As I write this it seems as if winter has finally arrived. Of course, there are many things we can do outdoors in the winter, but we tend to spend more time inside. I invite/encourage/challenge you to turn off the TV and use some of that inside-time to grow closer to God. It can be a time to begin or recapture a life of prayer.
Over five Sundays in January and February we will be focusing on prayer, how the Lord’s Prayer is a model for our prayers and our lives as followers of Christ. Prayer is not just something we do but who we are. E. Stanly Jones said, “When prayer fades out, power fades out.”
This is true for our personal lives and our life as a church. We cannot give to others what we do not have ourselves. If we want to be faithful as a church we must become a “house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:17) not simply a house with prayer for people like us.
This focus on prayer (both talking to and listening to God) will continue through Lent which begins February 22 with our traditional Ash Wednesday service. Lent is the 40 days (excluding Sundays) that lead up to the celebration of Easter. We will again have daily devotionals to help all of us live more and more in a vibrant relationship with our loving Lord.
Fasting and prayer go hand in hand. Those who are physically able can fast from food. Others might choose to fast from TV or computer games or some other favorite activity. This not only frees up time for prayer and devotion, but enables us to grow in solidarity with and in greater appreciation of Jesus’ suffering for us.
Join me in making prayer a greater part of your life. Pray for the church. Listen to what God is saying. Share what you hear with me and others. Let’s see what great things God will do in and through us as we become more and more a “house of prayer.” We have a time of prayer each Sunday morning from 8:00 — 8:30 AM in the parlor. We’d love to have you join us. There will also be a prayer vigil in March on Good Friday, which is another good opportunity for prayer. But there’s no need to limit prayer to a time or even a place. Take every opportunity everywhere you go to pray, pray, pray.
Blessings and prayers,