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Thanksgiving and praise
In Psalm 100:4-5 we are encouraged to praise and give thanks to God:
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
We begin our service with a prayer of thanksgiving, followed by a song of praise.
Almighty God, creator and redeemer, we praise you for the beauty of the world around us and for every gift we enjoy.
Thank you for creating us to know you, to love you and to obey you. Most of all, we praise you for your amazing love in sending your Son to restore your world by dying for us and rising to give us new life. Accept our praise and thanksgiving, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
As we prepare to receive God’s word, let’s ask for God to be at work within us.
We thank you heavenly Father, for inspiring all Scripture by the Holy Spirit. Help us by your Spirit so to hear your holy word that we may be equipped for every good work, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison
12 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 3 When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”
12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyedshe ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”
16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.
18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 19 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed
Marty will now preach the sermon
We are the people of God, but Scripture reminds us that we still sin. We need to confess our failures, knowing that the Lord Jesus intercedes for us with the Father, who freely forgives us, through his infinite goodness and mercy.
So let us draw near to God with sincerity and confidence, and pray together.
Heavenly Father, you have loved us with an everlasting love, but we have gone our own way and rejected your will for our lives. We are sorry for our sins and turn away from them. For the sake of your Son who died for us, forgive us, cleanse us, and change us. By your Holy Spirit, enable us to live for you and to please you in every way; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In 1 John 1:9, those who confess their sins are assured with these words:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Allow Marty to lead you in prayer. Finish with the Lord’s Prayer.
Let’s conclude our time of prayer with the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
As we conclude our service, let’s be encouraged by these words from the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it! Amen.
Thanks for sharing with us! See you next week.