Pre-Lenten Sermon

PRE-LENTEN SERMON – SPINNING GOLD FROM STRAW – SERMON RESOURCES
  1. Sermon Manuscript
  2. Sermon Video
  3. Sermon Audio

ENGAGING THE PRACTICAL TIP

 

We have prepared some material for our Lenten journey together, so I want to walk you through it now.

  1. Your Bold Request

    Identify one thing you’d like to ask God to do for you and then ask daily. Isaiah 62 instructs us to “remind” the Lord, and to “give him no rest” as we bring our longings to him. Jesus tells us the story of a persistent widow who receives justice from an unjust judge simply because she will not stop asking. And Jesus says to us, “will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them?” So we are inviting each of us to make one bold, deeply person request this Lent. Take some time to prayerfully choose a deep need, a powerful longing that has been gripping your heart.

  2. The Answered Prayer Wall

    If you receive an answer to prayer during Lent, we invite you to write it on a sticky-note and stick it on the ANSWERED PRAYER WALL in the sanctuary. This is both a tangible reminder to us all that our prayers are heard by a powerful and active God and an act of worshipful gratitude. We can watch together as we visibly see the Holy Spirit at work in our midst.

  3. Identify and Pray for Your Six

    Prayerfully select six people in your world to pray for each day through the six weeks of Lent.  I suggest people just beyond your primary relationship circle. Maybe not family and friends, but people around you—neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances— whoever you bump up against regularly in your day to day life. Especially those who might benefit from more experience of the Good God. It can be helpful to reflect on the ways you have been impacted by the prayers of others for your life.

  4. Bless Your Six

    This moves us to our next Lenten practice. Consider some extravagant care for one of your six. We not only wish to pray for God’s love and goodness in their lives, but we also want to become for those around us a reflection of the good God we serve. Ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to highlight a way that you can tangibly bless one of the people you’re praying for, a way that you can become for them a tangible encounter with God’s goodness. Now do it. Really. Even if it feels awkward or challenging. Ask God not only to meet the other person with love and care, but also to transform your heart through the act of sacrificial giving. To deepen this practice, consider engaging this act privately. When you give, “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3). Intentionally avoid recognition or praise for your act. Pray through how it feels to do this.

  5. Experiment with a daily devotional

    We have a daily devotional for the book of James available on the church website as a PDF that you can download and print out yourself.

Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: spiritual.practices@annarborvineyard.org.

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