Unchained – The Power of Prayer – Sermon – Pastor Marlee Page


communion cup and broken bread

Communion Worship Service

Reminder: If you are planning to take part in the Lord’s Table at the end of the service, have your bread and juice ready.

Good morning First Baptist. We welcome you to worship this morning. Be sure to remember your brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the week as you pray for them, and as the Holy Spirit brings their faces to your mind. Be sure to also connect with them in the ways that are possible. And if you have any questions or would like to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to contact the church through the church telephone and leave a message. (519-733-4144)


Call to Worship

Come to Jesus this day. Bring with you all the pain that you feel.
Come to Jesus this day. Bring with you your confusion and doubts.
Come to Jesus this day and he will make something beautiful happen in your life.




Prayer of Confession & Assurance

Forgiving Lord, we are such jealous people. We want to make sure that we get what we deserve, that we are always treated fairly. Yet we complain when you treat others, who have not worked as hard or been as faithful, with such love. Just like the workers in the Gospel lesson, we want to know why you are as generous with the late comers as you are with us, after all, we whine, we’ve been here longer. You are merciful and compassionate. You do not count the time, but the quality of the heart.

Assurance of Pardon:

Blessings are showered on all who seek God. Come and rejoice! God has given you such love and mercy. AMEN.

Unchained The Power of Prayer

Today's Message: Pastor Marlee Page

In the book of Acts, we read of how Christianity spread across the ancient world. It was a powerful story of a new life spreading to people in cities and villages, in the courts of kings and in the homes of peasants.

From century to century, the power of the Gospel has been demonstrated by the faithful living it out in their everyday lives.

This is what Paul is talking about in Philippians 1:9–11. He’s addressing the church in Phillipi and encouraging them to live faithfully according to the Gospel. Paul does this through prayer – giving us a tremendous example of the power and impact of prayer in our lives.

Scripture Reading: 1 Philippians 9-11

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.

What a powerful statement! There is so much to unpack in just these few verses. Let us seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and pray for wisdom as we study them together.

Prayer of Illumination:

Heavenly Father,

Please open our eyes, ears & hearts to the message you want us to hear and take away with us this morning from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. AMEN.

There are three things that Paul says to the Church in Phillipi through this prayer – that’s what I want us to focus on this morning.

Point 1: Prayer brings Power

The first thing I want us to focus on from this passage is the simple phrase, “this is my prayer.”

The very fact that Paul mentioned prayer indicates that there is power in it and Paul relies upon that power.

Prayer is not something to be taken lightly; it is a holy act that should never be underestimated. Remember how much Paul loved these people and the very first thing he does for them after his greeting is to pray over them. Paul knows how important and powerful this is.

When we consider how Jesus and the other saints throughout Scripture prayed, it is clear that they understood the process of prayer as one that fuels & strengthens our relationship with God and it strengthens us too. For example, when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He knew that the path before Him would be difficult and full of suffering, yet He still found strength to continue His mission when He prayed. He submitted Himself to the Father humbly and sought the Lord’s will:

Matthew 26:39 & 42

He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away[a] unless I drink it, your will be done.”

Just like the people of the Church in Philippi, prayer can help us find the courage to handle whatever life throws our way too. Whether it’s navigating the World or our own personal struggles, through prayer, we bring our troubles and worries to the Lord and lay them at His feet.

The confidence that we spoke of last week only grows when we recognize that God is greater than any of our problems and that He is the source of comfort and strength needed on our path forward.

An illustration of this could be seen in the story of the Elijah that James talks about and how powerfully and practically he used prayer.

James 5:16-18

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

In this story, we can see the power of prayer in action, multiple times.

And I’m sure you’ve experienced this FBK.

Make no mistake, prayer brings power.

Point 2: Pray brings Insight and Discernment

The second main point we can draw from Philippians 1:9-11 is that prayer should be used to ask for greater insight and discernment. This was Paul’s primary prayer – that the believers he was writing to would grow in knowledge and insight thereby being able to “discern what is best” and be “pure and blameless.”

It is certainly true that in this world it can be tricky to tell right from wrong, and discernment and insight are important- especially in this grey zone time. We are constantly bombarded with temptations and false ideologies every day, so it is essential that we use prayer to ask God to grant us the ability to pick out truth from fake news.

One great example of this is King David in the book of Psalms.

Time and time again, he turned to the Lord in prayer asking for wisdom and direction. He learned the importance of discerning the Lord’s will above all else and stayed focused on following His path.

In Psalm 25:4-5, David cries out to the Lord:

“Make me to know your way, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

We can learn from King David’s example and take time to ask the Lord for our own insight and understanding in order to make wise decisions. I have found that when I do this, He is faithful and leads me in the right direction. But it is up to me to take the time to invite Him into situations just like David did.

Point 3: Prayer Fills US with the Fruit of Righteousness

Finally, when we pray to God consistently, we will be filled with the fruit of righteousness. Verses 10 and 11 of Philippians 1 say,

“…so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.”

