Worship Resource: Lord of My Heart

eye heartWorship Resource: Lord of My Heart
ALL SINGING: Be Thou My Vision
United Methodist Hymnal #451, verses 1 and 2

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word,
I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
Great God of Heaven my treasure Thou art

Instrumental music continues during the prayers.

ONE or ALL: Adapted from a traditional Celtic prayer
Lord of my heart, give vision to inspire me,
that working or resting, I may always think of you.
Lord of my heart, give light to guide me,
that, at home or abroad, I may always walk in your way.
Lord of my heart, give wisdom to direct me,
that thinking or acting, I may always discern right from wrong.

ALL:
Heart of my own heart, whatever may befall me,
Rule my thoughts and feelings, my words and actions.

ONE or ALL: Adapted from a traditional Celtic prayer
Lord of my heart, save me from worldly wealth,
that I may always look to the riches of heaven.
Lord of my heart, save me from military prowess,
that I may always seek your protection.
Lord of my heart, save me from unnatural pleasures,
that I may always find you in your wonderful creation.

ALL:
Heart of my own heart, whatever may befall me,
Rule my thoughts and feelings, my words and action.

ONE or ALL: Adapted from a traditional Celtic prayer
Lord of my heart, give courage to strengthen me,
that amongst friends or enemies, I may always proclaim your justice.
Lord of my heart, give trust to console me,
that, hungry or well-fed, I may always rely on your mercy.
Lord of my heart, save me from empty praise,
that I may always boast of you.

ALL: Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory forever. Amen

ALL SINGING: Be Thou My Vision
United Methodist Hymnal #451, verse 3

Great God of heaven, my victory won
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Son
Heart of my own heart, whatever be fall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of All

Option: Begin the worship sequence with the following Confession and Pardon
ALL: Confession and Pardon
United Methodist Hymnal, page 8

Merciful God,
We confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have failed to be an obedient church.
We have not done your will,
We have broken your law,
We have rebelled against your love,
We have not loved our neighbors,
and we have not heard the cry of the needy.
Forgive us, we pray.
Free us for joyful obedience,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Time of silent confession

ONE:
Hear the good news:
Christ died for us while we were yet sinners;
that proves God’s love toward us.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
Glory to God! Amen.

Click Here for a wonderful prayer by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled The Heart of Christ
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Lord of My Heart compilation © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the music, scripture translation, art and the use of this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Worship Resource: I Surrender All

surrender allWorship Resource: I Surrender All
Original prayers: Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Music: I Surrender All
United Methodist Hymnal #354. Public Domain.
Text: J.W. Van Deventer. Music: W.S. Weeden

The instrumental music continues during the praying

ALL SINGING: I Surrender All, verse 1
All to Jesus I surrender; all to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

ALL PRAYING:
Jesus, I want to surrender to you all that I am
And all that I’m striving to be
You are my salvation
You are my hope
As best I can, I open the deepest places of my being to you
Come Holy Spirit dwell within me
Help me hold nothing back from you

ALL SINGING: I Surrender All, verse 3
All to Jesus I surrender; make me, Savior, wholly thine;
Fill me with thy love and power; truly know that thou art mine.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

ALL PRAYING:
Give me the strength to surrender my body, soul, and mind
My longings and emotions
All my hopes, plans, and dreams

Grant me courage to surrender my past, present, and future
My hurts, habits, relationships and attitudes
My fears and insecurities
My passion and confidence
My livelihood, resources, talents and skills

ALL SINGING: I Surrender All, verve 4
All to Jesus I surrender; Lord, I give myself to thee;
Fill me with thy love and power; let thy blessing fall on me.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

ALL PRAYING:
Build in me faith and trust
To surrender everything to your compassion and care
All my weaknesses
All my strengths
For better, for worse
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
I belong to you

Transform my life into whatever pleases you most
Transform me into the person you desire me to be
Use me for the honor and glory of your name

ALL SINGING: I Surrender All, refrain
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

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I Surrender All, compilation and original prayers © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings,

Advent Photo-A-Day: Day 11, Steadfast

Steadfast by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.

Steadfast by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.

The thought behind the photo:
We can grow to be steadfast, because God is steadfast.

