Passage: Matthew 22:24-46
On Sunday, October 29, 2023 Pastor Bruce Johnson preached on “The Stewardship of Prayer”. The Gospel Lesson was Matthew 22:34-46.
The sermon emphasized the importance of prayer in the lives of individuals and the early church, highlighting the need for aligning with God's purposes, experiencing God's provision through prayer, and being witnesses to the Risen Lord through prayer and fasting.
- Prayer is essential for aligning our lives with God's purposes and receiving His provision.
- The prayers of individuals and the church help meet the needs of others and strengthen their faith.
- The early church devoted themselves to prayer, seeking guidance, wisdom, and strength from God.
- The early church prayed for boldness and the Holy Spirit filled them, enabling them to speak the word of God with confidence.
- Prayer was essential for the leaders of the church to fulfill their work, as seen when they chose seven men to minister to the poor so that they could continue to devote themselves to prayer and the service of the word.
- Even in the face of persecution and martyrdom, Stephen prayed for his enemies, demonstrating the powerful witness of forgiveness.
- Discipleship is not just about private spirituality but learning to follow Jesus together in a community.
- Loving our neighbor is paramount and requires active involvement in each other's lives.
- Reformation is an ongoing process in the church, and the solution to bad church practices is reform and renewal, not abandonment.
The hymns were “Shalom to You”, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”, "How I Love Jesus", “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord” and “Sweet Hour of Prayer”. The Offertory anthem was “Praise Him!“ by Craig Courtney” sung by the Sanctuary Choir under the direction of Patrick King and accompanied by Heidi Jacobs.
Sunday was the Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost.