Worship in Prayer
Personal Growth Time
The superintendent may invite attendees to review the four goals of Sabbath School orally. The teacher may invite class members to apply the topic of the lesson study to their lives, and invite guests to study for baptism. Ask your pastor for guidance.
The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal
“Take Time to Be Holy”
“Give Me Jesus”
“Live Out Thy Life Within Me”
He Is Our Song
“Pass It On”
“Make Me a Servant”
“All Consuming Fire”
Fast-food Religion encourages attendees to slow down and enjoy the opportunity to spend time with heaven’s royal family. Duplicate and/or project the list. Find three people to do the dramatization. Option: Develop a list of families willing to invite specific numbers of people into their home during the week to experience family worship. Carefully match the families concerning gender, the ages of adults and children, etc. Also ask families to videotape their worship and make the tapes available to be signed out.
Catch a Glimpse of Glory
Project onto a screen some Hubble photos of galaxies. Also display photos of Jesus as king and commander as portrayed by some Seventh-day Adventist and other Christian artists.
To worship is to spend time with God. The thought for today on personal spiritual growth is by Henry Cloud, coauthor of How People Grow.
“One of the biggest obstacles to growth is our view of God. If we are going to grow in relation to God, then we must know who God is and what He is really like. . . . People do not grow until they shift from a natural human view of God to a real, biblical view of God. The first aspect of that shift has to be the shift from a God of law to the God of grace. People must discover that God is for them and not against them” (How People Grow, p. 66).
Scripture: Psalm 34:8
(Using steering wheels only, two people “drive” down the aisle to the front of the meeting place. They speak in a droning voice. The waiter in the “window” wears a hat labeled “Fast-food Religion” and never speaks.)
Driver 1: Good morning! I’ll have one small drink, the concentrated faith. Make that a cherry faith. I’ll take a medium-size prayer—I need some spiritual muscle. And, of course, I want some blessings. Make mine a super-size order of blessings! And pu-leez hurry! I overslept again.
(Waiter hands Driver 1 a bag, and he/she speeds away. As Driver 2 approaches, the waiter holds up a yellow quarter-moon shape bearing the word “midnight.”)
Driver 2: What a day! No time to drink at the well. That’s an archaic thought! Enough of that. Give me a super-duper size of good intentions, and spritz in some peace that passes understanding. I’ll take the weight watchers’ praise. Praise just doesn’t sit well on my stomach. And I need two orders of the joy of knowing Jesus. I can’t seem to get filled up on that stuff. Oh, yes, give me the special on spiritual guidance. And do be quick about it!
(The waiter hands over the order, and the driver speeds off. The waiter exits. The drivers return to stage without the steering wheels.)
Driver 1: There are times when our best efforts to spend quality time with God fall through. So plan for those times.
Keep a small stash: a small Bible and devotional in your purse, briefcase, desk, or locker.
Memorize: Paul and Silas did not have hymnbooks or Bibles in jail. Enough said.
Multitask. Pray while in the shower. Sing praises while sorting clothes. Repeat Bible texts while running around the track or while in the elevator. You get the idea! In waiting rooms—even if you’re the doctor—fill vacant minutes with praise for and conversation with God.
Driver 2: Yes, there are times when we have time to breathe only a quick prayer. Sometimes we must have short devotionals. But if this time of worship is the routine, we are the losers. Just as Grandma is always glad to have the children pay her quick visits and showers them with love anyway, God is glad to spend the moments with you that you give to Him. But just as the children are not getting the full advantage of knowing Grandma deeply or experiencing the joy of gaining all the wisdom and hugs she has to share, Christians addicted to fast-food religion are missing a lot that God longs to share with them. Here are some suggestions to help you organize a consistent, quality-time daily worship:
(Drivers alternate in giving the following suggestions provided by David Yeagley, pastor of the church in Lansing, Michigan)
Bathe Your Efforts in Prayer. The best-laid plans will fall flat without God working through them. Make prayer the first step in planning each family worship, and then stand back and watch Him work!
