HOME SUNDAY RESOURCE: September 22nd, 2019
The command to follow: Persevere through worship
Researchers have found that moving our bodies and adding actions to our learning significantly increases our ability to remember. Here is a hand action you can add to the command to remember it:
Take both hands with palms facing out at chest level, pushing away and then raising them up above your head in a posture of exaltation.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGE: Acts 16:16-40
Use the simple Discovery Bible Study (DBS) format on the Home Resource tab to facilitate the reading and discussion.
Paul and Silas are in prison for disruption in the marketplace in Philippi.
“But at midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 (NKJV)
To encounter a room full of worshippers, giving praise and thanks to God for all He has done is truly a glorious experience. The atmosphere is electric when the body of Christ comes together in celebration. Sight, sounds, and feelings are turned up and the whole place seems to come alive in the Presence of God. It is something the Church is, or at least, should be known for most: our willingness to offer worship to the Lord.
Yet even in the best circumstances, worship can seem empty and without color in our imaginations and our experience.
So, what would prompt such a response from these two men in the prison at Philippi? Paul and Silas were beaten and shamed; accused of bringing misfortune to the city, and labeled disturbers of the peace. They were treated unfairly and felt stuck. Yet somehow, in the midst of a hopeless situation in a dark and dirty cell, these lovers of Jesus, simple servants of the King, were moved to worship. They offered their best to Jesus in the midst of their worst.
Worship is not limited to just songs and prayers. Worship is giving all that we are, all our attention and affection, on Him who is worthy to receive glory. Not because the environment around us creates it, or because our circumstances make sense of it. We give praise to our God for He is good, and His mercy endures to all generations (Psalm 100:5). Let us persevere, as we present praise to the Lord!
Persevere (definition) - continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.
- Few of us, if any, will ever experience such extreme circumstances like Paul and Silas. Our “prisons” may look like illness, broken relationships, financial burden, or even the seemingly mundane/ordinary rhythms of life. How might worship look for you in the midst of a hopeless situation?
- What are some “practices” you go to when you find yourself needing to persevere? ( ex. Paul and Silas offered prayer and songs)
Here are three youtube links to songs that you can use during the "worship" portion of the DBS:
How did Paul and Silas worship the Lord in this story? (ex. shared the good news of what Jesus had done for us with others, prayed, sang songs of praise)
How did Paul and Silas’ worship help them make it through annoying, unfair, and difficult circumstances? (aka how did their worship help them persevere?)
Has anybody ever annoyed you? What was that like? How did you feel or react to that person? How was Paul’s reaction the same or different than yours?
Paul and Silas were treated very unfairly by the Roman government. Have you ever been treated unfairly? What was that like? How did you handle that situation?
Paul and Silas had open sores and blood on their bodies as they sat in their prison cell. If you were Paul and Silas, what do you think you would do as you lay there in the dark, cold prison cell?
For more detailed resources and activities for kids, click this link below:
For more general ideas on how to structure Home Sundays with kids, see our HOME RESOURCE IDEAS FOR KIDS
Be encouraged to include the kids as much as possible in your gatherings. Have them listen to the scriptures as they are read aloud, participate in communion, or lead you all in worship. Perhaps ask them how they heard the text, and invite them to re-tell back to everyone in their own words.
As we persevere in worship, try engaging the following reflective questions together or individually:
The Father calls us to worship, pray, and rejoice in every season. He doesn't do it to challenge us or keep us holy. Rather, in light of our humanity, He knows that reminding ourselves of the Truth is the most helpful, life-giving thing we could do. He is Lord. He is faithful. He is kind. He is good. When our circumstance preach a different story, we are instructed to persevere in worship and trust in his nature and character more than our current realities.
Ask yourself: Is there an area of my life where I am struggling to experience the goodness and kindness of the Lord?
Confess the challenge: With honesty and without holding back, confess to the Lord how difficult this area is for you.
Declare the Truth: After validating what you feel, begin to declare what is true of the Lord. The enemy despises a people of God who are both alive and healthy in heart (expressing and aware of their emotions) but steadfast and committed in prayer and worship (refusing to curse God and harbor bitterness). Read, sing, or pray aloud Psalm 100:5, "The Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." As you practice praise, remember you are not simply convincing yourself that everything is alright. You are not silencing your emotions. You are acknowledging hardship and bringing it fully to the Lord. You are acting in faith, led not by what you see or feel, but declaring what you know to be true. In this way, allow your soul and Spirit to be strengthened as you persevere in worship.
As a Navah family, we close our gatherings with the Lord's Prayer - could we encourage you to do the same in the home? It helps us all remember we are part of a bigger faith family that is under one Father praying together to see His Kingdom come here in KC as it is in heaven.
We are in the middle of 40 Days of prayer. Be sure to check out the link below on how to engage in prayer as a community and with your region: