Join us for a Prayer & Worship service on Tuesday, January 23rd, 7pm at our campus in Forest Dale
What is a prayer and worship service? In Romans chapter twelve, Paul outlines the marks of a Christian and amidst so many beautiful and Christ-like things, he says this: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (v.12) Hope... we have hope in Christ’s redeeming work on the cross. Rejoice, people of God! Patience... tribulation will come, and we ask of the Lord for patience in the duration as He works all things for our good. Constant, and unwavering in prayer... we are living in the new covenant: the veil has been torn and we can come before our Creator in ceaseless prayer. What a gift; what a privilege.
Dear Church, simply put, a prayer and worship service is our coming together to practice what Paul has said we ought to be doing as believers. Scripture tells us many times and in many ways to be a people that pray! That is broad answer for why we would have such a service, but if you would, allow me to offer a few specifics in the hope you’ll find encouragement and inspiration to join us in this venture.
Why prayer? Since the first church in Acts, group prayer has been vital. As the church in Acts began to carry out the Great Commission, they needed the strength, encouragement, and unity that comes from praying together. We need these things today just as much and more!
Our heart at Furnace Brook is to see our reach extended into every zip code in Rutland County—there are so many unchurched out there; so many who don’t know the One who made them and loves them. While we labor, we invite the laborers—you, and me!—to find rest, peace, and strength in the hearing of the Word; to be encouraged and unified as we lift one another’s burdens to the Lord together; and to seek the Lord’s will for us: individually and corporately.
Why worship? In a service devoted to the lifting of prayers and petitions to the Lord, we add songs of praise, reflection, thanksgiving, and hope. I’ve heard it said that songs of worship are simply prayers said to a beat. Just as we often find ourselves making another’s words our own when offering an “Amen” to a corporate prayer, we can offer the lyrics of a song sung in unison as a corporate prayer to the Lord.
Why me? As His created, our purpose is to glorify God with our being. As part of the body of Christ, you are as vital as the next person. We are commanded to pray for and encourage one another. We have been given the charge to spread the name and Hope of Christ to all and to grow in our faith and love. That is a high and challenging calling; we ought to bring before the Lord our difficulties, struggles, plans, and dreams. We want to seek God’s will for ourselves, for our church, for our impact on our communities. It’s our duty and our privilege to do this together!
The following topics will be a focus of our evening together. Please feel free to ponder them and begin praying before and after we gather together. We hope to see you there!
Our witness in places we live, work, and learn
Boldness to evangelize in our conversations
Fertile soil in the hearts of the unchurched
Increased affections in our hearts for His cause
Strength and courage for our spiritual leaders
Revival in Forest Dale, Brandon, Pittsford, and Rutland
This guest post is written by Stephanie Rue who serves along side her husband, Frank, as worship leaders here at Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church.
I read recently that the job of the church is to know Christ and to make Christ known. I like that, both for how succinct it is and for how true. And we can all agree with that tidy equation, but when it comes to living it out we find a great difficulty in moving beyond the "knowing Christ" aspect to the business of "making Christ known." Every year I preach on the Triumphal Entry, an important biblical event recorded in all four of the gospels. But what I actually preach on each year is the Triumphal Approach, strictly speaking. To be fair, that's where all the drama is: the borrowed ass, the angry Pharisees, the delirious crowds with their shouts and branches, a dusty road paved in clothing sacrificed to the dignity of a shabby king.But we are drawn to the place outside the walls where the long time disciples intersect with those who've been drawn out of the city to meet him. We like that place. That's a safe place where almost everyone loves Jesus and agrees about him. That's a place where the shouts of "Hosanna!" get lost in the crescendo of praise.But the point of the Triumphal Entry is not that we lined the road in exuberant worship. The point of the Triumphal Entry is that he used that road to enter. The cloaks got picked up and dusted off. The palm fronds withered and blew away. The stretch of road from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem was empty again and twice as quiet after all the clamor.And the party outside the walls didn't follow Jesus into the city. Inside the city it was harder, louder, more crowded. But he was triumphantly in. "And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, 'Who is this?'" Too often we practice church like we're all about the Triumphal Approach and lack any appetite for the Triumphal Entry. But no one ever erected a war monument to commemorate a beautifully designed and pleasantly arranged military encampment, complete with pretty uniforms and colorful pennants. The monuments are reserved for the battles that were fought in service of great causes.Years from now I don't want people to say of us that we had a lovely church or even that we really knew Christ. I want them to say of us that we made Christ known, that we took him through the walls of the indifferent city and that when Jesus went into our town, "the whole city was stirred up, saying 'Who is this?'"
Call to Repentance Hebrews 12:22-24 (page 1878)
Call to Worship Psalm 24 (page 862)
OT Reading Jonah 3 (page 1438)
NT Reading Hebrews 9:24-27 (page 1872)
Message The Perpetual Approach Matthew 21:10 (page 1532)
This Sunday we're going to carry on with the passage in the Gospel of John in which Jesus begins poignantly revealing the nature of his death to his disciples, and wrestling with it at the same time. In these two verses we get the closest thing in Scripture to recorded dialog within the Trinity, as the Father responds to the Son's affirmation of his filial devotion. One of the hardest things in the Christian life is saying with our Savior "Yet not my will but yours." Those moments where I must chose between my way and His glory pose the greatest threat to my devotion, but they also express the most dynamic potential for spiritual growth.
Call to Repentance James 4:6-8 (page 1884)
Call to Worship Psalm 29 (page 867)
OT Reading Genesis 3:6-7, 21-24 (page 5)
NT Reading Revelation 7:9-17 (page 1921)
Message Resigned to Glory John 12:27-28 (page 1672)