I've recently started incorporating something in our gatherings that I used to do more often. It's effective as both a teaching tool and as a means of preparing the room to gather and receive from God...
it's praying through a hymn.
We currently hold two gatherings which meant this particular Sunday I had two opportunities to pray through the first verse of this well known hymn. I script the main ideas in advance, but then listen to what the Spirit would have me say and pray over each service. I firmly believe that His work is unique, even when the liturgy is the same.
You can read my prompts below. I hope this encourages you to try this sort of thing. It's a great fit for a call to worship, or a means of engaging the song differently when they've heard it a thousand times.
In Christ alone my hope is found
What did we hope in this week? We trust to carry us through the troubles and stresses of our every day lives? What ways did we add other hopes into the mix this week instead of just trusting him as our soul provider of strength and hope?
He is my light my strength my song
We know that Jesus is called the light in the scripture, but do we see the world differently because we know him? If he is our light then everything we see and touch his experience differently because his light reaches everywhere. Our family, our neighbor, our coworker, are all seen through his eyes if he is our light. Is he the one that helps you see the world?
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
An important part of the character of Christ in these last couple of years has been his consistency. We are constantly surrounded by chaos. He doesn’t shake or change. He isn't one sin away from changing his mind about you.
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
Some of us have had dry seasons this past year and as we look ahead to 2023, we need him to replenish our soul and restore the joy of our salvation. It's time for the season of drought to end. Where do we need him to refresh us?
What heights of love, what depths of peace
No matter how long we have walked with the Lord, even if it has been 50 years, we have barely scratched the surface on understanding his love for us. The wider and deeper our understanding goes, the more our every day lives are directly impacted by it. Some of us are bored out of our minds in our faith and need to be awakened to some height and depth again.
When fears are stilled when strivings cease!
For some, 2022 buzz jam packed full of various fears and effort to do better. Discipline in our walk is essential but a constant striving and lack of contentment is poisonous to our soul. We have been saved for good works and not buy them so let us rest and know that every active obedience helps us grow but does not change his affection for us.
My Comforter my All in All
For all those who need comfort, His comfort lasts and is powerful enough to meet us in the depths of despair. Where other comforts fall short and burn out, his comfort carries on. He's the only one strong enough to hold us, and there is no entertainment, adventure, vacation, substance, or bottle that can come close to what he offers.
Here in the love of Christ we stand.