DEVOTIONAL SACRED SEASON
DAY 20 and 40 - 24th June, 14th July
PRAYER TIME FOR DAY 20 and 40 - JUNE 24th and 14th July
Especially designed for zoom prayer times during the Sacred Season of Prayer and Fasting but can be used in face to face prayer times as well. Spontaneous prayer is offered in times of prayers of praise and confession from group members using if possible some of themes in the psalm or scripture reading. The prayers for others can also be prayed spontaneously and can weave in thoughts from scripture reading, passage from Basis of Union and devotional reading.
PEOPLE OF GOD ON THE WAY?
DR DAVID POHLMANN
Dr David Pohlmann has post-graduate qualifications in human behaviour, ministry, education, and chaplaincy. He is
currently the minister in placement at Mt Louisa House of Praise in Townsville. He is a Teacher of the ACC School of Faith.
BIBLE READINGS: Hebrews 12:5-6
And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Hebrews 12:5-6 (NIV)
PRAYERS OF PRAISE AND ADORATION
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
BIBLE READINGS: Hebrews 4:12; Hebrews 12:5-11; James 5:19-20
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 12:5-11 (NIV) And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline —then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
James 5:19-20 (NIV) My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
PARAGRAPH 1: BASIS OF UNION
The Uniting Church affirms that she belongs to the people of God on the way to the promised end. She prays God that, through the gift of the Spirit, he will constantly correct that which is erroneous in her life, will bring her into deeper unity with other Churches, and will use her worship, witness and service to his eternal glory through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.
Jesus Christ has been walking alongside of us as a church for this past 41 years, and of course for so much longer through our predecessor churches. I can imagine there have been many times he has been tempted to leave us to our own devices rather than demonstrating his abundant Grace time and time again…the grace that draws us back to his liberating hope. In our Basis of Union we pray “that, through the gift of the Spirit, God will constantly correct that which is erroneous in its life, …and will use its worship, witness and service to God's eternal glory through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen. We are indeed the people of God on the way.
God has a way of cutting through the rubbish in our lives and getting to the
heart of a matter.
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews puts it like this: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb 4:12, ESV). God speaks in this way, not to slap us down when we get things wrong, but to give us another go…an act of spacious grace! He frees us to begin again, with a sense of rekindled hope. The author of the book of Hebrews (12:5-11), reminds us again that such correction and exhortation emanates from the parental relationship God has with us…His children on the Way. Not to face this correction along the way, may even make us question our parentage…but to be corrected is to be loved.
In his letter, James reminds us that while on that way “if anyone among [us]
wanders from the truth and [one of us] brings him [or her] back, let [them]
know that whoever brings back a sinner from ….wandering will save [their]
soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20, ESV. Such
correction is also an act of love. Perhaps such loving correction comes through the inter-related councils of the church, as they seek to discern what the Spirit is saying about what is right and what is erroneous in the Church’s life?
Gracious God and Father
We acknowledge that we have not always travelled your way. And yet you
remain with us on the journey. We repent of the times when we have gotten it
wrong, and we thank you for your abundant grace and faithfulness to us. Help us
to remember that you Lord, discipline the ones who love. Thank you for treating
us as your children – help us to hear your voice. Free us from the bondage of sin
and give us the strength to heed your voice with the hope that we shall live.
For Christ’s sake, Amen.
PRAYERS FOR OTHERS
CONFESSION FROM BASIS OF UNION
Within this fellowship of the Uniting Church in Australia, and as part of the Christian church around the world, let us confess Christ in the following words from the Basis of Union.
Today we ‘confess Jesus as Lord over (our) own life’ and ‘Head over all things, the beginning of a new creation, of a new humanity’.
Let us reaffirm our desire ‘to live and work within the faith and unity of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church’.
We joyously ‘acknowledge that Christ alone is supreme in his Church’ and declare our ‘readiness to go forward together in sole loyalty to Christ the living Head of the Church’.
We acknowledge ‘the need for a constant appeal to Holy Scripture’,
and declare ourselves ready to ‘hear anew the commission of the Risen Lord to make disciples of all nations’.
With the gracious help of God our congregations are committed to serve the world for which Christ died, and…await with hope the day of the Lord Jesus Christ
on which it will be clear that the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of the Christ, who shall reign for ever and ever.’ Amen.
Nb. The words in quotation marks are direct quotes from the Basis of Union
Prepared by Rev Rod James.