Prayer: Connecting & Sustaining

I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping.

It doesn’t change God- it changes me.

C.S. Lewis

 

Prayer is an important part of our Christian faith. We dedicate several times in our worship on Sunday mornings to prayer. We have a unison prayer or prayer of confession, often prayer before the sermon, pastoral prayer, silent prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, a prayer of dedication for offering, and when we have communion we add a prayer of consecration and thanksgiving. Adult Education has offered prayer classes, and it is still a topic requested by members of the church. It seems to me, as we draw close to Christmas, each of us might want to ask ourselves, what role does prayer play in my faith, or my life? We are headed into a very busy time in our daily lives.  The two holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas will now seem to dominate every day. We will be planning to be with family. We will be shopping for gifts. It will be more and more difficult to find a time in our busy-ness to pray.

I would like to offer four suggestions to help keep us centered on our own daily need for prayer. Please note: I didn’t say praying for our daily needs. I am hoping daily prayer might be a way for us to find time to breathe, to focus on things that are important, and to turn our attention away from our own daily needs, and towards the needs of others. Often when we make a shift like focusing on others, we ourselves find opportunities for growth.

1. Find a time/place that is consistent for you to pray. A place where you can think, not where you are reminded of all the things that need to be done. A time when you don’t have to be any place quickly. Try to stay close to this time every day, so it will become ‘habit’ for you. The goal is whatever time/place you set, will become habit by the end of the year. This time might be at the beginning of your day, at the end of the day, or even over your lunch break.

2. Subscribe to the United Church of Christ Daily Devotional. You can quickly go online and subscribe at http://www.ucc.org/feed-your-spirit/daily-devotional/. I know many of our members already have subscribed.  Each of the devotionals are thoughtful and helpful. You don’t even have to be home to do these devotionals. If you have a smartphone, you can read these devotionals anywhere. 

3. Talk to someone in the church, or a neighbor that you would like to know better. Find out their joys and concerns and include them in your prayers every day. Often times we do a better job of consistency if we believe that someone else is relying on us. Tell them you are praying for them. We don’t have any physical proof that prayer helps, but we do have proof that people who believe they are being prayed for do better.

4. Pick up an Advent Devotional that will be in the pews in mid-November and take it home. Use the daily devotional, and then come before worship at 8:45-9:15am on Sundays, December 8, 15, and 22, to talk about the week’s devotionals in the Chapel. 

Instead of the season of holidays, let’s call it the season of prayer! Let’s challenge ourselves to have a prayer life that will help us find joy and a centeredness in a very hectic time of the year. In the meantime, we may also find ourselves more connected to the church, our church family and those we choose to pray for.

~ Eldonna Hazen

 

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 8:44 am in Featured Content.

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