Start Small. Don’t start with elaborate, time-consuming plans. Set yourself up for success and avoid burnout by organizing simple activities that take minimal effort.
Give It a Test Run. Invite your family to participate in a weekly family worship for a period of one month. By limiting the commitment time, you will make it easier for your family to accept the changes, especially if you have older children who have gotten into their own activity patterns. After your trial run is over, let your family evaluate the experience and make any necessary adjustments.
Make It Fun. Your children probably won’t remember everything you say. But they’ll never forget the laughter and the memories you’ve made. So go ahead and have a ball.
Keep Them Guessing. Don’t get stuck in a rut. The fun of family worship is not knowing what will happen next. Plan a wide range of activities that will provide something for everyone in the family within a worship week.
Be Consistent. Your worship has the greatest chance of success if everyone puts it on their calendar.
Driver 2: I like to say that organized family worship is like the Energizer bunny. It keeps you growing, and growing, and growing—growing strong in your relationship with God.
Driver 1: I like to say that having an organized, regular family worship program is like eating high-energy bars that provide staying power. Try it; you’ll like it!
Catch a Glimpse of Glory
Some astronauts went to another planet and encountered intelligent life. They radioed back to earth: “There are people here! And they’re Christians—Baptists!”
A silly story, of course, but it touches on the fact that the universe is interested in the plan of salvation, particularly the death of Jesus on the cross. It’s important that we understand the universal implications of Christ’s death on our behalf, especially because His death was not only on our behalf but on behalf of the onlooking universe who needed answers about the Father.
(Read from The Desire of Ages, “God With Us,” page 19, paragraph 2, beginning “But not alone for His earthborn children was this revelation given.”)
What Bible texts can you find that will help us see the interest of the onlooking universe regarding the issues of sin, salvation, and the death of Jesus on the cross? (Give participants time to respond.)
Yes, we can see that the issues involved regarding what’s happening here are not limited to this planet. One of the best-known places to see this is in the first few chapters of the book of Job. We can see in this book the great controversy taking place somewhere other than here on earth and spreading to earth.
(Read Revelation 12:7-12.)
Now let’s take a few minutes to try to put ourselves in the place of the unfallen angels. You have known Jesus, your Creator, only as the king of the universe. You’ve known Him only in the glory and majesty and grandeur that He has in heaven. You and I glimpse that glory and grandeur by what some of the prophets have written about regarding what they’ve seen. We have known Jesus only as we see Him revealed in the Bible. But not one of us has seen Him for ourselves in His preincarnational glory.
Unfallen angels have seen more than what the pens of the prophets are able to convey to us. Now, think about what must have been going through the minds of the angels upon seeing Jesus, the king of glory, come to earth in the form of a baby. Imagine the angels watching Jesus grow up in an impoverished family in a backwater town of a relatively small nation. What do you think the angels must have thought as they watched Him—their Lord, the one who created them—grow up into an adult.
Imagine, too, what the angels must have thought when they saw Him go into the wilderness and fast and be tempted by Satan. They saw it all.
Imagine what the angels felt while watching Christ’s humiliation and passion as He suffered the indignities of the cross. The angels saw Him descend from the top to the bottom, not because fate just happened to befall Him, but because He chose to do so.
Can you even imagine His sacrifice? What lessons do you think the onlooking universe learned by watching what Jesus, their commander, allowed Himself to suffer for human beings? What might they have learned about the Father that they couldn’t comprehend before?
(Pause for discussion.)
What the angels learned must have nearly boggled their minds. After all, who knows how many eons they had existed in a sinless environment before the crisis of sin occurred? The lessons must have been astonishing, and no doubt they went a long way in helping answer the questions the angels might have had regarding God’s government and the accusations Satan has made against it. After all, a God who would do what Jesus did must be a God anyone can trust!
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists