Pastor’s ponderings

In our continued examination of the Vision for our Parish, as it has been outlined in Psalm 116:12-19, this week we find ourselves centering on prayer.  Our passage notes twice that “I’ll pray in the name of God.”  So, what does this mean for us as a Parish and as member of the Body of Christ?

          First, I think we have to understand what prayer is.  For grins, I looked up “prayer” in one of my theological dictionaries, and there it says this: “Human approach to God and addressing God in praise and adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, and intercession” (The Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms: Second Edition, by Donald K. McKim, Westminster John Knox Press, 2014).  Now, here’s the irony for me. This definition talks about all sorts of types of prayer, but doesn’t really explain prayer, does it?  No wonder we are so often confused!  Certainly, when we pray, we approach and address God, but don’t we do more than that?  Isn’t prayer a conversation, not just some one-way monologue?  Isn’t prayer us talking with God, not just to God?  For in prayer, God often responds to what we have to say, if we really listen.  Prayer is two-way communication: us talking to God, AND God speaking with us.

          Now, as our definition stated, there are many things we can bring to God – our praise and adoration, our personal and communal confessions of wrongdoing, our thanksgiving for the blessings that we have received, our supplications or requests for that we would still like to be changed in our lives, and our intercessions on behalf of others. In other words, there’s always something we can talk with God about!  We should always have something to say, and there’s always something God wants to say to us!

          So, again we must ask, what does this mean for us as a Parish and as member of the Body of Christ?  How can prayer be a vital part of who we are?  Well, my brothers and sisters, we’ll never know unless we talk with God about it, will we?                    

          Always pondering,  Pastor Steve

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