ALL TO WORSHIP:
ONE: God, our God, how glorious is Your name in all the earth!
ALL: Your glory is sung by all Your creation!
ONE: When we look to the heavens, the work of Your hands, the moon and the stars, we wonder- who are we that You care for us and for this world?
ALL: You are the God of life, crowning us with glory and honour to serve You all our days. 0 God, our God, how glorious is Your name in all the earth!
OPENING PRAYER: Be gracious to us today our Lord, for we are in need of Your mercy. We are often too quick to doubt and slow to pray. We are tempted to let go of faith when we need to hang on. We are discouraged by wrong when we need to be encouraged by Your Spirit. 0 God, we are thankful for the strength You give us to trust in You all the days of our lives. Amen.
Dear Lord, we offer our gifts to You, who claims us as children, who names us beloved, and who celebrates our presence. Use these gifts and our service to further Your kingdom. Thanks be to God. Amen
PRAYER & THE LORD'S PRAYER: (Choir sings 0 Lord, hear my prayer )
Lord God, You are the father of all people and we come before You today with our prayers, knowing that You will hear us, help us and guide us.
We have come together in the name of Christ to offer our praise and thanksgiving, to hear and receive God's holy Word, and to pray for the needs of the world. We come to seek the forgiveness of our sins, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we may give ourselves to the service of God. As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of Your presence, 0 God, set our hearts on fire with love for You, now and forever.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one, as our Saviour has taught us, so we pray: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.
SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 2:1-10 (Page 41-8)
When Hannah, received the child Samuel she had begged God for, her first instinct is to praise the One who provided. She wants to thank Him for His greatness and His deliverance. Too often we pray before receiving, but forget to pray after God answers. Let this prayer, Hannah's prayer of praise, guide you in thanks.
EDITATION: Teach Me To Pray
A five year old girl was attending a formal wedding with her grandmother.
She had gone to Sunday school every week but she had never attended a formal church service. During the wedding, the minister said, "Let us pray." Each person bowed his or her head in prayer. The little girl looked around and saw all heads bowed and eyes turned toward the floor, and she whispered,
"Grandmother, what are they all looking for?"
That's the question: what are we all looking for when we pray? Prayer is
one of the most powerful privileges God has granted us. Prayer is a crucial and integral part of being a Christian. It's one of the most important things we can do. We need to know that even if all the world seems too busy, or when it seems like no one is listening to us, God is always there to hear our prayers and care about the things we do. We have a loving God with whom we can communicate, anytime, anywhere.
Just think about it — we can have a conversation with the creator of the entire universe! So how can we make our prayers the up close and personal interaction with God that we desire? Does anyone here like to talk on the phone? Do you Skype, email, message or text? Talking with people is important to us. We make sure we can communicate with others wherever and whenever we want. So if talking to other people is easy, and we do it all the time, why is it so hard spending time talking to God?
If you have a friend, you want to talk to him or her, and you want to hear what he or she has to say in return. Friends talk. They talk about all kinds of things. We're rarely too busy to communicate with our family and friends, so why do we say we're busy to talk with God? Or maybe it's because we don't see Him. Out of sight — out of mind. Or maybe it's because we just don't know how to talk to God. We might question whether He is really listening. Or maybe we think our problems are too small and inconsequential to bother God with.
Sometimes we wonder if God is really there, but trust me, He is. When we look around us and see all that has been created, we can't help but know that there is a God. In the past, and even now, people have pretended that God didn't exist. They wouldn't acknowledge Him as Creator or give thanks to Him for all that He had made. As a result, the Bible says, "Their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened."
I'm sure no one here wants anything like that to happen to us. And this gives us an excellent reason to pray. We're able to pray and give thanks to God for who He is and for all that He has done. If you don't pray already, perhaps a good way to start would be to pray and thank God when you notice something in nature that reminds you of who He is and what He has created.
If you stop and think about it, praying is really very easy. It's as simple as talking to someone you love. All you have to do is remember the 4 letters in the word TALK.
T: Take the time. Find time in your day to talk to God. Pray at the
same every day. Make it a habit, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
A: Ahhhhh Quiet! Find a quiet place. Turn off the TV, turn your music
off and find a way to escape. Sit out in your backyard, find a quiet corner or hide away in your bedroom if that's what it takes.
L: Learn from God's word. Read one verse a day. And if you're up for the
challenge, read one chapter a day. Try to understand what God is saying to you.
K: Keep a prayer plan. Write down praises, prayer requests or verses that
mean a lot to you. It's really easy. Take a look at your hand — you have 5 fingers, and there are 5 parts of prayer.
I'm going to pass around some jelly beans. I want each of you to take one jelly bean at random, but don't eat it until I tell you to. I went to a lot of trouble getting these jelly beans. I had to taste test several kinds before I made my final selection. And since it was a candy store, I also had to try several other kinds of candy and chocolates. So I hope you can appreciate the sacrifice I had to make.
Now, as they're passed around, let's think about when and why we are supposed to pray. As Christians, we are instructed to pray continually and to pray in every situation, especially if we are anxious about it. The reason for this is that prayer accomplishes things. Remember what Jesus said, "Whatever you ask in my name, the Father will give You." This means if you ask something which is in God's will for us, He will give it to us. We are also told if we pray with thanksgiving and present our requests to God, that the peace of God which passes all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. This is a very great promise, and it gives us a good reason to begin praying in every situation. What would the world give for peace of mind?
Alright, does everyone have a jelly bean? No, don't eat it just yet. Before
you do, I want to let you know that all the jelly beans are not the same. Some are sweet, some are hot and spicy, some are sour and some taste like dark chocolate.
If you get a sweet tasting jelly bean, I want you to thank God for a sweet time in your life. If your jelly bean is sour or bitter, ask God to help you add sweetness to someone else's day. If you taste hot and spicy, ask God to keep you excited about serving Him. And if the flavour of your jelly bean is dark chocolate, pray for someone who is going through a difficult time. Now, let's all taste and pray.
This jelly bean tasting exercise is a demonstration of how easy it is to pray. There is always something or someone to pray for. We are so fortunate to know God and know that He loves us. By praying to Him, by praising Him and giving Him thanks, our lives will be filled with the love, grace and goodness of God.
Offering praise at the beginning of our prayers is a way to focus us on the blessings we've received, and serves as a brief worship before starting our conversation with God, the creator of all things. We serve a God who cares deeply for His creation and longs so very much to be in a relationship with each and every one of us. Prayer is absolutely necessary to that relationship because prayer is the way we can talk personally and intimately with God.
Let us pray together. You'll find the prayer on the back of your bulletin.
Heavenly Father, You have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with Your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in Your ways today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel Your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering or embarrassing
others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labours of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray and pray in me. All this we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.
BENEDICTION & CHORAL AMEN: Loving God, we thank You for hearing our prayers, feeding us with Your word and encouraging us in our gathering today. Take us and use us to love and serve You and all people in the power of Your Spirit and in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
― Søren Kierkegaard