Give me, O Lord
A steadfast heart
Which no unworthy thought can drag downwards;
An unconquered heart
Which no tribulation can wear out;
An upright heart
Which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.
Bestow upon me also,
O Lord my God,
Understanding to know Thee,
Diligence to seek Thee,
Wisdom to find Thee, and
A faithfulness that may finally embrace Thee;
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
- Thomas Aquinas

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 108:1-5 NRSV
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make melody. Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn. I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth.

The December 11, 2013 devotion from http://umrethinkchurch.tumblr.com 
SCRIPTURE: Romans 15:5-7 NRSV
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

We can each list a number of things that wear us down. Tired of living from paycheck to paycheck. Tired of institutional inequality and inequity. Tired of not fully being recognized for who we are or what gifts we bring. Tired of fighting the good fight. Tired of being tired.

But did you notice that these verses don’t talk about our steadfastness, but God’s. If God has welcomed all of us, are we not to be imitators of God by extending welcome to others?

If God has done this for us, might we remain steadfast in our welcome of one another until there is no more insider and outsider?

As you reflect on what it is that God calls you to remain steadfast, may this hymn remind us to make our homes and places where we gather, places where all are welcome.

All Are Welcome*
Verse 1
Let us build a house where love can dwell
And all can safely live,
A place where saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive.

Chorus
All are welcome, all are welcome,
All are welcome in this place.

Verse 2
Built of hopes and dreams and visions,
Rock of faith and vault of grace;
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions;

Verse 3
Let us build a house where prophets speak,
And words are strong and true,
Where all God’s children dare to seek
To dream God’s reign anew.

Verse 4
Here the cross shall stand as witness
And a symbol of God’s grace;
Here as one we claim the faith of Jesus:

Verse 5
Let us build a house where love is found
In water, wine and wheat:
A banquet hall on holy ground,
Where peace and justice meet.

Verse 6
Here the love of God, through Jesus,
Is revealed in time and space;
As we share in Christ the feast that frees us:

*Marty Haugen | Copyright: 1994 GIA Publications

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Thank you Rethink Church for a great way to make preparing for Christmas more meaningful. Join me and thousands more in setting aside time to reflect, focus, and literally picture the deep themes of Jesus’ birth.

Click here for more information on Advent Photo-A-Day from Rethink Church.

Click here for a master list of links to my submissions. Lisa <><

Prayer: Unstop Us, Jesus

water down drain 2Mark 8:17b-18 CEB
Don’t you grasp what has happened?
Don’t you understand?
Are your hearts so resistant to what God is doing?
Don’t you have eyes? Why can’t you see?
Don’t you have ears? Why can’t you hear?
Don’t you remember?

The only way you can contemplate is by recognizing and relativizing your own compulsive mental grids— your practiced ways of judging, critiquing, blocking, and computing everything. This is what we are trying to do by practicing contemplative prayer, and people addicted to their own mind will find contemplation most difficult, if not impossible. Much that is called thinking is simply the ego’s stating of what it prefers and likes—and resistances to what it does not like. Narcissistic reactions to the moment are not worthy of being called thinking. Yet that is much of our public and private discourse.
- Richard Rohr

Now is a good time to remember that the grace given to us by God to become contemplative comes to us at great cost–namely, Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of the world. We are redeemed and made “response-able” (contemplative) because on the Cross, Jesus re-opened the way to God which original sin had closed. That’s the main reason why contemplatives are among the most humble people in the world. We can never take credit for our spirituality. Life is Gift. Jesus has accomplished what we never could. We must never separate our attentiveness to God from the atonement. Through Christ our “sight” has been restored, our “hearing” repaired, and our spirits returned to the condition where deep communion with God is possible. – Steve Harper

Jesus, you are so very patient
Yet there are times
when you’ve had it with our selfishness
our hard hearts
our dim wits and petty agendas
New life received at a snail’s pace
instead of mounting up with eagle’s wings
Help us to run to you and with you
Opening, Growing, Flowing
Grasping, Claiming, Living
Unstop us, Jesus
Unstop us for good
Our own good
Other’s good
Good without end
Amen and Amen

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Click here for a post entitled 7 Letters of Revelation: Alive and Awake

Click here for a post entitled Being Present to God

Click here for a post entitled Keep Awake!

