When God Redirects Our Paths
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
This Is My Father’s World Lyrics
1. This is my Father’s world,
And to my list’ning ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
His hand the wonders wrought.
2. This is my Father’s world:
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.
3. This is my Father’s world:
Oh, let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.
You are the ultimate Healer. Father, we come before You to pray for those infected with this virus. We pray for not only their healing but for them to be comforted while they heal. Lord, please eradicate every ounce of this virus from their bodies. Please heal every cell in their bodies, every infected part of their being. We pray for no lasting effects in their bodies from this illness. Father, please heal them inside and out and provide them with the medical care they need, with the medications they need, and with the healing not only physically but spiritually so that they may live life and live abundantly ahead.
Great Physician, we pray for those most vulnerable to this virus: for the elderly, the weak, those with pre-existing conditions; for the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the isolated and for those already infected. Deliver them from this evil, and prevent the rest of us from carrying it to them. Please protect those who are risking their own lives to care for sick patients and please keep us safe from harm. Put Your hedge of protection around me, my family, and my church family. Remind me that the church is much more than a building. It is a shared spiritual experience of those who love You and are bound together by Your Holy Spirit.
Now, please hear the concerns of my heart as I bring before Your throne of mercy, those who are sick, lonely, depressed, struggling financially, worried, afraid and anxious (2 minutes of focus on whoever and whatever God puts on your heart) …..
In Jesus’ name I pray and now I pray the prayer He taught me to pray…
“Our Father, Who art in heaven hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the Glory Forever. Amen.”