Let’s read aloud together the following passage and prayer:
Ephesians 3.16-19 (NIV) 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
“Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves
to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and
inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all
adversities that may happen to the body, and from all evil
thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus
Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” (The Book of Common Prayer)
Prayer: Father, I need your power to grasp, experience and know your love for me and for others. Fill me once again today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “I Need You More” by Bethel (click here)
1 Corinthians 13:1-2 (NIV) 1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
“Love must be the motivation for all we do in ministering to others. People are not a notch in our belt. People are not a testimony for us to share. People are not evidence of how spiritual or gifted or pleasing to God we are…Our primary goal in ministering to others is to show them how much God loves them. Whether they are healed or not, whether they experience breakthrough or not, they should always leave a conversation with us feeling more loved by God and more loved by us. How we treat people matters very much to Jesus. Our motivating factor and primary goal must always be love.” (Brian Blount, Putting Jesus on Display with Love and Power)
This week, when God gives us an opportunity to minister to someone, whether it’s through prayer, a word of encouragement, or service in various forms, let’s pray that the love of God will be experienced and made real through us.
Prayer: Father, we pray, may everything we do communicate your love for the person that you have brought in our lives to serve. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “Build My Life” by Passion (click here)
Luke 7:7-8 (NIV) But say the word, and my servant will be healed.8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
“During the ten-month period of ineffectual prayer I underwent many changes…This period of failure was a learning experience, a time in which I was purged of my pride and self-sufficiency… God had first to cleanse a vessel before it was fit to fill with his precious oil of healing. I believe God began healing the sick through me only after I came to a place of total dependence on his grace and mercy. I also learned about obedience to God’s word. In the past I had been able to get some good results without God’s help. But praying for the sick was different. I realized that I could get no results without God’s anointing. My job was to obey, pray, and rely on his sovereign mercy; his part was to heal.” (John Wimber, Power Healing)
As we seek God’s power wrapped in love, let’s humbly seek to obey God’s word and rely on his compassion and mercy.
Prayer: Father, help us to grow in obedience to your word, to pray and not give up and rely not on our resources but on your compassion and mercy that is always available. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “More Like Jesus” by Passion (click here)
Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV) 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
“Now I wanted to love others. I wanted to minister to people. I liked the idea of leading a small group. But ‘wanting’ and ‘liking’ is altogether different from having the burning heart of compassion of Jesus. It was humbling and sobering to have that reality check. For a season I prayed ‘Lord, please use me.’ Every morning, the first thing out of my mouth ‘Lord, use me, use me, use me.’ But after some time the words began to change, the words became ‘Lord, make me use-able, make me usable.’ Now there’s a subtle but important difference between the two isn’t there? ‘Use me’ presumed I was somehow ready or worthy or capable of being used by Jesus. But ‘make me use-able,’ I was humbly asking the Lord of the harvest for more workers and Lord willing, let it be me. Let it be me, Lord. Let me burn with your compassion.” (P. Lee)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, make us more and more like you. Make us use-able to reach someone with your love and power for your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “Unwavering” by Matt Maher (click here)
Matthew 14:14 (NIV) 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
“Some people talk about Jesus having a ‘healing ministry’ or a ‘deliverance ministry.’ But more than anything, Jesus’ ministry was a ‘people ministry.’ It’s out of his love for people that he demonstrated his power—to heal the man with leprosy, to deliver the woman from affliction, to restore a child back to their parents, to share a meal with people who were poor, tired and hungry. All healings, deliverances from demons, resurrections, signs and wonders were like hugs and kisses from a good God to the battered and broken ones standing before Jesus… Each manifestation of His Spirit was like an individually wrapped gift Jesus gave that went far beyond meeting the person’s immediate need.” (Brian Blount, Putting Jesus on Display with Love and Power, 171-2)
Jesus’ power to heal the sick was a display of his love for the people he saw. He saw each person and had compassion for them. As we go about our day, may God give us his eyes to see people as he sees them.
Prayer: Father, give us eyes to see people as you do. Use us to put Jesus on display as we minister to people you lead us to with your love and power. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “I Speak Jesus” by Charity Gayle (click here).
Let’s read aloud the following passage, confession and prayer.
