of people. Worshipping our possessions, lifestyle, celebrities and athletes. Taking much and giving little back to you. We need reminding often, that you are God Almighty and it all belongs to you. Forgive us Father. You are our Shepherd, our Righteousness, our Healer and Redeemer. However, we’ve gone our own way and have not let you Shepherd our lives. You are Jehovah Shammah, you are always there. Your love, grace, and provision is enough, yet we search in all directions for anything we might need or want. We have not been living with the mindset that this world is temporary and your kingdom is eternal. You call us to be a light, to walk in Christian love, and to carry the gospel to the nations. Instead we have withheld the Good News from family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers as though we are content with them facing a Christless eternity. Instead of being the salt of the earth and bringing change to a dark world, we have allowed the world to change us. We’ve allowed evil to infiltrate our lives and godless media and entertainment to fill our homes. Our children are enslaved by unthinkable sins in a society where evil is called good, and good is called evil.

We fear and worry about sickness, hardship, and suffering, when you tell us not to worry, not to live in fear, that there is future glory in our suffering, and that our faith grows stronger in our sufferings. Yet we have filled our lives with drama and fear. Forgive us Father and hear our prayer of repentance. Make your people salt and light again. Help us to respect and submit to our leaders in authority that you have put there for our good. We commit to put on your armor daily and no longer allow evil to fill our lives. We will praise you and thank you for the freedoms and blessings you give us every day. We will be slaves to you and no one else. We pray for wisdom in our decision making. Father, we will not mistreat our fellow man or woman, whom you love and we are called to love also. We recognize we are all equal in your sight. We acknowledge every life you created is important, and we promise to speak up and seek to protect the lives of the unborn and newborn. We will stand up for justice, and honor those you call to protect and serve the nation you allow us to live in.

Father hear us from heaven, show us mercy and heal our land. Lord, make us whole again. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior we pray.

Prayer for the Nations

Prayer For the Nations

July 5 Prayer Service

Given by: David Cass

Revelations 7:9-12 ESV

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Lord in Heaven, we need you. We need your Son. It’s in His name that we gather together today so, Lord, please give us the eyes that Jesus saw the world with.

Give us heaven’s eyes so that we may look and behold what is to come. And what a glorious day it will be when we are finally gathered together. Every one of us who claims the name of Christ – gathered together around your throne. You have already brought us together as a great multitude that no one could number. Though we are scattered – though we speak different languages – though we have made man-made lines that separate us as nations. It’s all done under the guise of sin, but we who claim your name are already a great multitude.

Give us heaven’s eyes to see the multitude around us. Praising your name with one loud voice. Father, we are separated by lines we have created but you do not see us as such. As we celebrate this weekend the birth of this amazing nation that you have blessed with uncountable blessings – we could spend a lifetime talking about the blessings of this one nation. But there are many nations – many peoples, tribes, and tongues – all singing your praises. May we not think that we are superior to anyone else.

Please, give us Heaven’s eyes to see the needs of our brothers & sisters around us – and the needs of the lost around us who need to be brought into your fold. Who need to know the warmth and grace – the kindness and acceptance that comes from your love and your grace.

Father, give us heaven’s eyes to see that you are King. To see your throne in your kingdom. So we do not bow down to political parties or ideals. We do not draw those national lines that say we are this people and you are another. But as one. As we claim the name of Christian may we see your throne – your dominion – and your kingdom. You created all of it – and you sustain it by your grace and the power of the might of your word alone.

Give us heaven’s eyes to see your throne… and Your son. Your son who died who allows us to see it.

Give us heaven’s eyes to see His purpose and His grace and His gospel working out in the lives of billions of people around the world.

Give us Heaven’s eyes to not see the flesh and blood before us but the souls that Christ died to save.

Lord, give us Heaven’s eyes to sing and shout with one loud voice: Glory and grace and honor and power to you and to your son Jesus.

Father give us heaven’s eyes to see that you are our God. You are not the God of America or Canada or England or France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia – you are the God of all. You are the king of kings and the lord of lords – this world is yours and the fullness thereof.

Lord, Give us heaven’s eyes to see your dominion. To see that you are our God.

And Lord, give us heaven’s eyes to see that this prayer is not an American’s prayer – this a prayer for everyone who claims your name.

Lord, give us heaven’s eyes. In Jesus’ name we pray – Amen.

