Tuesday, January 29, 2013

God Answers Prayer

Our Church Sunday January 25, 2013
I've been praying for our church family that we all would grow more mature in our faith walk. I've wanted to have a series of lessons on spiritual gifts and serving Jesus, but if they are just coming to church to hang out with other deaf people, the jobs that they are given will be "duties", not an opportunity to give part of themselves to the work of the Lord. They will think the job interferes with their goal of socializing.  I don't want them to grudgingly feel obligated to help in some way. I want them to WANT to help so that in helping they are giving back to God.

I've also been praying that they learn to read God's Word. Since the new year began I have been passing out a list of daily Bible readings. These are thematically based on the readings we used for  Friday and Saturday night Bible studies.  Not many are reading the verses, yet, but I am confident if I don't give up, God will add to the number of people who are reading their Bibles and praying.  Spiritual maturity has to begin with listening and talking to God. I see some progress. Last Sunday Martha stood up at the testimony time and paraphrased one of the verses she had read that week.  Today Alva stopped by my house to get an NCV Bible.  It's hard for many to read anything, but just one verse a day and to pray, I think is doable.

About a month ago Phyllis and Galen Groff told me that the Mennonite Church in Hopkins is growing because, they said, the pastor is praying. I thought, of course the pastor is praying...
but I wasn't praying enough.  After seeing the number of men dwindle we got the women together to pray specifically for some of the men.  Some of us even fasted.   God is faithful  He wants us to pray because he wants us to know his power and love.  Otherwise, we think when good things happen it is just coincidence.  If we pray and see a difference we can say, "Look what God has done!"  It gives him glory and recognizes His faithfulness. So I continue to pray and testify to God's answers.

Please pray with us that we will all mature in faith.  So that next year when we celebrate 2014 we will look back and say, "Look how far we've come!".

Alma lighting a candle as part of our worship on Sunday.
I realllllly wanted to use helium balloons but I couldn't think of anywhere in Orange Walk that sells them. We have been talking about forgiving one another. This last Sunday's sermon was based on Matthew 5:21-25, the passage that is familiar because of the line "Leave your gift at the altar and go make peace with your brother."  I tried to talk about anger and conflict resolution. Part of conflict resolution is eventually "letting go" of past hurts and injustices and choosing to go on from this point where we are right now. That's why I wanted the balloons. Gee, the symbolism would have been great: all of us standing outside the church clutching our hurts and letting them go....up to Heaven.  Instead, though, I invited anyone who wanted prayer to come forward and I prayed for them to have the courage to face the conflict and talk about it with the person they were mad at....to try to resolve it.  Those who came forward were invited to light candles as a symbol of giving the conflict to God, or the hurt, or frustration.  It was just a beginning. The whole idea of resolving conflict instead of complaining about the person to a third party, or denying the conflict even exists is new.   Evenso, I am " confident of this, that he who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)

No comments:

Post a Comment