The Passionate Spirit-ual Practices of Prayer

What are your present habits of prayer?

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.

John Donne an English poet from the same period as Shakespeare wrote,
“No man is an island, entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of a continent, a part of the main.”

How does this reflect the Bible’s teaching about the Church being the Body of Christ?

How does this influence your perspective on praying alone? Praying with others? Praying with not-yet-Christians made in the image of God?

Tim mentioned several forms of prayer: the daily office, prayer-walking, and intercessory. Have you ever practiced other forms? What were they? Did you find them helpful? Would you commend them to others? Would you be willing to help another to learn how to pray in that way?

Crossroads always includes prayers for other nations in the bulletin. Why do you think this is an important topic for the church to be praying about?

Pentecost – Joel 2:18-32

CELPentecostWhat point did you find helpful and encouraging from the sermon? Did it bring you hope?

Tim pointed out that Joel 2:17-32 was fulfilled in one person first – Jesus Christ. The ultimate day of the LORD’s wrath is still to come upon all his enemies outside of (i.e., not trusting in) Christ. The ultimate day of God’s saving work is still to come upon all his people in Christ.

Regarding the Apostle Paul’s letters Dr. Tom Wright notes, “[Paul’s] theology has the character of inaugurated eschatology, that is, of a sense that God’s ultimate future has come forwards into the middle of history, so that the church is living within – indeed, is constituted precisely by living simultaneously within! – God’s new world and the present one.” He goes on to write, “Restorative justice, this covenant faithfulness through which creation itself will be redeemed, has been unveiled already, in advance, in the apocalyptic events of Jesus’ messianic death and resurrection.” (Paul, 57)overlapping ages

If you were to use a different set of words to communicate “inaugurated eschatology” what would they be? Imagine you wanted to explain this to your non-Christian neighbor or a 3rd grader in Christian Education.

Read Paul’s letter to the Colossians 2:9-15.

How does “realized eschatology” help you to understand Paul’s meaning?

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10.

How should “realized eschatology” impact our life?
Missionally (activity done for the sake of God’s mission to bring blessing to all the families of the earth)?

What if “realized eschatology” were not true. How would that change the nature of Christianity?

Prayer Focus for USA – Sunday, May 24

unsa-MMAP-smUSA:  The American Church needs revival – not the slick mass evangelism and theatrics associated with the word, but true revival with conviction of sin, repentance and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. More often than not, the public face of Christianity turns people away from Jesus rather than drawing them to Him. The gospel is often little more than a self-help philosophy. Thank God for the pockets where revival is happening; pray that it may spread. These are some of the prayer challenges for the 21st Century Church: Notional Christianity illustrates a failure of discipleship. If all of the US’s self-proclaimed believers were to actually practice their faith, the transformation in society would be incredible. Instead, a pick-and-choose spirituality and inconsistent application of Jesus’ teachings yield a disconnect between how Christians live and what the Bible instructs.


Wedding Sermon

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Prayer Focus for United Kingdom – Sunday, May 17


United Kingdom, Europe:  Christianity is increasingly marginalized by a hostile media and public mood. Christian morality and belief in the uniqueness of Jesus are labelled “intolerant”. Government regulations make it increasingly difficult to minister in the public arena. Many believe serious persecution is not far off. Pray that believers may recognize and address the decline of Christianity in the public sphere. Pray that they may recover confidence in the gospel and boldness and passion to share it – lovingly and unapologetically – with the majority who have little concept of its content. (

The Hospitality of Gathered Worship

welcomeWho is someone that comes to mind when considering the theme of “hospitality”? Is there someone who comes to mind who is the opposite of “welcoming”? Tell a story to explain.

In Romans 14:3 and 15:7 Paul writes that God the Father and the Son have welcomed the people of God. How has Jesus Christ welcomed us; what does God the Father require of us to be a part of his Kingdom? (If you are stuck then read Romans 3:19-28)

Do you sense that you are warmly welcomed into God’s family? Do you have a sense of your citizenship being secure through the welcome our hospitable God has provided?

Since God has sacrificed in order to make our gatherings possible, how can we likewise welcome one another (Romans 15:7)? In other words, what sorts of sacrifices might we need to maklords-suppere in order to make all kinds of Christians feel welcomed at gathered worship on Sunday?

Luke 22:14-22 relates Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper. Why is our regular practice of Communion one way of helping us to learn that gathered worship is hospitable?

Prayer Focus for United Arab Emirates – Sunday, May 10

unae-MMAP-smUnited Arab Emirates, Asia:  The unreached: The indigenous Arab population. Both urban educated and rural illiterate (including the semi-nomadic Bedouin) have limited meaningful access to the gospel. The Arab believing population is increasing, however, though not without significant risk to their livelihood and safety. Discipleship for these believers and opportunities for fellowship are great needs. Arabic language BCCs and teaching via broadcast media are valuable resources. (

Prayer Focus for Ukraine – Sunday, May 3


Ukraine, Europe: The Greek or Uniate Catholic Church, which follows the Orthodox liturgy and structure but accepts the leadership of the Pope, is large. There is much competition for limited resources, reacquired buildings and dwindling populations. Superstition and superficiality are widespread, but those with a love for God and the Scriptures remain faithful. Pray that spiritual life and renewal, rather than power-politics, may govern structures and relationships within these large Christian bodies. (

Gathered Worship Has a Flow (No Audio Recording)

flowThe Flow of Gathered Worship at Crossroads
What stood out to you from the sermon Sunday?

Have you worshiped at churches that had a flow somewhat like the revivalist movement? (Prayer –> Song –> Song –> Prayer –> Sermon –> Altar Call –> Prayer –> Song). What did you like about it? What are the positives? Why did Tim say that worship in this tradition can feel like going round and round in a turn-style? To see the video he referred to visit

The beginning of worship at Crossroads highlights the majesty of God and his act of creating and sustaining all things. (Those mighty deeds of God are traditionally referred to as Creation and Providence). If you invited your not-yet-Christian friend to Crossroads worship service how would you explain why we focus on God as Creator and the world as his creation?

The next movement in the worship service is about God’s people confessing their sins and receiving God’s grace afresh. This highlights that God is not only a Creator but a Restorer of his creatures. Why is it important that we continue to confess our sins as the Church? What kind of a relationship with God does this help to develop? How could our confession of sins be a good thing for non-Christians to see us do?

The next part in the flow of Crossroads gathered worship is “God Instructs Us”. Read Acts 2:41-42. After Peter’s evangelistic sermon and baptism of 3000 people the people began to meet together for worship. Which activity of theirs corresponds to “God Instructs Us”? Why put this part of the worship service here? How does it’s placement highlight the logic of the gospel (grace –> law and not law –> grace)?

Next in the service is “God Communes with Us” which we celebrate on the second and fourth Sundays of the month at Crossroads. Read 1 Corinthians 10:16-17. Paul is describing what’s known as Communion or the Lord’s Supper. Why is it appropriate that we celebrate this together at our regular gatherings on Sundaflowing streamy? Why would it be inappropriate to celebrate it by ourselves as individuals?

The last movement in Crossroads worship service is “God Commissions Us” to be participants in his restorative mission. God addresses us as our Covenant King and Lord through the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and Benediction and we address him (and one another) in song. Do you think that God’s commissioning of us is a part of the gospel, the good news? How is this good news along with all of the rest of the worship service? How does it help us to understand God and ourselves better?