I have been spending some time reading Luke's Gospel account over the last few weeks and this week I came upon this familiar text:
"Lord, teach us to pray." (Luke 11:1)
When you and I come to the Lord in prayer, I think we often wonder if we are approaching the throne acceptably. It may even seem cavalier the way we talk to God as if God were our best friend, or come running to the throne at any hour unannounced. But we come as we are --- dirty, dusty, tired, or hurting --- we come when we are excited, expectant, frustrated or even angry. We come running like children -- messy, transparent, and trusting.
Jesus related several parables about the nature of prayer in Luke 11. He described prayer as a type of knocking and seeking that demands response. Even the person who is asleep in bed will rise to answer the door, if only to appease the one knocking. But we are also shown that if we ask our Father in heaven for bread, will God who loves us give us a stone? It's not a matter, you see, of how we come to God in prayer... but that we come!
So I can pray, Teach me to pray, when I'm not sure what to say, when my problems seem overwhelming or when I am discouraged. Lord, teach me to pray!
+++ This Sunday we celebrate World Communion Sunday in both our 8:30am and 10:00am worship services. Our scriptures take us to Moses seeking water from a rock in Exodus 17 and to the chief priests questioning the authority of Jesus in Matthew 21. And both of these lessons offer us glimpses of people whose "hearts were hardened" (Psalm 95). So my message "Keeping our Hearts Soft" has me thinking about how we should condition our hearts to remain soft to God and others. We will continue to "live-stream" the 10:00am worship service on our Facebook page and then "upload" the completed worship to our YouTube channel for home viewing. Since it is World Communion Sunday we too will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion and we hope you will join us, however you can, for worship on Sunday!
+++ We will also receive a special, second mile offering on Sunday for the United Methodist Church's World Communion Sunday offering. This offering empowers a diverse mix of national and international young adults to make a global impact for Christ. By providing needed scholarship help we assist graduate students here in the U.S. and other countries and provide ethnic scholarships for undergraduate students throughout the world. Look for the special offering envelopes in the Narthex on Sunday and thanks for supporting this important work!
+++ Our Trustees meet next Wednesday, 10/4 in the Fireside Room at 4:00pm. We hope to accomplish much at this meeting! Thanks to our Trustees for caring so well for our buildings and grounds!
+++ Our upcoming Second Sunday Lunch is on October 8th and will be our annual Chili/Chowder/Soup Cook-off! Excitement is building and cook books are being scoured for the best of our recipes! In addition to the samples we will also enjoy fruit, homemade cornbread and some of Marilyn's famous desserts. It is NOT necessary to bring an offering to sample to attend... but we do need you to SIGN UP outside the Fireside Room so we can prepare for all to have a wonderful time!
+++ CROP WALK is coming on October 15th at Onondaga Lake Park. We need walkers and sponsors to support the wonderful ministry done by Church World Services CROP WALK! We are walking to end hunger in our community and around the world. Please consider joining us on the walk or sponsoring a walker on Sunday! Thanks for your support!
+++Bishop Hector has invited all United Methodists to join him in a 12-month prayer pilgrimage. To learn more check out our website Together in Prayer.
+++We give thanks to God that Dan Miller is on the mend. Lisa and Dan are very grateful for your prayers and support.
Make this day a great day and remember to ask Jesus to Teach me how to pray!