April 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
Once again, I write praying that this note finds you well and trusting the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I’m writing to help you think through how to spend the coming Lord’s Day well. The goal of this template for is to encourage us to remember God’s power over creation, to remember the privilege of prayer, and to remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The guiding text is Jonah 2:1-10. Please know that this is simply a suggested template for worship. You can take up portions of this template or all of it as you see fit.
Template for Sunday, April 12, 2020
Call to Worship: God through his Word calls us to worship him. Read Psalm 47:1-4.
Prayer of Invocation: Offer a brief prayer asking God to attend your worship.
Praise through Song: And Can It Be? (147)
Praise God through Prayer: Offer a prayer praising God for who he is and what he has done.
Confess the Faith: Confess your faith using the words of Article 8 of our church’s Statement of Faith:
We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 12:38-42
Confess Your Sin through Prayer: Offer a prayer of confession for anything the Lord has brought to mind in your reading of Matthew 12:38-42.
Scriptural Assurance of Pardon (for those who repent and believe): Read Ezekiel 36:25-26.
Respond in Song: What Wondrous Love is This (143)
Give Thanks and Pray for Understanding of God’s Word: Offer a brief prayer of thanksgiving for what God has done in Jesus Christ. Also ask God, through his Holy Spirit to give you a mind, heart, and will to hear, understand, believe, and obey his Word.
Read and Reflect on God’s Word: Jonah 2:1-10
Discuss the devotion:
- What were the points of the devotion?
- Where from the text was the gospel preached?
- How would you share the gospel with an unbeliever from the biblical text?
- What applications were made in the devotion?
- What application do you need to make in your life from the devotion?
- What applications were made to the church from the devotion?
- How does this devotion encourage us to trust, pray, and obey God?
Respond in Song: Crown Him with Many Crowns (161)
Close in Prayer: Offer a brief prayer thanking God for what you have learned about him, salvation through Jesus, and how you ought to follow in faith.
Receive God’s Benediction: Read 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Reflect: Take some time and reflect on what God has taught you in this time.
These are some of the things that you can do to spend the coming Lord’s Day well. If you’re a part of the church’s Facebook Group, then maybe you could share an edifying reflection from your time of worship.
As I close, I commend to you contemplation on these words from Joel Beeke on the subject of private prayer:
As with every other attainment in the Christian life, prayerful praying is not automatic. Paul urges Timothy, “Exercise thyself rather unto godliness…. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life”(1 Tim 4:7; 6:12). I thus plead with you to seek a more fervent and faithful prayer life, with effort, urgency and dependence on Christ and the Holy Spirit. You must practice the discipline of self-control, which is not a natural ability but a fruit of the Spirit purchased by Jesus Christ at the cross (Gal. 5:22-24). Beware of the trap of thinking that some people are more prayerful and holy by nature, and you just are not one of them. The halo we set on the heads of others may be an excuse for our own laziness…The disciples wanted to learn to pray because they saw the place that prayer had in the life of our Lord (Luke 11:1). We should always remember these five truths: (1) prayer is essential for the well-being of your own soul; (2) prayer is essential for you to fulfill your calling in your family, church, and nation; (3) prayer is one of the most Christlike activities you can engage in; (4) prayer is God’s appointed means of distributing the blessings of His kingdom and the gifts of Christ to His people; (5) and unoffered prayer, not unanswered prayer, is our greatest problem—for they who ask not, have not (James 4:2).
[Joel R. Beeke, How Can I Cultivate Private Prayer? (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Reformation Heritage Books, 2016), 6-7.]
Heavenly Father, bring us together again soon. For Jesus’ sake and glory, Amen.
Warmly in Christ,
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