Lord I want to know you

Each week leading up to Easter weekend, we will share a short guide for prayer and contemplation. We hope these prayer guides will help you as we journey as a church toward Easter Sunday. 

April 2-8

May they be one

I don’t know about you, but when I’m facing a difficult situation, I can get too inward-focused. It’s very easy to concentrate so much on my circumstances that I can neglect other important things, even people. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it does happen.

As we approach the time of year when we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ, one particular passage very much touches me and convicts me of selfish thinking. The passage is John chapter 17. It’s humbling to think that a Holy God would love us enough to send His only Son to die to pay the penalty for our sins. And that the Son would voluntarily “humble Himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.”

But, what convicts me most is that on the night before His crucifixion, knowing the pain, humiliation, and loneliness He would face, He took time to pray for His disciples. Not just the ones He had spent the past few years with but all that believe in Him through their words. What a picture of selfless love!

One of the things He prayed for was unity among his followers. With so much division, anger and hatred in the world today we might wonder if that is possible. The answer is yes, if we humble ourselves and allow His love to work in and through us. May we truly be one.

– By Wayne Sherfey

“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:20-21 NASB

“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Colossians 3:14 NASB

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal live.” John 3:16 NASB

Bind Us Together Chorus – By Bob Gillman

Bind us together, Lord;

Bind us together

with cords that cannot be broken.

Bind us together, Lord;

Bind us together, Lord;

Bind us together with love.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;

but the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV

March 26- April 1

Remember Me

I love the crucifixion and resurrection stories. Jesus’ passionate prayer, the young man who ran out of his clothes in the garden, Peter’s failures, John’s ecstasy at the tomb, Mary’s tears and sudden shock all have a sense of realism about them that cannot be denied. And they bring about many thoughts for contemplation.

Isaiah 53:10, “But it pleased the Lord to bruise Him, and He put Him to grief”.

If the Lord chose to bruise His beloved Son, why in the pathways of life would He not bruise me? All that I ever had or was came from the Lord. Why should I complain when it is my turn?

Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth.”

How do I handle the slings and arrows of life with my mouth?

Isaiah 53:12, “Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.”

He bore my many sins. Why would He do that for me personally? Have I obeyed in repayment of such a debt?

1 Corinthians 11:23-25

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, “This my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Stop. And remember Jesus.

 -- By Gary Luce

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. -- Philippians 3:7-11 (NASB)

March 19-25

Consider The Cross

Can you travel across our town without seeing one? It is the universal symbol of Christianity. Why that one? An instrument of torture and execution? We wear them around our necks, in our ears and tattoo them all over our bodies. Max Lucado wonders why we didn’t select something more upbeat. Something that would make the soul soar and invoke pictures of godly loveliness. But Jesus said pick it up and follow Him. I think I can illustrate one reason why.

A church in Houston, TX my family has been associated with by membership and love since 1973 erected a 190 foot tall cross sited right by an interstate highway, painted white and illuminated with spot lights. It was done in 2008. Remember then? The economy was crashing and jobs were being lost by the thousands and thousands as companies struggled to stay alive. Within a week of the cross being erected a nicely dressed woman walked into the church office one morning looking relatively normal but perhaps a little distressed. The church staff became quickly distressed when she pulled out a gun…and handed it to them. It was the gun with which she was going to end her life because both she and her husband had lost jobs, savings and felt they had no hope for the future. She was sitting in her car underneath an overpass where she was to die when she saw the cross. She broke down into volleys of sobbing tearful regret, drove to the cross and threw herself into the arms of the people in the office. You might can guess the rest of the story. She found hope.

I didn’t read this story on Facebook or hear it on the news. It happened to real people I know personally. It is a story of hope. The hope of the scriptures.

For whatsoever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope – Romans 15:4

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit – Romans 15:13

Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ – Titus 2:13

He’s coming again. He’s coming for you. And He’s coming for me. He is coming with hope and ultimate salvation for all who believe.

What hope has the Cross brought you? Stop and see the Cross. Pray that the Lord will open your eyes to the Wonder of the Cross.

By Gary Luce

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

-- Colossians 2:13-14 NASB

March 12-18

Debbie Jones - Prayer Ministry Coordinator

Oh, I want to know You more!

Deep within my soul I want to know You,

Oh, I want to know You.

To feel Your heart and know Your mind,

Looking in Your eyes stirs up within me,

Cries that say I want to know You

Oh, I want to know You more.

Oh, I want to know You more.

Written by Steven Lee Fry • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

One of my favorite stories from the resurrection account is found in Luke 24:13-35. Read the passage and let the Holy Spirit speak to you as you meditate on it.

In verse 18 Cleopas asks the question, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” Jesus responds in verse 19, “What things?”

Read Hebrews 12:2 and contemplate the “things.”

Read Luke 24:31-32 again:

31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”

The question we must ask ourselves, “Does my heart burn within me because of my time spent with Jesus?”

God, I'm running for Your heart

I'm running for Your heart

Till I am a soul on fire

Lord, I'm longing for Your ways

I'm waiting for the day

When I am a soul on fire

Till I am a soul on fire (repeat)

Lord, restore the joy I had

I have wandered, bring me back

In this darkness, lead me through

Until all I see is You

Repeat chorus

Lord, let me burn for You again

Let me return to You again

And Lord, let me burn for You again

And let me return to You again

God, I'm running for Your heart

I'm running for Your heart

Till I am a soul on fire

Lord, I'm longing for Your ways

I'm waiting for the day

When I am a soul on fire

God, I'm running for Your heart

I'm running for Your heart

Till I am a soul on fire

I wanna be

Till I am a soul on fire

Till I am a soul on fire

Prayer Ministry

At Hill Road:

Sunday Morning Prayer: Worship Center Come anytime between 7 & 8:30 a.m. to pray for the services and activities of the day.

Student Prayer: First Sunday of each month - 5:00 p.m. in the Prayer Room at CLC building

Monday Night Prayer Meeting* – 7:00 p.m.

*Unless otherwise announced, meetings at Hill Road Campus will be in the Student Activities Center (SAC) and Glenwood Campus meetings will be in the Sanctuary.

February 13 – GWC “Think about His Love” An evening of worship and prayer

February 20 – HRC

February 27 – GWC

March 6 – HRC

March 13 – Cancelled due to ISBC Vacation Bible School training

March 20 – HRC

March 27 – GWC

Prayer Focus

Please be in prayer for our staff, deacons, and soon to be determined pastor search committee, as they seek the Lord’s leadership during this time of transition.

Debbie Jones