Monday, October 13, 2008

With All Our Strength

Back in March when I began my bout with acute arthritis, I gained a new appreciation for what it means to praise Him with my strength. For the first time in my life, it actually took A LOT of strength to simply stand and not fall over, to hold the microphone and not drop it, and to lift my hands much past my waist.

Yesterday, we explored the theme of activating our faith. To go along with that theme, I decided we should activate our worship time as well.

To that end, we celebrated the act of worshipping with our whole bodies. We stood, we spoke, we shouted, we whispered, we sat, we stood again, we clapped, we lifted our hands in prayer (sorry, we stopped before the liturgical dance, Whit...).

Some may have grown tired. Some may have broken a sweat. But we praised Him with our strength yesterday.

Perhaps most meaningful was when we lifted our hands together in prayer. Paul, in his first letter to Timothy, wrote, "I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing." What is ironic is that in many places, if you asked people to lift holy hands in prayer as Paul did, it would lead to anger or disputing...

But yesterday, I invited them to lift their hands, and we prayed:

Father, we stand before You this morning with our hands raised to You. It represents our desire to lift You up in the world as well as in our lives. We truly praise You this morning with all our strength and with our whole being. From the top of our heads to the tip of our toes, You are exalted!

As Paul reminded us, we lift up to You those in places of human authority. May they recognize that they are still in submission to You. May they be wise in their decisions and act with mercy. May they use their power to help lift the burdens from the poor and oppressed.

Father, we thank You for Your Son, Jesus, who was lifted up on the cross, and who was lifted up in resurrection and victory. Thank You that one day You will take us by the hand and lift us up to be with You forever.

To You be praise and glory and honor through the name of Jesus. Amen.

Lord, I lift Your name on high
Lord, I love to sing Your praises
I'm so glad You're in my life
I'm so glad You came to save us!

You came from heaven to earth to show the way
From the earth to the cross my debt to pay
From the cross to the grave
From the grave to the sky
Lord, I lift Your name on high!


preacherman said...

As I was in ICU and was going through physical therapy. Satan would put a thought in my head you can do it with your own strength. You don't need God. He's the one who made you sick. One night while I was in ICU I had a rough night. I surrendered everything over to Jesus Christ. Yes, I was a Christian but hadn't totally surrendered everything. I gave it all to Jesus. From then on, while in ICU and physical therapy I would think in my mind and even say out loud I can do all thing through "Christ" who gives me strength. As I took my first steps after being paralized for four months I thought in my mind, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." The step was a success. I did it with the next step and the next. I started walking even though I had no reflexes in my legs or feet. The Dr.'s were amazed and could not understand how I was walking without those reflexes. I then Shared my faith. One Dr. said the power of the mind is strong. Thinking I was doing it all on my own strength. Again, I reminded him not "I" but "Christ". I think when we totally surrender our will, everything over to Jesus then we really start to see the strength of God displayed in our lives. Thank you Shane for allowing me to share my testimony. Thank you for this wonderful post. It is one of the best you have ever done. I love reading your blog. It encourages and does give me strength to start to the day off right. Keep up the great work you do brother. May God bless your life in a powerful way! I hope you have a great day. :-)

Linda L said...

Shane, it was a very neat thing for me when you asked the congregation to lift their hands in prayer. A very sweet friend, Linda Jones, helped me connect into the powerfulness of being needy. By that, I mean allowing God to work in my life through my weaknesses. She asked us in a ladies' bible class to try praying with our hands open and upturned to God. It was kind of awkward at first because that act made me feel vulnerable to God. But it was also, I think, an active way for me to trust God to take care of me in all ways. I really enjoy praying that way now and find myself doing it more often than not! I think its a great way for me to get myself in line to listen to the Father and surrender my will and my heart to Him.

preacherman said...

I have a question to ask is your praise team going to be releasing a new CD? If so when?

Shane Coffman said...

If all goes as planned...look for one around August of next year.

preacherman said...

Thank you Shane, I will put it on the calendar. I am excited! You and the praise team will be in my prayers daily.

Anonymous said...


Thanks I needed that.

Thanks for having me last month. I enjoyed it.