Let’s read aloud together the following scripture, confession and prayer:
Ezekiel 37:2-6 (NIV) He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”
“In the Old Testament we see the Spirit of God active in creation, in works of liberation and justice, and in filling and empowering people for every kind of service… Prophets also looked to the coming age that would be marked by the outpouring of God’s Spirit, bringing new life, fresh obedience, and prophetic gifting to all the people of God, young and old, men and women.” [The Cape Town Commitment, We love God the Holy Spirit]
Prayer: Spirit of God, we ask that you would breathe your breath of life into our children, our students, our Grads, and our Missional Groups. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Dry Bones” by Worship Central (click here).
1 Corinthians 14:24-25 (NLT) But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say. As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.”
“Mr. [Charles] Spurgeon looked at me as if he knew me, and in his sermon he pointed to me, and told the congregation that I was a shoemaker, and that I kept my shop open on Sundays; and I did, sir. I should not have minded that; but he also said that I took ninepence that Sunday before, and that there was fourpence profit out of it. I did take ninepence that day, and fourpence was just the profit; but how he should know that, I could not tell. Then it struck me that it was God who had spoken to my soul through him, so I shut up my shop the next Sunday. At first, I was afraid to go again to hear him, lest he should tell the people more about me; but afterwards I went, and the Lord met with me, and saved my soul.” [Sam Storms, The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts, Kindle 113]
Prayer: God, whether for an unbelievers’ salvation or for believers’ strengthening, encouraging, and comfort, let us know it is you who has spoken. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song, “Here Again” by Elevation Worship (click here).
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 (NIV) Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good.
“Do not, he says, quench the Spirit by treating prophetic utterances with contempt. The proper solution to the problem of potential abuse is not to throw out the baby with the bath water; it is instead to ‘test everything’ (5:21a). Paul strikes a careful balance here: ‘Because such utterances are from the Holy Spirit, they must not be despised, but also because such utterances come through merely human vessels,’ they are not to be accepted blindly just because someone claims to have the Spirit… Once a prophecy has been ‘tested,’ the next step is clear: Hold on firmly to those that are good, and have nothing to do with those that are not.” [Michael W. Holmes, NIVAC: 1 & 2 Thessalonians, pp. 184-5]
If the word is something about your future, write it down or store it in your memory, and wait on God to reveal the fuller meaning. If the word is immediately applicable, let it sink deep in, let it be directional, let it change you, let it make you feel especially loved and remembered by God.
Prayer: Father, help us to hold on to what is good, to remember, to stay affected, to be formed and filled by what you would say to us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song, “Goodness of God” by Bethel Music (click here).
Let’s read aloud together the following scriptures, confession and prayer:
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (NIV) Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Heidelberg Catechism (Lord’s Day 21) Q. What do you understand by “the communion of saints”? A. First, that believers one and all, as members of this community, share in Christ and in all his treasures and gifts.
Second, that each member should consider it a duty to use these gifts readily and joyfully for the service and enrichment of the other members.
1 Corinthians 14:3 (NIV) But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
Prayer: Father, thank you for the myriad of the wonderful gifts of the Spirit given to the church, given to us, given to me. May there be more to come in our churches as we faithfully and joyfully share in our gifts. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song, “More to Come” by Passion Music (click here).
1 Corinthians 14:1 (NIV) Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.
“Paul valued this gift so highly that he told the Corinthians, ‘Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy‘ (1 Cor. 14:1). Then at the end of his discussion of spiritual gifts he said again, ‘So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy‘ (1 Cor. 14:39). If Paul was eager for the gift of prophecy to function at Corinth, troubled as the church was by immaturity, selfishness, divisions, and other problems, then should we not also actively seek this valuable gift in our congregations today?” [Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, Kindle 1311]
Prophecy is a love gift–its motivation is love, its expression is love, its fruit is love. When we engage in prophetic prayer and encouragement, we are engaging in love. It’s as if the supernatural touches down in that moment of prayer, in that moment of sharing; and in that time and space, we know God exists, we know he loves us, and we know he is speaking in our language to tell us so. Therefore, prophecy is available to all Christians.
Prayer: Father, may our love for you compel us into love for our brothers and sisters where we will be eager to minister in the gifts of your Spirit, especially prophecy. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song, “How Great is Your Love” by Phil Wickham (click here).