 

A Final Note: The Illuminated Path

The Psalmist, wrote, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your Presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)

“The Light” first appeared on my path in 1970 when I said yes, to Jesus. Although, I didn’t realize at that time the enormity of how that “yes” would impact my life.  Now, looking back almost 50 years, I am both humbled and astonished at the life God planned and purposed for me, His daughter.

God’s Word has been that guiding beacon on my life journey. This is not to say that the path was without twists and turns, trials and uncertain terrain.  There were mountains to climb that sometimes seemed insurmountable and deep valleys of the soul that felt so dark that it would appear to obscure the light…but His sufficiency never dimmed.

His promises are many and have never failed me. He gives understanding, enlightenment through the Spirit of Truth, wisdom, strength, hope and faith as I trust Him along the way. His Word, that is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path leads me. (Psalm 119:105); My God who turns my darkness into light, and keeps my lamp burning, (Psalm 18:28) also carried me when my feet stumbled and the path seemed too difficult.

In the desert places, He provided springs of living water that refreshed my soul, and He raised up a mighty fortress where I found refuge along the way from my enemy. When I was fearful or anxious, I could lie down in safety and peace and find rest for both my body and my soul in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91)

I know that I’m  never alone, He has given me strength as well as “Joy” for the journey and assures me that I won’t grow weary or faint, but He will strengthen me, give me help and hold me with His mighty right hand (Isaiah 40, 41). He has certainly been My “Way” and “Truth” and my “Light”.

Now these many years later, as I look back, I can rejoice in remembering how I’ve seen each and every life challenge met by way of His life giving Word.

There were also treasures along my path; found in those who walked with me and beside me at different times and in specific seasons. These special individuals came at just the right time with words of encouragement, in the form of teachers and pastors, sisters who bound up my wounds and broken heart in seasons of grief. There were family and friends who celebrated my accomplishments and so many others who walked with me and partnered together in ministry as we sought to make Jesus visible and known.

It has been such a privilege to serve the women of FCBC for the past 14 years as the Women’s Ministry Director. I could not have imagined that God would allow me to serve Him in this capacity. It has been such an honor to lead you and to partner with you for His Kingdom.

As I retire in a few short months, I’m excited to see what new assignments God will tuck into my heart as I continue to run the race marked out for me, on this amazing “illuminated path” where my God is always more than enough!

With Much Love,

Linda

Someday is Today…

Someday is Today…

… because “someday” is not a day of the week. Why do we procrastinate? Why do we hesitate when God calls us? Why are we afraid of change? True, it is awkward and uncomfortable to be out of our normal routine, living space, daily comforts or privileges. We fear failure, embarrassment, mediocrity or even danger.

Have you ever said to yourself, “I’ll do that someday”…

But WHEN, my friends, is “someday”?! It is not on any calendar I’ve ever seen, yet I am one of the world’s best (worst?) procrastinators. The column for “someday” is always full, and I look forward to it, mostly.

So then what will it take to face the risk of erasing the header for “someday” and move those tasks/activities to a real day? I love my planner. I decorate it with stickers, Bible verses, pencil-in appointments and work schedules alongside fun activities and weekly to-dos. It is pretty, organized, neat and helpful.

But what about when God says “Go”, or “Stay” ? What happens when life’s “somedays” suddenly arrive today? Remember Jonah, who avoided God’s plan. He ran from his “today”, when God called, in hopes that it would become a “someday”! We all know how that plan ended…a lesson learned the hard way to say the least.

“THIS is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

  • Take the opportunity to try something new.
  • When the call is a clear, don’t hesitate in trusting Gods plan.
  • Use your talents, don’t listen to Satan’s discouraging words.
  • Erase the “somedays” from your calendar…the blessings don’t live there either!

Proverbs 27:1     Matthew 6:34     James 4:14

In Christ,

Kelley Warne

Ladies, please join into a discussion by commenting below: What “someday” are you going to commit to the Lord TODAY?

“Because, I said so!”

” Because, I said so!”

I wonder how many times, as a child, I heard the phrase: “Because, I said so”. You either know a “why?” kid, you have one, or you ARE one. To be honest, I was that child. The one with fifty million “why?” questions who drives you bonkers because I always have to know more, be assured that the world is logical, life is fair and things make sense. Many of you wonder how a precious child can be so awe-inspiring and irritating at the same time!?

Moms, I know that you struggle in those moments of frustration, and sometimes guilt, when you’ve reached your limit and you just shout out: “Because, I said so…and I KNOW because I’m the Mom!”

