The following is my column for this Sunday morning:
Prayer is conversation with God. It is speaking, pleading, asking, confessing, talking, and sharing. It is also discerning, listening, and discovering.
- Sometimes you can just sit silently without a clue what to say. That is prayer.
- Sometimes you can unload everything on your in your hectic life. That is also prayer.
- Sometimes you cry because you or somebody you love is hurting. That is prayer.
- Sometimes you are laughing because you realize who God is. That is also prayer.
You can pray while running around a lake early in the morning. You can pray at a desk full of papers and a computer that is ready to overheat because it has been so busy. You can pray in a church or when you are driving by a church. You can pray on your knees or laying down on your back. You can pray alone or in a large group.
I pray a lot. I have learned that I am not too effective of a pastor, husband, or parent if I don’t pray. Some of the time is spent listening. This isn’t the easiest for me, but I do my best. I pray to our church and the people in our church. I pray for our boys. I seem to do that more as they get older. As the seasons of my life change, my prayer life changes as well.
One change is going to start next Sunday, May 10th. Although I pray regularly for people in the church, God has led me to be more specific and intentional in this ministry. Each week, I will pray for five individuals / families. Over the course of a year this will be 260 individuals / families. About a week before I pray for you and / or your family, you will receive a letter from me asking you to submit prayer requests to me. If you have a family, I encourage your family to sit down and write up a list of prayer requests together. This will be a great family activity. If you don’t want to share specific prayer requests, know that I will be praying for you anyway! If you do share prayer requests with me, know that everything you share is confidential.
I am so excited about this new ministry. I look forward to getting to know many of you more and praying for you! I want also note how grateful I am to Marion Hanneld for being the administrator of this ministry.
This morning I also want to mention a resource that we have available. In January and February of 2008, I did a five message series on prayer called, iGod: little i. BIG GOD. I looked at The Prayer of Jabez (iDream), Paul’s Prayer (iConnect), David’s Prayer (iConfess), Solomon’s Prayer (iVote), and The Lord’s Prayer (iLive). If you enjoy listening to recorded messages and want to grow in your prayer life, I encourage you to pick up this resource this morning.
I sincerely hope that we all grow in our prayer lives during the days that are ahead.