Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
—James 5:13-16, NRSV
When Jesus gave his life for us, he undid the curse that humanity received in Eden. His sacrifice brought the wholeness that sin destroyed. As God's plan unfolds in our lives, we experience God bringing about wholeness in us.
While Christ's work is complete, it is only partially realized. Like Adam and Eve after the fall, we still wrestle with physical and emotional pain, frustration in our work, and dozens of everyday "thorns." We are "not yet" whole.
James 5 underscores that the church plays an important role in Jesus' restoring work. This Lenten service centers around the power of the church's prayers.
Following the meditation, prayer teams (made up of elders and other volunteers from the congregation) should be positioned in the front and rear of the sanctuary. As the congregation joins together in silent and sung prayers, worshipers—individually as couples, or as families—who desire prayer for themselves or for others may approach one of the prayer teams and quietly make their requests. As the prayer team offers their prayer together quietly, the congregation supports the pray-ers with their own prayers. In this way personal concerns can be brought before the Lord while maintaining confidentiality. This service gives God's people an opportunity to experience the renewal and healing that prayer brings, and will remind the congregation in vivid and often moving ways that God answers prayer.
"Children of the Heavenly Father"
[PsH 440, RL 585, TH 131]
"If You But Trust in God to Guide You"
[PsH 446, PH 282, RL151, TH 670]
"I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say"
[PsH 488, TH 304]
"No Weight of Gold or Silver"
"O LORD, My God, Most Earnestly"
"Precious Lord, Take My Hand"
[PsH 493, PH 404]
"Your Hands, O Lord, in Days of Old"
The Opening of Worship
The Call to Worship:
O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting.
I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life; my lips will speak your praise.
I will bless you all my life; in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet. My mouth shall praise you with joy.
My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast.
Hymn: "It is Good to Sing Your Praises"
Passing of the Peace
And now let us express our love and
unity in Christ by extending the peace
of God to each other saying, "The peace of the Lord be with you."
Scripture: Matthew 8:1-13
Meditation: "Lord, If You Are Willing"
Hymn: "There Is A Balm in Gilead"
[PsH 494, PH 394, RL 465]
[Prayer teams will be located at the front and rear of the sanctuary. Individuals, couples, or families may bring concerns for prayer for themselves or for others to the prayer teams while the musicians lead the congregation in musical expressions of praise and support. See box above for a list of appropriate hymns.]
Hymn: "Forth In the Peace of Christ We Go"
[PsH 323, RL 413]
[Offerings will be received as the congregation leaves the sanctuary]
This service is one of a series of evening Lenten services used by Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Wyoming Michigan. It was adapted by Douglas Kamstra, pastor, from a service that was held at the Minister's Institute of the Christian Reformed Church. â€¢ The hymns in this service were selected from the most recent editions of the following hymnals: The Psalter Hymnal (PsH) The Presbyterian Hymnal (PH), Rejoice in the Lord (RL) and the Trinity Hymnal (TH).