JKPC

Community in Action October 6, 2020

I mentioned a few weeks ago I have been reading through Soul Care in African American Practice by Barbara L. Peacock. In this reading I found that prayer is a key practice for those who long to be more connected to God. You might say, “Of course!” Yet in this reading I am reminded that prayer is not so much conversing with God as it is listening to God.

    I mentioned in one of my sermons recently that the Prayer that never fails is the one that says, “Thy will be done.” I also mentioned that perhaps a more important prayer is to say “Thank you.” Thank you to God for loving us enough to send the Son to die for us. Or even more importantly thank you God for always being with us. Or even thank you God for me, thank you for forming me and breathing life into me, but also for not ever letting go of me.

    As I walk through these times I realize how much I need to keep turning to God as God helps me deal with new circumstances, new understandings, and new challenges. I don’t always deal well with sudden changes, especially when I have just learned how to function in the world in which I thought I had finally figured out.

    Yet, we can always return to those songs or verses in the Bible we know. Or we can latch on to a new phrase that encourages us or welcome a new relationship which has just started. It seems God constantly is giving me new views which open my eyes to see more clearly the beauty and wonder around me. Or a new blessings to encourage me for which I am thankful.

    What special blessing has God given you recently? Is there some concern you have had which seemed to be resolved unexpectedly? Is there a new person to whom God has introduced you?

    This week I will be talking about Paul’s final words to the Philippians and he uses the phrase “more than enough.” At first glance this seems he is talking strictly about the financial gift the Philippians have given him, but I also think he is talking about the inspiration which brings him closer to God. Or perhaps helps that which helps him be more aware of God’s presence in his life.

    It is in those moments which God touches our heart that we can truly recognize we don’t walk on this earth alone. We have a constant companion who travels with us. That is what I think prayer is.

    Prayer is that running conversation we have in our mind which is directed at someone other than ourselves. Those exclamations of disappointment and those excited moments of delight. God is with us during both of those times. And God longs to hear what we have to say. God wants us to share with him all our ups and downs. God wants us to know that we can tell God anything and that our circumstances may not change, but by sharing what we are experiencing we may be open to new insight on how to deal with that experience in a different way.

    We may not be ready to thank God for our unexpected situation, but we can thank God for what good things come out of it. That battery in our car died, but then we wouldn’t have met that Tow Truck driver and be able to show our gratitude for her service. We forgot our mask, but when we went back into the house we wouldn’t have been able to sit down and have a conversation with the person who called us just at that same time. We may have forgotten our list of items to get at the store, but then when we called to check on what we needed to buy we wouldn’t have remembered that one other thing that wasn’t on the list in the first place.

    I am grateful for new insights from authors I normally wouldn’t have read, for now in our current circumstance I am becoming more aware of the state of the world around me and my need for growth in my walk with God.

    Growing in faith with you,

    Pastor Randy

 
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