Prayer is central to the life of the believer. Jesus teaches us to pray, models what a life of prayer looks like, and invites us today to engage in prayer as a way of existing. Paul challenges the church in Thessalonica to pray without ceasing. What?! How is this possible?
In a world of notifications, overbooked calendars, never-ending to do lists, etc., making time to pray seems more and more difficult by the day. Jesus is routinely waking up before sunrise to spend time in the presence of the Father. I believe starting from that place, the first-fruits of our time, is a great way to get our minds and hearts in a position to pray throughout the day.
My excuses for not waking up early to abide in the presence of God often consist of, “I need sleep; Nothing really happens when I abide; I’ll carve out time later in the day to do it.” While some of these reasons are valid, I find that I often don’t get into the groove of prayer and am unable to see where God is active in and around me. Speaking personally, I view my refusal to spend time with God alone to start my day as an act of quenching the Spirit. I don’t want you to hear this as prescriptive or legalistic, but as an invitation to participate fully in the abundant life God intends for you.
I would challenge you this next week to try this a few times. Wake up early, grab some coffee and pray. This can take shape in a variety of ways. Here are some best practices I have found:
- Prayer Journal: write out the things you want to say to God and listen for His response. Test what you feel He is saying against Scripture and write it down so you can refer back to it throughout the day. Another helpful tool is to follow these four movements in prayer journalling: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. For more of a guide, click here: Need link to Friday morning prayer bulletin
- Scripture: read a passage of scripture and pray it to God. Meditate on its truth throughout the day. The above passage is a good starting point, “Spirit, I desire to rejoice always. I am in a season of sadness and frustration. Would you replace it with your joy today?”
- Worship Music: turn on music that is worshipping God and join in. Reflect on the truth of the words and pray them to God, over your life or others that God places on your heart. King of My Heart by John Mark McMillan is a great song for this practice. Click here to listen.
My hope is that we would be a people that are abiding in the presence of Christ on a personal level, so that we might be able to discern His heart for us and those around us. When we pray, God listens and responds. We would also love to pray for you this week! Send us an email, or fill out a prayer card at any of our parishes this Sunday.
Mike DeFrees, Midtown Parish Pastor
September 29th // Kids Dedication Class
October 1st // National Night Out
October 2nd // School of Theology Begins
School of Theology
School of Theology is a 5 week event held every Wednesday night in October at Aggie Park. This year we will focus on Dan White’s book, Love Over Fear. Each week will consist of both teaching and small group discussion. There are two registration options: $15 which includes only the book and materials or $40 which includes dinner each week as well as the book and materials. To register you can click here.
The Park Kids Dedication service is about a commitment to put God first in your home and to trust in Him as your source of direction as you lead your family and parent your child. It is also a time to share with your closest friends, family and church community what is most important to you and to ask them for their prayer and support. Our next dedication service will be October 13th during the Sunday morning service. There is a required class prior to the service on September 29th 2-3:30 PM at the Impact Guild. If you would like to dedicate your child, or would like more information, click here.