A Prayer

Grant us, we beseech Thee, Almighty and most merciful God, fervently to desire, wisely to search out and perfectly to fulfil, all that is well-pleasing unto Thee this day. Order Thou our worldly condition to the glory of Thy Name; and, of all that Thou requires us to do, grant us the knowledge, the desire, and the ability, that we may so fulfil it as we ought; and may our path to Thee, we pray, be safe, straightforward, and perfect to the end.

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know Thee, diligence to seek Thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace Thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

–Thomas Aquinas

Pentecost Readings

CALL TO WORSHIP

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Come and worship God the Father.

He raised the Jesus from the dead by the Holy Spirit,

to reign at his right hand in majesty.

And he makes us his royal priesthood to reign with him!

Glory to God in the highest!

Come and worship God the Son.

He poured out his life unto death for us.

And he rose again to pour out his Holy Spirit upon us!

Glory to God in the highest!

Come and worship God the Holy Spirit.

He breathed life into creation in the beginning,

and brings our broken, dead world back to life again.

And he brings us into one body in Christ

with love that breaks through all barriers

of tribe and tongue, culture and color!

Glory to God in the highest!

Let us worship God through the Spirit of our risen Lord.

Amen!

CONFESSION OF SIN

Our exalted Lord Jesus,

you poured out your Holy Spirit upon your church

to fill us with new life and power to love you and serve you.

We confess that we resist and grieve your Spirit,

rejecting the truth of your word that he illumines for us,

refusing to glorify you as he directs us.

We love the way of death and slavery to sin

rather than true freedom and life in your Spirit;

we act in hatred, immorality, and anger

and not in the righteousness, peace, and joy of your Spirit.

Have mercy on us, and forgive us all of our sins.

Renew us and lead us by your Holy Spirit,

so that we may be filled with all life and power that you have promised to us.

–Michael A. Farley

A Father’s Day Prayer

Minister:  Our Father in heaven, on this Father’s Day, we are once again reminded that You have revealed in Your Word who You are to us.

People:  You are not only our Creator, our Ruler, our Lord, but a Father to us.

Minister:  You established family and appointed men to be heads of their households and earthly representations of You.

People: Thank you for the precious gift of fathers.

Minister: We pray for men who have courageously assumed this sacred role of reflecting  who You are on earth.

People: Would You father them, mentor them, and give them hearts like Yours?

Minister: When they face the difficult task of teaching their children to walk upright:

People: Would You help them not to be afraid to discipline, yet to be known by their children for their compassion, tenderness, mercy, and wisdom?

Minister: When they are engaged in the spiritual battles of keeping their families faithful:

People: Would You anoint them to be warriors of prayer, defenders of the Truth, and guardians of the faith of their children’s souls?

Minister: When they are bombarded with the lies of the world that portrays a twisted view of what a father should be:

People: Would You enable them to hold their ground, make them light in darkness, and living examples of Yourself to this Fatherless world?

Minister: O Father, You know the hidden fears fathers have, when they are unable to provide and protect due to loss of income or health, or the increase of needs:

People: Would You grant them understanding children, free them from the pride of self-reliance, and help them find strength as fathers by putting trust in You?

Minister: We pray for fathers who are striving to balance the demands of work, marriage, children and Kingdom service with both joy and sacrifice.

People: Would You bless their efforts and reward them with the fruits of their labor?

Minister: We pray, on this day, specifically for the spiritual fathers of the church, our elders and leaders, for You know the weighty tasks they are confronted with daily.

People: Would uphold them, sustain them, help them walk blamelessly before You,  and grow in them knowledge and understanding of Your Truth, so that they may effectively father and shepherd those under their care.

Minister: And we pray for ourselves who have all been fathered.

People: Would you teach us how we may best love, honor, support and take care of  our fathers, in prayer and in deed?  Help us overlook their short-comings but carry on those legacies that are of eternal value.  Amen.

–Virginia Yip

Wrong Approaches to Leading Worship

  • Think of yourself as a spiritual engineer.
  • Lead worship that reinforces narcissism rather than challenging it.
  • Shy away from naming the folly of life apart from God. Hold back from telling all of God’s wonderful deeds (Psalm 73:28).

 –John D. Witvliet, “Worship in a Beatitude-Shaped World: Learning from Psalm 73,” Reformed Worship 100 (June 2011), 6

Right Approaches to Leading Worship

  • Desire to worship God, not to worship worship.
  • Realize that we don’t engineer the spiritual value of worship but receive it as a gift.
  • Realize that—by the Spirit’s power—worship is formative, not merely expressive; it changes our perspective, shapes our desires, corrects our vision.
  • Long for the Holy Spirit to work through our preaching and praying, tasting and seeing, to convert and sanctify us.
  • Be convinced that worship at its best immerses us in a countercultural world that fits the second rather than the first half of Psalm 73.

 –John D. Witvliet, “Worship in a Beatitude-Shaped World: Learning from Psalm 73,” Reformed Worship 100 (June 2011), 6

Providence

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

It is not the vast bulk of an estate, but the vigilant care of divine providence that guards you from the stroke of ruin. The providence of God around us is the solid basis of all sanctified and durable prosperity. His providence enfolds all who bear his image in everlasting arms. He will advance you higher, and secure you better than any noble birth or estate could ever do. The delight and pleasure resulting from the observation of divine providence is very great. It would doubtless be a part of our entertainment in heaven to view with transporting delight how the designs and methods were laid to bring us there.

Providence not only brings you to heaven, it brings heaven to your soul now. God is providentially steering all to the port of his own praise and his people’s happiness, while the whole world is busily employed in managing the sails and tugging at the oars with a quite opposite design and purpose. They promote God’s design by opposing it, fulfil his will be resisting it, and enlarge his church by scattering it. They make the saint’s rest sweeter by making their condition so restless in the world.

What a history we might compile, as we trace the footsteps of providence along the way. Here it prevented, and there it delivered. Here it directed, and there it corrected. Here it grieved, and there it relieved. Here was the poison, and there, the antidote. This providence dispelled a dismal cloud. This one straitened, and that one enlarged. Here a want, and there a supply.

Words cannot express what delight we may find in such an employment. O reader, what a life of pleasure you might live by noticing the ways of providence towards you! What a heaven upon earth you may have! Taste and see the glory of the study of providence.

–John Flavel (1627-1691)