Prayers & Readings for Reflection — Week #14 (Lent 1)

Prayer #1 — Prayer for the 1st Sunday in Lent (BCP 218):

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer #2 — (BCP):

Prayer #3 — “Come, Let Us Use the Grace Divine” (Charles Wesley):

1. Come, let us use the grace divine, and all with one accord, in a perpetual covenant join ourselves to Christ the Lord; Give up ourselves, thru Jesus’ power, his name to glorify; and promise, in this sacred hour, for God to live and die.

2. The covenant we this moment make be ever kept in mind; we will no more our God forsake, or cast these words behind. We never will throw off the fear of God who hears our vow; and if thou art well pleased to hear, come down and meet us now.

3. Thee, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, let all our hearts receive, present with thy celestial host the peaceful answer give; to each covenant the blood apply which takes our sins away, and register our names on high and keep us to that day!

Thanks to HymnSite.com for providing this public domain midi file and text.

Prayer #4 — “Depth of Mercy” (Charles Wesley):

1. Depth of mercy! Can there be mercy still reserved for me? Can my God his wrath forbear, me, the chief of sinners, spare?

2. I have long withstood his grace, long provoked him to his face, would not hearken to his calls, grieved him by a thousand falls.

3. I my Master have denied, I afresh have crucified, oft profaned his hallowed name, put him to an open shame.

4. There for me the Savior stands, shows his wounds and spreads his hands. God is love! I know, I feel; Jesus weeps and loves me still.

5. Now incline me to repent, let me now my sins lament, now my foul revolt deplore, weep, believe, and sin no more.

Thanks to HymnSite.com for providing this public domain midi file and text.



Reading #1 — John Wesley on “Satan’s Devices”:

 



Covenant Group Guidelines:

1. What was your devotional life like this week? How did God use the Scriptures in your life? What prayers or readings were significant for you?

2. When did you feel closest to Christ this week?

3. How did you fail Christ as his disciple this week?

4. What story could you share of growth and faithfulness in following Jesus?

5. How could we best pray for you regarding your walk with Christ as his faithful follower?

 

Prayers & Readings for Reflection — Kingdomtide 8

Prayer #1 — Collect for 8th Sunday in Kingdomtide (BCP 232):

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer #2 — Of the Holy Spirit (BCP 251):

Almighty and most merciful God, grant that by the indwelling of your Holy Spirit we may be enlightened and strengthened for your service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer #3 — For Prayer at Noon (BCP 107):

Heavenly Father, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, to direct and rule us according to your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer #4 — “A Charge to Keep I Have” (Charles Wesley):

A charge to keep I have, a God to glorify, a never-dying soul to save, and fit it for the sky. // To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill; O may it all my powers engage to do my Master’s will! // Arm me with jealous care, as in thy sight to live, and oh, thy servant, Lord, prepare a strict account to give! // Help me to watch and pray, and on thyself rely, assured, if I my trust betray, I shall forever die. (Link & Music)



