Praying for the World on 8.6.11

This weekend, we turned our attention outward and worshiped God by praying for God’s world.

Musically, it was a “no guitars allowed” weekend, and we built the music around the super-humanly talented organ playing of Stephen Kelly:  drums, bass, piano, and B3.  Stephen’s great skill and passion brought us into some exciting places – from the rock gospel of “Let it Rise” to the Cee-Lo inspired funk of “Turn Me Around” to the piano rock of “Changed” to the old school, down home church version of “Take My Life and Let it Be”.

But the central heartbeat of this worship experience was Jesus’ words in Luke 4:  “The spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor…”  After Becky read this entire passage for us, the following slides came up on the screen:

And with these words, Jesus began a movement of justice and mercy
for the poor and oppressed that has grown and expanded and continues today.

Consider how others have joined and spoken of this movement…

“Love has a hem to her garment that reaches the very dust. It sweeps the stains
from the streets and lanes, and because it can, it must.”  (Mother Teresa)

“The Talmud reads, “Never pray in a room without windows.”
Never pray without the world in mind, in other words.
The purpose of the spiritual life is not to save us from reality.
It is to enable us to go on co-creating it.”  (Joan Chittister)

“I want to be remembered as someone who used herself and anything she could touch to work for
justice and freedom … I want to be remembered as one who tried.”
(Dorothy Height, a founding matriarch of the American civil rights movement)

“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one
of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.”
(William Wilberforce, British abolitionist and social reformer (1759-1833))

“It is useless to utter fervent petitions for that Kingdom to be established
and that Will be done, unless we are willing to do something about it ourselves…
We are agents of the Creative Spirit in this world. Real advance in the spiritual life means
accepting this vocation with all it involves.” (Evelyn Underhill, The Spiritual Life (1936))

The mediation on these great words lead us into the song “Changed”, and an extended time of praying “while looking out our windows”.  First, we prayed for our neighbors at home – with their faces in mind.  Second, we prayed for every person around the globe who would experience the Global Leadership Summit next week.  And third, we prayed for the world – that God’s will would be done here as it is in Heaven.

We ended with an old school commitment of singing “Take My Life and Let it Be” together…hands and hearts open to whatever God might want to do with us.  Thy Kingdom come and Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.


Posted by Aaron Niequist on 08.08.11 under Lead Worship, Weekend Experience.

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