Mid-Week Worship - Our Releasing God
Words by David Hollows
Our Releasing God
A prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am a sinner. I confess my sins to you, especially those upon my conscience. (Pause to pray) I firmly believe that you died for me to take away my sins and, according to you promise, I now open my heart to you. I ask for your healing and restoration, please take me back. Come, Lord Jesus, and be my Saviour and Friend.
'You are my God and I will confess, praise and give thanks to you. You are my God and I will extol you. O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good: His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.'
(Psalm 118 verses 28 and 29)
Praise time: our God has invited you to come and share this time with Him and he loves to hear your praise. So, please bring to Him now your songs of praise: you may wish to use CDs or YouTube and you may like to include the following hymn;
Fill your hearts with joy and gladness (Mission Praise 147)
Prayers: as you continue in the presence of God, please speak with Him and share all the events of the past few days and thank Him for all the good gifts you have received from him. You may wish to include the following prayer:
Is not sight a jewel? Is not hearing a treasure? Is not speech a glory? O my Lord, pardon my ingratitude and pity my dullness for my lack of sensitivity of these and so many more wonderful gifts in my life that you have given me. I give you thanks for all of my life and I praise you for your many favours: help me to see each one, to count each one and to thank you for each one that my life may flow in ceaseless praise of all your goodness to me. In the name of Jesus, I pray.
Photo by Dawid Zawila via Unsplash
Bible reading: Acts chapter 16 verses 16 to 34
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God (Acts chapter 16 verse 25)
Nora was tiny in comparison to Bridget who was over six feet tall and very belligerent. Bridget was not in a good place emotionally and could have frightened anyone else but not Nora who was not intimidated by Bridget at all. Bridget could not explain to Nora why she had stopped at the crisis pregnancy centre or why she did not want to keep her baby. Nora gently asked the usual questions which Bridget either ignored or rudely answered. At the point when Bridget stood to leave, defiantly declaring her intent to end the pregnancy, Nora rose and positioned her small frame in between the door and Bridget.
Nora asked:’ before you go, may I give you a hug and may I pray for you?’
Suddenly and unexpectedly, the tears came.
(adapted from Our Daily Bread: August 15th 2020)
Release is a very important word and no less so than to God who can bring the required release into any person’s life for the necessary reasons no matter the person or the situation. Even for Bridget who encountered the love of God in Nora There is a whole range of situations and conditions which control us: financial, relational, health, gender.
The Bible reflects these life situations and points us to the solution: a God who wants us to be free to live our lives to the full – just as Jesus promised.
Within the physical world, the story of Joseph reminds us that he was released from the pit (Genesis chapter 37) and prison (Genesis chapter 41) because God had a greater purpose for his life.
Daniel’s friends were released from the fiery furnace (Daniel chapter 3), and Daniel from the lions’ den (Daniel chapter 6) in order to prove the relationship they had with their God who saves.
In the beautiful story of Naomi and Ruth (Ruth chapter 1) we have the emotional release that God provides to Naomi through Ruth and release from a life of poverty for them both.
In the encounter between Jesus and the woman brought to Him because of her alleged adultery, the woman is released from judgement and condemnation by Jesus as He turns the judgement to those males who brought her to Him (John chapter 8).
There is no one more surprised than Zacchaeus when Jesus invites himself for a meal and it is Zacchaeus who is released from his business corruption and avarice (Luke chapter 19).
In the Bible reading, God uses an earthquake to release Paul and Silas from the prison. God also uses the prayers and praises of both men to release the other prisoners and the jailor, with his family, from other forms of containment.
Doubtless you will be able to think of many more Bible examples of God’s release. Even today God is still in the business of releasing His people; Carolina (not her real name) lives in Colombia, her home was destroyed by a mob and she was asked to leave by the community leaders who warned her that, should she return, she would be killed. Carolina now runs a safe house supported by Open Doors, caring for those who have been forced to flee for safety.
(an extract from Open Doors – July 23rd 2020)
God wants us to be released from anxiety, worry, stress so that He can fill our lives with all the many good gifts He has stored up for us. We can choose to remain shackled to those parts of our lives, and indeed to other people, which restrain us or we can give God the permission to release us to become the people He wants us to be.
It’s your choice
Photo by Artem Kovalev via Unsplash
A prayer of response: Deliver me, O God, from all those parts and people in my life who constrain me. Deliver me from all lukewarmness and dejection of spirit. Mercifully free my heart that I may love others as you love me. Grant me a lively, active and cheerful spirit that may draw others to you. Release me, I pray, that I may serve you and be your child.
Prayers for others: please now pray for those who you know who need to be released from sickness, sadness, disability, worries and concerns. Pray also for those you encounter in the media and you may wish to use the following prayer;
Helper of all who are helpless, we call on you in times of stress and in times of devastation. Pick up the broken pieces of our hearts and lives, our homes and our history and restore them to the way they were or give us the means of starting all over again when all seems lost. O God, our help in ages past, release us that we may place all our hope in you.
The Lord’s Prayer
Praise time; please now use what time you have to sing your favourite songs/hymns to God. You may wish to include the following hymn;
Praise to the Lord (Mission Praise 564)
A Blessing from Psalm 115: He will bless those who reverently and worshipfully fear the Lord. May the Lord give you increase more and more to you and your children. May you be blessed of the Lord who made the heaven and the earth.
Extra; if you have access to YouTube either on-line or TV, please try this new worship song;
All creatures of our God and King – Keith and Kristyn Getty
Thank you for sharing your worship with us.
God bless you