Reading #1 — John Wesley on The Means of Grace, Their Purpose, & Their Proper Use: “‘Ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them.’ Mal. 3:7. — But are there any ordinances now, since life and immortality were brought to light by the gospel? Are there, under the Christian dispensation, any means ordained of God, as the usual channels of his grace? This question could never have been proposed in the apostolical church, unless by one who openly avowed himself to be a Heathen; the whole body of Christians being agreed, that Christ had ordained certain outward means, for conveying his grace into the souls of men. Their constant practice set this beyond all dispute; for so long as “all that believed were together, and had all things common,” (Acts 2:44,) “they continued steadfastly in the teaching of the Apostles, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42.) // But in process of time, when “the love of many waxed cold,” some began to mistake the means for the end, and to place religion rather in doing those outward works, than in a heart renewed after the image of God. They forgot that “the end of” every “commandment is love, out of a pure heart,” with “faith unfeigned;” the loving the Lord their God with all their heart, and their neighbour as themselves; and the being purified from pride, anger, and evil desire, by a “faith of the operation of God.” Others seemed to imagine, that though religion did not principally consist in these outward means, yet there was something in them wherewith God was well pleased: something that would still make them acceptable in his sight, though they were not exact in the weightier matters of the law, in justice, mercy, and the love of God. // It is evident, in those who abused them thus, they did not conduce to the end for which they were ordained: Rather, the things which should have been for their health, were to them an occasion of falling. They were so far from receiving any blessing therein, that they only drew down a curse upon their head; so far from growing more heavenly in heart and life, that they were two-fold more the children of hell than before. Others, clearly perceiving that these means did not convey the grace of God to those children of the devil, began, from this particular case, to draw a general conclusion, — that they were not means of conveying the grace of God. // Yet the number of those who abused the ordinances of God, was far greater than of those who despised them, till certain men arose, not only of great understanding, (sometimes joined with considerable learning,) but who likewise appeared to be men of love, experimentally acquainted with true, inward religion. Some of these were burning and shining lights, persons famous in their generations, and such as had well deserved of the church of Christ, for standing in the gap against the overflowings of ungodliness. It cannot be supposed, that these holy and venerable men intended any more, at first, than to show that outward religion is nothing worth, without the religion of the heart; that “God is a Spirit, and they who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth;” that, therefore, external worship is lost labour, without a heart devoted to God; that the outward ordinances of God then profit much, when they advance inward holiness, but, when they advance it not, are unprofitable and void, are lighter than vanity; yea, that when they are used, as it were in the place of this, they are an utter abomination to the Lord. //  In the following discourse, I propose to examine at large, whether there are any means of grace. By “means of grace” I understand outward signs, words, or actions, ordained of God, and appointed for this end, to be the ordinary channels whereby he might convey to men, preventing, justifying, or sanctifying grace. I use this expression, means of grace, because I know none better; and because it has been generally used in the Christian church for many ages; — in particular by our own Church, which directs us to bless God both for the means of grace, and hope of glory; and teaches us, that a sacrament is “an outward sign of inward grace, and a means whereby we receive the same.” The chief of these means are prayer, whether in secret or with the great congregation; searching the Scriptures; (which implies reading, hearing, and meditating thereon;) and receiving the Lord’s Supper, eating bread and drinking wine in remembrance of Him: And these we believe to be ordained of God, as the ordinary channels of conveying his grace to the souls of men. // But we allow, that the whole value of the means depends on their actual subservience to the end of religion; that, consequently, all these means, when separate from the end, are less than nothing and vanity; that if they do not actually conduce to the knowledge and love of God, they are not acceptable in his sight; yea, rather, they are an abomination before him, a stink in his nostrils; he is weary to bear them. Above all, if they are used as a kind of commutation for the religion they were designed to subserve, it is not easy to find words for the enormous folly and wickedness of thus turning God’s arms against himself; of keeping Christianity out of the heart by those very means which were ordained for the bringing it in. // We allow, likewise, that all outward means whatever, if separate from the Spirit of God, cannot profit at all, cannot conduce, in any degree, either to the knowledge or love of God. Without controversy, the help that is done upon earth, He doeth it himself. It is He alone who, by his own almighty power, worketh in us what is pleasing in his sight; and all outward things, unless He work in them and by them, are mere weak and beggarly elements. Whosoever, therefore, imagines there is any intrinsic power in any means whatsoever, does greatly err, not knowing the Scriptures, neither the power of God. We know that there is no inherent power in the words that are spoken in prayer, in the letter of Scripture read, the sound thereof heard, or the bread and wine received in the Lord’s Supper; but that it is God alone who is the Giver of every good gift, the Author of all grace; that the whole power is of him, whereby, through any of these, there is any blessing conveyed to our soul. We know, likewise, that he is able to give the same grace, though there were no means on the face of the earth. In this sense, we may affirm, that, with regard to God, there is no such thing as means; seeing he is equally able to work whatsoever pleaseth him, by any, or by none at all. // We allow farther, that the use of all means whatever will never atone for one sin; that it is the blood of Christ alone, whereby any sinner can be reconciled to God; there being no other propitiation for our sins, no other fountain for sin and uncleanness. Every believer in Christ is deeply convinced that there is no merit but in Him; that there is no merit in any of his own works; not in uttering the prayer, or searching the Scripture, or hearing the word of God, or eating of that bread and drinking of that cup. So that if no more be intended by the expression some have used, “Christ is the only means of grace,” than this, — that He is the only meritorious cause of it, it cannot be gainsayed by any who know the grace of God. // Yet once more: We allow, though it is a melancholy truth, that a large proportion of those who are called Christians, do to this day abuse the means of grace to the destruction of their souls. This is doubtless the case with all those who rest content in the form of godliness, without the power. Either they fondly presume they are Christians already, because they do thus and thus,- -although Christ was never yet revealed in their hearts, nor the love of God shed abroad therein: — Or else they suppose they shall infallibly be so barely because they use these means; idly dreaming, (though perhaps hardly conscious thereof,) either that there is some kind of power therein, whereby, sooner or later, (they know not when,) they shall certainly be made holy; or that there is a sort of merit in using them, which will surely move God to give them holiness, or accept them without it. // 4. As to the manner of using them, whereon indeed it wholly depends whether they should convey any grace at all to the user; it behoves us, First, always to retain a lively sense, that God is above all means. Have a care, therefore, of limiting the Almighty. He doeth whatsoever and whensoever it pleaseth him. He can convey his grace, either in or out of any of the means which he hath appointed. Perhaps he will. “Who hath known the mind of the Lord or who hath been his counsellor” Look then every moment for his appearing! Be it at the hour you are employed in his ordinances; or before, or after that hour; or when you are hindered therefrom: He is not hindered. He is always ready, always able, always willing to save. “It is the Lord: Let him do what seemeth him good!”

