Monday, January 12, 2015

Prayer for New Life and New Hope

What are you thinking about as we move into the new year?  I can only guess that you are looking ahead to Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras, Easter, school events, work deadlines, and a host of other things.  As you think about these things, would you also pray for your church?  You might be saying, “Of course.  I already do.”  Wonderful!  Let’s pray even more.  This quote from an article I read recently is why I am asking you to pray:

“How can we renew the life of the church? This question itself may arise from . . . the suspicion that we alone are responsible for the future of the church, and if we do not get it right, we have failed ourselves, our people, and God. Yet the good news is this: We do not renew the church. Just as we are not responsible for raising Christ, we are not responsible for raising the church from death. We are responsible to testify to what we have seen: that God brings life out of death, and we live in that hope.Martha Moore-Keish, associate professor of theology at Columbia Theological Seminary
We are responsible to testify that God brings life out of death.  To testify to hope.  We testify in many ways—through our words, our actions, and our prayers.  Ultimately it is God who is doing the work—in us, through us, around us, and sometimes even in spite of us, and as we turn to God in prayer we are acknowledging and participating with God in this work.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

God promises to hear, forgive and heal.  Healing can happen in so many ways.  We heal a little each time we find that God has given us the strength to keep going in the midst of a difficult situation, or that God has given us loving words to say to someone, or that God has given us a vision for seeing a need and a way to help someone.  We heal a little every time we thank God for another day, another hour, another moment.

How have you seen God bring life out of death in your life?  How does that give you hope?

Every season brings something new.  We do not know what is around the corner for us, but we do know that God promises to be with us.

“I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.  I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’”  (Isaiah 41:13 Message Version)

Let’s pray and thank God for all that he has done, is doing and will be doing!

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