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Saturday Morning Prayer Meeting


Come to Jesus!



“I Must Tell Jesus”

I must tell Jesus / All of my trials
I cannot bear these burdens alone
In my distress / He kindly will help me
He ever cares and loves His own

I must tell Jesus / All of my troubles
He’s a kind and compassionate friend
If I but ask Him / He will deliver
Make of my troubles / Quickly an end

I must tell Jesus / I must tell Jesus
I cannot bear these burdens alone
I must tell Jesus / I must tell Jesus
Jesus can help me / Jesus alone

Tempted and tried I need a great Savior
One who can help my burdens to bear
I must tell Jesus / I must tell Jesus
He all my cares and sorrows will share

I must tell Jesus / I must tell Jesus
I cannot bear these burdens alone
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone




Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me,

all who labor and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you,

and learn from me,

for I am gentle and lowly in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy,

and my burden is light.”

Tell Jesus about your burdens…




Matthew 11:28-30

“If anyone would come after me,

let him deny himself

and take up his cross

and follow me.”


Tell Jesus how you’ve used him like a mascot,

to prop yourself up,

to get things

to feel good about yourself…


Remember again today that you have died…

Find your life, your righteousness, your all in him…




John 6:35

“I am the bread of life;

whoever comes to me

shall not hunger,

and whoever believes in me

shall never thirst.”


Tell Jesus ways you have tried to fill your hungers

and slake your thirsts on other things besides him…

Let’s praise him for the ways he satisfies…



To Jesus

FORGIVER – “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven” (Mt. 9:2).

FRIEND – “I have called you friends” (Jn. 15:15).

SERVANT – “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” (Mk. 10:45).

INTERCESSOR – “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail” (Lk. 22:32).

COMFORTER – “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (Jn. 14:27).

CONFRONTER – “You are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Mk. 8:33).

TEACHER – “Listen” (Mk. 4:3)!

COMING JUDGE – “Depart from me…” (Mt. 25:41).

DEFENDER – “Leave her alone” (Mk. 14:6).

SAVIOR – “The Son of Man came to seek & to save the lost” (Lk. 19:10).

EVER-PRESENT – “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mt. 28:20).




John 4:29


see a man

who told me all that I ever did.”


Let’s pray for our evangelism efforts…

Saturday Morning Prayer Meeting


Listen to “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” by Charles Wesley…

Biblical Movements of Lament (from Mark Vroegop, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy):

1. Turn to God – Address God as you come to him in prayer.

2. Bring your Complaint – Identify in blunt language the specific pain or injustice (why/how?!)

3. Ask Boldly – Specifically call upon God to act in a manner that fits his character.

4. Choose to Trust – Affirm God’s worthiness to be trusted and commit to praising him.



“I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me.

In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord” (Ps. 77:1-2a).

· offer short prayers of address to God, orienting ourselves, stating who we are talking to…

· examples: Pss. 5:1, 17:1, 25:1, 28:1, 80:1, 83:1, 86:1, 90:1, 123:1, 141:1, 142:1…



“Why, O LORD, do you stand far away?

Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble” (Ps. 10:1)?

How long, O LORD, will you look on” (Ps. 35:17)?

“Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint” (Ps. 64:1)…

· name specifically the thing you are lamenting in the chat box…

gun violence in chicago; racism in this (and all) countries; Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd….; all the destruction that has followed; police officers who don’t serve and protect us, but scare us; police officers that are doing their jobs well that are now judged; poor people facing a harder life during the pandemic; isolation and loneliness in time of coronavirus, especially among the elderly in nursing homes; the fact that we’re in a global catastrophe and national tragedy and only a fraction of the church shows up to pray; more people not caring; that I only care when social media tells me to care; loss of my longest standing close friendship; death of my grandmother; failed leadership in many institutions and governments; public discourse that has degenerated into politicians swearing at each other and people in general villainizing those who have different viewpoints; apathy of the church and the lukewarm spirituality that characterizes us; the loss of freedom in places like Hong Kong, and the potential effect on the church; getting old; feeling lonely; unfulfilled dreams for a church that’s committed to each other and a common mission in our neighborhood; not being able to gather in person as a church; 100,000 deaths from pandemic in States; that I still struggle with the same sins – pride, impatience, selfishness…..; divisiveness within the church in regards to secondary and tertiary matters (specifically people’s stances on social distancing, mask wearing etc); fake news and people’s proliferation of it; my kids’ spiritual state; the response of fear and self-preservation; xenophobia and our treatment of the alien who lives among us; not having consistent devotional time despite being at home more; broken relationships in my family and in the families of others in the church; unhappy marriages; the sometimes lack of good Christian responses to today’s social/political issues; I don’t love God as I ought; impatience and not making wise decision as I ought to be; CPS budget crisis and how that could impact economic disparity in Chicago for the longterm; sharing the gospel clearly and people being completely unfazed; suicides of pastors; the seeming lack of evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit to bring change in others….. in me??

· a few people vocalize these cries…



“But you, O LORD, do not be far off!