Secondly. Before you use any means, let it be deeply impressed on your soul; — there is no power in this. It is, in itself, a poor, dead, empty thing: Separate from God, it is a dry leaf, a shadow. Neither is there any merit in my using this; nothing intrinsically pleasing to God; nothing whereby I deserve any favour at his hands, no, not a drop of water to cool my tongue. But, because God bids, therefore I do; because he directs me to wait in this way, therefore here I wait for his free mercy, whereof cometh my salvation.

Settle this in your heart, that the opus operatum, the mere work done, profiteth nothing; that there is no power to save, but in the Spirit of God, no merit, but in the blood of Christ; that, consequently, even what God ordains, conveys no grace to the soul, if you trust not in Him alone. On the other hand, he that does truly trust in Him, cannot fall short of the grace of God, even though he were cut off from every outward ordinance, though he were shut up in the centre of the earth.

Thirdly. In using all means, seek God alone. In and through every outward thing, look singly to the power of his Spirit; and the merits of his Son. Beware you do not stick in the work itself; if you do, it is all lost labour. Nothing short of God can satisfy your soul. Therefore, eye him in all, through all, and above all.

Remember also, to use all means, as means; as ordained, not for their own sake, but in order to the renewal of your soul in righteousness and true holiness. If, therefore, they actually tend to this, well; but if not, they are dung and dross.

Lastly. After you have used any of these, take care how you value yourself thereon: How you congratulate yourself as having done some great thing. This is turning all into poison. Think, “If God was not there, what does this avail Have I not been adding sin to sin How long O Lord! save, or I perish! O lay not this sin to my charge!” If God was there, if his love flowed into your heart, you have forgot, as it were, the outward work. You see, you know, you feel, God is all in all. Be abased. Sink down before him. Give him all the praise. “Let God in all things be glorified through Christ Jesus”. Let all your bones cry out, ‘My song shall be always of the loving-kindness of the Lord: With my mouth will I ever be telling of thy truth, from one generation to another!'”
(from John Wesley, “The Means of Grace” [Sermon 16], I.1-4; II.1-5; V.4)

