"Deep in every one of us lies the tendency to pray. If we allow it to remain merely a tendency, it becomes nothing but a selfish, unintelligent, occasional cry of need. But understood and disciplined, it reveals possibilities whose limits have never been found." —Henry Emerson Fosdick
The Apostle Paul asks us to "pray without ceasing" (I Thess. 5:17). Jesus withdrew to solitary places to pray (Mark 1:35 for example). The Church gathered in prayer for Peter in prison (Acts 12:5). The Ephesian elders prayed for Paul and others as they began their journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:36). There are more examples but I hope you are getting the picture. We have not even touched the Old Testament illustrations of prayer. Let's just admit—Prayer is the lifeline of the Church.
Throughout history the Church has found prayer to be its source of power and strength (by church I mean the people of God!). Prayer has given the church the ability to face some of its darkest days and emerge stronger and with greater intensity than could ever be imagined. I appreciate what Fosdick says in the above quote – the limits of the possibility of prayer have never been found or reached. In a day and age when people seek to put limits on what we can and cannot do it is exciting to know that there is still one thing that is limitless and whose limits we have never or can never reach. WOW! We have only scratched the surface of the possibilities of prayer!
However, prayer needs to be nurtured. It is more than just giving a list of demands to God (a cosmic Santa) and hope they will be answered. Prayer must include thanksgiving and praise for what God has done and a deep desire to listen to and do God's will. We need to tune our hearing to the very voice of God and be willing to spend time in silent listening. We need to learn to see prayer as communication rather than our talking and God listening. We need to understand we have a God who wants to hear about our day, our needs, our hopes and dreams.
I love the image in Genesis of God walking in the evening with Adam and Eve hearing about their day. Can you imagine the scene? Three people walking through the garden, chatting about the flowers, animals, and trees and sharing the new discoveries of the day. That is prayer!|
We are expanding our formal prayer times. A time for us to gather and pray for one another. God's world and FBC of Mountlake Terrace. We will gather on Sundays at 10:35 in room 101 for a 15-minute time of prayer for the worship service and other needs of the congregation. Then on Wednesday evenings (after Bible study) will gather from 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. (again in room 101) to pray. There will be a chance for prayer requests to be shared and we'll pray for those mentioned on Sunday... there will also be a time of silence for us to "listen". You will not be expected to pray out loud – I know this is difficult for some – but all prayers are heard and who knows, God may surprise you!
These are not meant to take away from those times of private prayers, the "praying without ceasing" Paul writes of. But they are designed to bring us together as the people of God, the Church, and to begin to tap the limitless resources of our God. My prayer is that we become the people of God in prayer and in becoming such we begin to change the world around us.
A Special Thanks
Diane and I want to thank everyone who had a part in our Installation Service on June 10. It was a wonderful day and celebration and the special touches in the service from the depths of your hearts made the day far more special to us than just another service. If we tried to name everyone we would forget some and we know that there were some who worked behind the scenes, and all made the day so wonderful.
Words cannot truly express our thanks for all that you have done to make our first few months in Mountlake Terrace so welcoming. This was highlighted by the Installation Service.
With thanks and gratitude, Dennis & Diane