Friday, April 22, 2016
Prayer is such a gift! Prayer connects us to the Father, helps us to know our purpose, and moves God's grace to work in our lives. I need God. I need God's grace. I need purpose. I need prayer. I would guess you do too. If your life is anything like mine then you are in need of prayer too, especially prayers for healing. Most of my ministry includes praying with and for others, especially for healing. So I thought I would pray this prayer and leave it as a template for you and your loved ones in need of prayer:
Compassionate and All-Powerful God,
I pray for your loved one, ____ who is ill, I commend their body, mind, and soul to your care.
Be powerfully present and comfort them in their sickness, and ease their suffering. I pray for deliverance, knowing that nothing is too hard for our Lord.
Lord I pray for, _____ , your Word calls me to pray for healing. I believe you hear this earnest prayer that comes from my heart. I thank you that you have proven to be faithful and your promises are true. I have faith in you Lord, to heal, _______, and I also trust in the plan you have for their life.
Lord I don't need to understand your ways, I trust that your ways are not my ways, and that your thoughts are not my thoughts. I ask you to look with mercy and grace toward, _____ nourish their mind, body, Soul, and Spirit in this time of suffering, comfort and renew them with your grace.
I pray that they feel your presence and that you bless them with your care. Renew their strength, and heal, _____ ailments that they may be restored to full health: mind, body, and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
May,_____ know and feel your healing presence now and throughout this process of care. Grant your strength, your peace, your love. And may you, through this difficulty be glorified in their life and also all who join me in prayer for, ______.
In Christ our healer, redeemer, I pray
Monday, April 11, 2016
I have a question for you. Do you have questions? I'm certain that you do. I believe it's human to question things. As we seek answers we are some how becoming more satisfied with who we are, and more satisfied within our context. Of course this assumes that you don't go deeper and deeper into some sort of philosophical black hole.
I want to approach this topic from a Christian perspective. We are all probably familiar with the adage, "questions are good they lead to answers." Well... I think the assumption is that this will lead one to the truths of God and ultimately into a relationship with God, done deal. I am convinced that for many it is not that easy. I remember working with youth, many were churched but a great many were unchurched. Most of their questions didn't concern the existence of God, nor did they deal with God's abilities/inabilities but were usually questions concerning why humans behave the way they do? Of course you get the, "Did Adam have a belly button?" sort of questions for fun but from some place within we want to understand ourselves, and our purpose. I interpreted this concern as their desire to make a difference in this world.
When I went to seminary I was reintroduced to questions from a much deeper Christian perspective that was great for comparing with and arguing against the philosophies that I and others encounter in undergraduate studies. I appreciate the things I learned, the many notes I acquired, books read, fascination with the brilliance of my professors, and the tools acquired for arguing from a Christian perspective for The Truth. As good as this field of studies is and useful especially for believers I remember a simple comment that a professor made. The professor said something to effect of, "having all of the answers may be great for some (thank God for Christian apologetics-reasoned arguments for the faith, essentially) but usually what it boils down to is that those who need an answer for every argument and every question usually have a faith issue." Meaning, they lack faith and are on a personal search for answers.
I am currently preaching a sermon series on questions that we need answered as Christians. The first Sunday I released the pressure by revealing that our heroes in the faith all had questions, doubts, and struggled for answers,(and even some current celebrity Christians). I am excited for the possibilities this series holds. We will be offered the opportunity to move on beyond personal hang-ups, and invited to allow room for the Spirit of God to a deeper work in us, and put us to work in making a difference in this world as the Church we are created to be.