Prayers & Readings for Reflection — Kingdomtide 7

Prayer #1 — Collect for 7th Sunday in Kingdomtide (BCP 231):

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Prayer #2 — Of the Holy Spirit (BCP 251):

Almighty and most merciful God, grant that by the indwelling of your Holy Spirit we may be enlightened and strengthened for your service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer #3 — “A Charge to Keep I Have” (Charles Wesley):

A charge to keep I have, a God to glorify, a never-dying soul to save, and fit it for the sky. // To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill; O may it all my powers engage to do my Master’s will! // Arm me with jealous care, as in thy sight to live, and oh, thy servant, Lord, prepare a strict account to give! // Help me to watch and pray, and on thyself rely, assured, if I my trust betray, I shall forever die. (Link & Music)



Reading #1 — John Wesley on The Means of Grace, Their Purpose, & Their Proper Use: “‘Ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them.’ Mal. 3:7. — But are there any ordinances now, since life and immortality were brought to light by the gospel? Are there, under the Christian dispensation, any means ordained of God, as the usual channels of his grace? This question could never have been proposed in the apostolical church, unless by one who openly avowed himself to be a Heathen; the whole body of Christians being agreed, that Christ had ordained certain outward means, for conveying his grace into the souls of men. Their constant practice set this beyond all dispute; for so long as “all that believed were together, and had all things common,” (Acts 2:44,) “they continued steadfastly in the teaching of the Apostles, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42.) // But in process of time, when “the love of many waxed cold,” some began to mistake the means for the end, and to place religion rather in doing those outward works, than in a heart renewed after the image of God. They forgot that “the end of” every “commandment is love, out of a pure heart,” with “faith unfeigned;” the loving the Lord their God with all their heart, and their neighbour as themselves; and the being purified from pride, anger, and evil desire, by a “faith of the operation of God.” Others seemed to imagine, that though religion did not principally consist in these outward means, yet there was something in them wherewith God was well pleased: something that would still make them acceptable in his sight, though they were not exact in the weightier matters of the law, in justice, mercy, and the love of God. // It is evident, in those who abused them thus, they did not conduce to the end for which they were ordained: Rather, the things which should have been for their health, were to them an occasion of falling. They were so far from receiving any blessing therein, that they only drew down a curse upon their head; so far from growing more heavenly in heart and life, that they were two-fold more the children of hell than before. Others, clearly perceiving that these means did not convey the grace of God to those children of the devil, began, from this particular case, to draw a general conclusion, — that they were not means of conveying the grace of God. // Yet the number of those who abused the ordinances of God, was far greater than of those who despised them, till certain men arose, not only of great understanding, (sometimes joined with considerable learning,) but who likewise appeared to be men of love, experimentally acquainted with true, inward religion. Some of these were burning and shining lights, persons famous in their generations, and such as had well deserved of the church of Christ, for standing in the gap against the overflowings of ungodliness. It cannot be supposed, that these holy and venerable men intended any more, at first, than to show that outward religion is nothing worth, without the religion of the heart; that “God is a Spirit, and they who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth;” that, therefore, external worship is lost labour, without a heart devoted to God; that the outward ordinances of God then profit much, when they advance inward holiness, but, when they advance it not, are unprofitable and void, are lighter than vanity; yea, that when they are used, as it were in the place of this, they are an utter abomination to the Lord. //  In the following discourse, I propose to examine at large, whether there are any means of grace. By “means of grace” I understand outward signs, words, or actions, ordained of God, and appointed for this end, to be the ordinary channels whereby he might convey to men, preventing, justifying, or sanctifying grace. I use this expression, means of grace, because I know none better; and because it has been generally used in the Christian church for many ages; — in particular by our own Church, which directs us to bless God