Sunday bulletin

Nehemiah 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. Then all the people answered, "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

1 Timothy 2:8 Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.

Many Christians worship by lifting their hands during a service or song.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  The people during Ezra’s, David’s, and Timothy’s time did the same thing.  But does that lifting of hands movement have a purpose, or is it like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable who raised his hands in prayer as a spectacle for all to behold?   The lifting up of the hands in the passages above all had to do with very humble prayer.  But what does that lifting up have to do with a mission-minded ministry in your life or congregation? 

We may think of IN-REACH as a ministry of the Word of God to those in our “household of faith” (aka our congregation), and OUT-REACH as taking the Word of God to all as we go along with our daily lives.  But what then is UP-REACH?  Up-reach is a simple way of remembering to lift up our hands in prayer to the Lord (whether our hands are low or high) for His blessings on our ministry of His Word.  My mission-minded ministry takes prayers to the Lord in asking for personal strength for myself and my congregation to have a willing heart to share the gospel.  It is prayer that the Lord blesses the efforts we do as a congregation or individually so that we trust “His Word will not return to Him void, but accomplish what He pleases” (Isaiah 55:11)

As we have the heart from our Savior to speak about His dying love for all sinners, and His conquering of death for us all in His resurrection, let’s not forget the power of prayer (James 5:16)!  Humbled by the blood of our Savior’s redemptive work, may the simple UP-REACH we do through prayer to our Lord and Savior Jesus be our confidence He will be with us and bless us as we pray about keeping a mission-minded ministry among us!

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