“T” of Romanesque church from an illuminated Bible. Italy (Cremona) 15th cent.
165 people in our community are currently praying with you.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer of St. Chrysostom
Almighty God, Who has given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee and does promise that when two or three are gathered together in Thy name you will grant their requests; fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of your servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the world to come life everlasting,
Sunday Prayer to Do God’s Will
Almighty God, today I celebrate the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, the supreme victory over death that belongs to you alone. I pray that I may, today and in the coming week, act in appreciation of the ultimate gift you have given to me and to all who confess the name of Christ.
As you have commanded us, let me be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work; let me speak evil of no one and avoid quarreling. Give me the strength to be gentle, to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Fill me with love and humility.
For I was once foolish, disobedient, led astray—a slave to all sorts of passions and pleasures, passing my days in malice and envy, sometimes hating others. But when the goodness and loving kindness of Christ called me to you, He saved me, not because of works done by my own righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on me in rich abundance. And now, through Jesus Christ my Savior, being justified by his grace, I have become heir to the hope of eternal life.
Make my heart clean within me, I pray, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that my every thought and deed will reflect the graciousness of the salvation given to me, not by my merit but by your love; and that I may continue to learn your word, and accept even what I do not want to hear, and always act in accordance with your will. In the name of Christ I pray,
Mason Barge 5/2/2014
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week takes us to a Mennonite service in Ohio. If you like to sing harmony, here’s your chance!
Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
Bound in affliction and irons—
Because they rebelled against the words of God,
And despised the counsel of the Most High,
Therefore He brought down their heart with labor;
They fell down, and there was none to help.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
And broke their chains in pieces.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He has broken the gates of bronze,
And cut the bars of iron in two.
Galatians 6:1-3 (ESV)
When Other People Sin
rothers and sisters, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Notes on the Scripture
The first sentence teaches us how we should treat another Christian who has done something wrong. How do you treat a fellow believer who has committed adultery, or used profane language, or some other obvious sin? First off, of course, Christ forbids you to judge the person. Repeatedly in the New Testament, He tells us that we should not worry about the splinter in someone else’s eye, when there is a giant arrow in our own eye; that we should “not judge, lest [we] be judged.” We even pray that God will forgive us for our sins as we forgive the sins of others.
But we should not sit on our hands. Paul tells us, here, to restore the person in a spirit of gentleness, and I cannot overemphasize the word “gentleness.” Someone who has done something wrong, or perceives an accusation, will become extraordinarily defensive. Criticism is soft in the mind of the speaker, but a hundred times louder in the ear of the person who feels accused. Often, people will become defensive when no criticism is even intended.
Before you speak to anyone, you must examine your heart deeply and honestly: Do you feel judgmental? Do you think the person should be punished? If you do, you should probably keep your mouth shut. You are not going to “restore” someone to faith if he perceives any judgment or anger; you are, instead, going to make him angry and drive him to rationalizing his error, making excuses, and all other sorts of natural human behavior we all use to protect our egos.
Someone should talk to the person who has the knack of doing it in the true spirit of love, often someone who has a good relationship with him. In our pride, it is often hard for us to admit that somebody else can do a better job at this than we can.
The second sentence warns us not to be tempted ourselves, if we try to help another person avoid temptation. In some cases, this is easy; for example, a woman who has no desire at all to cheat on her husband, will not suddenly be filled with lust for other men just because she talks to a friend who is having an affair.
But a drug addict or alcoholic, especially one who has only been sober a short while, must be careful when trying to help other addicts. This can be a difficult decision, because former addicts can be the most effective people possible at helping addicts; they just need to pay special attention not to be tempted themselves.