#persistanceinprayer

Persistence in Prayer

My Literal translation of Matthew 7:7-8

“Be continually requesting and it will be given freely to you. Be continually seeking and you will find. Be continually knowing and it will be opened to you. Because all the ones continually requesting receive and all the ones continually seeking find and to all the ones who continually knocking it shall be opened.”

“Earlier in this sermon Jesus had given the disciples a model prayer (Matt. 6:9–13). Now He assured them that God welcomes prayer, and urged them to come to Him continuously and persistently. This is emphasized by the present tenses in the verbs: “keep on asking”; “keep on seeking”; “keep on knocking” (7:7). Why? Because your Father in heaven (v. 11) delights in giving good gifts (cf. James 1:17) to those who persist in prayer.” – The Bible Knowledge Commentary

Join us tomorrow at 11:15 AM on Facebook live @calvarychapelsi and at www.calvarychapelsi.org. We also are on live on 570AM The Mission at 11:30AM. For a downloadable outline for the message see below.

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We are having no physical services at Calvary this weekend. This Sunday we will only have one service at 11:15 am that can be streamed through one of the following options:

-broadcast live on Facebook (@calvarychapelsi )
-Livestream on our Website (calvarychapelsi.org)
-We broadcast live on 570am WMCA beginning at 11:30am.

“See” you Tomorrow!

#calvarychapelsi #statenisland #statenislandchurch #virtualchurch #churchonline #sundayservice #anxiety #fear #peace

Outline for the Message

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For a downloadable outline right click below

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The Lord’s Prayer in the days of COVID-19

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     Our Father – Thank You that You are so personal. You are “our Father”. You are “my Father”. We are part of Your family. We get to call You Abba which means Daddy. You are a Father who gives good gifts to His children. You are a Dad we can come to with all our concerns for as our father, we are Your concern.  We can run to You when we are afraid. Right now we are afraid for our city and our nation and our friends and our families and even for ourselves. We run to Your arms.  May we feel Your embrace. Help us to trust You Father!

Who art in Heaven – You are not like our earthly fathers who are imperfect and who have limited perspectives. You are perfect and deal with us always in Your perfect love and faithfulness. You have a heavenly and eternal perspective. You know our needs before we ask. You can and do work all things for good to those who love You, those who are called according to Your purpose. That’s us, even in the midst of this pandemic.

Hallowed be Thine Name – LORD here in Your presence, around Your throne room, we can hear the angels spontaneously say “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” We join with them in proclaiming that You are Holy. There is none like You and You swear by Your holiness. As we catch a glimpse of You in this way we fall on our faces and cry with Isaiah “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips”.  We have taken You way to lightly. Forgive us for not revering You for who You are.

Thy Kingdom Come – Yes, Lord. It is not about us but You. It is not about our Kingdom but Yours. Lord in this moment when I am worried about my world help me, help us, to be kingdom minded. May we seek first even in this moment Your kingdom God and Your righteousness. May the first thoughts out of my lips be “how can I help to advance the kingdom” in the crisis we are facing.

Thy will be done – Yes Lord. It is not about my will but Yours. Lord, we are praying for this cup to pass but nevertheless not our will but Yours be done. We want it to end now. We do not want another single moment to pass with the suffering and anxiety that this virus brings but we yield to Your perfect will. Yes, Your will be done.

On earth as it is in heaven – May we the earthly beings be as obedient to Your will as the heavenly being are. May we seek to carry out Your will like our citizenship is from heaven because it in fact is.  Lord we don’t understand but we know You make no mistakes.

Give us this day our daily bread – We are dependent on You for our food. You open Your hand and meet the desire of every living thing. Please provide for us. We are dependent upon You for life, and breath and hope and strength. Please provide for those who have the greatest needs right now. For those struggling with this illness please bring healing, for those scared please bring comfort, for those filled with anxiety please give peace and for those who are without strength please give them the strength they need to persevere on. Please Lord, especially help our healthcare workers and first responders, our doctors, nurses, technicians, Police Officers and Firefighters and EMS workers and those providing transportation with the MTA. May they and we find in You a sure source of strength.

And forgive our trespasses – We have sinned against You Lord.  Our sins should not be taken lightly. Our sin separates us from You. Jesus had to die for our sins so that we could be forgiven. We are grateful for His sacrifice, but we are aware that if we regard iniquity in our hearts the Lord won’t hear us. So we thank You for Your promise that if we confess our sins You are faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Lord, in our stress we have said things we shouldn’t have said, done thing we shouldn’t have done and thought things we shouldn’t have thought. Yet we are without excuse. Thank you for Your forgiveness that restores to you.

As we forgive those who trespass against us – As forgiven people Lord we have an obligation to forgive others as we have been forgiven. Lord, people have let us down, people have done us wrong. Our public officials have not been prepared and have not always been truthful with us. They have been petty and partisan.  Lord, help us to forgive as we have been forgiven.

And lead us not into temptation – Lord we know You don’t tempt us but You often allow us to be tried. Our faint hearts ask for the least amount of trials possible. We are so afraid our faith will fail. We are grateful that You won’t let us be tested above what we are able to bear and that You will provide a way of escape so that we may bear it. Right now Lord we think You may have us confused with someone else. It doesn’t appear we can bear this. Please give us the strength we need to endure this test. Please help us experience the way of escape.

But deliver us from evil – Yes Lord, rescue us from the evil that is around us and the evil one who would destroy us. Rescue us from the evil in our society and the evil in our own hearts. Save us from this virus. Heal those struggling with this virus. Please give us a cure. We are grateful for any help that the government can give us but we know that ultimately “vain is the help of men”. Thank You for the fact that You’re the greatest of all Saviors and You can save us to the uttermost through Jesus Christ both now and more importantly eternally.

For thine is the Kingdom – You reign now and forever

And the power – You are the One in perfect control

And the glory – Your name will be magnified

Forever – Both now and through eternity, from this most difficult of times until we are with You forever.

Amen. – May it be so.

Blessings,

Pastor Dave Watson

#coronavirus – “From at Least Six Feet Away”

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Please join us Wednesday night at 7:30 P.M.  for our virtual prayer meeting on Facebook live – @calvarychapelsi

  “From at Least Six Feet Away”

“How do we achieve being socially distant but spiritually connected is what I’m trying to figure out.” These were the words of Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo yesterday as he concluded his daily coronavirus news conference. He is undoubtedly not the only one asking this question. Good news Governor! I know the answer.

This is a question that the first Christians had to deal with.  Almost from the start they were under severe persecution that resulted in separation and isolation from both physical and spiritual families. They had a profound understanding of what being socially distant meant. Perhaps that is why the writers of the New Testament addressed this issue of being connected while being distant in such distinct terms.

Followers of Jesus Christ have a very unique relationship with their Savior. The Apostle Paul describes it this way “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” (1 Corinthians 6:17) The Greek word used by Paul for join here is “kallomai” which emphasizes the close relationship of being a disciple. The text literally says “But the one who is joined to the Lord is one spirit”. As a disciple of Jesus Christ there is no distance between Christ and myself spiritually speaking. We are one. That is true of all of His followers, so we are also one with each other. This oneness is part of Jesus’ prayer in John 17 where He asks “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21).

The relationship that God’s children have with the Father, the Son and each other is often referred to as fellowship. The Greek word for fellowship is “kononia”. That Greek word means that we have an association involving a close mutual relationship.  The Apostle John says it this way: “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3).

That same word. “kononia” is used in Paul’s Benediction of 2 Corinthians. There he prays that “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). We see in this text that the Holy Spirit is involved in producing this Fellowship as well as the Father and the Son. The whole Trinity is involved.

What is clear from these texts is that Christians don’t have to be in the same room to be together. Because we are all one with the Lord, we are also joined to each to each other no matter the geographical boundaries. Beyond that, the fellowship that we share with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, is something we have with each other even from a distance.

One of the purest ways to experience this connectedness is through prayer. Spiritually speaking, as we pray together even when we are apart, we are in the same place. We at the throne of grace. The writer of Hebrews in fact invites us there saying “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

When we call a fellow believer on our cell phone we can know that we are one in the Lord. As we send a text to a brother or sister we are sure that they and we share fellowship with one another and with our Lord. When we pray with one another virtually through Facebook, through streaming, through zoom, etc. to seek mercy and grace in this hour of need we are together on our knees at the throne of grace.  We are, spiritually speaking, connected in the same room, the throne room of God.

So, the answer to the Governor’s question “How do we achieve being socially distant but spiritually connected?” is simple but profound. It is a question that the followers of Christ in the first century had to answer as they fled persecution and where separated from their families and each other.  It is best achieved by praying together not necessarily in the same geographical place but in the same spiritual space, the throne room of God. Governor, there is room here at the altar if you want to join us.

Blessings

Pastor Dave Watson

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