A prevalent theme within the pages of Scripture is that God is present in the midst of life. And not just present, but engaged. Within this truth is the reality that for those who place their hope, faith, and trust in God that there is refuge and safety.
This week we looked at Psalm 46 in the Psalms: Songs of Life summer series. A psalm of the sons of Korah, we’re reminded of the presence, prevalence, and sustenance that comes from God. The beginning verses remind us that God is our refuge and strength. He is in all, over all, and through all. When we live fully in Him, it is the safest place to be.
And at the end of this psalm, we find a verse familiar to all of us. The encouragement to be still and know that He is God. It also means to cease striving or to stop fighting. Each other, our world, and our difficulties, and to simply be in God. Easier said than done, but vital to being a healthy disciple.
There’s a lot in this 11 verse psalm. If you haven’t read it in a while, go ahead and do that now. I’ll wait.
Here’s what we did together…
Our Service Flow:
Call to Worship: Psalm 33:1 and Psalm 66:1-5.
Holy Is the Lord (Tomlin/Giglio)
In Christ Alone (Townend/Getty)
Prayer (Did something different, see not below).
Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) (Chapman/Hall/Bleeker)
Time of Silence
You Are My All in All (Jerrigan)
Everlasting God (Brown/Riley)
Close & Commission: Psalm 125:1-2
- It was a good morning. There seemed to be good engagement as we focused on who God is and what He is doing together. It also probably didn’t hurt that we had a few more people attending than over the past few weeks. Critical mass matters.
- We did something a little different with our prayer time this week. I had been thinking about this for a few weeks, and really felt led to actually do it this week. My typical pattern for prayer time in the service is to have a Scripture/thought related to the theme of the day and then direct people to pray individually. This week, I put out the thought that it was a good thing to be connected relationally, but to be healthy disciples we also need to be connecting spiritually. I encouraged folks to take a few moments to engage and share something God was doing in their life or something they needed prayer about, and then to take a moment and pray for each other. I knew it could be a bit of a risk and end up being awkward, but I think it went okay for a first time. Part of growing in this area is to actually do something about it.
- We also did something different with our response time, too. We decided to build off of Psalm 46:10 and help people actually be quiet and still before the Lord. This is such an important aspect of our spiritual life, but one that is so hard for us in our busy and noisy society. I encouraged the congregation to be quiet and listen, to recognize God’s voice, and then to respond to what He was saying. Then, I closed my mouth and we had silence. Complete silence (well except for the A/C and people rustling). Again, a stretching moment for some, but good. We then responded by singing some song where we could express trust and dependence on God.
I hope that your time of gathering, in whatever form it took, was a time of connecting, celebrating, and challenge. Because we gathered to worship, may we live lives of worship this week.