Prayer Changes History

Worship Service for June 21, 2020

WELCOME

I pray that your time spent here on CrossPointe’s website will rejuvenate and reinvigorate your faith in the Risen Lord Jesus to more confidently and hopefully face the difficult days in which we are presently living.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

As you are probably aware, CrossPointe Community Church has re-opened for gathered worship today at our normal time of 10:30am. We will be practicing social distancing and encourage folks to wear a mask. Our goal is to give anyone who wishes an opportunity to worship safely.

At the same time, if you are reading through this, you chose not to gather for worship at our church building today. I want you to know that I completely understand, honor and respect your decision to wait.

I will remain after worship today until 1:00pm for those of you who wish to drop off your offering. You may place it in the box marked “God’s Offering” that is located in the lobby.

If you wish to send your offering in the mail, the address is

CrossPointe Community Church
P. O. Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215-0126

Believe it or not, this will be a busy week at the church! Wow! That’s the first time in a while I have been able to say that. On Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm, Disciple I Bible Study will meet again. Stephen Ministry Training will resume Wednesday night at 7:00 pm. Another Bible Study group will meet Thursday at the same time.

And our Free Community Meal will be served Friday from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. We have done so well serving it to folks in their cars as they drive up, that we will do so once again this month. If you would like to get in on the action, please let me know as we need six people to join John and Amy Topola who are preparing: chicken scaloppini, Italian orzo salad, French bread, and for dessert, red, white and blue cake! Thanks guys!

Once again, let us open our hearts to praising and hearing the Word of the Lord by reading through the worship service. Please take advantage of the opportunity to read, pause, reflect and pray when you feel led. I hope you also noticed that most of this service is also available in video format on the same page where you accessed this.

This worship will be slightly different in format today. That’s because I am deviating from I Peter for a week and focusing today on prayer. So after I preach for 15 minutes or so, we will do just that. We will have four prayers: a prayer of praise, a prayer for our country, a prayer for our church and then prayers for our individual needs.

Lastly, happy Father’s Day. In honor of you dads out there, I humbly offer these little ditties.

School secretary on the phone: “You say Michael has a cold and can’t come to school? To whom am I speaking?”
Voice: “This is my father.”

Speaking of going to school, “What did the daddy buffalo say to its son before it left for school?”
“Bison.”

Dad: You’ll never amount to anything because you procrastinate.
Son: Oh yeah? Just you wait!

A little boy asked his father, “Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?” Father replied, “I don’t know son, I’m still paying.”

And with that, we better turn our attention to worship.

CALL TO WORSHIP

The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for Him.
So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.

Lamentations 3:19-26

HYMN PROCLAIMING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS

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

Heavenly Father, we thank You for always being there for us no matter comes our way. Truly, You have been and always will be faithful. We thank You for this opportunity to worship and praise Your Holy Name. We thank You for the beauty of Your creation. We thank You for the wonder of Your re-creation of us. We thank You for sending Your Son that we might be forgiven and be blessed with the peace of Your presence. Help this day to see in You our only hope for the future. We pray, as always, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

THE SCRIPTURES

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.

James 5:13-18

Before we read the gospel according to Luke, I feel the need to context it.

It took the disciples of Jesus a while, but as they spent more and more time hanging out with Jesus they began to realize that there was a connection between what happened in the quiet of the morning and the hustle and bustle of the rest of the day. Up with the roosters at 4 in the morning to pray and feeding the 5000 at 4 in the afternoon. Communicating with His Father before sun up, and still preaching to the multitudes at sun-down. Making His way through the early morning fog to be still with God, and stepping across the waves of the Galilee to still storm-driven hearts. In fellowship with the Father as the world slept, and waking Lazarus from the sleep of death while the world watched.

And slowly but surely, they began to realize that His private life of prayer
was fueling the public ministry of Jesus as He brought God’s Kingdom to earth. Is it any wonder then that . . .

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of His disciples came to Him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

Then, teaching them more about prayer, He used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’

But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Luke 11:1-10

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Prayer Changes History

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is laying down a pattern for powerful, effectual prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer was not meant to be a ritualistic recitation of the exact words. After all, in Matthew’s version it appears in the Sermon on the Mount; the main point of which, is to refrain from religious formalism. If it was meant to be a word for word recitation, there wouldn’t be a difference in the words and phrasing between the one Luke records and the other version in Matthew. For example, you may have noticed in today’s reading, although Matthew does, Luke does include the phrase, “Deliver us from evil.” Also, in Matthew Jesus follows the prayer with a comment on forgiveness; whereas in Luke, He told the parable about being persistent in prayer.

Because of those differences between the two ‘Our Father’s, it is apparent that Jesus taught this model of prayer more than once.

The pattern Jesus wants us to learn is that we should always begin prayer with God.

First, Jesus implores us to begin our prayers with “Our Father.”

Our Father,” first of all implies that those who are invited to pray thus have come to the Father through faith in Jesus the Son. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).