O you my help, come quickly to my aid” (Ps. 22:19)!

· importune God to act on behalf of his glory…

· examples: “arise” (i.e. Ps. 10:12), “grant us help” (i.e. Ps. 60:11), “remember your mercy” (i.e. Ps. 25:6), let justice be done (i.e. Ps. 83:16-18), forgive (i.e. Ps. 79:8-9), “restore us” (i.e. Ps. 80:3), “listen” (i.e. Ps. 86:6), “teach me” (i.e. Ps. 143:10), “vindicate me” (i.e. Ps. 35:24)…



“But I have trusted in your steadfast love;

my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the LORD,

because he has dealt bountifully with me” (Ps. 13:5-6).

· the ‘buts’ of the Bible; examples: Pss. 31:12, 14; 71:10-11, 14; 86:14-15…

When we go to heaven and realize all that prayer did on earth,

we’ll be ashamed that we prayed so little.

W.E. Sangster

Don’t forget: our weekly, all-church Prayer Meeting is tomorrow (Saturday; 5/9) at 10:00 AM on Zoom.

What were the disciples doing after the Ascension… before Pentecost, while they were sheltering in place in the Upper Room?

“All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14). Not just private/personal prayer, but praying together.

There’s a great application here for our Prayer Meetings. It would be great to see the whole church with one accord crying out to God from 10:00 to 11:00 AM on Saturdays.

On Sunday (4/12) we’re having an Easter Parade! This is an optional, extra opportunity. We realize that not everyone has a car or can make it. But for those who do and want to participate, we will be lining up in our vehicles along the west side of Laflin, just south of Roosevelt, facing south. Be there by 8:45 AM.

Nobody is to get out of their cars or share rides with people they haven’t been living with. Feel free to decorate your car if you want!

At 8:45 AM crack your window because Pastor Nathan will be yelling out the ancient Easter greeting, “He Is Risen!” You know what to say next.

Then we will slowly circle the roundabout, honking in celebration.

And here is a parade route on Google Maps that you can follow:

Be safe and follow all rules of the road! It’s not important that we all stay together. But use this time to listen to the Spotify playlist and to pray for what you see. Here’s a guided prayer tour of the UIC Area that you can use on Sunday. You can even do it in your mind’s eye from home if you can’t come!

· Turn right onto Roosevelt and as pass The Meeting Place headed east. Look at the senior citizen home (Roosevelt Place) on the SW corner of Loomis and Roosevelt and pray for all the seniors who live there and in our city who are more susceptible to COVID-19…

· Then look to the right and notice the Brooks Homes (the B in ABLA) in the background – low-income CHA housing, almost entirely African-American. 70% of those who die from COVID-19 in Chicago are Black. Pray for the poor throughout the UIC Area and our city…

· As you turn left on Racine and then right on Taylor Street, pray for the restaurants along this strip in Little Italy. Pray for the whole restaurant industry in our city and workers who are affected by this shut-down…

· As you approach Halsted, look to your left and think about UIC – the largest university in Chicagoland… largely empty right now. Pray for the research that happens here and for the gospel to advance on this campus…

· Turn right and head south on Halsted. Then turn left, headed back east, on Roosevelt. As you approach the Canal corridor, pray for the retail industry in our city, that these brick-and-mortar businesses would flourish again. And pray for those who work at grocery stores like Whole Foods and Jewel…

· Turn right and go south on Canal and notice the Pacific Garden Mission with the big cross. Pray for the homeless in our city, and those who are working with them to not grow weary in doing good…

· Get ready to turn right on 18th Street, then do a little right-left jiggety-jog at Halsted, and then keep going westward through this main strip of Pilsen. Pray for the artists, pray for the hipsters, pray for the restaurants, pray for the Mexican community, pray for the immigrants, pray for the Lozano Public Library and the civic institutions of our city…

· You’ll keep going for a while, you’ll cross Ashland and go under the CTA Pink Line. Then as you approach Harrison Park, pray for the Chicago Park District and their programs that mean so much to our city. Pray that kids would be playing on the swings again (see Zechariah 8:5)…

· Then turn right (north) on Damen and go through the long, dark underpass, knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel (whether God’s common grace to flatten the curve or Christ’s return to remake the earth). Now you’re emerging into the Illinois Medical District. Pray for all the hospitals and other medical institutions here (i.e. Cook County, the VA, Rush, UIC…). Pray for all the patients inside and the healthcare workers putting their lives at risk…

· Make a soft right on Ogden and then another right onto Harrison. Come back east across Ashland, note the Marriott and pray for the hospitality industry…

· Keep going on Harrison and pay attention to Andrew Jackson Language Academy on the left and pray for CPS and all the schools across the city to re-open soon and be places where kids are learning things like how to read, so they can read the Bible (among other things). Pray for teachers…

· Then look to the right just before you get to Racine. That gated community, that’s Westgate Terrace. Pray for the residents there… and all the people of the UIC Area… and Chicago… Illinois… the U.S…. the world… that God would be merciful, not just to stay the plague, but to bring repentance and faith, uniting more people to Christ, so that they would not experience eternal suffering, but have eternal life with our resurrected and returning Lord…

For our Saturday Morning Prayer Meeting this week, we will be using the Prayer Guide that’s part of The Gospel Coalition’s “A Day to Fast and Pray.” Consider doing some kind of food fast tomorrow too if you can. Join us at 10:00 AM via Zoom.