both for the means of grace, and hope of glory; and teaches us, that a sacrament is “an outward sign of inward grace, and a means whereby we receive the same.” The chief of these means are prayer, whether in secret or with the great congregation; searching the Scriptures; (which implies reading, hearing, and meditating thereon;) and receiving the Lord’s Supper, eating bread and drinking wine in remembrance of Him: And these we believe to be ordained of God, as the ordinary channels of conveying his grace to the souls of men. // But we allow, that the whole value of the means depends on their actual subservience to the end of religion; that, consequently, all these means, when separate from the end, are less than nothing and vanity; that if they do not actually conduce to the knowledge and love of God, they are not acceptable in his sight; yea, rather, they are an abomination before him, a stink in his nostrils; he is weary to bear them. Above all, if they are used as a kind of commutation for the religion they were designed to subserve, it is not easy to find words for the enormous folly and wickedness of thus turning God’s arms against himself; of keeping Christianity out of the heart by those very means which were ordained for the bringing it in. // We allow, likewise, that all outward means whatever, if separate from the Spirit of God, cannot profit at all, cannot conduce, in any degree, either to the knowledge or love of God. Without controversy, the help that is done upon earth, He doeth it himself. It is He alone who, by his own almighty power, worketh in us what is pleasing in his sight; and all outward things, unless He work in them and by them, are mere weak and beggarly elements. Whosoever, therefore, imagines there is any intrinsic power in any means whatsoever, does greatly err, not knowing the Scriptures, neither the power of God. We know that there is no inherent power in the words that are spoken in prayer, in the letter of Scripture read, the sound thereof heard, or the bread and wine received in the Lord’s Supper; but that it is God alone who is the Giver of every good gift, the Author of all grace; that the whole power is of him, whereby, through any of these, there is any blessing conveyed to our soul. We know, likewise, that he is able to give the same grace, though there were no means on the face of the earth. In this sense, we may affirm, that, with regard to God, there is no such thing as means; seeing he is equally able to work whatsoever pleaseth him, by any, or by none at all. // We allow farther, that the use of all means whatever will never atone for one sin; that it is the blood of Christ alone, whereby any sinner can be reconciled to God; there being no other propitiation for our sins, no other fountain for sin and uncleanness. Every believer in Christ is deeply convinced that there is no merit but in Him; that there is no merit in any of his own works; not in uttering the prayer, or searching the Scripture, or hearing the word of God, or eating of that bread and drinking of that cup. So that if no more be intended by the expression some have used, “Christ is the only means of grace,” than this, — that He is the only meritorious cause of it, it cannot be gainsayed by any who know the grace of God. // Yet once more: We allow, though it is a melancholy truth, that a large proportion of those who are called Christians, do to this day abuse the means of grace to the destruction of their souls. This is doubtless the case with all those who rest content in the form of godliness, without the power. Either they fondly presume they are Christians already, because they do thus and thus,- -although Christ was never yet revealed in their hearts, nor the love of God shed abroad therein: — Or else they suppose they shall infallibly be so barely because they use these means; idly dreaming, (though perhaps hardly conscious thereof,) either that there is some kind of power therein, whereby, sooner or later, (they know not when,) they shall certainly be made holy; or that there is a sort of merit in using them, which will surely move God to give them holiness, or accept them without it. // 4. As to the manner of using them, whereon indeed it wholly depends whether they should convey any grace at all to the user; it behoves us, First, always to retain a lively sense, that God is above all means. Have a care, therefore, of limiting the Almighty. He doeth whatsoever and whensoever it pleaseth him. He can convey his grace, either in or out of any of the means which he hath appointed. Perhaps he will. “Who hath known the mind of the Lord or who hath been his counsellor” Look then every moment for his appearing! Be it at the hour you are employed in his ordinances; or before, or after that hour; or when you are hindered therefrom: He is not hindered. He is always ready, always able, always willing to save. “It is the Lord: Let him do what seemeth him good!”

