Tim McCaine and Don Chaney were celebrating birthdays as we gathered to worship Sunday morning at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Doug Cory greeted the congregation, and special prayers were requested for Jimmy Easter, Don Chaney, Becky Johnson, Rachel and husband, the Joe Carpenter family and Gene Hall.
Rick Lett taught the adult Sunday school lesson, "God Promises," a study of the seventh chapter of Isaiah. "Since God is sovereign, His people can trust His promises. God's plans are a source of hope for His people and God expects His people to respond in faith. God brings judgment to those who fail to trust Him."
Linda Abercrombie shared the devotional, "Seeing the Glass Half Full," with scripture from Psalm 128:1. Optimists are happier than pessimists. Reflect your joy and faith in Christ by maximizing success and minimizing failures for more happiness.
Susan Cory and Karen Gardner led the congregation in hymns of faith and special music came from Jerry Abercrombie, who sang, "The Old Rugged Cross," and Karen who sang, "There Is A River."
This was the last week in a mini-sermon series about prayer and healing. Pastor Mark Hall reflected on the confession of faith, the intercession and the illustration that prove God's work. This week's message was "The Prayer of Power or Power of Prayer," with scripture reading from 1 Kings 18:41: "Then Elijah said to Ahab, 'Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.'"
Brother Mark told us that Elijah didn't need a weatherman, he knew the weather maker. "Elijah was a man with a nature just like ours. He knew there was a time to pray." Brother Mark read Psalm 66:18, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear," and said, "If I have a sin in my life, God doesn't hear except asking Him to forgive you as a sinner first. We can do a lot of Christian things with sin in your heart, but the one thing you can't do with sin in your heart is have your prayers heard."
Brother Mark talked about four things of Elijah's prayers. "First, Elijah prayed with a purpose for an abundance of rain. It was to bring glory to God. He was jealous for the glory of God. Being jealous for the glory of God is not the same as being jealous for the glory of the church, congregation or denomination. We all serve the same master. The glory belongs to God, not us."
Second, Brother Mark told us that Elijah prayed with posture. "We can pray anywhere, anytime, but when you really get serious, get away from distraction. Go to your secret place and get on your knees with reverence and go to God away from distraction. Focus on Him during prayer."
Third, Elijah prayed with persistence. Brother Mark said, "Seven times Elijah prayed. He came close to giving up on something short of wonderful." In Luke 11:5-13, Jesus tells us to ask, seek and knock.
Brother Mark told us that fourth, Elijah prayed with power. He referred to 1 Kings 18:44-46, the hour of power for Elijah. "The power comes from the promise. It was not because Elijah was more holy than anyone. When God makes a promise, we can bank on it. You do your part and God will do His."
Before the invitation, "Lord, I'm Coming Home," Brother Mark asked, "Do you know you are saved? How is your prayer life? Have you been getting the spiritual rain you need? We need a revival." Jerry gave the benediction.
Sunday evening, we enjoyed the Triumphant Quartet as they sang in Blankenship Park in Southwest City. Thanks to the City of Southwest City for getting the park ready for the concert. We invite you to worship with us on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Sunday school begins at 10 a.m. and everyone is welcome.
Opinions expressed are those of the author.