Acts 1:9, 2:17-18 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy
The Cape Town Commitment: We Love the Holy Spirit
We love the Holy Spirit within the unity of the Trinity, along with God the Father and God the Son. He is the missionary Spirit sent by the missionary Father and the missionary Son, breathing life and power into God’s missionary Church. We love and pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit because without the witness of the Spirit to Christ, our own witness is futile. Without the convicting work of the Spirit, our preaching is in vain. Without the gifts, guidance and power of the Spirit, our mission is mere human effort. And without the fruit of the Spirit, our unattractive lives cannot reflect the beauty of the gospel.
Prayer: Father, thank you for empowering us to witness Jesus in this world. Fill us with your Spirit to be your witnesses and speak the things of heaven. Increase your Spirit’s activity through us to our campuses and cities. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “Fullness” by Elevation Worship (click here).
Joshua 1:7-8 (NIV) 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
“Here God is showing exactly what the Lord requires of his people, to live in the blessing and the outcome of these walls coming down, that we are to live in full obedience, simply that, to do exactly what the Lord commands us to do…When it says ‘Be strong and courageous’… it’s in regards to obedience to the Lord. Do not be afraid to obey, do not be afraid to do exactly what the Lord tells you…Lord, we will take the words you gave to Joshua, we will not walk in step with our old emotions, old fears and hurts, our own thoughts and our own ways. Instead, we will walk in step with you, in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading and guiding.” (Pastor Gus’ message)
Prayer: Holy Spirit, I respond with a yes right now. As you lead me to obey, it doesn’t matter what I feel, I choose to say yes to what you have said. Give me courage to walk in step with you in this way each moment. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “He Lives In Me” by Sinach (click here).
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV) 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
“..the Holy Spirit leads and guides and touches every area of our lives to bring his truth, his healing, his freedom, his forgiveness, and faith…The Lord will not let us move forward until we come before him and experience his healing, experience his wholeness, experience him changing us, taking us to a place of repentance, saying ‘God, these ways that I’ve lived with, that’s been formed in me, is not who I am nor something I should live in. Lord, I turn in repentance, teach me how to obey.’ The Holy Spirit will not let us remain in the sinful and untransformed mind and emotions – this is the love of our God…The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to cleanse and heal those areas, to transform us into the image of Christ.” (P. Gus’ message)
Prayer: Father, because you love me so much, you won’t let me stay in my old ways, thank you. I welcome in your Holy Spirit’s ministry to show me why I am hitting this wall, to cleanse me from old ways of thinking and doing, to heal me where I am broken and transform me to be more like Jesus. Move me forward in the new ways of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “Holy Spirit” by Jesus Culture (click here).
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV) 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
“A seal was indeed a mark of ownership in the ancient world…Under the old covenant, the priest wore a seal engraved with the phrase, ‘Holy to the LORD’ (Exodus 28:36; 39:30)…In the new covenant era, the one true God has marked all of his people as belonging to himself by means of a seal…The Spirit is also a ‘deposit’ on the future inheritance of believers.” (Arnold, Clinton E., Ephesians, ZEGNT)
Praise the Lord that we can walk in this assurance of belonging to him and of our future with him, no matter what is going on inside of us or outside of us. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit!
Prayer: Father, thank you for this assurance from the Holy Spirit that we belong to you and that our future with you is secure. When doubts or insecurities start to creep in or things feel uncertain, remind us that our salvation comes from you and has been sealed already by your powerful presence. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s respond in worship with “How Great Thou Art (Until That Day)” by Matt Redman (click here).
John 14:16-17 (NIV) 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth…you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
“As Jesus is the voice and presence of God, the Spirit is the presence of Father and Son in this world, the one who mediates the divine truths and empowers God’s people. In the next two sections Jesus presents a remarkable truth. Our hope is tied up with the return of Christ and the home in heaven that awaits us. But in actuality there is a coming of Christ that precedes this and involves a home he makes in us through the Holy Spirit. The final promise involves our making a home in heaven; this intermediate promise involves the Triune Godhead making a home in us. So we already enjoy a touch of heaven, an exciting anticipation of what awaits us.” (Grant Osbourne, John Verse by Verse, 338)
What an incredible promise we have received, that the Living God has made his home in us through the Holy Spirit. We can experience the heavenly reality now because God has given us his very Spirit, who is with us and in us.
Prayer: Father, thank you for making your home in me through your Holy Spirit. Thank you that I do know the Spirit of truth, your very presence within me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s respond in worship with “All My Life” by Planetshakers (click here).