From Fear to Faith

A weekday chapel service focusing on the transformation of fear into faith.

Today's chapel focuses on the transition of fear to faith. As we begin worship this morning, hear these words of the Lord from Psalm 10.

The LORD is king forever and ever;
the nations shall perish from his land.
O LORD, you will hear the desire of the meek;
you will strengthen their heart,
you will incline your ear to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
so that those from earth may strike terror no more. (Psalm 10:16-18)

We come before our Holy God and sing number 11 in Sing! A New Creation “Be Still, for the Presence.”

SNC 11 Be Still, for the Presence

We have just heard about the power of the Lord and sung about his forgiveness. With this assurance let us confess our sins. We pray together…

Almighty Lord, we know that you are king forever and ever. You have promised in your word to shelter us and protect us. We confess we forget your promises. We fear terrorist attacks. We fear war and retaliation. We fear economic insecurity—both nationally and personally. We confess that we do not always trust you to provide for all our needs. Forgive us, O Lord.

Holy God, we also confess our lack of faith. We question our calling, our choices, or even you. We worry about tests and papers [this phrase can be replaced by something more appropriate to the community, such as “deadlines and families” ], but we also worry about our futures. We doubt our ability to do your work. We covet affirmation from others. We are afraid of failing. Forgive us, O Lord.

Father, we confess the times we have inflicted fear on others—whether personally, communally, or nationally—the times we have callously judged or scorned and the times we have not worked for your justice. Forgive us, O Lord.

Finally, we confess the situations we do not fear but should. We confess our apathy towards abuse, famines, disease, racism, and terror worldwide and even here in our city. Forgive us, O Lord.

We pray through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Do not fear. God gives us these words of assurance:

The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:8, 10-12)

The good news of the gospel is that we are forgiven. God has promised and does conquer all our fears. Hear the Word of the Lord from Psalm 46.

Psalm 46

We express our confidence in God's guidance through singing Sing! 188 “Anytime and Anywhere,” a song written by a seven-year-old Japanese girl as she was dying from cancer.

SNC 188 Anytime and Anywhere

We profess our faith by listening to [or speaking, if read in unison] these words.

Our God loves this world,
God called it into being,
God renews it through Jesus Christ,
God governs it by the Spirit,
God is the world's true hope.
God saves the world through Jesus.
Those who call on that name will have life.
Christ's hand reaches out beyond those who say “Lord”
to the infants who live in the atmosphere of faith,
even to the farthest stars and planets of all creation.
The boundaries of God's love are not known;
the Spirit works at the ends of the world
before the church has there spoken a word.
God will renew the world through Jesus,
who will put all unrighteousness out,
purify the works of human hands,
and perfect their fellowship in divine love.
Christ will wipe away every tear;
death shall be no more.
There will be a new heaven and a new earth,
and all creation will be filled with God's glory.

In confidence, we pray to God…

[This prayer may begin with particular intercessions for current concerns in the world and local community.]

Come, Lord Jesus:
We are open to your Spirit.
We await your full presence.
Our world finds rest in you alone. Amen.
(from Our Song of Hope)

We proclaim our faith in God through singing Psalter Hymnal 170 “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.”

PsH 170 O God, Our Help in Ages Past

May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

We leave knowing that God can overcome all our fears. We trust in him alone. Let us sing his blessing to each other with Sing! 284 “Go, My Children, with my Blessing.”

SNC 284 Go, My Children, with My Blessing

Go in confidence and with faith in our steadfast God. 

Leadership Notes

1. The italic words are meant to be spoken transitions, not included in a written order of worship. Additional notes in brackets provide additional options or suggestions but are not intended to be read in worship.

2. The service is designed in such a way that a written order is not required but may be used.

3. If you have a printed order of worship, project the songs on a screen, or include the songs on a handout, feel free to shorten or adapt the transitions (ie. Remove the book and number of the song title).

4. This service uses a variety of music. If it is unfamiliar to the group, it may be helpful to play an entire verse of a song before it is sung. Another way to introduce an unfamiliar song is to play it as people are gathering for worship.

5. Although this service may be celebrated at anytime, it can be used powerfully directly following a painful event, such as a terrorist attack, an announcement of war, or a death in the community.

6. In the prayer of confession, the leader should allow for a brief pause or time of silence after every time he or she says, “Forgive us, O Lord.” This prayer addresses things that we often find hard to admit so it is helpful to give people a bit of time to add their own silent prayers or to think about what has just been said.

7. The movement from fear to faith needs to happen gradually to be natural. Therefore, the reading of Psalm 46 should be done clearly and confidently, but not triumphantly. The following song, “Anytime and Anywhere,” has a sense of peace and confidence. It emphasizes childlike faith.

8. The reading from Our Song of Hope is a definite declaration of why our faith in God is justified. He, who moves mountains and rules nations in Psalm 46, cares deeply about the world and each of us to that point that he saves and renews both the world and us.

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