Pray for Our United Methodist Church Leaders

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Pastor Laurie Barnes writes:

Over the next few months, our senior pastor Adam Hamilton will be speaking at United Methodist Annual Conferences around the country.  Pastor Adam has requested that our church staff pray for the Bishops and their Cabinets of these Annual Conferences.  These men and women have enormous responsibilities for guiding and directing the future of our denomination.  Please join our staff in praying for these leaders of our church using the following prayer:

Lord, Lead our United Methodist bishops and their cabinets as they inspire, equip and implement the fulfillment of the mission of the church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  Give these leaders boldness of vision, wisdom to direct and holiness of life.  Amen.

The power of Intercessory Prayer

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Pastor Laurie Barnes writes:

Late last December, a member of our church asked if one of our pastors could visit his grand-daughter Sarah (not her real name) in the hospital.  Sarah, 6 years old, had been diagnosed with a form of meningitis shortly after Christmas.  In addition to the meningitis, she had some other medical issues that complicated her treatment.  I started visiting Sarah every Monday morning on my way into work.  Sarah was always curled in a ball on her bed and attached to numerous tubes.  She always looked very small curled on the bed.  Nominally my visits were to Sarah but I actually spent most of my time in prayer and caring conversation with Sarah’s parents Melissa and Kevin (not their real names).  One or the other of them was always present with Sarah and, as the weeks went on, they started to age before my eyes.  How emotionally challenged they were as week after week there appeared to be little or no change in Sarah’s condition.

 

The Monday before Palm Sunday was particularly disheartening.  Melissa said Sarah still was not talking and they had no idea how much longer the hospital would keep her.  Melissa and I agreed that in the week to come, we would pray for “progress” for Sarah.  As I was leaving the hospital that day, I felt my knees buckle and had to sit on the couch in the lobby for a few minutes to recover myself.  As I sat, I cried for Sarah and her family and prayed for progress for Sarah.  A person crying in the lobby of a hospital must not be an unusual occurrence because no one, staff or volunteer, asked me if they could help.  After a while, I felt that I had “prayed through” and was strong enough to go on to my car.

 

The following Thursday, I received an e-mail from Sarah’s grandfather telling of Sarah’s miraculous turn-around.  Apparently by Thursday, Sarah was sitting up in bed, talking and singing and wanting to go for a walk down the hall.  I couldn’t wait for the next Monday to go visit Sarah and see for myself.  Sure enough, she was sitting in bed talking to her stuffed animals when I arrived.  Melissa and Kevin looked rested and happy for the first time in months and months.  Sarah was going to be released and would be at home for Easter.  She still had a journey ahead of her for full recovery but she was going to be able to be cared for at home.  After we prayed and as I was leaving, Sarah blew me a kiss and said, “I love you!”  What a joyous day that was!  It was the day that we all saw God’s answer to all of our prayers for “progress” for Sarah. 

 

On the Road…..Taking Prayer on Your Vacation

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School will be out soon,  and many of you may be planning your summer vacation.  Along with the sunscreen, car bags, and beach books, how about making some plans to renew or enhance your practice of prayer while you are on vacation?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Take advantage of a different routine and schedule to set aside time for daily prayer, individually or as a family – morning prayer before you head out on the day’s activities, prayer before meals, prayer before starting the car for a road trip, prayers at the end of the day
  • Keep a prayer journal for the duration of your vacation
  • Pray for people you meet along the way on your trip, even for every car you pass
  • Pick up a local newspaper and take time to pray for those in need in the area you are visiting
  • Try a new prayer practice. An excellent book for exploring types of prayer that might fit with your gifts and personality is Paths to Prayer by Patricia Brown.  It is available in The Well Bookstore.
  • Download the GPS Prayer guide each week at http://gpsguide.wordpress.com/.
  • Gas prices and the economy have you vacationing at home this year? Take advantage of this time to create your own personal prayer space. See suggestions and instructions at www.cor.org/prayer.

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Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians  5.17-18

If you try a new way of “taking prayer on vacation” this year, post a comment here and tell us about it.

— Jennifer

The National Day of Prayer is May 7, 2009

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The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America when the Continental Congress issued a proclamation setting aside a day of prayer in 1775.  In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that law was amended designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May. 

The Prayer Ministry of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection invites you to observe this day of prayer by praying for our national, state and local leaders and for members of the United States military serving at home and overseas.  Drop by the Firestone Chapel during the day or come at 1:00 for a brief prayer service.


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