New Year Prayer Service

Worship Service for January 2, 2022

WELCOME

Happy New Year! And welcome to CrossPointe’s written worship service. Today we are starting out the year right by celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion and focusing on prayer. (With that in mind, I would suggest you ready your bread and juice).

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Next Sunday, I will give sort of a State of the Church address. As part of that service, we will present to you and recognize our church leaders.

If you would like to send your offering in the mail, our mailing address is:

CrossPointe Community Church
P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215

Before I read today’s Call to Worship Scripture, how about a couple of New Year’s zingers?

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Abby.
Abby who?
Abby New Year.

What is a New Year’s resolution?
Something that goes in one year and out the other.
(Well, maybe they’re not zingers, but can you stand one more?)

A woman took an afternoon nap on New Year’s Eve. When she woke up, she told her husband, “I just dreamed that you gave me a diamond ring for a New Year’s present. What do you think it means?”
He replied, “You’ll find out tonight!”
At midnight, her husband handed her a small gift-wrapped present.
Excited, she opened it quickly, but was even more surprised: In it was a book titled The Meaning of Dreams.

I guess I should stick to what I know!

CALL TO WORSHIP

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
They are new every morning;
great is His faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

OPENING WORSHIP SONG

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Chisholm, Thomas O./Runyan, William M.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

As we stand upon the precipice of a new year O Lord, we begin by exclaiming that which will enable us to face it in confidence and good hope; great is Your faithfulness. As You have been with us every step of the way in 2021, so you will be in this New Year. We trust in You because we know that Your mercies are new every morning, and Your faithful love for us never ends. And so as we begin this New Year and this service of worship, we offer ourselves to You anew in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ, amen.

SERVICE OF SCRIPTURE READING AND PRAYERS

As we embark on another New Year and begin it in prayer, I thought it would be prudent to bring to our attention a number of times the scripture uses the word new to describe some aspect of our spiritual lives and pray around those thoughts.

The first new is found in Isaiah 43:18-19a which says: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”

Perhaps the Apostle Paul took his cue from Isaiah when he wrote to the Philippians:

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (3:13b-14).

These verses from both the Old and New Testaments invite us to forget what lies behind us in 2021 and move into a new year with a fresh start. With that in mind, I invite you to pray with me?

Heavenly Father, thank You for being with us through the ups and downs of the past year. Thank you for carrying us through the uncertainty of deep waters, through the flames of various trials, and through the pain of hard losses. Without Your strength, we might have otherwise floundered.

(I want to invite you to take this time to pray and thank God for bringing you through the difficulties of this past year).

We also thank You for the meaningful and wonderful things that occurred last year; especially the spiritual growth that took place that made us ever more aware of the need for Your presence in our lives.

(I invite you to give God thanks for the memorable things that occurred in your lives this past year).

Today, we turn the page on 2021, thanking You for the promise to make all things new! As another new year begins, help us live each day for You. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Help us to be constantly aware of how much we need You, Your grace, Your Love, and Your strength. For truly, we wish be found faithful in this new year in each and every opportunity You bring to us.

Thank You, Lord, for new beginnings. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Bible also talks about the new you; created by God and then recreated in the image of Your Son.

Paul writes the Colossians: “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (3:9-10).

To the Ephesians, he writes: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (4:22-24).

Paul’s contemporary, Peter, similarly writes: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

That great 19th-century preacher, Henry Ward Beecher, said, “Every man should be born again on the first day of January; starting with a fresh page.” 1

With those thoughts in our minds, I invite you to pray with me.

Gracious God, our Father, we thank You for granting unto us the faith that has enabled us to believe the good news that Jesus came to give His life that we could be forgiven and; therefore, be made right with You. We come to You in this brand new year with a desire to move forward spiritually, not backward. Thank You for this New Year and for all the potential it holds to put on the new self. So at the start of each day, help us to recognize You above all else. Enlighten the eyes of our heart that we might see You, and notice how You’re at work through our lives. Give us the wisdom to make good choices. Fill us with a desire to seek after You more than anything else in this world.

(Now I invite you to pray, asking God to point out to you the areas you need to grow in this year to become more Christ-like).

Today, we make a new commitment; not a New Year’s resolution, but a new desire to place You where You always belong, first place in our lives. So draw our hearts to You, guide our minds so that we might be sensitive to Your will, and then accomplish it. We ask for Your wisdom, for Your strength and power to be constantly present within us that we might continue to become more and more like Jesus, in whose name we pray, amen.

We thank God for making us new people as individuals, and also for adopting us into His family, the church, which also is referred to in the scriptures as being new.

Paul again, this time to the Ephesians:

For Christ Himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in His own body on the cross, He broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in Himself one new people from the two groups” (2:14-15).

A little later in this letter Paul instructs us: “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace” (4:3).

With that in mind, would join me in praying for church unity.

Our Heavenly Father, we thank You for making all Christians everywhere one in Christ. We thank You for creating this new entity that Jesus introduced and named the Church. We pray that the Church of God will remain one in unity with Christ and with each other, just as You, Lord, are in loving fellowship with the Father. We ask Lord that Your Holy Spirit would use the unity of Your Church in such a way that it will have a significant and spiritual impact on this world. So we ask You to bind Your people together in love, in the unity of spirit and the bond of peace.

