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Pray without Ceasing

January 30, 2015

Ash Wednesday is almost upon us, and with it we enter into the penitent, meditative, reflective season of Lent. For many people, Lent brings disciples, often in the form of giving something up. If this is your practice, I commend you. This year, I won’t be giving something up; I’ll be taking something up. Specifically, I’ll be taking up prayer. No, prayer isn’t new to me. I’ve been praying my whole life. But I’ve also been on a journey lately to deepen my prayer life and prayer will be the centerpiece of my Lenten discipline.

Paul writes in his earliest letter, 1 Thessalonians, to “pray without ceasing” (5:17). I imagine that for many Christians, beginning to pray is challenge enough, let alone living a life of constant prayer! Be that as it may, we are called to be people of prayer, so during Lent, you’re welcome to join me in my discipline.

Starting on Ash Wednesday, and continuing Monday through Friday throughout Lent, I and whatever staff members choose to be there, will meet to pray in Heinecke Hall at 8:05. You are most welcome to join us! You can come once, once in a while, or choose to make this part of your Lenten discipline. What will we do? We’ll hear a word of scripture, share concerns and joys, and we’ll pray. For those on our prayer lists; for our ministries and programs; for the church throughout the world; for all people on earth – we will pray.

My, ahem, prayer for this time is that we will, as individuals and as a congregation, grow closer to God. That we’ll be better equipped to speak with God. That our congregation, community, and world will be transformed by God’s powerful grace as we come before God in prayer each day. And maybe we won’t stop when Lent is over. Who knows? Only God knows, perhaps, but as we pray we will no doubt receive guidance even for our prayer lives.

Speaking of prayers, I have several personal prayers for St. Peter’s for 2015, as I mentioned in my annual report. I am prayerful that we will become better, more generous stewards of the gifts God has given to us. I am prayerful that we will be better attuned to God’s call to fish for people and to share God’s love and the good news of what Jesus is up to at St. Peter’s. And I am prayerful that we will better learn to use and encourage the artistic gifts of our members, particularly in the sanctuary to enhance our life of worship.

Stewardship, evangelism, and the arts. These are three particular areas of my prayer life, and I am prayerful that others would like to be drawn into conversations about these topics. If any of the three are close to your heart, let me know. We’ll talk. We’ll get the appropriate committees involved. We’ll see where God leads us. I’ll be praying about these conversations.

This Lent, your pastor will be praying for you as we walk together to the sorrow of Good Friday and the joy of Easter morning. And I’ll be hoping you might even pray with me. The coffee will be on and the Spirit will be working! See you at 8:05 a.m., and day you want, starting on Ash Wednesday. Let’s pray without ceasing and see what God does!

In Christ,

Pastor Dave

This post is also the cover article of the February St. Peter’s Lutheran Church newsletter.

From → Odds and Ends

One Comment
  1. Pastor Fred & Mary Hubert permalink

    We join you in prayer!

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