G’day and welcome to Partakers Friday Prayers on the 23rd of September, 2011.
Father, as we commence, let our hearts and minds be right before you. We thank for your Son Jesus. It’s in His name we offer you these praises, prayers and petitions in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside those who are your children. Amen
Let’s have a time for you to offer your own praises to God! If for some reason words are failing you, simple say “Lord God, I lift up thanks and praise to you alone.”
Father God, accept these praises as sweet smelling perfume! Amen!
We are told that it’s a great thing to praise our God! So let’s now have a Psalm of praise! We have Psalm 100, read to us today by Jenny!
Time of Silence
Now there will be a short time of prayer where you can give to God things that are on your own mind and heart.
If for some reason, words are failing you, then pray this short prayer based on Psalm 40 “O God, Help and deliver me from this pit for I am poor and needy!”
Time of silence
Father, we pray that your love will take over our lives! We also pray that we would follow you faithfully, live lives obediently and give praise to you alone in all circumstances we face together.
Lord in your mercy hear these prayers of your children. Amen
Prayers for the World
Father, we now lifts this troubled world to you! From your wellspring of mercy hear these petitions!!
May justice and peace come to places where injustice, strife and conflict currently dominate!
Where there is chaos, bring order.
Where there is hatred, may love be sown.
We pray that in areas of need following natural disasters, that aid will get through and infrastructure rebuilt.
Lord in your mercy, hear these prayers of your children! Amen!
For churches and Christians worldwide
We now pray for church services around the world this weekend.
Our Father God, we lift before you all those who are preaching, leading, serving and participating in church services around the world this weekend, we ask that the Holy Spirit would guide their minds and that the worship will be in Spirit and in truth, that the Word as it is faithfully preached.
For those in countries where to meet other Christians is illegal or not condoned by the government, we ask that you continue to strengthen, guide, grow and uplift them. Let them know through Your Spirit, the Spirit that lives within all believers that we are praying for them.
Prayers for others
Father, be the strength for all those who are grieving and mourning the loss of loved ones. Father, we pray that those in despair will be helped and where there is darkness there will be light. O Lord God, give strength to the week.
We lift before you, O merciful Father, all those facing challenging situations: such as loneliness, confinement at home, geographical isolation, lack of employment, health issues, and financial pressures. O Father, please meet their needs in what ever challenging situation is being faced, and we put ourselves in your hands to help meet those needs where we can.
We ask these things, our Father God, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
And now, as we close: Hebrews 13v20-21
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1v1 & 27
Our God is a creative God! His creativity is all around us! Further to this, as humans we are created in His image, and as a result, we are creative! Everybody has some form of significant creative potential. If you don’t think you do, perhaps it is because you haven’t found your creative niche yet! The natural creativity of children is amazing! However, quite frequently significant persons bury creativity under layers of conditioning and negativity. Some of the greatest culprits are teachers, parents and peers, but there is hope because the conditioning process can be reversed. It is a process with a high cost factor, because creativity is essentially a life style. It has to pervade every area of your experience. None more so than in your area of service as a Christian Disciple!
Examples of Biblical creativity
Jesus used creativity in his teaching! He took every day people and objects, creating lessons out of them. Think of some of your favourite parables and see the creativity behind them! As for the Psalms, they are filled with creative language in order to praise God, seeking penance before God and expressing a desire to know God better! Similarly some of the symbolic language of the Bible is very creative. Take for example the genealogy of Matthew 1. To us it may well be tedious and insignificant, but to its initial audience of a small group of Jewish believers, it includes enormous significance and creative symbolism! The way Matthew constructed the genealogy highlights many things, one of which was his highlighting of Abraham, David and of course, Jesus! We know to the Jewish mind, numbers were not just mathematically significant but also held great symbolism! The number seven represents perfection. Each of the 3 stages in the genealogy of Matthew 1 contains 14 stages making a total of 42 times perfection! So what Matthew was saying that Jesus was a great deal more than perfect! Now if you were not a first century Jew, you would not at first see creative symbolism!
Why the importance of creativity?
Creativity perpetuates the learning process. As long as you live you should be learning, and remember that Christian Discipleship is essentially a call to perpetual learning.
Creativity is essential to meet the growing demands of a changing society. Package thinkers are out of business for an impact tomorrow. If we do not prepare those that we lead to change, they will not be a change element in our next generation.
Creativity is important to both affect & infect your communication with a characteristic freshness & vitality. We are commanded to communicate the truth. A communicative individual is always a creative individual.
Creativity develops your leadership style.
Creativity will overhaul your lifestyle. Most Christian Disciples seem to only exist and not live! If a person is living in the past or in the future, they cannot be enjoying the present.
What are the principles of creativity?
Creativity is largely a matter of effort. The mind is like a muscle and grows with use.
Quantity is essential to quality in the creative process. Scientific evidence suggests that it is only a maximum of 6% of ideas that are good. You have to get more ideas to get some winning ideas.
Results of which are good, bad or indifferent are welcome. Don’t pass judgment at the outset of the creativity process; you have go to withhold it.