Lord, God our unity in Christ has been created by Jesus and can therefore never be destroyed. However, we must confess that our sense of unity as CrossPointe people may have been diminished by the fact that the pandemic we are enduring makes it difficult for us to see one another. Some of us haven’t seen one another for almost two years now and this grieves us. We do not want to forget all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are too important to us. We love them. We care for them. We wish the best for them in this coming year.

So hear us, Lord, as we take this opportunity to pray for them.

(I invite you to pray now for one another).

Father, hear our prayer for the sake of Your Son, in whose name we pray, amen.

My friends, we are not only new people in Christ, we have been given a new commandment.

The Apostle John tells us that as Jesus and the Disciples gathered in the Upper Room for the Last Supper, at some point after He had washed the feet of the disciples, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (13:34).

Shall we then pray:

We thank You O Lord, for Your constant reminder that we as Your people are identified more than anything else by our love for one another.

We thank You for the love we share for one another at CrossPointe. Help us to love each other more. Help us be more understanding, more forgiving, and less likely to criticize. Help us to encourage and build one another up.

And help us, Lord, to see others as You see them, as precious ones You created and are hoping to recreate in Your image. Renew the gifts and abilities You’ve so generously given us so we can bless others as You’ve blessed us. Let your gifts of love flow freely through us so that You would be honored by our lives, and others would be drawn to you. Come and kindle in us a mighty flame of Your Holy Spirit that in our time, many will see Your wonders and live to forever praise Your glorious name.

(I invite you to pray for folks you are aware of who need Christ in their lives).

Help us to press on toward the mark of knowing You, loving You, serving You, and making Your name known in our community this coming year. Help us with our single-minded purpose of Sharing Your Grace with Our Community. Grant unto us new wisdom and insight that we might be able to fully embrace this mission. We pray for those in our community who do not know Jesus. Open their hearts and minds to the truth of Your love in Christ. And help us to plant seeds of grace that they might blossom and become beautiful for Christ’s sake.

Hear these our prayers for Your Church here at CrossPointe, that we may joyfully continue to serve you by loving one another and others as You love us. In Christ, we pray, amen.

Hear Our Prayer

Owens, Debbie

Hear our prayer, O Lord,
From the ends of the earth, we cry.
Your peace will lead us to
The Rock that is higher than us.

Hear our prayer, O Lord,
From the ends of the earth, we cry.
Your peace will lead us to
The Rock that is higher than us.

For You have been our strength in times of trouble;
A tower above our enemies;
And Lord, we will abide with You forever
In the shelter of Your wings.

Hear our prayer, O Lord,
From the ends of the earth, our cry.
Your peace will lead us to
The Rock that is higher than us.

©1993 Maranatha Praise, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

And now we come to the most wonderful aspect of today’s service: the new covenant.

Jeremiah, speaking on God’s behalf, says, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” (31:31

700 years later, Jesus says, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you” (Luke 22:20).

And so we celebrate the new covenant, which we have come to call the sacrament of Holy Communion.

COMMUNION SONG

Only By Grace

Gustafson, Gerrit

Only by grace can we enter
Only by grace can we stand
Not by our human endeavor
But by the blood of the Lamb.
Into Your presence You call us
You call us to come
Into Your presence You draw us
And now by Your grace we come
Now by Your grace we come

Lord if You marked our transgressions…
Who would stand?
Thanks to Your grace
We are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb
Lord if You marked our transgressions…
Who would stand?
Thanks to Your grace
We are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb

Only by grace can we enter
Only by grace can we stand
Not by our human endeavor
But by the blood of the Lamb.
Into Your presence You call us
You call us to come
Into Your presence You draw us
And now by Your grace we come
Now by Your grace we come.
Now by Your grace we come.

©1990 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

My favorite preacher, Charles Swindoll says, “Let’s make one resolution this year: to anchor ourselves to God’s grace.”

Shall we pray: Lord Jesus, we are so grateful that our relationship with You doesn’t depend on our performance but upon Your grace. Yes, we make mistakes. And, yes, we are sorry. And we ask You to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Hear us, Lord, Jesus as we confess our sins to You.

We rejoice in that we don’t have to be perfect! You’ve already made us acceptable in Your sight through Your death and resurrection. You have us covered; our past, our present, and our future. In You, we are complete, Lord and we thank You as we come to Your table, amen,

“The body of Christ, broken for you.” (Receive the bread.)

“The blood of Christ, shed for you.” (Receive the juice.)

Lord, You have given us everything we could possibly need for the coming year. Because of Your love and the price You paid for our sins, we can not only enjoy a victorious new year but a triumphant life. As the calendar turns another page in this brand new year, we want more than ever, to live it for You, in Jesus’ name, amen.

And now before we sing Amazing Grace to close, let us be reminded of the new existence that awaits us all.

From the Book of Revelation:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then He said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And He also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

Revelation 21:1-7

My friends, our hope is not in the New Year; but in the One who makes all things new.

CLOSING SONG

Amazing Grace

Newton, John/Excell, Edwin/Rees, John P.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come.
‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
Than when we first begun.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

BENEDICTION

Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21

1 New Year’s Quotes
https://www.allgreatquotes.com/quotes/new-year-21.shtml

Randy K'Meyer

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