Pastoral Reflections- Rev. Carol Kress, pastor, Gladbrook United Methodist Church Gladbrook, Iowa
September 13, 2013
A few words on prayer I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4) Out of curiosity I once asked my friends to answer this question: “What do you think people should to know about prayer?” Here are some of their replies. . It is more like listening than it is like talking . When you pray, expect a response because God listens and God answers . It’s not as difficult as people make it out to be. . It’s like having a conversation with your Best Friend. . It can be done at any time, any where in any form; as long as you are sincere, God will be listening. . Listening to God is as important as talking to God. The apostle Paul’s urgessupplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made at any time for every one. He encourages us to pray for the ones we love, our advesaries, and to even pray for those in high positions. He implores us to do this so we can lead a quiet and peaceable life. Scholars date the book of 1 Timothy to the persecutions of Christians. There were devastating fires in Rome. The ruling emperor, Nero, blamed Christians for sparking the fires. So Christians were bullied, arrested and persecuted to the point of death. These were challenging times for the church but prayer sustained it until their time of crisis passed. A remnant of the faithful survived and they were able to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout the civilized world. Like the Christians who were being persecuted, we may feel as if our lives are under trial. But even during the anxious days we can follow the same instructions that Paul gave to the early church. Seek solace from the bonds of kinship and shared concern that God provides. And remember that Paul says these difficult days are numbered. But the days we will live in the shadow of God’s grace will stretch into eternity. In his book BLINK, Ted Dekker writes, “Prayer just might be the most powerful tool humankind possesses.” I want to encourage you to develop a regular habit of spending time with God in prayer. It is essential for a life that’s led in quiet and peace. Prayer: Lord, teach me to pray for the ones I love, and also for my adversaries. Guide my thoughts and actions so that I will be filled with peace and care for all of creation. Amen.
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