Secondly. Before you use any means, let it be deeply impressed on your soul; — there is no power in this. It is, in itself, a poor, dead, empty thing: Separate from God, it is a dry leaf, a shadow. Neither is there any merit in my using this; nothing intrinsically pleasing to God; nothing whereby I deserve any favour at his hands, no, not a drop of water to cool my tongue. But, because God bids, therefore I do; because he directs me to wait in this way, therefore here I wait for his free mercy, whereof cometh my salvation.

Settle this in your heart, that the opus operatum, the mere work done, profiteth nothing; that there is no power to save, but in the Spirit of God, no merit, but in the blood of Christ; that, consequently, even what God ordains, conveys no grace to the soul, if you trust not in Him alone. On the other hand, he that does truly trust in Him, cannot fall short of the grace of God, even though he were cut off from every outward ordinance, though he were shut up in the centre of the earth.

Thirdly. In using all means, seek God alone. In and through every outward thing, look singly to the power of his Spirit; and the merits of his Son. Beware you do not stick in the work itself; if you do, it is all lost labour. Nothing short of God can satisfy your soul. Therefore, eye him in all, through all, and above all.

Remember also, to use all means, as means; as ordained, not for their own sake, but in order to the renewal of your soul in righteousness and true holiness. If, therefore, they actually tend to this, well; but if not, they are dung and dross.

Lastly. After you have used any of these, take care how you value yourself thereon: How you congratulate yourself as having done some great thing. This is turning all into poison. Think, “If God was not there, what does this avail Have I not been adding sin to sin How long O Lord! save, or I perish! O lay not this sin to my charge!” If God was there, if his love flowed into your heart, you have forgot, as it were, the outward work. You see, you know, you feel, God is all in all. Be abased. Sink down before him. Give him all the praise. “Let God in all things be glorified through Christ Jesus”. Let all your bones cry out, ‘My song shall be always of the loving-kindness of the Lord: With my mouth will I ever be telling of thy truth, from one generation to another!'”
(from John Wesley, “The Means of Grace” [Sermon 16], I.1-4; II.1-5; V.4)

Prayers & Readings for Reflection — Week #13 (Transfiguration & Ash Wednesday)

Prayer #1 — Prayer for the Last Sunday After the Epiphany – Transfiguration (BCP 217):

O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer #2 — Prayer for Ash Wednesday (BCP 217):

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer #3 — “Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above” (Charles Wesley):

1. Praise the Lord who reigns above and keeps his court below; praise the holy God of love and all his greatness show; praise him for his noble deeds, praise him for his matchless power; him from whom all good proceeds let earth and heaven adore. // 2. Celebrate th’ eternal God with harp and psaltery, timbrels soft and cymbals loud in this high praise agree; praise with every tuneful string; all the reach of heavenly art, all the powers of music bring, the music of the heart. // 3. God, in whom they move and live, let every creature sing, glory to their Maker give, and homage to their King. Hallowed be thy name beneath, as in heaven on earth adored; praise the Lord in every breath, let all things praise the Lord. (Lyrics & Music)

Thanks to HymnSite.com for providing this public domain midi file and text.

– See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/Find-Resources/Global-Praise-/Charles-Wesley-Hymns/Praise-the-Lord-Who-Reigns-Above#sthash.BevCjuLH.dpuf



 

Reading #1:

 



Covenant Group Guidelines:

1. What was your devotional life like this week? How did God use the Scriptures in your life? What prayers or readings were significant for you?

2. When did you feel closest to Christ this week?

3. How did you fail Christ as his disciple this week?

4. What story could you share of growth and faithfulness in following Jesus?

5. How could we best pray for you regarding your walk with Christ as his faithful follower?

 

Prayers & Readings for Reflection — Week #12 (After Epiphany 6)

Prayer #1 — Collect for the 6th Sunday After the Epiphany (BCP 216):

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer #2 — (BCP):

Prayer #3 — “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” (Charles Wesley):

1. O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace! // 2. My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim, to spread through all the earth abroad the honors of thy name. // 3. Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease; ’tis music in the sinner’s ears, ’tis life, and health, and peace. // 4. He breaks the power of canceled sin, he sets the prisoner free; his blood can make the foulest clean; his blood availed for me. // 5. He speaks, and listening to his voice, new life the dead receive; the mournful, broken hearts rejoice, the humble poor believe. // 6. In Christ, your head, you then shall know, shall feel your sins forgiven; anticipate your heaven below, and own that love is heaven. (Lyrics & Music)

Thanks to HymnSite.com for providing this public domain midi file and text.

