Holy Week

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Holy Week begins tomorrow.  This is a somber week for us as we go through the events that led up to the Crucifixion of Christ.  I hope that you take some time this week to prayerfully and whole-heartedly give thanks to God for the sacrifice that Christ made me and you.  On Good Friday, we will be holding an all day prayer vigil from 6:00 in the morning until 10:00 at night in the Wesley Covenant Chapel.  I hope that you will participate in this as we seek to have communion with God during these solemn hours.  There will also be a Taize service at noon and a Tenebrae service at 3:00pm in the Wesley Chapel for those who would like to spend time in guided prayer.

A prayer tip for you.  During your prayer time this week, I encourage you to close your eyes and imagine yourself at the foot of the cross on that dark day in which Christ was crucified.  What would you say to your sacrificial Lord?  How would it move you?  What would you feel, knowing that the punishment he endures should have been for you?  Explore these questions during your prayer time and then give thanks to God for our savior, Jesus Christ.

Pray Without Ceasing

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I was rereading one of John Wesley’s sermons this week on Christian Perfection and came across this excerpt in which John Wesley talks about praying without ceasing. As I read this, I was reminded that we do not need to pray to God “out there.” Rather, prayer is communion with God who is within us and written upon our hearts. Wesley points to an awareness of God’s constant presence in our lives and he alludes to this awareness as prayer. I hope that you can be fully aware of God’s presence in your life this week – may that be your prayer. I hope you enjoy the excerpt below:

“God’s command to ‘pray without ceasing’ is founded on the necessity we have of his grace to preserve the life of God in the soul, which can no more subsist one moment without it, than the body can without air. Whether we think of; or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for him, all is prayer, when we have no other object than his love, and the desire of pleasing him. All that a Christian does, even in eating and sleeping, is prayer, when it is done in simplicity, according to the order of God, without either adding to or diminishing from it by his own choice. Prayer continues in the desire of the heart, though the understanding be employed on outward things. In souls filled with love, the desire to please God is a continual prayer. As the furious hate which the devil bears us is termed the roaring of a lion, so our vehement love may be termed crying after God. God only requires of his adult children, that their hearts be truly purified, and that they offer him continually the wishes and vows that naturally spring from perfect love. For these desires, being the genuine fruits of love, are the most perfect prayers that can spring from it.” –John Wesley

Michael Maroon
Pastor of Prayer and Congregational Care

Seeing in a Different Way

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In the passage that Pastor Adam will be preaching on this weekend, we are reminded of the chief priests who are searching for a reason to condemn Jesus.  No doubt, in their minds, they have convicted him before he even has a chance to defend himself.  Sadly, there are times in our lives when we make snap judgments, make assumptions, and don’t give people a chance to tell their side of the story. Sometimes this happens in an instant and we are completely unaware of what we’ve done.   Spend sometime in prayer asking God to help you see clearly, to see people as God sees them, and to help you stop yourself from casting judgment on people before giving them a chance.  And if you find yourself doing this, stop for a moment, and thank God for helping to make you aware of this and pray that you will have the strength to change it.  Over time, we can train ourselves to see people in a different way.  – Pastor Wendy Chrostek

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