Season of Prayer IV Week Two

PRAY FOR THE FPCB COMMUNITY TO ENGAGE IN CONVERSATION ABOUT SCRIPTURE IN SMALL GROUPS, AND SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES.

When you hear the wind howling, have you ever wondered what Pentecost must have been like for Jesus' disciples that year in Jerusalem? The idea of Jesus' disciples suddenly spilling into the street, telling the Good News in all kinds of languages, is fascinating to think about. Yet, what they experienced that day is exactly what Jesus told them to wait for - the coming of the Holy Spirit, the encourager, the breath of God.

The fresh round of persecutions that began shortly afterwards seemed to galvanize Christians to spread the story instead of frightening them into silence. The original little group of disciples began to teach others, going into the known world, starting ministries of their own: telling the story in person - in little groups - telling the Good News - spreading the Word. God used a small group of believers to accomplish great things, and He sustained them with the presence of the Holy Spirit.

First-time visitors to our campus see our large building and may find it overwhelming, fearing that they would feel lost on such a big campus. However, just as the buildings' walls are made of individual bricks, our church (our membership) is made up of many small groups, helping people feel comfortable and welcome in this larger community. Small groups are a hallmark of First Pres Bethlehem, part of our foundation and one of the strengths that allow us to grow when so many others do not. Small groups give us the ability to study, to pray, to encourage each other and to be the face of the Church to our neighbors.

The early Church gathered to pray, to learn the Gospel, and to serve their community, and we are called to do the same things. God speaks to us through Scripture and through the presence of that same Holy Spirit who comforted and encouraged the early Church. Prayerfully consider engaging in conversation about Scripture in your small group(s).



SCRIPTURE VERSES

ACTS 2: 1-8
The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost - When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.Utterly amazed, they asked: "Aren't all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?"

JOEL 2:28-32
The Day of the Lord - "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.

ACTS 5:42
Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

PSALM 119:105
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

MARK 13:31
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

2 TIMOTHY 3:14-15
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

1 KINGS 19:11-13
The Lord said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

JEREMIAH 29:11-14
I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
 


PRAYER

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the earth. O God, who, by the light of the Holy Spirit, has instructed the hearts of your faithful, grant us by the same Holy Spirit to be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Lord, you have made all races and nations to be one family, and you sent your son Jesus Christ to preach peace to them all, both far and near. Lead men and women everywhere to seek you and to find you. Bring the nations of the world into your fellowship, pour out your Spirit on all mankind and hasten your kingdom: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


HYMNS:  

BREATHE
This is the air I breathe
this is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me
This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very Word spoken to me.

And I'm desperate for You
And I'm lost without You.

© Marie Barnett, 1995 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing


BREATHE ON ME, BREATH OF GOD
Breathe on me,
Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew, 
That I may love the way you love, 
and do what you would do.

Breathe on me,
Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with yours,
to do and to endure.

Breathe on me,
Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with you the perfect life for all eternity.   

Public Domain, Edwin Hatch 1878 

MORNING HAS BROKEN
Morning has broken,
Like the first morning,
Black bird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the Word!

Sweet the rain's new fall
Sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dewfall
On the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight!
Mine is the morning.
Born of the one light Eden saw play!
Praise with elation,
Praise ev'ry morning,
God's recreation
Of the new day!

© Words by Eleanor Farjeon, 1931

SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD
Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me .
Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.

© Daniel Iverson, 1935 Words and Music. 1935. Renewed 1963 Birdwing Music