– See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/Find-Resources/Global-Praise-/Charles-Wesley-Hymns/O-For-a-Thousand-Tongues-to-Sing#sthash.uGDWHC8w.dpuf



 

Reading #1:

 



Covenant Group Guidelines:

1. What was your devotional life like this week? How did God use the Scriptures in your life? What prayers or readings were significant for you?

2. When did you feel closest to Christ this week?

3. How did you fail Christ as his disciple this week?

4. What story could you share of growth and faithfulness in following Jesus?

5. How could we best pray for you regarding your walk with Christ as his faithful follower?

 

Prayers & Readings for Reflection — Week #11 (After Epiphany 5)

Prayer #1 — Collect for the 5th Sunday After the Epiphan (BCP 216):

Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer #2 — (BCP):

Prayer #3 — “And Can It Be That I Should Gain” (Charles Wesley):

1. And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood! Died he for me? who caused his pain! For me? who him to death pursued? Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? // 2. ‘Tis mystery all: th’ Immortal dies! Who can explore his strange design? In vain the firstborn seraph tries to sound the depths of love divine. ‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; let angel minds inquire no more. ‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; let angel minds inquire no more. // 3. He left his Father’s throne above (so free, so infinite his grace!), emptied himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race. ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, for O my God, it found out me! ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, for O my God, it found out me! // 4. Long my imprisoned sprit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night; thine eye diffused a quickening ray; I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed thee. My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed thee. // 5. No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in him, is mine; alive in him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine, bold I approach th’ eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own. Bold I approach th’ eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own. (Lyrics & Music)

Thanks to HymnSite.com for providing this public domain midi file and text.

– See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/Find-Resources/Global-Praise-/Charles-Wesley-Hymns/And-Can-It-Be-That-I-Should-Gain#sthash.3qMNVZoz.dpuf



 

Reading #1:

 



Covenant Group Guidelines:

1. What was your devotional life like this week? How did God use the Scriptures in your life? What prayers or readings were significant for you?

2. When did you feel closest to Christ this week?

3. How did you fail Christ as his disciple this week?

4. What story could you share of growth and faithfulness in following Jesus?

5. How could we best pray for you regarding your walk with Christ as his faithful follower?

 

Prayers & Readings for Reflection — Week #10 (After Epiphany 4)

Prayer #1 — Collect for the 4th Sunday After the Epiphany (BCP 215):

Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer #2 — (BCP):

Prayer #3 — “Depth of Mercy” (Charles Wesley):

1. Depth of mercy! Can there be mercy still reserved for me? Can my God his wrath forbear, me, the chief of sinners, spare? // 2. I have long withstood his grace, long provoked him to his face, would not hearken to his calls, grieved him by a thousand falls. // 3. I my Master have denied, I afresh have crucified, oft profaned his hallowed name, put him to an open shame. // 4. There for me the Savior stands, shows his wounds and spreads his hands. God is love! I know, I feel; Jesus weeps and loves me still. // 5. Now incline me to repent, let me now my sins lament, now my foul revolt deplore, weep, believe, and sin no more. (Lyrics & Music)

Thanks to HymnSite.com for providing this public domain midi file and text.

– See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/Find-Resources/Global-Praise-/Charles-Wesley-Hymns/Depth-of-Mercy#sthash.XBbdiKOO.dpuf



 

Reading #1:

 



Covenant Group Guidelines:

1. What was your devotional life like this week? How did God use the Scriptures in your life? What prayers or readings were significant for you?

