Prayer Targets: Christmas
December 22, 2014
Alleluia: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth! Revelation 19:6b KJV
German-born composer, George Frederic Handel (1695-1759), spent most of his career in Great Britain. A devoted believer, Handel’s oratorio, Messiah, is one of the world’s best known and most performed classical compositions. In 1741, at a low point in his life, Handel composed Messiah in 24 days. A wealthy Christian friend, Charles Jennens, added Scripture, helping make Messiah a glorious presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. With the prayer that you and yours will have very blessed Christmas, I offer the version of Messiah my wife and I enjoyed on Sunday at the Kennedy Center, home of the National Symphony Orchestra (gift tickets from our youngest daughter and her husband). I added the scripture references. Please reflect, pray, praise and view one of the many Messiah performances on the Internet (see; Kings College Cambridge; Hallelujah! - Random Act of Culture; USAF Band Flash Mob Praising God!; Biblical and Theological Perspectives, D. I. Block).
Messiah, by George Frederic Handel, PART ONE
RECITATIVE2: Comfort Ye (Is 40:1-3) Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned… The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
AIR3: Every Valley (Is 40:4) Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.
CHORUS4: And the Glory of the Lord (Is 40:5) And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
RECITATIVE: Thus saith the Lord (Hag 2:6,7) Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; Yet once, a little while and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come… (Mal 3:1 1). The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: Behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.
AIR: But who may abide the Day of His Coming? (Mal 3:2) But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire.
CHORUS: And He shall Purify (Mal 3:3) And He shall purify the sons of Levi. . . that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
RECITATIVE: Behold A Virgin Shall Conceive (Is 7:14; Mt 1:23) Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name EMMANUEL, God with us.
AIR & CHORUS: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (Is 40:9) O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, and be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! (Is 60:1) Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
RECITATIVE: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth (Is 60:2, 3) For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
AIR: The people that walked in darkness (Is 9:2; Mt 3:16) The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
CHORUS: For unto Us a Child is born (Is 9:6) For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
PASTORAL SYMPHONY (Instrumental)
RECITATIVE: There were shepherds abiding in the field (Lk 2:8) There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
RECITATIVE: And lo! The angel of the Lord (Lk 2:9) And lo! The angel of the Lordcame upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
RECITATIVE: And the Angel said unto them (Lk 2:10, 11) And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
RECITATIVE: And suddenly there was with the Angel (Lk 2:13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
CHORUS: Glory to God (Lk 2:14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
AIR: Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion (Zech 9:9, 10; Mt 21:5) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee. He is the righteous Savior… And he shall speak peace unto the heathen.
RECITATIVE: Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened (Is 35:5, 6) Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.
AIR: He shall feed his flock like a shepherd (Is 40:11) He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; and he shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. (Mt 11:28, 29) Come unto Him, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and He shall give you rest. Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him; for He is meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
CHORUS: His yoke is easy (Mt 11:30) His yoke is easy, and his burden is light.
CHORUS: Behold the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29) Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.
AIR: He was despised (Is 53:3) He was despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief… (Is 50:6) He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting.
CHORUS: Surely He hath borne our griefs (Is 53:4, 5a) Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows… He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him…
CHORUS: And with His stripes we are healed (Is 53:5b) …and with His stripes we are healed.
CHORUS: All we like sheep have gone astray (Is 53:6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
RECITATIVE: All they that see him laugh him to scorn (Ps 22:7) All they that see him laugh him to scorn: they shoot out their lips, they shake their heads, saying:
29) CHORUS: He trusted in God (Ps 22:8; Mt 27:43) He trusted in God that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, if he delight in him.
30) RECITIVE: Thy rebuke hath broken His heart (Ps 69:20) Thy rebuke hath broken his heart; He is full of heaviness. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was none; neither found He any to comfort Him.
AIR: Behold, and see if there be any sorrow (Lam 1:12) Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto his sorrow…
RECITATIVE: He was cut off out of the land of the living (Is 53:8b) He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of Thy people was He stricken.
AIR: But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell (Ps 16:10; Acts 2:27) But thou didst not leave his soul in hell; neither didst thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption.
CHORUS: Lift up your heads, O ye gates (Ps 24:7-10) Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.
ARIA: How beautiful are the feet (Rom 10:15; Is 52:7) How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
AIR: Why do the nations so furiously rage together? (Ps 2:1, 2; Acts 4:25-26) Why do the nations so furiously rage together and why do the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed…
CHORUS: Let us break their bonds asunder (Ps 2:3) Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us.
RECITATIVE: He that dwelleth in heaven (Ps 2:4) He that dwelleth in the heavens shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision.
AIR: Thou shalt break them (Ps 2:9) Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
CHORUS: Hallelujah (Rev 19:6) Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth... (Rev 11:15 15) the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ: and He shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev 19:16) KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS.
AIR: I know that my redeemer liveth (Job 19:25, 26) I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand on the latter day upon the earth: And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. (1 Cor 15:20) For now is Christ risen from the dead… the firstfruits of them that sleep.
CHORUS: Since by man came death (1Cor 15:21, 22) Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Behold I tell you a mystery (1 Cor 15:51, 52) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet…
The trumpet shall sound (1 Cor 15:52b-53) The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed… For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Worthy is the Lamb (Rev 5:12, 13) Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing… Blessing, and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. AMEN!
Musical Words: 1OVERTURE - An instrumental composition intended especially as an introduction to an extended work, such as an opera or oratorio. 2RECITATIVE - A style used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas in which the text is declaimed in the rhythm of natural speech with slight melodic variation. 3AIR - A melody or tune, especially: a. The soprano or treble part in a harmonized composition. b. A solo with or without accompaniment. 4CHORUS - A group of persons who speak or sing in unison a given part or composition in drama or poetry recitation. ARIA - A short piece inserted between the parts of a longer composition.
Finally, to all who pray with us each week, know that you are deeply appreciated! Have a blessed Christmas! And thank you for praying!