Let’s talk about what it means to be filled with the fruit of righteousness. In essence, it means that those who follow God’s path and surrender to His will will be blessed with the fruits of His spirit – peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

When we pray for strength to make wise decisions and pursue holiness, God will abundantly provide us with grace and fill us with the fruits of righteousness.

A key reminder here is that being filled with the fruits of righteousness does not happen overnight. It is a process that takes place over time. With consistent prayer, however, we can trust that the Lord will be faithful in bringing us closer to Him little by little.

To illustrate this point, consider the life of the apostle Peter.

In Acts 3, Peter and John were healing a lame man outside the temple gates, and they gave all the credit and glory to Jesus. Because of their faith and unwavering commitment to Jesus, they were arrested, persecuted, and thrown into prison, but that didn’t stop them. Thankfully, an angel of the Lord released Peter and asked him to go to the house of Mary, where all the believers prayed for Peter’s safety (Acts 12:1-10). After much prayer and perseverance, all charges against the apostles were dropped and they went free, back to preaching the Gospel.

Like the apostles, if we stay committed to God, no matter what we face, and keep praying for guidance, God will come through for us and fill us with the fruits of righteousness.

A similar thing happened for me just recently…. No, I was not in jail and I didn’t heal a lame man.

Two weekends ago most of you know I had the opportunity to be the Team pastor for the CBOQ Youth Avalanche Retreat.  I have been blessed to be a part of this for 3 years now but this was going to be the first time I had ever attended in person.  This was feeling a little daunting to me because honestly I had never been to an Avalanche retreat ever, I had been part of the team for 3 years but had never met 95% of the team in person and this might be quite shocking to you- I can be quite shy when I’m feeling uncertain and in a new situation.  So that fact that I was going to have to pray out loud in front of many groups and in many different situations was overwhelming to me-  would I say the right words? worse- would I say the wrong words? Would anything I say be helpful or encouraging at all or would it just be weird!!!! All of this to say, I was brought to my knees and very honestly & openly shared all my fears and concerns with God and asked Him to provide me with words, directions and that confidence we talked about last week so that I could do His work all weekend.  Before each time that I had to do one of my tasks I repeated this!  And to my surprise- no not my surprise- to my great relief He came through every time!!  Sometimes it was words & ideas, sometimes it was bible passages and sometimes it was the fact that I was in the right place to be able to love on and support people who needed words of encouragement. I invited Him in through prayer and then He shone brightly all weekend!! But it was all HIM

To close, if we truly wish to follow God’s will and live up to His expectations, then we must turn to Him in prayer continually.

The Lord will never fail to answer our prayers and give us the confidence, direction, and discernment we need to press on in life.

So why not start today? Spend some extra moments in prayer each day and let the Lord lead you in all you do. Remember, prayer gives us power and insight, and most importantly, it will help us be filled with the fruit of righteousness.

To remind us of this, hear once more the words of the great Baptist Pastor Charles Spurgeon who said:

“Prayer pulls the rope down below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give only an occasional pluck at the rope; but he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously with all his might.”

FBK family, let us pray confidently, trusting that through the process of prayer, God will fill us with His peace and strengthen us, bring insight and discernment and fill us to the brim with the fruits of His righteousness. This is our prayer for you!


Father in heaven, you are so good to us. You provide us with everything we need, satisfying us Lord of justice and mercy, we quibble over perceived little injustices. We look around us and see mercy being offered to others, when we feel that they have done little to merit such treatment. Our world is in such bad shape. There are true injustices and horrible situations in which peace and mercy seem to be dim and distant hopes.

Give us eyes to see where justice and compassion may be offered. Give us hearts to reach out to those who are new in faith and who struggle in life.

Enable and strengthen each one of us in your service, that we may offer peace and hope to others, not counting the cost, but sharing the wealth of your mercy and love. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.



This is God’s Table
come all of you, you are invited to dine on the banquet of heaven , You are God’s People
come all of you you are invited to sit with your Lord, Here is God’s feast
come all of you you are invited to share in the bread and wine
The table is waiting for you all of you of every age you are invited to be here


On the night he was handed over, Jesus had a meal with  his friends. He took a loaf of bread and after giving thanks to God, he broke it and gave it to his disciples. He said, “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

After supper Jesus took the cup of wine; and after giving thanks, gave it to them and said, “Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, remember me.”

Let us pray:

Dear Heavenly Father…. we come to your table tonight because you have invited us here… let this meal be nourishment for our souls… let it fill us up from the inside out …. Father, we thank you for the gift of your son Jesus Christ, whose love pursues us our whole life long. Thank you, Jesus, for giving your life to us in word and deed, even unto death, even death on a cross. Come Holy Spirit, feed us with your love that we may be filled with power to love God with all our hearts and souls and minds. AMEN.

“Through the broken bread we participate in His body, given for you.”

“Through the cup of blessing we participate in the new covenant Jesus gives.”



“And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.”

Blessings & Have a wonderful week.