Call to Worship
Leader: As we gather here today, we ask God to give us a persistent faith.
People: We come with open hearts, seeking the strength and unwavering persistence.
Leader: In our prayers, may we learn to hold on to God's promises and refuse to let go.
People: We hold on, trusting that our prayers will be heard and answered.
Prayer Is the Soul's Sincere Desire UMH 492
Prayer of Confession
Gracious and Merciful God, We come before you today, acknowledging the times when our faith wavers, and our persistence in prayer falters. We confess that there have been moments when we have doubted your willingness to answer our prayers, moments when we have grown weary and let go too soon. Forgive us, O Lord, for our impatience, our tendency to seek quick solutions rather than waiting on your perfect timing. We repent for the times when we have not held onto your word with the unwavering faith you deserve. Grant us the strength to persevere in prayer, to cling to your promises, and to trust in your perfect wisdom. May our faith be renewed, and our hearts be transformed by your grace. In the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray with faith and persistence, we offer this prayer. Amen.
Words of Assurance
Leader: Hear the good news, dear friends, for God has heard our confessions.
People: We declare with joy that in God's grace, our sins are forgiven.
Passing of the Peace
Genesis 32:9-13, 22-30
Wrestling With God by Pastor Kevin Rutledge
Hymn of Response
O Lord, Hear My Prayer TFWS 2200
Tithes and Offerings
Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow UMH 95
We thank you for the abundance of blessings you have showered upon us, and we acknowledge that everything we have belongs to you. As we offer these gifts, we rededicate ourselves to the persistent pursuit of your will in our lives. May our offerings be a symbol of our commitment to be faithful stewards of your grace. Bless these gifts, O Lord, and guide us in using them for the advancement of your kingdom, for justice, and for the alleviation of suffering. May our actions mirror the persistent love and compassion of Christ. In his name, we pray. Amen.
Pastoral Prayer and Lord's Prayer
Sweet Hour of Prayer UMH 496
Said Each Week as A Communal Prayer:
Send to us all the people who feel unwanted and unloved everywhere else, and if they can't come to us, send us to them.
This Week's Reading Plan
Jacob and Esau are Reconciled: Genesis 33:1-11
Pharaoh's Dream: Genesis 41:1-24
Joseph to the Rescue: Genesis 41:25-36
Joseph Is Exalted: Genesis 41:37-45
Enslaved in Egypt: Exodus 1:8-14
Defiant and Dauntless Women: Exodus 1:15-2:10
Moses and the Burning Bush: Exodus 3:1-15
Reflections and Caring Conversations
Please use the prompts and prayers below to aid you in your devotions for this week.
Morning Prayer: Lord, as I wake up today, I draw strength from the audacity and tenacity of Jacob's prayer life. I recognize that I often approach You with timidity. Yet, I understand now that I need to be more audacious and tenacious in my prayers. Help me to express my needs and desires to You, knowing that You hear me and care about my requests. Like Jacob, may I have the boldness to wrestle in prayer and refuse to let go until I receive my blessing. Amen.
Evening Prayer: Dear Lord, as I prepare for rest, I am reminded of Jacob's unyielding prayer. Like Jacob, help me to have the audacity to wrestle with You in prayer, to not let go until I receive my blessing. May I carry the lessons from Jacob's life into my own prayer life, shifting from timidity to tenacity, and in doing so, find my life transformed. Amen.
Reflection Question: In the sermon, we explored Jacob's audacity and tenacity in prayer. How does this perspective challenge or inspire your current prayer life? Can you identify any specific changes you want to make?
Reflection Question: Reflecting on the sermon, what stood out to you about the concept of wrestling with God in prayer? How can you apply this concept in your own prayer life?
Reflection Question: The sermon highlighted the transformative power of persistent prayer, as seen in Jacob's life. How might you cultivate persistence in your own prayers, even when answers seem slow to come? How can you encourage others to do the same?