Reminder: “Immanuel Pastors Podcast” is now findable on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

Look for the Guide for Palm Sunday in your inbox tomorrow!

Secret Church is an intensive Bible teaching and prayer time. It was designed to raise awareness of persecuted Christians around the world who are often prevented from meeting regularly. When they are finally able to gather, they do so secretly and for several hours, as they are desperately hungry to soak up God’s Word.

During the season we find ourselves in, where we are feeling the lack of regular gathering, this event can take on new meaning. We can experience greater solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have had to deal with hardships all the time.

Last year was our first time participating in Secret Church. We were already planning to do it again via livestream on 4/24 from 6:00 PM to midnight. But due to the ‘stay at home’ order we will need to do this in separate locations.

If you would like to participate, please reply to this email by the end of next Wednesday (4/8). IBC will then pay for your registration which includes a simulcast link and a booklet which will be mailed to your address so you can follow along from home on Friday the 24th.

Is this crisis driving you to prayer or revealing your prayerlessness?

Either way, ‘come’ and pray.

Last week we shifted our weekly all-church Prayer Meeting online and to Saturdays.

Click on the link in your email tomorrow (3/28) just before 10:00 AM.

‘If disaster comes upon us,

the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine,

we will stand before this house and before you —

for your name is in this house —

and cry out to you in our affliction,

and you will hear and save.’

2 Chronicles 20:9

In the New Testament era, there is nothing special about a particular place. We can come before God’s heavenly throne anytime, anywhere by the blood of Jesus (Heb. 10:19; cf. 4:16). Let’s join together and cry out to him during this season!

We’re moving our regular weekly Prayer Meeting to Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM via Zoom for the time being.

Peace I leave with you;

my peace I give to you.

Not as the world gives do I give to you.

Let not your hearts be troubled,

neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27

Members and Attenders of Immanuel,

All schools in the state of Illinois closed down on Tuesday and will not re-open until at least March 30th. These missed days will not be made up because the closure is due to what they refer to as an “act of God.” We believers know that this unusual time is indeed from the hand of our sovereign Lord. And we trust that he has wise yet mysterious plans for this disruption to our daily lives. We will be doing much reflection on what those might be in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

For now, we wanted to communicate some important information with everyone.

Sunday Services – After much prayer, thinking, counsel, and deliberation, we have decided to suspend our regular Lord’s Day gathering starting this Sunday (3/22). This was not an easy decision. But the state of Illinois has now mandated the cancellation of events of more than 50 people. As a church of 88 members plus children, regular attenders, and visitors this does not allow us to all assemble together, nor does it seem wise at the moment. We want to preserve the unity of the body and promote the safety of our city, and so we are regretfully taking this extreme but temporary measure. We will re-evaluate this decision every week as the circumstances are constantly changing.

We also have decided not to do a ‘livestream’ of a service. We are not judging other churches that have chosen this option, but we feel like it would be wisest not to allow anyone to think that such an activity can replace what is meant to happen in the assembly of the saints. During this season we pray that you would remember fondly all the sweet times we’ve had together at The Meeting Place and long deeply for our future reunion there.

We will be giving you more guidance and resources for how to be spending your time on Sunday mornings (and all the other days).

Small Groups – Hopefully you already received communication from your Small Group Leaders that we have asked Small Groups not to meet physically together for the time being. Each group, however, is encouraged to communicate regularly, share updates, and even experiment with different ways of sharing insights from the Bible Reading Plan and staying in touch via technology. Your Small Group will be a great way to still be connected with other people in the community during this time.

Prayer Ministry – We are working on different ways to have online prayer meetings and organize prayer walks. We are mobilizing our Intercessory Prayer Team to ensure that everyone is covered in prayer. And please reach out to them at prayer with any items you need specific prayer for!

Children’s Ministry – Our Deacon of Children’s Ministry is working on getting curriculum and activities for you to use at home with your children. And the Elders will be sharing more resources for Family Worship.

Koinonia – Our Deacon of Koinonia is working on some creative and fun ideas for ways to still foster community life during this season. Stay tuned…

Member Support and Mercy Ministry – Our budget has funds built in to meet tangible needs inside and outside our church community. If you have or know of any financial needs during this time that the church can help meet OR if you would like to contribute extra money to this fund, please contact the Elders!

We will be communicating with you regularly as we go through this together. For now, we encourage you to keep up a regular schedule, keep reading the Bible Reading Plan and good books, keep memorizing and meditating on Psalm 1, pray… and (as was said in last Sunday’s sermon) do all this before and more than you watch the news and Netflix.

Your Pastors,

Nathan & Theo

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter