June 29, 2014
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
Sermon Series on “All My Day: A Summer of Prayer”
By Marcia McFee
Sermon 2 of series-
Psalm 105:1-6 Common English Bible
Exodus 15:1-3 The Living Bible
Psalm 89:1-18 The Message Bible
“All My Adoration…!”
Let us pray…(pray for God’s illumination…)
A reading from the book of Exodus, chapter 15, verses 1-3…listen for a word from God to you and me the people of God…
15 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord:
I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
He has thrown both horse and rider into the sea.
2 The Lord is my strength, my song, and my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him.
He is my father’s God—I will exalt him.
3 The Lord is a warrior—
Yes, Jehovah is his name.
ad·o·ra·tion [ad-uh-rey-shuhn] noun
1. the act of paying honor, as to a divine being; worship.
2. reverent homage.
3. fervent and devoted love.
1. deep love or esteem
2. the act of worshipping
I love reading the Psalms. They help me in my times of trouble because they remind me of God’s goodness and mercy even through those rough spots in life. One of my favorites is Psalm 105 verses 1-6. It reads:
105 Give thanks to the Lord;
call upon his name;
make his deeds known to all people!
2 Sing to God;
sing praises to the Lord;
dwell on all his wondrous works!
3 Give praise to God’s holy name!
Let the hearts rejoice of all those seeking the Lord!
4 Pursue the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always!
5 Remember the wondrous works he has done,
all his marvelous works, and the justice he declared—
6 you who are the offspring of Abraham, his servant,
and the children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
I love how it talks about God and how awesome He is. It is right to give God the praise for all He has done…is doing or will ever do in our lives. But…I have a question for each of us. How many times do we begin our prayer time in adoration to God? Do we take time to address God for who He is and what He has done in our lives or do we just get right down to the “nitty gritty” of why we are there? Do we stop and think of how wonderfully awesome our God is or do we just skip that part and get right to our request from Him?
I have found in my own prayer time that when I take the time to stop and thank God for who He is my whole prayer time is transformed. I feel that connection with God because I have brought to mind who He is. I feel even stronger that my prayer will be answered because I have reminded myself of how God has answered in the past. It is at these times when I feel am sitting at His feet having a personal conversation with Him…a heart to heart so to speak…from my heart to His…
So how do we approach the throne of grace in such a way? For what or how do we really pray so that we can build a closer relationship with God. We want to have that “living-room conversation” with God. This summer, we are going to try and do just that. We have begun learning about prayer and what it is and how to pray. We have all had those times when we have gone to God and not known what to say…what to pray for. My hope is that our Summer Sermon Series “All My Days: A Summer of Prayer” will help us do just that…learn a way of prayer that will bring us closer to the maker of all we survey. But we are going to do it in a very tangible way.
This morning you were all given a set of prayer beads that Jessica, Ray and myself have made. Now the tradition of using a string of beads or rope knots is an ancient tradition as well as being a ritual action shared by many faith traditions around the globe. The common connection is the ability to give structure to personal prayer devotion. It offers a way to remind and revisit various areas of focus and concern. Repeated rituals can be powerful as they help shape our habits. This summer, we are invited to pray “All My Days” and to make a habit of prayer wherever you are. Each Sunday in worship we will focus on one of the steps of the prayer beads but you are encouraged to pray these categories all summer long. Now I want you to bring your beads with you to church as we spend the summer sitting at the feet of God spending time in prayer.
Last week Ms. Sally started us off by explaining what prayer is…it is a conversation between the created and the Creator. This week I would like to talk about a little thing…OK a BIG thing…called adoration. Now I have given you the definition of adoration at the beginning of my sermon this morning.
After reading the definition I really had to rethink how I use this word. For instance…“I really adore these shoes…they fit just right…they are my favorites” or “I adore how much you care for me Ray…”…“ I adore my cat Fiona”…adoration of things and people in my life. Now I “love” people and things but do I really “adore” them…do I really show “adoration” to them and if I do…am replacing God as I do it? Do I worship my things…my cat… or my husband? Do I look to these things instead of God? Well my cat seems to think so but my answer to that is no. But… I need to think more about how I use this word and what I really mean when I use it.
Prayer…it begins with adoration of God. Our God is so awesome how could we not want to spend time thanking Him and adoring Him? As we begin with adoration our whole perspective is changed. As a matter of fact, we can give god adoration any time, not just during prayer time and it will change our perspective on life. Case in point…”My life is so filled with pain and anguish, how can I keep going on?” … “God…thank you that you are so awesome and powerful and that you are always with me. Even in the desert parts you are there. Thank you for helping me to get up out of bed today and move about. I trust that you will get me through whatever I need today by Your grace and mercy…” “My life is so tough, I never have the money I need to do what I want…” “Thank you God for how You provide what I need and some of my wants. I know that I have been in this spot before with low funds and I look forward with expectation for how you will help me through this. You are so wonderful and loving to Your children making sure we never go without.” Makes a difference doesn’t it?! As we begin to rethink our lives we begin to see the blessings all around us. Adoration…it makes a life good…
Let us pray…pray in adoration of who God is…