Sweet Hour of Prayer

Posted on 01/01/2017 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:

- - - -

*******

Please click one of the offering plates in Second Life or at http://almcyberchurch.org, and give as the Lord leads.

*******


JOYFUL JOYFUL

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee,
Op'ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow'ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o'er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.


LORD YOU'VE BEEN SO GOOD

VERSE ONE
Lord, You've been so good to me
You gave me sight when I was blind
You showed me light I could not see
You brought me truth I could not find

Lord, You've been so good to me
You paid a debt I could not pay
You turned my darkest night to day
Lord You've been so good to me!

CHORUS
And so I praise You in the morning
and I praise You in the night
For You are my Salvation
You are my Guiding Light
So I give You my everything
I just can't give You less
When You sent Your Son to love me
You gave me Your best!

VERSE TWO
Lord, You've been so good to me
You set my feet on solid ground
You rescued my life from the grave
when no other help could be found
Lord, You've been so good to me
and I could never repay
All the love You gave so freely
Lord, You've been so good to me!

(CHORUS)

BRIDGE
Lord You've been so good to me
Lord You've been so good to me (better than I deserve)
Lord You've been so good to me
You paid a debt I could not pay
You turned my darkest night to day
Lord You've been so good to me

Lord You've been so good to me
Lord You've been so good to me (you're good all the time)
Lord You've been so good to me
and I could never repay
All the love You gave so freely
Lord You've been so good to me

(CHORUS)

You gave me Your best!
You gave me Your best!

Lord, You've been so good to me.


HOLY HOLY HOLY

Holy, holy, holy!
Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning
our song shall rise to Thee.

Holy, holy, holy!
merciful and mighty,
God in three persons,
blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy!
all the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns
around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim
Falling down before Thee,
Which wert, and art, and
evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy!
though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man
Thy glory may not see,
Only Thou art holy;
there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power,
in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy!
Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise Thy name,
in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy!
merciful and mighty,
God in three persons,
blessed Trinity.


*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction. ***


Heavenly Father, thank You for this opportunity to be in Your presence. Thank You for showering us with Your love and care. As we continue in this service, I ask that You would guide my words. That everything I do would be pleasing to You and bring You glory. I pray all this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

You may be seated.

Today is the first of this new year...the year 2017. I have a good friend on facebook who likes to choose words for the year. Sometimes I choose them and sometimes I don't. If I had to choose a word for this year, I think it would be prayer.

One of my favorite hymn is Sweet Hour of Prayer. The lyrics to this old hymn are amazing.

Sweet hour of prayer
Sweet hour of prayer
That calls me from a world of care
And bids me at my Father's throne
Make all my wants and wishes known

This first part of verse one, tells of this unseen thing that calls, that bids, that makes...like it is alive almost.

The verse continues with:

In seasons of distress and grief
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the temper's snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer

found relief...escaped...is it me or do these lyrics speak of an entity that is alive? You do know what I am speaking of, right? Prayer! The special conversation with have with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit! We speak to Him. He speaks to us. It is constant, unceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18New King James Version (NKJV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Some people get silly when they see pray without ceasing because they think they need to close their eyes, get down on their knees, etc etc etc. Well please do not close your eyes and get on your knees if you are praying while driving!! God will not be upset if you have your eyes open while you pray. :)

Back to the verses of the hymn.

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!


Did you notice as I was reading this verse? In a way, it is speaking of having a place, a station to go...as in being a watchman on the wall...praying and seeking the face of God. "Where God my savior shows His face" I love that part! Show Your face, oh Lord!

Verse 3 is like this...

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I'll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Our petitions are sent on thy wings.
Engage the waiting soul to bless.

And since He bids me seek His face, ((bids...calls...beckons me to seek His face...to know him intimately))
Believe His Word and trust His grace, ((I can believe His Word. I can trust His grace...for everything He says and does is TRUE!))
I'll cast on Him my every care...((I'll cast my cares upon Him for not only does He care for me, but He is the ONLY ONE that cares enough for me...only He can save me from my sins! Only He can bring hope!))

And the last verse...

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah's lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight.
This robe of flesh I'll drop, and rise
To seize the everlasting prize,
And shout, while passing through the air,
"Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!"

It's about us going home to our eternal resting place in heaven. "This robe of flesh I'll drop, and rise" It's truly an amazing hymn when you go through it like this.

And now, I'm going to sing this hymn.

For me, this sweet hour of prayer is not a certain time...a time to pray or a set place to pray. Though of course those are well and good, but for me...for me I see it as a lifestyle of prayer. A pray without ceasing lifestyle of prayer. One I need to work on.

And thankfully, God says come. Come, My child, and be with me. Come and let us talk or be silent. Just come.

So, this is what the altar call will be. A coming to God to be with Him. I think we sometimes just want to talk and talk and talk. He doesn't mind, but I wonder if at times He would like us to be still with Him. To allow Him to minister to us. To allow Him to speak to us. To allow Him to do what only He can do. To speak to us in His still small voice and to love us the way only He can.

So, come and allow God to be with you and to minister to you.

If you need prayer or ministry, please instant message on of us on the ministry team. We're happy to help you in any way we can.

After this time at the altar, you are all welcome to join us for a time of fellowship in the room up the stairs to your left.

Whenever you need to leave, you are free to do so.

May God bless you. May He Who bids you seek His face speak softly to you this week. May He Who brings relief to weary and broken souls carry you through this week.

Go in His peace that passes all understanding!