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Marlene Gray and Aaron Garvin were celebrating birthdays as everyone gathered to worship Sunday morning at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Doug Cory greeted our visitors and opened our service with prayer. Special prayers were requested for Joann, Laurie, Dayna, Daniel Parish, Kevin Sherman and Danny and Wayne Johnson.

Janet Chaney shared the devotional, "If Jesus Came," and asked, "If Jesus came at this moment, would you change anything you are doing, saying or who you are with? If He came to spend some time with you, would you change your plans? Would you want Him to meet your friends?" She also read a humorous poem called "Heaven" and read John 3:16. Wayne Holly asked the blessing upon the offering and he and Doug served as ushers.

Congregational hymns included "Revive Us Again" and "Heavenly Sunlight," led by Karen Gardner with Susan Cory at the piano. All were blessed with special music from Jenny and daughters, who sang, "Keep the Oil in My Lamp" and "I Can Only Imagine." We also heard from guest speaker, the director of Carenet, the pregnancy resource center of Neosho, who shared information about the organization's Christian outreach programs.

Our pastor, Brother Mark Hall, continued thoughts from last Sunday's message about the Prodigal Son with this Sunday's sermon, "My Brother Is the Problem," and read Luke, chapter 15. As he talked about the two sons, he reminded us that every child is unique, but the problem with the two brothers is that neither one understood grace.

"The younger brother thought he didn't deserve grace and the older brother thought he did deserved it. Both were wrong." Brother Mark continued by telling us about some other problems that the two brothers had.

In Luke 15:29-31, the scripture tells us that the older brother was a worker-spiritually and physically. He was an obedient son who stayed at home to help and he was a close son to his father. The younger brother was none of those and the older brother had a problem with that. The older brother believed his biggest problem was his younger brother, while the younger brother believed his biggest problem was his older brother. The younger brother had a past. Everyone loves him, but the older brother is mad about him and doesn't think that he belongs at home because of his actions. The older brother has never confessed of wrong because he thinks he has never done anything wrong.

Brother Mark said, "There are prodigal sons everywhere. There are some who would like to go to church but are afraid there are too many older brothers there who might not want them because of their past or their actions. Everyone has struggles. All brothers have struggles. The younger brother is at a disadvantage because he doesn't have the knowledge of his father and is not close to his father like the older brother."

Brother Mark continued by telling us that the brothers didn't really have a problem with each other, their problem was with themselves.

"The younger brother was unrighteous and the older brother was self-righteous. It was a war on their spiritual family. The father loved both of them. They were stronger together when they had a love for their father and one another."

Brother Mark talked about three pens. "The younger brother found the pigpen. He was the only person in it. The older brother was in the goat pen where they were always butting each other. But we need to be in the spiritual pen-the sheep pen-where we pray for one other." James 5:16 says, "Confess your trespasses to one another, pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."

In closing, Brother Mark said that we have so many prodigal sons who can't come home because they won't come to their senses. They aren't honest enough to confess. "As Christians, do we let them come home when they want? We need to get them back in the sheep pen to pray for them, not the goat pen where they just get butted around."

Our hymn of invitation was "Without Him," and David Collingsworth gave the devotional.

Mill Creek Baptist wants to invite everyone to the annual Homecoming on Aug. 18 as we celebrate 114 years of worship at Mill Creek. We will have special music from SpringStreet, who will sing during our morning worship service and after lunch in the fellowship hall.

Everyone is welcome to come worship at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Sunday school begins at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11 a.m. Mill Creek Baptist Church is located 3 1/2 miles east of Noel or 8 1/2 miles west of I49, just off Highway 90, on Upper Mill Creek Road.

Religion on 08/08/2019

Print Headline: Fervent Prayer of a Righteous Man Avails Much

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