And James assures us that “the prayer of a righteous man;” that is, a person who has been made right with God our Father through faith in Jesus, that person’s prayer has “great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16b).

Then, when Jesus instructs us to pray, “Our Father,” He is offering a wonderful privilege. None of the 1761 prayers recorded in the Old Testament begin with, “Our Father.” They begin with, ‘Lord God Almighty’ or ‘God of Heaven’s Armies.’

Jesus wants us to understand that as we approach God in prayer, we need not cower in fear or even dread that He is not going to listen because we’ve erred. But rather that we can come confidently to God our Father, knowing that the One to whom we pray is always ready, willing and able to listen and provide Fatherly advice, comfort and care.

Then Jesus continues,
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

We are often tempted to begin our prayers with “God I,” or “God, we need You to do this or that, or, we need this or that,” or “will you help with this or that.”

But Jesus teaches His disciples to begin with God, and only then to follow with, “give us, forgive us, lead us, deliver us.”

When we succumb to the temptation to by-pass our Father and move right into our prayer requests, we are missing out on His perspective; and therefore diminishing our opportunity to receive a God-given result.

When we begin with our Father, recognizing His attributes – His power, His glory, His wisdom, we connect with His ability to effect change and answer our prayers.

Things happen when we begin with, “our Father.” The history of nations and peoples has been changed when God’s people pray as Jesus taught.

Even though he preceded Jesus by 700 years, King Hezekiah used this model.

Isaiah 37 tells the story about how Hezekiah learns that the vast Assyrian army is approaching Jerusalem to destroy it and receives a letter from its commander, King Sennacherib, offering him a chance to surrender.

What did King Hezekiah do? He prayed.

Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to the Lord’s temple and spread it out before the Lord. Hezekiah prayed before the Lord: ‘O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, O God of Israel, who is enthroned on the cherubim! You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the sky and the earth. Pay attention, Lord, and hear! Open your eyes, Lord, and observe! Listen to this entire message Sennacherib sent and how he taunts the living God! It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all the nations and their lands. They have burned the gods of the nations, for they are not really gods, but only the product of human hands manufactured from wood and stone. That is why the Assyrians could destroy them. Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power, so all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord” (Isaiah 37:14-20).

I am sure you noticed that Hezekiah began with God.

“O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, O God of Israel, who is enthroned on the cherubim! You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the sky and the earth” (16).

And when Hezekiah began with God, guess what God did? God delivered the Israelites!

Throughout the scriptures the pattern is repeated.

I love the story in Acts of Peter being arrested, imprisoned, awaiting trial, being guarded by sixteen Roman soldiers. Although their exact prayer was not recorded, the text does say that the believers were praying very fervently for him. Fervent prayer in the Bible always begins with God. And when they prayed fervently, Peter is miraculously released.

Through the gift of praying to our Father, we are given the tremendous privilege of asking God to get involved in changing the course of history!

During WWII, there were two miraculous answers to God-centered prayer.

In 1940, Hitler had the Allies on the ropes near Dunkirk, France. Churchill was readying a speech in which he would announce the deaths of 300,000 men. The recent movie, Dunkirk, doesn’t tell about how when King George called for a National Day of Prayer, churches overflowed. And how Hitler inexplicably gave orders for the German Army to rest for 3 days giving 300,000 Allies time to escape disaster.

Then in December of 1944, in the Battle of the Bulge, 12,000 US servicemen men were trapped in the Arden Forrest. General Patton’s army was sent to rescue them, but snow and freezing temperatures made it impossible for him to move his troops. Patton gave Chaplin Colonel James O’Neil an order to pray that God would give them a break in the foul weather so his troops could rescue those men. Colonel O’Neal wrote a prayer that was quickly printed and distributed by the thousands to American GI’s and guess what happened? The weather miraculously cleared.

There are many examples of answered prayer for our country as well as churches.

Because our 20th anniversary as a church was June 11th I was reading over some old sermons and found that on the anniversary of our 2nd year, in June of 2002, I said to the good people of CrossPointe:

Last January, our Leaders appointed a special Ad-hoc Committee and gave them the task of recommending possible sites for our future home; of determining if those areas had already existing buildings for sale or lease; or if land was available for purchase.

As you are probably already aware, they recommended purchasing or building somewhere within the triangle bordered by St. Rt. 42 from 224 (Cloverleaf) to St. Rt. 3 (Medina) south to St. Rt. 224 (Seville), and from there west back to St. Rt. 42.

We don’t know where in greater southern Medina County we will end up. We don’t know whether we will purchase a piece of property with an already existing building or purchase land to build.

All we know for sure is that God is behind us; check that, God is ahead of us calling us to be where He already is. In other words, we still don’t know for sure what the future holds, but we do know that God holds our future. And so we must continue to pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

The cool thing is some of you already know that if you bring up a map of that area, you will see that 8 years after I preached that sermon and 10 years ago from now God brought us to the very center of that triangle right here in Chippewa Lake.

The fervent praying of God’s people can change things for our country, and for our churches, including this one.

If we will be a people of prayer, as we are called to be, and will pray fervently and in faith, as we are exhorted to do, God will change the course of history: the history of our lives, our families, our nation and our churches.

To that end, let us spend some time in prayer this morning, remembering that our Father’s prayer begins with God.

“Our Father, as did the Psalmist long ago, so we today ‘sing for joy to the LORD; we shout with prayer to the Rock of our salvation. We come before You with thanksgiving and extol You with music and song in our hearts. For You, LORD are a great God, a great King above all gods. In Your hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to You. The sea is Yours, for You made it, and Your hands formed the dry land. So we come, bowing down in worship, we kneel before the LORD our Maker’ (Psalm 95:1-6).

“Our Father in heaven, we worship You in the splendor of Your holiness. We praise You because You are mighty, powerful, all-knowing, everywhere present, immutable. You always have been and always will be. … At the same time, great is Your faithfulness toward us through Your Son, Jesus, who was always filled with compassion, with mercy, love and kindness. We thank You for raising up Your servant Jesus and for Your promise to us of everlasting life in His name. You have shared Your Holy Spirit with Your children; generating faith in Your Son, equipping us for ministry in His name, assuring us of Your presence until the end of the age and generously giving wisdom to those who seek it with an open mind and humble heart so that we might live our lives for Your glory in Jesus name, amen.”

As it concerns prayers for our country, Brad Winter prays:

Dear Heavenly Father

We thank you for this beautiful day, blessing us and bringing us together. Today we honor our fathers and grandfathers. Please bless them with courage and strength and reward them for being faithful.

We come to you in prayer today Lord, asking for strength and courage as we navigate in this world of chaos.

We pray for your steady and righteous hand on our country. At this time of civil unrest, no matter what our profession, our political party affiliation, or color of skin may we be reminded of that little song we all sang in Sunday School as children:

Jesus loves the little children
all the children of the world
red, brown, yellow, black and white
they are precious in his sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

We are precious in your sight Lord because of your Love. May we be empowered to focus on Loving each other just how you Love us. And to forgive each other just as you forgive us so we do not build hate and resentment against each other which will make this world a better place for everyone.

As our world continues to struggle with uncertainty and fear of the coronavirus please empower our leaders to make their decisions based on facts. We pray as people become overwhelmed with fear and panic that they will look to you in prayer and draw close to you, as it is you and only you that can calm any storm with a simple command.

In 2 Chronicles 7 verse 14 you tell us that “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”

Lord please forgive us and heal our land.

We pray that you will lift us up, and give us the strength to serve others! Please bless this day and every day in Jesus’ name…..Amen.”

As it concerns the future of CrossPointe, Amy Topola offers this prayer for our church:

Dear Lord,

We come to you today with joyful hearts as we celebrate our Father in Heaven who made it possible for some of us to gather here today to worship you. We also come to you with thankful hearts as you continue to lead CrossPointe Community Church on a path that honors both Your name and vision for us in the life of our church.

We especially pray for you to be with us when the time comes for Pastor Randy and Gail to retire. You have blessed us tremendously with Randy’s love & wisdom, and that special gift we have all experienced when a sermon he has written spoke directly to us and provided us with much needed inner peace. Thank you for blessing us with Randy’s wife, Gail who has been a faithful leader and servant for you, God, which does not go unnoticed. Please give them peace in their hearts and minds to know when the time is right for them to retire.

We put complete trust in you, Lord, and know that you will provide us with someone who will lead, love, and grow CrossPointe Community Church in such a way that YOU will always remain our number one focus as we adjust to new and exciting changes in our church.

Please be with all of us as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus and chaos in the world. We pray that as children of God, we use this time wisely to soften our hearts, put aside our differences, and love one another the way You have taught us to love. We also humbly ask that you keep us together as a family in Christ until the day it is safe for ALL of us to come together to praise and rejoice you as brothers and sisters in Christ.

In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Now after starting with God and then moving on to our concerns for country and for our church, lastly, let us, make known our requests for our individual needs.

[Please take as much time as you need to pray for your concerns]

Before we close, let me remind you that one of the most astounding teachings of the Bible is that we can influence God through our fervent, God-honoring prayers!

But if you think about it, if we couldn’t, our relationship with God wouldn’t be real, would it? Like a real father, God says, “Let Me hear your side of things and I’ll consider them; They matter to me. So let’s work together and get things done.”

Can we? Let’s continue to pray for these things! May the good folks of CrossPointe unite our fervent prayers in one voice as we continue on a regular basis to pray for our country and our church.

CLOSING SONG

How Firm A Foundation

Rippon, John

How firm a foundation, Ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Fear not; I am with thee. O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, Omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow
For I will be with thee, Thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee Thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials, Thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

SCRIPTURAL BENEDICTION

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

1 https://www.hopefaithprayer.com/prayernew/222-prayers-of-the-bible/

Randy K'Meyer

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