Prayer on the Receiving End

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When we are part of a Christian community, we pray for each other.  We tell others, “I will pray for you,” and  lift them and their needs up to God in prayer.  It’s a blessing to pray for someone else, a joy to be able to bring their needs to God. In some ways, too, it’s pretty easy.

You know what’s not so easy?  Instead of saying “I’ll pray for you,” it is much more difficult to go to someone and ask, “Will you pray for me?”  This week in the GPS guide we are going to be exploring the truths about living in Christian community, a community of grace and hope and love. Our church family should be our softest, safest place to land.  It should be the place where we know people are happy to pray for us.  But, it is still very hard to hold the hurts, fears, failures, and rough spots of our life up to others and say, “Will you pray with me about this?”

I’ve never been particularly good at asking for prayer.  I would much rather pray for someone else than ask them to pray for me.  In the past months, however, I’ve gotten the chance to learn about being on the receiving end of the prayers of loving brothers and sisters in Christ.  A serious health challenge came along , and ever since then I have been blessed by prayers in groups, in offices, at home, in the hospital, at church, in the parking lot, and once in the ladies room. Each time, no matter how reluctant or embarrassed I am, I realize that this is one of the main ways God is reminding me that my own prayers are heard, that God’s love is all around me, and that I am not ever alone.  The power of these prayers, the comfort of being surrounded by other members of the community of believers is so profound that I can physically feel  it.

Who prays for you?  Who have you specifically asked to pray for you and your life?   It’s hard to let down the protective walls we put around ourselves and open ourselves up to ask for prayer.  Just remember that others are just waiting to touch you and live out 1 Thessalonians 2:8:

So deeply do we care for you that we are determined
to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our
own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

We pray for one another. That’s how a community of people who are becoming deeply committed Christians works.  Don’t be afraid to be part of the circle of prayer, giving and receiving, as we share our lives and God’s love with each other.

Jennifer Creagar – Resurrection Prayer Ministry

Graduation and beyond…

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I am at that season  of life where my three children are slowly leaving home upon their graduations. My daughters both walked down the hill last Sunday and waved good-by to their years at KU as undergraduate students.  One will become a nurse, the other an accountant.  My son is entering his final year as a high school student.  Over the past month I have attended two honors ceremonies and two recognition ceremonies and commencement.  The theme that consistently emerged through the messages of the speakers was less about following your dreams and achievement and more about doing good through volunteerism and community service. I was heartened to hear this message of the importance of serving others and the world regardless of one’s future earning potential. The five speakers that I listened to were not members of the clergy, but leaders in universities and large corporations, so I could only guess that the messages they imparted on the graduates grew out of their personal faith. I believe this because what was spoken, yet unspoken though out this spring graduation season was the gospel message of the Parable of Rich Fool, “… for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions…”  The prayer I have for my graduates and yours is that they would truly take this message to heart and live out their faith shaped by the goodness of this parable of Jesus.  –Nancy Pauls, Pastor of Prayer

 

Graduation  Blessing

I have held you close. Now as you fly into
adulthood, bound to open books and discover worlds, I release you. But not without one final prayer — prosper not only in your studies, but prosper in knowing God more richly.

I will not be there to catch you when you fall. But God will catch you when I can’t.
Depend on Him and learn to trust Him.
You are not alone. Knowing this,
my empty nest will not seem so lonely.
My heart will soar as I watch you take wing.

Praying To Change Our Prejudice

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Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)

If we are honest, we know that we all hold some prejudice against someone. Maybe it’s racial. Maybe it’s political. Maybe it’s socio-economic, or cultural, or even age-related or influenced by some difference that angers us or, more likely, makes us afraid. If you think you don’t harbor any prejudice at all, think a little harder. Have you ever referred to anyone as one of “those people?” Do you harbor a secret theory that the drivers of certain cars are jerks, or that people who fervently support a certain cause or lifestyle are unpleasant? Who makes you angry? Who makes you uncomfortable? This week, ask God to show you your secret prejudices, the ones you may even have hidden from yourself.

Then, when you have identified the person or people you have negative feelings about, pray for them. Put them right at the top of your prayer list. Ask God to bless them. Ask God to open your eyes so you can see them as Jesus does. Take a real risk and ask God to bring one single person who puts a face on your prejudice into your life so you can pray for them specifically and get to know them as a fellow child of God.

C.S. Lewis said, ““I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time—waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God—it changes me.” When we pray for the people we struggle to love, God changes our heart. God helps us to see our neighbors the way God sees them, as special and worthy of love and grace.
—Jennifer  Creagar, Resurrection Prayer Ministry


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