Ahhhhhh!! Don’t you just LOVE these wide-open-doors-and-windows days!! We’ve had just enough rain to make things grow–and to keep us from having time to mow the lawn before the next rain. Anyway, The Mom is busy with the final Tuck Shop at Club tonight, and working on final touches to the Video (that the Trailblazers, two gr. 5/6 girls did all the filming for–so hilarious!), and fixing up some nice Group Pictures for the kids graduating to the next group (as well as for the leaders of course!) Next week is the Closing Celebration, and then it’ll be cleaning up all the paperwork and beginning to think about next year!
OK, the ‘P’ in SHEPHERD… stands for "Prayer". (‘S’ is for Scripture, and ‘E’ is for Excellence, remember.) Sharon used The Lord’s Prayer as part of the outline for her sermon:
- Our Father.. hallowed be your name. "Father": first and foremost, is this Key Point–to have God’s love always before us. And if we ask God to reveal His holiness ("hallowed by your name"), His love is all the more precious. Because we realize that in spite of how holy He is, He cares about everything concerning us. And the "our" part helps us include others when we pray.
- Your kingdom come. There is one reality that is what we see on the surface of everything that happens, and another reality that is God’s plan, His working things out. Only He knows what is in people’s deepest being, what is in the future, etc., and hence–what is best. So this prayer means "Do what’s best for the Kingdom." The Kingdom being people coming to know God, as well as the ultimate, eventual state of everyone knowing Him.
- Give us each day our daily bread. Pride will keep us from asking this; but when you come to the point where you know you have to depend on God for every little daily need–you will be blessed indeed. (Or you could put it this way: when you realize that every little need that’s already been looked after, is because of God’s provision–giving you the ability to do it, etc….)
- Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. Again, pride will keep us from thinking that WE need mercy, or that we should ask someone else for forgiveness.
- And lead us not into temptation. This actually means "deliver me"; and again, we should be humble enough to know that we can’t resist temptation without God’s help.
The title of the sermon was "Praying when it’s Hard to Pray". It does seem like a good idea to use The Lord’s Prayer, when you just can’t think of the words to say. Sharon also gave us some other great ideas, which we just want to copy here. And don’t forget that when you really just feel that you CAN’T pray, that’s when others need to do it for you–ask for prayer. Our church for example, has email prayer-lists of people who are ready to "deal" with prayer requests, plus a team of people who wait at the back of the sanctuary on Sunday mornings, in case anyone needs someone to pray with them.
OK, Sharon’s other ideas–
PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES:
Begin with familiar verses, and just pick out a FEW to concentrate on.
1. First, just read it for Information, even if you think it could never be true for you.
2. Then, read it while Longing for it to be so.
3. Next, choose to believe–Affirm that it must be so (since God said it!)
4. Ask God to make it so.
5. Appropriation by God’s grace that it is so. (There could be a loooong wait, as we see time, between this point and the previous one!)
PRAYERS OF THE HEART:
- Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.
- Thy will Lord, not my will.
- Remind me of my sins, so that I do not judge another.
- Humble me to love.
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA PRAYERS:
- I thank you for
- I need you for
- I love you for
- I am sorry for
- God be with me in