Prayer – Praise – and Kids

A prayer from Pastor Mike –

A Prayer for Today
Philippians 4:7
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

O Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, be with us. Remind us that you are with us in every storm.  Those who know your name put their trust in you. Your Word says that you have not forsaken those who seek you.  Guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Help us never to expect any happiness from this world, but only in you.  Remind us that we should feel distressed and uncomfortable if we are living to ourselves, for we can only be happy if we are in service to you.  If we desire to live in this world help us to do and to suffer only what you would grant to us.

Teach us that if we do not live lives that satisfy you, we will not live lives that satisfy ourselves.  Help us to desire the spirit and character of angels who willingly come down to this world to perform your will.  Their desires are heavenly and are not set on earthy things. Give us the character of angels that our desires might be as theirs.

Help us not to think of living for you in our own strength, but always to look and to rely on you for assistance.  Teach us that there is no greater truth than this. We can do nothing in and of ourselves.  Lord, this is the life that no unbeliever can live, yet it is a life that every godly soul seeks after. Let it be our concern to devote ourselves and all that we have to you more and more each day.

Make us more fruitful and more spiritual, for desperation is our daily affliction and load. Help us to consider how precious time is, and how painful it is to see it pass with so little done to build your kingdom.

Lord, we seek your face.  We need your help.  May our souls learn to depend upon you for all sanctification, and every accomplishment of your purposes for us, for the world, and for your kingdom.

Father in heaven, the atoning work of Christ on our behalf has resolved the most pressing issue we face on this earth. Our sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).  You have adopted us into your family, into your eternal kingdom of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). For that we cannot thank you enough. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

A prayer from Jessica –

Dear Lord,

You are glorious and mighty and worthy of all praise. Even in the midst of a storm, Your guiding hand is present and You hold Your children fast. Thank You for Your word, it is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Help us cling to its truths and certainties in our time of doubt.

Thank you for Your blessings in our life and Your grace and providence in leading us to this time and place, to be led by the Elders You have placed above us, who lead us according to Your word. Give them wisdom as they continue to make decisions and shepherd the flock You have put in their care.

Help us to encourage one another, lift one another up in prayer, and knit our hearts and minds together during this time of separation. I pray that this time apart continues to feel uncomfortable and awkward and that we all long for the day we can rejoice together again in corporate worship. Until that day, thank You for the means by which we can rejoice and worship apart from each other.

Forgive us for where we fall short, especially during a time with so many distractions and so many different places we can focus our mind, help us stay focused on You and Your truths.

Thank You for Your Son, who paid the full and final price for our sins, so that we may have an eternity with You. So that we can say with boldness “to live is Christ, to die is gain”. Let that certainty be our anthem in these uncertain days. May all we say and do bring glory to You and You alone. Amen.

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Psalm 137 is a lament, a sad reflection on the time when Israel was in captivity. Here are the first 3 verses…
Psalm 137:1–3
1 By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down and wept, When we remembered Zion.
2 Upon the willows in the midst of it We hung our harps.
3 For there our captors demanded of us songs, And our tormentors mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

The Babylonians were mocking and deriding them, insisting that they “Sing us” one of the songs of praise for Zion, Jerusalem, their home. But, the psalmist says, we had already hung up our harps in the willows. Their misery of isolation from their home had quieted their singing. They ask the question:
Psalm 137:4
4 How can we sing the Lord’s song In a foreign land?

How can we? How can we sing when we are separated from our congregation? How can we sing when times are hard? We understand their question, we can relate to their misery. But – sing we must. The people continue…
Psalm 137:5–6
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, May my right hand forget her skill.
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.

One must follow this closely. The people are, on the one hand, justifying their lack of joy and praise. Then, on the other hand, they are connecting their silence to forgetting Jerusalem; forgetting the provision of God. If I forget – then may I never play the harp again. If I forget – then may I never sing again. If I do not remember you – this is a warning. It is both their lament and their hope. They must remember – Jerusalem and God’s provision must be their chief joy always. Though they lose their home, their possessions, all that they find joy in – still He is worthy of praise. Much like Job’s lament: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).

Dear family at Grace – – don’t hang up your harps. Keep singing. Remember Who He is and What He has done – – with remembrance, praise!

Tonight is a great opportunity to join your family in song with others by joining the Live Sing! with Keith and Kristen Getty. Just click the link and let’s sing! Click here to join the Getty family’s Facebook stream at 7:15 CT tonight (Tuesday, 3/24).

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Great news, Parents!  We have received permission from Generations of Grace to share our 2nd Hour Resources!

March 15th – “God Is Glorified By Protecting Judah” Family Devotion, Color Sheets, and Activity Pages
Click here to download March 15th Illustration Pages

March 22nd – “God Punishes Judah” Family Devotion, Color Sheets, and Activity Pages
Click here to download March 22nd Illustration Pages