Call to Worship
Many of us have chosen to live here in the northwoods because we appreciate the peace of being away from the frenzied activities of the world. The world is not satisfied with this situation however, and tries to find ways to disturb our peace.
What we are doing right now by meeting in our church is not meant to be just another item in our already busy schedules for the week, but something unique and important that rises above our weekly activities.
Jesus told his disciples to come apart and rest, so that they could be renewed in spirit. It is this that we are doing this morning. In our worship, we are finding renewal in Jesus.
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for calling us apart to find rest in you. You have told us, “In the world, you will find tribulation, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” No matter what our present state is, whether we are nearly overcome with present difficulties, or whether we are experiencing a relatively peaceful time in our lives, we come to you today knowing that we will find a true and lasting peace in you. Amen.
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many dwellings. If this were not so I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also… Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Prayer of Confession
Sovereign God, we confess that we sometimes allow ourselves to become so preoccupied by various matters in our lives that we have little or no time to be still and recognize your place as our Lord and our God. Please forgive us for letting our relationship with you slip away because of other troubling matters of our lives. Help us to learn and be silent before you as you speak to us in your Holy Spirit. Amen
The events of the world will always make their presence in our lives and disturb our peace, but God tells us that we need to set aside times when we can simply be silent before him. This is so we can know him. It is only by knowing God and determining what he is doing in our lives that our lives can truly be lives of peace. He will always be there to uphold you and sustain you even in the most difficult of times. And he is there to give you moments of rest.
The Lord’s Prayer
OT – Habakkuk 2:2-4
Then the LORD answered me: “Write down this vision and clearly inscribe it on tablets, so that a herald may run with it. For the vision awaits an appointed time; it testifies of the end and does not lie. Though it lingers, wait for it, since it will surely come and will not delay. Look at the proud one—his soul is not upright. But the righteous will live by faith. Indeed, his wealth will betray him.
NT – Philippians 3:7-9
But whatever things were gain to me I count as being lost for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness that might come from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God on the basis of faith.
Responsorial Reading (from Proverbs 16, Psalm 62)
To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.
All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Message Of Camels and Needles
Our Lord, first of all we want to praise you for your desire to hear our prayers. We come to seek an audience before the Great King of kings and the Sovereign Lord of lords, and yet we need not tremble before such power, because we come to you based not upon our own goodness, but upon your grace.
Thank you Lord for the grace that you give to hear our prayers.
As we go through the days and the years of this life, troubles sometimes seem to come at every hand. Before many of these troubles, we are powerless. But you are a God of unlimited power, so we ask you to intervene to help us and deliver us.
We bring the prayer requests of our fellow Christians, who in some places of the world are in deep persecution. We also bring those requests that we have already heard, as well as others that have not been spoken this morning. Some brothers and sisters here today have problems that are perhaps too personal to share. Others just do not easily speak out prayer requests. We pray also for these. Give to them your aid.
We ask that you be with the people and orphans of the Log Church of Kenya. Please sustain them by your miraculous hand. When they have no food in their store-room or in their stomachs, feed them with you manna from heaven. Lead them into a closer walk with you, and help them to share the news of your love to all in the area.
We continue to pray also for our own needy nation. Our own needs in this nation are more spiritual than they are physical, but our lack of spiritual nutrition has consequences even more severe than if they were merely physical. Awaken us from our spiritual starvation and lead us back to you.
Thank you for your gracious answer to all of our prayers.
Thank you Father, for listening to the voices of all of your servants. Amen