Mid-Week Worship - Our Providing God
words by David Hollows
Our Providing God
A prayer: we confess our sin, gracious God. We confess our deliberate frustration of your will for us and our pretence to follow our own will instead. We confess our deliberate turning from the vision you give us, too scared and too selfish to want to serve as you call. We confess there are many things in our lives of which we are not even aware that are contrary to the way you want us to be. Forgive us for the sin of which we are aware and the sin so deep we cannot see. Cleanse us completely, we pray, that we might love and serve you with faithful hearts and fruitful lives and the good news of the Gospel be known even through our lives. We ask this in the name of Jesus.
'I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord, yes, in the presence of all His people., in the courts of the Lord’s house and in the midst of Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!'
(Psalm 116 verses 17 to 19).
Praise time: as you continue in the presence of God, please bring to Him your songs of praise. You may wish to use CDs and/or YouTube and you may like to include the following song:
'I will sing unto the Lord' (Mission Praise 316)
Photo by Diego PH via Unsplash
Prayers: please now bring to God your prayers of praise and thanksgiving for all the many gifts you have received from His hand. You may wish to include the following prayer:
We thank you that from the beginning of the world you have watched over and cared for each and every person. We thank you for sending Jesus, the person of perfection, who revealed your love in healing, forgiving, encouraging and challenging ways. We thank you for filling us with your Spirit of life and love and who enables us to know you and love you. Thank you, God, for all that you have done for us, even when we have not known or appreciated your activity on our behalf. We thank you in the name of Jesus.
Bible reading: the second book of Kings chapter 4 verses 1 to 7.
Key idea: Your handmaid has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.
(2 Kings chapter 4 verse 2b).
Three hundred children were dressed and seated for breakfast and a prayer of thanks was offered for the food. But there was no food! Situations like this were not unusual for orphanage director and missionary George Mueller (1805 – 1898) Here was another opportunity to see how God would provide. Within minutes of the prayer, a baker, who could not sleep the night before, showed up at the door with three batches of extra bread he had made. Not long after, the town milkman appeared. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage and, not wanting the milk to spoil, he offered it to Mueller. Answered prayer, again.
Throughout the Bible, the stories remind us of how God provides. In the story of Elisha and the family with only the one jar of oil, God provided not only for the family and Elisha on that one occasion but for Elisha in the following months as the family provided him with a room whenever he passed.
Other famous stories where God has provided food/liquids for His people include manna and quail for the Israelites in the desert (Exodus chapter 16) the boy with the picnic lunch which fed thousands (Matthew chapter 16) God even used ravens and angels to feed Elijah (1 Kings chapter 19).
God provides in many other ways as well, not just for the physical needs of our bodies. There are many stories where God has provided a way out for His people. There is the famous story of Rahab who secured the safety of the spies and allowed them to escape (Joshua chapter 2) and similarly for Paul who escaped from a tricky situation in a basket (Acts chapter 9). In the story of Esther we learn how the people of God escaped possible extinction at the hands of Haman (Esther chapter 7) and in the Exodus story of how the Hebrews escaped from the slavery of Egypt (Exodus chapter 14).
There are many stories which evidence how God provides healing. Naaman, the Syrian army general, is healed of leprosy (2 Kings chapter 5) Jesus heals many people including the blind man (John chapter 9) whereas for Elijah the healing is from depression and doubt (1 Kings chapter 19).
God also provides relationship. God created Adam for relationship with himself and then Eve for relationship with Adam (Genesis chapter 1). Through Abraham God created a very special and unique relationship with the Hebrews (Leviticus chapter 26) a relationship that God wanted to be an example to the other nations in the area. Paul develops this idea further thousands of years later when he explains that God wants to be in relationship with everyone, hence the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans chapter 9 verse 25).
God also provides salvation. God saved Jacob and his family with all the peoples of the area from a severe famine as God used Joseph in the key post of administration in Egypt (Genesis chapter 42). God saved His people from many armies, the story of Gideon being just one example (Judges chapter 7). God saved Saul from religious extremism in order to become a great missionary being used by God to save thousands of lives (Acts chapter 9). The ultimate offer of salvation for all eternity is in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (John chapter 3 verse 16).
God also provides hope, forgiveness, a future, freedom and so much more. Hopefully, you will be able to think of other ways in which God provides and stories from the Bible to match.
Your life journey of faith is example enough of how God provides. Why not share your story with others that they too may know the wonderful provision of our awesome God?
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash
A prayer of response: Lord Jesus, we pray that we might be amongst those who readily mention your name and tell others of the great things God has done for us. May we be one of those who share our faith and tell of how you provide for us that others may come to know you and receive life in all its fullness in you.
Prayers for others: please use this time now to ask God to bless those whom you know who really do need His blessing of provision at this time. Please pray also for those in our world who need God’s provision as well, especially the children in the difficult parts of our world. You may wish to include this prayer:
We pray for children who are insecure because of relationships at home or in school. For those children who live in the world’s danger spots and experience warfare and enmity. For those who have watched their homes destroyed and family members killed. For children who are handicapped or ill and those in areas of poverty and deprivation. We pray for the child refugees and migrants and for those at risk of exploitation. Father God, we pray that you will meet every need. In the name of Jesus, we pray.
The Lord’s Prayer
Praise time: please now sing to God your favourite songs of praise and you may wish to include the following:
'Lord of all creation' (Mission Praise 440)
'For the might of your arm we bless you' (Mission Praise 154)
The Blessing: We have laid our burdens down in the presence of the living God. We have been nourished for our journey in the presence of our God who provides. God grant that you will now lead us, guide us, defend us and provide for our every need as we go into your world.
Extra; if you have access to YouTube either on-line or TV, please try this new worship song;
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash
Thank you for sharing your worship with us.
God bless you