Where Do We Receive Our Hope?

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Where do we receive our hope?

Maybe it is just a coincidence that just a few days ago people were buying Powerball jackpot tickets at the rate of 131,000 every minute up until an hour before the deadline last Wednesday. That evening, the Powerball jackpot stood at $550 million. It was the largest jackpot in the multi-state lottery’s history. Many of us put our hope in the odds of becoming a millionaire. Now, statistically speaking, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 175 million. A person is more likely to become President of the United States than win the jackpot. According to one source, you are three times more likely to die from a falling coconut, seven times more likely to die from fireworks, 25 times more likely to win an Academy Award, and way more likely to die from flesh-eating bacteria (115 fatalities a year) than you are to win the Powerball lottery.

I have never bought a lottery ticket, but I have often put my hope in relationships and activities that turned out to be disappointing and unsatisfying.

In the first verse of 1Timothy, Paul calls Jesus Christ our “hope.” The salutation of his letter begins, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.” The word “hope” means something very different from wishful thinking or playing the odds because this hope connotes absolute certainty.

For your prayer time today, I invite you to try a prayer practice that I found in the Spiritual Formation Bible. At the top of a sheet of paper write the words “Because of Jesus.” Below them list all the “absolute certainties” you can count on because of Jesus Christ. What can you expect in this life? What certainties do you trust in for eternity? After you have spent time creating your list, say a prayer of gratitude to God for this time of hope and anticipation. Give thanks to God for the certainty of the coming Christ, our life, our light and our true hope.

Nancy Pauls – Pastor of Prayer

Serving Through Prayer

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This week in the GPS, we will be exploring what the Bible says about being a servant, and through our service, a blessing to others.  In the early church, we are told, the first Christian believers spent their time listening to the teaching of the apostles, fellowship with one another, caring for one others needs, and prayer. We can follow their example, and bless one another with the gift of our time in prayer.

This month, on November 20, we will have our annual Thankful Day of Prayer Vigil.  It is a wonderful chance to take some time to come join others in prayer and focus on our thankfulness and gratitude for our many blessings, but it is also a great opportunity to bless others with the gift of our time in prayer. Each time we have a prayer vigil, we pray for each member of our church family BY NAME at least once during the day.  We also pray for our members who are serving in the military, and for the ministries of the church.  Mark your calendars right now to come and pray with us any time from 6:00 am until 10:00 pm on November 20 in Wesley Covenant Chapel.  Your prayers will be a blessing to many!

Another way to bless others with the servant gift of your time in prayer is by joining one of our email prayer teams.  You can sign up and choose which team or teams you would like to pray with at www.cor.org/prayer.  You will receive prayer requests via email, and are asked to pray for them for at least one week.

If you would like to learn more about personal prayer and spend time in fellowship with others, there is still time to sign up for the Fall Prayer Retreat in Nature next Saturday, November 10 at Camp Timberlake. You can read about it and sign up for the retreat at www.cor.org/prayer.

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