by Robin |
November 2, 2009 · 1:44 pm
Romans 8:27 “If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.”
Ever been at a loss for words? Sometimes we encounter things that are either so wonderful or so horrible that we can’t find words that adequately express our reaction to them. Sometimes these become places of prayer. We want to bring them before God but we don’t know what to say. In the passage above Paul tells his friends in Rome not to be overly concerned when they can’t find the words to pray. He says that God actually does the praying for us. If we bring our hearts to God, God will make the prayer happen. This is a mystery but it may be one worth exploring this week.
by Robin |
April 15, 2009 · 3:08 pm
Acts 12:5 All the time that Peter was under heavy guard in the jailhouse, the church prayed for him most strenuously.
In this week’s sermon I spoke about the way Acts, chapter 12 (and really, all of Acts), was the sequel to the life and work of Jesus. In Acts the story continues with the disciples living out much of what Jesus lived in his time on earth. In this sequel, as it is told in Acts, Peter and later Paul have the starring roles. But there is a large supporting cast and in this scene the supporting cast has the role of prayer. If I am correct in assuming that the sequel of the Easter story continues to this day and includes us then we can take a lesson from this passage. Prayer is a vital part of the story, and those who pray, though they may be seen as supporting cast by others, have a significant role to play. Maybe we need to learn to pray not that we will be part of God’s continuing story, but that our prayers in and of themselves become part of that story. What if we touched the reality of the resurrection as we prayed? What if prayer became the way we live with God, an end in itself and not a means to something else? May we find the life of the resurrected Jesus in our prayers this Easter season.
by Robin |
February 24, 2009 · 3:38 pm
Luke 9:28 About eight days after saying this, he climbed the mountain to pray, taking Peter, John, and James along. While he was in prayer, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became blinding white.
Thus begins Luke’s account of what we call the Transfiguration. The traditional churches always take note of this on the last Sunday before Lent. The gospel writers view this event as a glimpse of Christ’s glory that gave strength to the disciples as they followed Jesus to Jerusalem and witnessed the suffering he experienced there. The church uses this event in the same way as we figuratively journey with Jesus during Lent. The interesting thing about Luke’s account is that he alone of the gospel writers frames the action with prayer. Maybe the other authors assumed their readers would know that Jesus took the three disciples apart to pray and that, of course, that’s what Jesus was doing when Moses and Elijah showed up. Luke doesn’t want to leave any room for his readers to miss that point and states it plainly. In our culture we often think of Lent in terms of giving up something: candy, TV, whatever. But giving up something is only significant if it makes extra, special time and space to focus on God. More than anything else, Lent is a call to prayer. It is an opportunity to come away from all the motion and stress of the regular routine and be still in the presence of the creator and redeemer of the world. It just may be that like the disciples in this story, in doing so, we will see Jesus in a new or deeper way. Take the gift of Lent this year, the gift of carving out an added place in your life to be with God.