Have you ever started a prayer and then paused after saying “Lord...” as you wondered just what to say, declare, or ask? We live in times when it is hard to know what to express in prayer simply because life can feel a bit overwhelming and we don’t know where to start. The Apostle Paul seems to suggest a principle for believers who might feel a bit “stalled” in their prayer life and how to pray for one another during these times. Paul is writing a letter to fellow believers in Philippi telling them three things he is asking God to do for them.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9–11).
Paul’s prayer priorities seem to reflect what we might call “gospel priorities”.
1) Pray for warm-hearted love. Paul does not specify where this love should be directed, but clearly a growing love for God will always result in deeper love for others both inside and outside the church.
2) Pray for wisdom and insight. This is not merely a request for more “encyclopedic facts”, but rather a humble request for God to give us His perspective for responding to events that confuse us. Who of us can’t use more of this kind of supernatural discernment today?
3) Pray for a willingness to be actively obedient to God. To behave in pure and blameless ways in today’s chaotic world takes a supernatural submission to the presence and truth of God.
I encourage all of us to dig more deeply and decisively into intentional prayer for one another. And the next time you feel “stalled” in prayer, may I suggest praying for these three gospel priorities for yourself, for other believers and perhaps especially for your Christian leaders today? Over the next couple of months, we will be focusing on the theme of PRAYER in more specific ways.
- This upcoming Sunday, July 5, at 9:00 am, we will again gather outside for worship so we can more easily comply with COVID health guidelines. Feel free to dress informally for the warmer weather. Although we are finding this venue and worship time a great time of connection and worship, we want to remind one another to continue practicing social distancing and other safety guidelines and protocols for health reasons during this season.
- We will continue to provide both this physical service for those who want to attend as well as an online message for those who are more comfortable watching from home.
- A quick word of affirmation for the many supporters who not only pray for the ministry of this church but also participate in supporting the physical needs through giving by mail and online. We are humbly grateful to be partnered in gospel ministry during these days.
Guidelines for participants when Re-opening GracePoint Worship Services
In the spirit of showing care for each other, yet wanting to have a comfortable and meaningful worship experience, please consider these guidelines as we gather:
- Bring your own chairs, blankets, and shade. Dress informally. Consider bringing a hat and sunglasses. Chairs and some shade will be provided for those who are unable to bring them.
- Maintain 6 feet of physical distance between your family and other families.
- Families with children will worship together. Bring activities for your kids. There will be no children’s programming.
- Greet friends with a smile or wave. Refrain from shaking hands or embracing each other.
Masks are encouraged but are not required. Bring your own if you have one.
- Use the restroom immediately before leaving home. Restrooms are open if absolutely needed.
- Bring your own beverages and snacks. Water bottles will be available.
- Please stay home if you have been in contact recently with a COVID-positive individual or you do not feel well. Access the service online.