Unstop Us, Jesus © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Worship Resource: Take My Life

Horsing Around by David Pasillas

Horsing Around by David Pasillas

discount wellbutrin

This worship resource was inspired by a sermon on Jesus’ blessing in Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

When we hear the word meek, we tend to think timid, passive, wimp, doormat. In Jesus’ day, the word he uses for meek actually refers to a powerful, wild animal who is now trained for work. Think of a stallion and rider, a mighty force of perfect collaboration and unity. A meek person is one who follows Jesus in a disciplined way in order to join Jesus in his saving work. Thus meek means strength under authority, power under discipline, a teachable spirit desiring God’s greater good. – Lisa <><

Worship Resource: Take My Life
ALL SINGING
Traditional Setting: Take My Life, and Let It Be
United Methodist Hymnal #399, verses 1 and 2

Contemporary Setting: Take My Life
Arranged by Chris Tomlin (CCLI #4162843)
Verses 1, 2 and chorus

Instrumental music continues under the scripture reading.

VOICE ONE: Psalm 25:4-5 NIV
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
For you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

VOICE TWO: Psalm 25:6-7 NIV
Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love,
For they are from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;
According to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.

VOICE ONE: Psalm 25:8-9 NIV
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

ALL SINGING
Traditional Setting: Take My Life, and Let It Be
United Methodist Hymnal #399, verse 3

Contemporary Setting: Take My Life
arranged by Chris Tomlin (CCLI #4162843)
Verses 3 and chorus

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Be sure to check out the beautiful photography of today’s featured artist David Pasillas at his blog iPhone Photographer. You will also find him on Facebook.

Worship Resource: Take My Life compilation © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

7 Letters of Revelation: On Fire for God

on fire for godRevelation 14-22 NIV
The Risen Christ says, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity. – Frederic D. Huntington

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.
― Elie Wiesel

The following quotes are from What Christ Thinks of the Church: an Exposition of Revelation 1-3 by John Stott

  • One longs to see today robust and courageous men and women bringing to Jesus Christ their thoughtful and total commitment.
  • This then is Christ’s view of us – of nominal Christians who are neither really nor wholeheartedly, committed to him. Morally and spiritually such people are naked, blind beggars. They are beggars because they have nothing with which to purchase their forgiveness or an entry into the Kingdom of God. They are naked because they have no clothes to fit them to stand before God. They are blind because they have no idea either of their spiritual poverty or of their spiritual danger.
  • Like the Laodiceans we have to renounce the old life of easygoing complacency. Smug self-satisfaction is not appropriate in one who bears the name of Christ. Shallow piety never saved anyone. There will be no hypocrites in heaven. So we have to break with these things. We much spit them out of our mouths lest he spit us out of his.

2 Timothy 1:5-7 NIV
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian. ― Brennan Manning 

I am looking for the fellowship of the burning heart. I claim the Methodist and the Baptist as mine and I claim everybody that loves Jesus Christ as mine; but I am looking for the fellowship of the burning heart. Men and women of all generations and everywhere that love the savior until ‘adoration’ has become the new word and they do not have to be entertained or amused.  ~ A. W. Tozer, Reclaiming Christianity

Set my soul afire, Lord, set my soul afire,
Make my life a witness of Thy saving pow’r.
Millions grope in darkness, waiting for Thy Word,
Set my soul afire, Lord, set my soul afire.
- Gene Barlett

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This is the seventh of seven posts based on themes from Revelation chapters 2-3. In these scriptures, Jesus reveals the timeless message of what His church should look like.

For more information on use of the scripture, art and this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page

Set A Fire: a contemporary worship sequence

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit by Rebecca Brogan

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit by Rebecca Brogan

Alternate the song Set a Fire with portions of the prayer.
The music continues underneath the praying.

