We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
God, I am so grateful for those who gave and give themselves away in love to me. When I look back, my parents dragged me to church as a small child and must have planted a seed of faith in me. As a teenager, it was in the church family that I discovered real community, as so many people showed me what love looks like. Friends like Steve Warner and Mark Graham loved me joyously, and I loved them back. Pastors like Bill Minor and Ray Porter knew my name and affirmed my gifts, and I could see love in their eyes and hear it in their voices. My father and mother, my in-laws, and of course my loving Dee, my children, their spouses—all have loved me when I was loveable and when I was pretty unlovable. I have some incredible friends who pour out their love on me in ways that absolutely amaze and humble me. I have been surrounded by colleagues on staff who have genuinely cared about me; what a gift to be a part of an authentic loving staff family. And the congregations who have enveloped me in their love— cards and emails and expressions of love, hugs and laughter, working side by side to love our city together. It is hard to believe it could get better. It is hard to believe we could “increase and abound in our love for one another.” Thank you, God, for the saints in my life, for those who have loved me so well, because you have loved them so well. Oh God, show me how to pay that love forward.
Gratefully today, in Jesus’ name, I pray.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
1 Thess 3:12 – And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. Read the full text here.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
Generosity is not simply about money, but about our time, our prayers, our energy, our love. Are you generous in that way? Who are the people who have generously invested their love in you? What are some ways you can continue to grow in your generosity of love for one another?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
Last week we got off to a great start in our conversation about a boundless God, but the rain kept our attendance down. If you missed, I hope you will watch the message for the week from our Westheimer campus, as well as a brief story-telling here.
This week is All Saints Sunday, and we will remember those of our congregation who have joined the “church triumphant” during the past year. We will remember their generosity toward us and God’s generosity and grace as he drew them to himself in both their lives and their deaths. It is one of the marvelous Sundays in which we are especially tuned to the realization that when we worship, when we sing and pray and learn around the throne of God, they are singing and praying and learning right along with us. It is one of those “thin places” where heaven and earth touch. I hope you will join us on Sunday.
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PRAYER CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK
Sunday, November 1 | All Saints’ Day
O God, we remember those who have followed your path and gone before us. Thank you for their blessings on our lives. Help us to follow your ways and to sow seeds of your love. Amen.
Monday, November 2
Dear God, thank you for a new day and a new week full of opportunities. Show me how I can invest in others and grow your love in this world. Amen.
Tuesday, November 3
God Almighty, all things are possible with you. Thank you for all of the ways that you are working in my life. Thank you for always being here for me and for always loving me. Amen.
Wednesday, November 4 | Ministry Prayer | Children’s Ministry Socials
God, you have brought together many great families here at St. Luke’s. We pray that you would bless the family social times this month and form new friendships. Help our families connect and support each other in faithful love. Amen.
Thursday, November 5
Dear God, in the midst of my busy, stressful life, I confess that I don’t always put you first and that I don’t take time to thank you for all of your blessings. Please help me remember to take time to enjoy and be grateful for all of your blessings, big and small. Amen.
Friday, November 6
Dear God, as this week comes to an end, we look forward to attending church to worship you. Help us to prepare our hearts and our minds to hear your message. Fill us with your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Saturday, November 7 | Ministry Prayer | Inaugural JFON (Justice for our Neighbors) Legal Clinic
God, we thank you for this new ministry to help our immigrant neighbors. We pray that you would guide this ministry and grow it to serve your purpose. Please let this ministry be a blessing to all who receive services and to all who serve. Amen.