The First 15

Thursday May 5, 2022

by Jan Davis

Today is Thursday, May 5 and we are exploring what the bible says about the Means of Grace.

Opening Prayer

As I enter a time of prayer, I pause and become still. I calm my thoughts and silence my mind. I breathe deeply and slowly, and center myself upon the presence of God.

Pause and Pray

Holy and loving God, in these first fifteen minutes of my day, I long to experience your presence. Come Holy Spirit, reveal what you want me to know about the power of sanctifying grace in my life. Enable me to hear the unique message you have for me in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I join all God’s people and worship my maker with the ancient words of Psalm 95.

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice. Psalm 95:6-7

Pause and Pray

In the eighteenth century, spiritual leader John Wesley established three general rules for the burgeoning societies of the Christian renewal movement called Methodism. The General Rules of Methodist Societies are first to do good, second to do no harm, and third to attend upon all the ordinances of God. An ordinance is a proscribed religious rite practiced by a Christian believer. Ordinances do not have power in themselves, but when practiced have the ability to expose a person regularly to God’s grace at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. I can make these ordinances holy habits in my life. The six Means of Grace are – the public worship of God, the ministry of the Word either read or expounded, the Lord’s Supper, family and private prayer, searching the scriptures, and fasting or abstinence. Today, let’s consider the practice of public worship.

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24


The opportunity to come into God’s presence with other Christian believers and worship him is an essential part of the Christian life. Jesus tells me when two or three are gathered in his name he is there among them. The church sanctuary is the primary place I gather with other believers in the name of Jesus. In the act of worship, I give myself to God, I praise him and thank him, I join in prayer and sing hymns and songs expressing the depths of my love and appreciation. Worship is where I participate in the sacraments of baptism and holy communion. Worship is a “means of grace” – a place God often works to reach me and transform my soul. Being present in worship is the beginning of opening myself to the work of the Holy Spirit and invites God in.

Ask: How regular is my current attendance at public worship? How have I experienced the activity of the Holy Spirit sanctifying my soul in the midst of a worship service?

Pause and Pray

Father God, thank you for the opportunity to gather together in public spaces and worship you. Help me understand how to worship in spirit and in truth. Teach me how to welcome the Holy Spirit and expose me to the means of grace. Remind me of the precious gift of worshiping alongside other believers and let nothing interfere with my commitment to attend church. I read the words from John again and listen for the message you have for me.

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24

Ask: What image, word or phrase stands out to me when I slowly read this passage? What is God trying to say to me through these words of scripture?

Pause and Pray

I recall meaningful public worship experiences in my past. What made those times of worship powerful? Perhaps it was the venue, the style, the setting, the music, the preaching, or the season of my life. I consider my reasons for attending (or not attending) worship services at my current church. Maybe I go to church to “check a box” or connect with friends or maybe I go to church to be in the presence of God and connect with him. Perhaps I go to church to give something away or perhaps I go to church to receive something for myself. How might God want me to participate in worship as a means of grace and move me closer to holiness of heart and life?

Pause and Pray

Come, Holy Spirit, I long to experience your presence in worship. Teach me how to be more receptive to your grace. Help me learn to open my soul and receive you. It is only through your power that I can improve and grow in Christian maturity. Teach me what it means to worship in spirit and in truth. Amen.

Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Psalm 122:1

Closing Prayer

I leave this time of prayer with a renewed commitment to the worship of God. I go to serve others until my next opportunity to gather with my brothers and sisters in church.


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