Set a Fire: a contemporary worship sequence
ALL SINGING:
Set a Fire by Will Reagan (CCLI #5911299)
No place I’d rather be
No place I’d rather be
No place I’d rather be
Than here in Your love, here in Your love
Set a fire down in my soul
That I can’t contain and I can’t control
I want more of You God
I want more of You God

ONE OR ALL PRAYING ALOUD:
Come, Holy Spirit
Breathe into us the breath of new life
Come, Generous Spirit
Bring peace and bring hope
Bring courage for change
Bring freedom from all falsehood and fear

ALL SINGING:
Set a Fire by Will Reagan (CCLI #5911299)

ONE OR ALL PRAYING ALOUD:
Come, Holy Spirit
Embolden us with the fire of your heart
Come, Pentecost Spirit
Bring light and bring strength
Bring tongues filled with truth
Bring passion for the world to know you

ALL SINGING:
Set a Fire by Will Reagan (CCLI #5911299)

ONE OR ALL PRAYING ALOUD:
Come, Holy Spirit
Unify us in the ways of Christ
Come, Creating Spirit
Bring gifts and bring fruit
Bring life to dry bones
Bring wisdom to live justice and love

ALL PRAYING ALOUD:
Come, Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit

For a quieter worship time, transition into Spirit of the Living God by Daniel Iverson (CCLI #23488). For a more energetic worship time, transition into Like a Lion by Daniel Bashta (CCLI Song #5675274).

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Today’s featured artist is Rebecca Brogan: visual artist, songwriter/musician, missionary, and philanthropist. Her organization, John the Baptist Artworks, is a not-for-profit min­istry, send­ing all prof­its beyond oper­at­ing expenses to mis­sions and charities, including Gospel for Asia, Samaritan’s Purse, Barnabas Fund, and her own mission work in the Sala­manca Mar­ket of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Set a Fire: a contemporary worship sequence, compiled by Nicole Sallee

Prayer for Pentecost 2012 © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Nicole for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

7 Letters of Revelation: Remain True to My Name

Jesus Christ is Lord by Thomas Hawk

Jesus Christ is Lord by Thomas Hawk

Revelation 2:12-17 NIV
The Risen Christ says, “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live–where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city–where Satan lives. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”

Jesus Christ is Lord – the first and oldest affirmation made by persons claiming to be Christ followers. His very name brings together the fullness of who He is and what He has done for the world.

  • Jesus: Jesus of Nazaraeth, who lived in a specific time and place, fully human, who understands our brokenness and frailty firsthand, the Word of God made flesh, God incarnate
  • Christ: the Anointed One, the long promised Messiah, who died on a cross and rose again for the salvation of the world
  • Lord: fully divine, eternal and all powerful, King of kings, due all honor and glory and reverence

Jesus is fully human and fully divine, Lord and Savior of the world, the Leader and Forgiver of all who claim his name. - Lisa Degrenia <><

The guarding of the truth of the gospel is a major concern of Jesus Christ. He is not only anxious that we should love him, and that we should suffer bravely for him, but also that we should believe in him and hold fast the truth about him…. If Jesus is the divine Lord, we must submit to him as our Lord. If he is the divine Savior, we must trust in him as our Savior. This personal appropriation of Jesus Christ is essential. - John Stott, What Christ Thinks of the Church: an Exposition of Revelation 1-3

1 Timothy 2:3-6a NRSV
This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all.

Philippians 2:5-11 NRSV
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Unless Jesus is Lord of all, He is not Lord at all. – S. M. Zwemer

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Ephesians 4:14-15 NRSV
We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.

Hebrews 4:12 NRSV
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Prayer for Christ’s Sharp Sword
Risen Christ, Word Make Flesh,
Wield your sharp sword of saving truth
Wield it for our good
Prick our conscience
Wound our deceiving pride
Cut away our camouflage
Pierce our defenses
Lay bear our homegrown truth
Our sin
Our brokenness
Our need of you
With your Living Word, sever all that is destructive within us
Slay all falsehood- in doctrine, in worship, in living
Open us to the Truth that is you,
So we may be healed in body, mind, and spirit,
So we may be whole and holy,
So we may faithfully, gracefully, share what we have received
So our war torn world might also know your truth, love and peace.
Amen.

Click here for a powerful and personal reflection on this theme as found in John 14:23-29 by Steve Harper.

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This is the third of seven posts based on themes from Revelation chapters 2-3. In these scriptures, Jesus reveals the timeless message of what His church should look like.

Click here for the terrific Flickr photostream of today’s featured artist, Thomas Hawk

Prayer for Christ’s Sharp Sword © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on use of the scripture, art and this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page

Prayer Service: Naming and Claiming the Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit by Sheila Yackley

Naming and Claiming the Holy Spirit
A service of prayer, scripture and song inspired by Francis Chan’s excellent book, Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit.