2. When did you feel closest to Christ this week?

3. How did you fail Christ as his disciple this week?

4. What story could you share of growth and faithfulness in following Jesus?

5. How could we best pray for you regarding your walk with Christ as his faithful follower?

 

Prayers & Readings for Reflection — Week #9 (After Epiphany 3)

Prayer #1 — Collect for the 3rd Sunday After the Epiphany (BCP 215):

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer #2 — (BCP):

Prayer #3 — “Forth in Thy Name, O Lord” (Charles Wesley):

1. Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go, my daily labor to pursue; thee, only thee, resolved to know in all I think or speak or do. // 2. The task thy wisdom hath assigned, O let me cheerfully fulfill; in all my works thy presence find, and prove thy good and perfect will. // 3. For thee delightfully employ what e’er thy bounteous grace hath given; and run my course with even joy, and closely walk with thee to heaven. (Lyrics & Music)

Thanks to HymnSite.com for providing this public domain midi file and text.

– See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/Find-Resources/Global-Praise-/Charles-Wesley-Hymns/Forth-in-Thy-Name-O-Lord#sthash.zCCPmQZT.dpuf



 

Reading #1:

 



Covenant Group Guidelines:

1. What was your devotional life like this week? How did God use the Scriptures in your life? What prayers or readings were significant for you?

2. When did you feel closest to Christ this week?

3. How did you fail Christ as his disciple this week?

4. What story could you share of growth and faithfulness in following Jesus?

5. How could we best pray for you regarding your walk with Christ as his faithful follower?

 

Prayers & Readings for Reflection — Week #8 (After the Epiphany 2)

Prayer #1 — Collect for the 2nd Sunday After the Epiphany (BCP 215):

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer #2 — (BCP):

Prayer #3 — “Come, Let Us Use the Grace Divine” (Charles Wesley):

1. Come, let us use the grace divine, and all with one accord, in a perpetual covenant join ourselves to Christ the Lord; Give up ourselves, thru Jesus’ power, his name to glorify; and promise, in this sacred hour, for God to live and die. // 2. The covenant we this moment make be ever kept in mind; we will no more our God forsake, or cast these words behind. We never will throw off the fear of God who hears our vow; and if thou art well pleased to hear, come down and meet us now. // 3. Thee, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, let all our hearts receive, present with thy celestial host the peaceful answer give; to each covenant the blood apply which takes our sins away, and register our names on high and keep us to that day! (Lyrics & Music)

Thanks to HymnSite.com for providing this public domain midi file and text.

– See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/Find-Resources/Global-Praise-/Charles-Wesley-Hymns/Come-Let-Us-Use-the-Grace-Divine#sthash.rSCbIbTM.dpuf



 

Reading #1:

**consider Wesley’s quote on the Lord’s Supper in Sermon #26 and from #16 on “The Means of Grace”



Covenant Group Guidelines:

1. What was your devotional life like this week? How did God use the Scriptures in your life? What prayers or readings were significant for you?

2. When did you feel closest to Christ this week?

3. How did you fail Christ as his disciple this week?

4. What story could you share of growth and faithfulness in following Jesus?

5. How could we best pray for you regarding your walk with Christ as his faithful follower?

 

Prayers & Readings for Reflection — Week #7 (After Epiphany 1: Baptism of the Lord)

Prayer #1 — Collect for the 1st Sunday After the Epiphany – Baptism of the Lord (BCP 214):

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Prayer #2 — For All Baptized Christians (BCP 252):

Grant, Lord God, to all who have been baptized into the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, that, as we have put away the old life of sin, so we may be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and live in righteousness and true holiness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer #3 — “” (Charles Wesley):

 



 

Reading #1:

 



Covenant Group Guidelines:

1. What was your devotional life like this week? How did God use the Scriptures in your life? What prayers or readings were significant for you?

2. When did you feel closest to Christ this week?

3. How did you fail Christ as his disciple this week?

4. What story could you share of growth and faithfulness in following Jesus?

5. How could we best pray for you regarding your walk with Christ as his faithful follower?