A Year of Being Kind blog – Friday, September 5, 2014
How to Serve? Provide a Safe Place for Prayer! (Feature Friday!)
Sometimes, stuff happens. Accidents happen. Disagreements happen. People get sick. Some lose their jobs. Anxiety flares up. Family fights continue. Some of us need to deal with things one day at a time. The business of living continues.
Like I said, stuff happens. And—what do you do when the stuff that happens is negative? Scary? Less than pleasant? Depressing? Downright awful? All kinds of feelings and emotions can come with those negative happenings. People can feel overwhelmed. Or alone. (Lonely, too!) People can give up hope. Or, people can get angry, resentful, even desperate.
A church in the Chicago suburbs is doing something about all that negativity. St. Luke’s Church in Morton Grove is starting an intercessory prayer ministry. The Prayer Project at St. Luke’s is providing a welcoming place, a safe place to share those deep prayer needs, with some faithful pray-ers. The praying people at the Prayer Project have volunteered to lift up the requests and needs that come to our attention, as they pray on a regular basis.
I am the pastor at St. Luke’s Church, and I have been preaching a summer sermon series on prayer for the past three months. We have examined prayer from many different points of view that are included in the biblical record. We’ve talked about some mis-understandings about prayer: consequently, “God is not a vending machine in the sky!” Have you ever had friends or acquaintances who considered God a sort of waiter? They would order things from some kind of heavenly menu, and give God a specific list of do’s and don’ts.
But—don’t many of us slip into that sort of thinking, sometimes? As well as that sort of praying? God, forgive me, but I know I do.
I have encouraged the praying friends at St. Luke’s Church to lift up prayer requests (as well as prayer praises!)–on a regular basis. In the Bible, we are urged to join together in prayer, too. Who doesn’t need prayers of friendship, support, encouragement and comfort?
Thank God we can turn to God in prayer. The Lord will be right beside us, whenever and wherever the need happens to be. And—God will never leave you. Never forsake me. Never, ever. That’s a promise, made by the best Promise-Keeper I know.
(If anyone is in need of prayer, St. Luke’s Prayer Project can help. Our email address is email@example.com. For more on prayer, check out my companion blog at matterofprayerblog.wordpress.com. )
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.