For a PDF of this service,
click here –> Prayer Service: Naming and Claiming the Holy Spirit

This service may be led by one or more persons. If you are using multiple readers, invite persons to read prior to the service or invite persons to read as they are gathering before the service. If they accept, hand them a full service script with their portion highlighted. When it is time for their reading, they arise from their place in the congregation and move to one of several microphones preset throughout the congregation. Choose a variety of persons to read.

This service may be offered in place of the sermon or following the sermon.

Scripture and Meditation
ONE:
Who is the Holy Spirit?

ALL:
The Holy Spirit is a Person, not an indistinct “power” or “thing.”

ONE: John 14:16-17 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

ONE:
Who is the Holy Spirit?

ALL:
The Holy Spirit is God, not a lesser or different kind of Being than God the Father or God the Son.

ONE: 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NRSV)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

ONE:
In his book Forgotten God, Francis Chan wrote, “How ludicrous it would be for anyone to say they were going to explain the Holy Spirit. The Bible says we cannot fully understand God, and I am certainly not the exception to that rule. There are things about God that are mysterious and secret, things we will never know about Him. But there also are things revealed, and those belong to us (Deut. 29:29)….The point is not to completely understand God but to worship. Let the very fact that you cannot know God fully lead you to praise…

ALL:
For Illumination by Christina G. Rossetti   
United Methodist Hymnal #477
Open wide the windows of our spirits, O Lord,
and fill us full of light;
open wide the door of our hearts,
that we may receive and entertain Thee
with all our powers of adoration and love.

Songs                  
The following songs or others may be used.
Traditional:
Come, Holy Spirit
by Bill Gaither
CCLI #10934

Holy Spirit, Thou Art Welcome
by Dottie Rambo and David Huntsinger
CCLI #12994

Holy, Holy, Holy 
United Methodist Hymnal #64

Contemporary:
We Exalt Your Name
by Kari Jobe & Matt Maher
CCLI #5866478

Hosanna
by Brooke Ligertwood
CCLI #4785835

Testimony
The following testimony or another may be used.
The testimony of Dave Phillips who founded the Children’s Hunger Fund as retold in Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God (pp. 135-136).

Scripture and Meditation
ONE:
Basil the Great said, “What does the Spirit do? His works are ineffable in majesty, and innumerable in quantity. How can we even ponder what extends beyond the ages? What did He do before creation began? How great are the graces He showered on creation? What power will He wield in the age to come? He existed; He pre-existed; He co-existed with the Father and the Son before the ages. Even if you can imagine anything beyond the ages, you will discover that the Spirit is even further beyond.”

ALL:
The Holy Spirit is omnipotent, all powerful.

ONE: Zechariah 4:6 (NRSV)
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

ALL:
The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, always everywhere.

ONE: Psalm 139:7-10 (NRSV)
Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.

ALL:
The Holy Spirit is omniscient, all knowing.

ONE: 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NIV)
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”– but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

Prayers
The following prayers are printed on an insert. Other prayers may be substituted as desired. Persons are invited to pray at the communion rail, pray in their seats, or to move from pew to pew praying for the Spirit to fill all who come into the sanctuary. Persons pray at their own pace, in silence or aloud. Soft instrumental music or silence may accompany the prayer time. The prayer time concludes with The Lord’s Prayer.

Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition                           
United Methodist Hymnal #607
I am no longer my own, but Thine.
Put me to what Thou wilt, rank me with whom Thou wilt,
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for Thee or laid aside for Thee,
Exalted for Thee or brought low for Thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to Thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Thou art mine, and I am Thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen

Come, Holy Spirit by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Come, Holy Spirit
Breathe into us the breath of new life
Come, Generous Spirit
Bring peace and bring hope
Bring courage for change
Bring freedom from all falsehood and fear

Come, Holy Spirit
Embolden us with the fire of Your heart
Come, Pentecost Spirit
Bring light and bring strength
Bring tongues filled with truth
Bring passion for the world to know You

Come, Holy Spirit
Unify us in the ways of Christ
Come, Creating Spirit
Bring gifts and bring fruit
Bring life to dry bones
Bring wisdom to live justice and love

For Renewal of the Church by John de Gruchy                                                       
United Methodist Hymnal #574
Renew your church, Lord,
Your people in this land.
Save us from cheap words
and from self-deception in your service.
In the power of your Spirit
transform us, and shape us by Your cross.
Amen.