Incubation generates illumination. Put your ideas on the back burner. Put time between thinking of ideas. Then don’t be surprised when a moment of inspiration of how to complete it arrives!
Group effort stimulates creativity if you learn how to listen.
How to activate creativity?
Experience provides fuel for ideation, which is the formation of ideas.
Problem solving. Get your drive going in the right direction.
Involvement in hobbies & fine arts. Photographic sites like http://www.Flickr.com are great places to see creativity in process and get tips on how to improve! There are oodles of websites out there for almost every conceivable hobby!
Reading. Creativity thrives on reading the only problem is passivity. Read it until you can tell somebody else. We tend to read the stuff with which we agree which only serves to reinforce our own prejudices and presuppositions. Read things that you know you won’t necessarily agree with, and expand your reading and thinking!
Writing. Keep a journal, a blog or a website! It’s easier than you may well think! Write down questions, examples and your meditations.
Spend time with creative people. Think with those you are leading. You think your ideas are so good because you have never tested them against someone diametrically opposed to yours.
Creativity can be used in the church. Just take for example worship services. Is worship just singing songs? Or can other means be used in order to worship, such as responsive prayers and bible readings? What about dancing as part of creative worship? What about creative outreach or evangelism? Try something new! By being creative, the church can be culturally relevant whilst still remaining biblically faithful to God.
For more to think about please do read Genesis 1 and ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.
Q1. Knowing I am in the image of a creative God, how am I developing my own creativity for His service?
Q2. How can creativity be used during Church worship services?
Q3. Remembering some of the parables Jesus taught, what sort of things did He use creatively and how can I in some way emulate His creativity in my ministry?
Jesus spent complete nights in prayer seeking strength and wisdom from His Father in Heaven. We dare not go into battle with the enemy in our strength alone. The hymn writer wrote “Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer.”
How do we put the gospel armour on? The armour we need is supplied by our Lord. It is described for us by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18: “Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might that you may stand in the evil day” He then goes on to say “Take unto yourself the whole armour of God. “Leave no unguarded place” are the hymn writer’s words. Very apt as we can be so easily forgetful and neglectful. We need to be aware of our weak points where we ma be unguarded. “Give the devil no room.”
I find as a great help each morning to spend some time putting the gospel armour on. How? As I get dressed physically taking time to put each piece of my clothing on carefully making myself presentable before the mirror, I also take by faith my spiritual armour piece by piece coming before the mirror or God’s Word the Bible, reminding myself of which piece does in order to be strong for the day’s battles, whatever they may be.
(a) The helmet of salvation. To protect the mind. Here is a point of entry If I do not protect it. How? By the Scriptures. “Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.” I ask for the mind of Christ.
(b) Breastplate of righteousness. This time I remind myself I am clothed in Christ’s righteousness to gain me Heaven. This truth prevents me boasting and it keeps me humble. each moment of every day ever grateful to Jesus for His robe of righteousness. I need also to know there needs to be an outworking of that righteousness in my life through the power of The Holy Spirit. To seek to be like Jesus living to honour Him and be a light shining for Jesus.
(c) The belt of truth. I believe I must be held in by God’s truth the Bible in all I think say and do. Not what I think but how God says I should react in any given situation during the course of the day. Not legalistically but trusting The Holy Spirit to bring the truth to memory to protect and instruct me.
(d) Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. The Roman footwear had to be strong and able to grip rough terrain. To walk steadily through the day without deviation to left or right not slipping into sinful habits but standing firm as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
(e) Sword of the Spirit and shield of faith in our hands. Having Scripture ready to hand and mind to fight off scurry attacks from satan as he tries to buffet us. Do you remember how Jesus used these weapons in the wilderness when tempted by the devil? “Has God said” He reminded the devil of the word of God. How important for us to memorise God’s Word to hide it in our hearts as the psalmist wrote. Read God’s Word regularly improving our knowledge day by day. The devil never lets up neither should we.
(f) Putting on all prayer. Living through the day in an atmosphere of prayer with a prayerful spirit. Ready to call upon the lord for any special needs but also ready to praise Him for any blessing that he brings our way. Talk to Him, as you walk with Him. Strengthened and satisfied by Him. We glorify Him by so doing. “Jesus is my Rock and Fortress, in Him I trust for ever.
Prayer with Joy
Dear Heavenly Father,
We know we have failed to put on the Christian armour and some of us have fallen dreadfully. We know it is important to acknowledge this to you. To be honest and admit our faults. We know the devil appears like a roaring lion at times, but sometimes as an angel of light and we fail to see him coming and we fall.
Forgive us Lord and help us to take the advice given and to take time to be holy by spending time with you Lord and to put on the gospel armour and trust you Lord to make us aware of the enemy attacks of satan and to stand up against him in Your strength and power.
David fought against Goliath and won because he knew the battle was the Lord’s. He had confidence in your strength and had faith in You.
Paul the apostle said “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Help us to remember to pray that same prayer for our safety and Your glory, Amen.