Suddenly, there’s some quiet and the wheels stop moving so fast in that little mind. You can see some relief due to your impressive, all-knowing, mom status and if you’re lucky…they’ll just believe you…for now. Sometimes the assurance of your word is enough to feel peace.

So, ladies, why don’t we listen as adults when God “says so”? We need to trust His word, with faith like a child. What does God say to us to give us comfort and peace, to assure us of our value and our worth?

[ezcol_1half]• We are Holy
• We are worthy
• We are chosen
• We are strong
• We are protected
• We are made in His image
• We are beautiful and lovely
• We are LOVED
• We are redeemed
• We are important
• We are enough [/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end] 1 Peter 1:16
Psalm 8:3-8
Colossians 3:12
Philippians 4:13
Psalm 46:5
Genesis 1:26-27
Song of Songs 2:14; 4:7
Jeremiah 31:3
Psalm 130:7
John 3:16
Romans 5:8[/ezcol_1half_end]

And all these truths are just “because He said so”…

So, if you are looking for another go-to answer for your kids or even for yourself, try these out next time you don’t have the answers or the patience:

• “I don’t know why, but isn’t it exciting that we will be able to ask God one day?”
• Or “Let’s see what God says about that in the Bible…”

I have definitely grown, over time, to handle my own adult questions about the world and about life. I try to always seek God’s answers or His promises when I can’t make sense of things. His word is comforting and his promises fill me with hope. I recently heard a new Lauren Daigle song (You Say) that is absolutely worth a listen. I felt it was exactly what I needed to hear this week! Click the link Below to see the video:

Sometimes, even though we don’t yet have the peace or the answers, we just have to BELIEVE.

Believe what HE says; our Abba Father, our Creator, our King and Redeemer, our Heartache-Healer. Take comfort in His assurances and remember that our Heavenly Father is always faithful.

In Christ,

Kelley Warne

Busyness is not a Fruit of the Spirit

Busyness is not a Fruit of the Spirit

 

“How are you, friend?” My reply: “Busy, SO busy.”

Why do we always default to responding to our friends, family or acquaintances that we are “so busy”, as if this is an enviable state of being, a spiritual gift or a Fruit of the Spirit. (It is certainly NOT, sisters!) Sometimes we say it with pride and accomplishment, other times we respond in resentment or defeat. Our culture has encouraged the pace and content of our days to be an ever – increasing race to fit in every activity, job, appointment, hobby or social event.

We compare ourselves to others and pack our schedules so full that sometimes we are ready to run away from our own lives! So we take a much needed break. Many of you have heard, or even used, the phrase “I need a vacation from my vacation” after returning from a break intended for rest and relaxation.

Ladies, why do we push ourselves to the edge of sanity to reach unrealistic expectations?

  • What does God expect of us?
  • Who can we look to as an example of how to spend our time? How to keep a balance?
  • Remember Lydia of Macedonia? After being baptized by Paul, she faithfully hosted missionaries while maintaining a thriving business and taking care of her family? She still found strength for hospitality and blessed others. Whenever we can…say “yes” to serving God and pray for opportunities to show His love. (Acts 16:14-15)

  •  Remember Mary of Bethany (Lazarus’ sister) who sat at the feet of Jesus when Martha was working so hard in the kitchen to prepare a meal? Whenever we can…sit like Mary, and listen for Jesus. (Luke 10:38-42)

  • One of my favorite authors Lysa Terkhurst (of Proverbs 31 Ministries) said, “We run at break neck pace to try and achieve what God wants us to slow down enough to receive.

  • In a January sermon series (God and Your Stuff) Pastor Tim said “God cannot put His eternal riches (blessings) in hands that are already full…God says ‘I want to fill you with things that are eternally good’…but first we have to let go.” Even though he was referring to our tithing, I really connected with this message in a way that relates to all the meaningless things that we hold onto in life. We must raise open hands upward to receive.

Let’s make it a point this summer to prioritize our schedules.

Serve, rest, receive, let go… Say “no” when we should… Say “yes” when we can.

We can start by choosing to be present with our loved ones, connecting with friends and neighbors, putting down technology and social media distractions…and asking God to help us hear Him in the midst of our self-driven chaos. Make the time. God is waiting for us to take a moment with Him to enjoy His presence.

Take off the badge of busyness and receive the spirit of peace.

In Christ,

Kelley Warne

Ecclesiastes 4:6 Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing the wind.

Psalm 46:10  Be still and know that I am God.

Psalm 29:11  The Lord gives strength to his people; The Lord Blesses His people with peace.

Proverbs 11:25 A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

 

 

 

 

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