Scripture and Meditation
ONE:
Who is the Holy Spirit?

ALL:
The Holy Spirit prays with us and for us.

ONE: Romans 8:27 (NRSV)
And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

ONE:
Who is the Holy Spirit?

ALL:
The Holy Spirit brought creation to life and continues to sustain it.

ONE: Genesis 1:1-2 (NIV)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

ONE: Job 33:4 (NIV)
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

ALL: Psalm 51:10-12 (NRSV)
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.

ONE:
Who is the Holy Spirit?

ALL:
The Holy Spirit is eternal and holy.

ONE: Romans 5:5 (NRSV)
God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Testimony
The following testimony or another may be used.
The testimony of Esther Ahn Kim, who was imprisoned for her faith, as retold in Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God (pp. 97-98).

Offering and Doxology
The following songs or others may be used.
Traditional:
Holy Spirit, Truth Divine                                               
United Methodist Hymnal #465

Contemporary:
All Creatures of Our God and King
David Crowder version
CCLI #3608102

Song                    
The following songs or others may be used.
Traditional:
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
United Methodist Hymnal #103, v. 1, 2, 4

Contemporary:
Awakening
by Chris Tomlin and Reuben Morgan
CCLI #5677399

Benediction

Postlude
The following songs or others may be used.
Traditional:
Sweet, Sweet Spirit
United Methodist Hymnal #334

Contemporary:
I am Free by John Egan
CCLI #4220974

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Books Referenced:
Francis Chan, Forgotten God (David C. Cook, 2009)
Esther Ahn Kim, If I Perish (Moody Publishing, 2001)

Scriptures:
Scripture quotations marked NRSV are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

For more of Sheila Yackley’s artwork, click here

Prayer: For Renewal of the Church © 1986 John de Gruchy

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Service Compilation: Naming and Claiming the Holy Spirit
© 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use my work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact me for information and permission to publish a work in any form.

Fervent Prayer

Image by Karen Holland

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m praying to the exact same God Elijah prayed to”? Do you genuinely believe that Moses, Esther, David, and Daniel had no advantage over you spiritually? In fact, some would argue that you have the advantage of both the risen Christ and the indwelling Spirit. Let’s stop looking at the godly men and women in Scripture as though their prayer lives are unattainable! Pray fervently, knowing that Peter and Paul and Mary and Ruth were men and women “with a nature like ours” (James 5:17).
- Francis Chan, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit

Our prayers lay the track on which God’s power can come.
Like a mighty locomotive, His power is irresistible,
but it cannot reach us without rails.
- Watchman Nee

furosemide 60mg

Is prayer a steering wheel or your spare tire?
- Corrie Ten Boon

Psalm 105:1-4 NRSV
O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name,
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Tell of all His wonderful works.
Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually.

If God be near a church, it must pray. And if he be not there, one of the first tokens of his absence will be a slothfulness in prayer. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Prayer ought to enter into the spiritual habits, but it ceases to be prayer when it is carried on by habit only…. Desire gives fervor to prayer. The soul cannot be listless when some great desire fixes and inflames it…. Strong desires make strong prayers.
- E. M. Bounds

There is no hope but in prayer. Herein lies the Church’s power against the world.
- Andrew Bonar

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NRSV)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.

Prayer cannot truly be taught by principles and seminars and symposiums. It has to be born out of a whole environment of felt need. If I say, “I ought to pray, ” I will soon run out of motivation and quit; the flesh is too strong. I have to be driven to pray. Yes, the roughness of inner-city life has pressed us to pray…. But is the rest of the country coasting along in fine shape. I think not. - Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire

The more we pray, the more we sense our need to pray. And the more we sense a need to pray, the more we want to pray. – Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire

Help me Lord, hear my cry
Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I
You are my hiding place, my impenetrable shield
My heart expectantly trusts and waits
Sheltered beneath Your wings
Filled with joy unspeakable
I am helped
My thankful heart sings.
- Karen Holland, Lead Me to the Rock

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For more of Karen Holland’s powerful prayer and artistic ministry, click here

For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.