Evening Prayer: December 4,, 2017
1. Take a moment of silence to calm and center yourself before God; before you begin to speak to God, first come to Him ready to quiet your heart and to listen. Allow the Holy Spirit to focus your attentions and affections as you begin.
2. Meditate on and consider Psalm 130 —
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.
8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (ESV)
3. One of the aspects of our faith that we often find difficult is waiting on the Lord to act in our lives. What are some things you long for the Lord to do in your life and through your life? Make your requests known to God and surrender those requests before Him according to his will, timing, and good purposes.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7
4. During the Christmas season amidst our celebrations and rejoicing we want to take time to remember that even though the joy of a born savior is for all people in all places that there are some who are especially burdened at this time of year. In our church family and certainly in our community there are those who are facing their first Christmas without a loved one that they lost this year. Let us remember that there are many in our community without the physical resources to provide the kind of celebrations many of us will enjoy with our families, and even more than that there are those struggling to provide the most basic of needs. God has sent Jesus into the world out of his great abundance of love and grace, and we should extend the grace of the advent of our Lord to those around us.
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
5. Take some time this evening to pray for Freshwater and all of our sister churches in our community. Pray that our ministry to our city during the Christmas season would embody the full weight of why Jesus came into the world. Pray that we would love people the way that Jesus does. Pray that the joy of Jesus’ incarnation would be evident in the way that we live together as a community of faith across many local churches in front of our city. Pray that Christmas joy would fill our worship services. Pray that on Christmas Eve many people who would not otherwise go to church would visit a local church, hear the Gospel, and give their lives to Christ. Pray about who you will invite to church this Christmas season.
6. Pray on behalf of three specific people, entreating God to act on their behalf, to meet their deepest and most real needs.
7. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.
Be blessed as you go; know that the work of prayer is a work of eternal significance.
“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world” -Karl Barth