TOCCOA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
THE LORD’S DAY March 29, 2020
CLARINET PRELUDE “A Mighty Fortress” (must click “back” to return to page)
CALL TO WORSHIP (Read Aloud):
PRAYER (Read Aloud)
THE WORD SPEAKS TO OUR LIVES (Pastor Paul Rettew)
Fast in His Fortress
ANTHEM – Oh How He Love You And Me (must click “back” to return to page)
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD
Our Great and Sovereign God of Grace,
We come now to intercede as your people on behalf of our world as it faces this unprecedented crisis. We know that this has not taken you by surprise; that you are at work even now accomplishing your inscrutable purposes: ever just and merciful, ever good and true. We come to your throne of grace,believing that you welcome us and that you are pleased to work through our prayers that are rooted in gospel faith, led by your Spirit, and according to your Word.
Lord, we thank you for your common grace given to all people that is at work in this world to restrain this virulent virus that has such dreadful potential to take lives. In your mercy, you have raised up a great army to fight it.
We lift up our leaders at all levels –our President, Donald Trump; and Vice President, Mike Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force; the Congress; the many branches of government and the leaders of private industries all seeking to do their part; our state leaders: our Governor Brian Kemp and others; and our local leaders, as well.
We ask that you will protect them from sickness, grant them strength and wisdom, cause them to turn to you and to seek your aid. We ask that you will use this crisis to unite us with common vision and mutual concern. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
We thank you for the brilliance and ingenuity that you have given to people; for the opportunity for the public and private sectors to work together to speed remedies to the needy . . . we thank you for providing new means of testing and the progress on vaccines, and we pray that you would continue to pour your common grace on all those who are immersed in this effort with such dedication and sacrifice, that they might be successful for the benefit of the entire world . . . Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
We pray for the hundreds and thousands, who are sick with this virus and the many more who will become sick. We pray that you will provide for the medical care that they require. We ask that our medical facilities will not be overwhelmed and that there will be adequate medicine and equipment for every need. We pray that you will protect life and health.
We ask you to be with everyone in our congregation, especially those who are most vulnerable –to protect us from loss of life, even as we pray for people everywhere. Help us to cast our anxieties on you, to find rest and peace in your great and precious promises. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Lord, we ask particularly that you will heal our land and this entire world of this virus. Restrain it, provide us the medical science to effectively combat it and keep it in check, heal our communities and restore them so that they might be re-engaged in all the wonderful avenues and spheres of life that you have created – that bring glory to your Name; and purge this virus and restore communities so that your Church may not be hindered in its gospel work –so that we might once again be directly, relationally engaged with others, speaking the good news of what you have done in Jesus Christ –that the riches of your grace might be known and you might receive honor and blessing in all the earth. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Lord, we ask that through these hardships, that you would be cultivating and shaping new qualities of grace in your people. May we grow and mature and be strengthened in this time as your church, that we might have even greater resources with which to meet the crises that future days will bring. Help us to be a presence of comfort and reassurance to the people of this community. May your people provide witness to your transforming power in the soul. Show us creative ways that we might continue to be your presence in our community even though we are called to practice social distancing. May each of us make it our commitment to call someone, to pray, and to reach out every day of this crisis — to present ourselves to you to be used by you –and so to grow through this time in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Scripture says—teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. Grant us wisdom in this moment of fear as the foundations of what we know are shaken, that others would realize how fragile life is and how real eternity is, and they would see their need to turn to God. May this crisis afford us the opportunity to be still and to reflect upon the things that matter most, to repent as a nation of many believers for the ways that we grieve and quench your Holy Spirit. Through such hardships may your bring us to our knees and to our senses; cause us to seek you anew, to turn back to you with all our hearts, and to be re-committed to your call to bring the gospel to all people and to manifest the presence of your reign in this world through words of truth and acts of charity. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear us now as a congregation, as we pour out our praises, and thanksgivings, our prayers and supplications . . . whether in a word or a phrase, or many sentences — Lord, it does not matter, for you see our hearts, you know all that is in them, so hear us as we lift our voices to you . . . (during the next few moments, offer your own prayers using your own words, to our Lord.)
And now as we end this wonderful time at throne of grace, we give thanks to you for hearing us and for listening attentively to the cries of your people throughout this nation and this world. We praise you for your compassion and tender mercy, and for all that you are doing and will do. Hear us as we join our voices together now to pray that prayer that our Savior taught us saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. They kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
HYMN OF PRAISE
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;T
he body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.