We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
WE PRAY: A PERSONAL PRAYER
God of Love,
I am in awe of the shower of relationships you have sent my way. I am surrounded by an amazing family, a wonderful group of friends, teammates who share my passions, and a congregation of people who love and support me. I confess, O God, that even with all of these wonderful and amazing relationships, sometimes I seal myself off from the love of those folks you send my way. Sometimes, I am lonely in the midst of the crowd. Forgive, me, O God. Liberate me from the bondage of tasks, and lift my eyes so that I might see the faces of the people I am here to love. As the anthem/poem says: “slow me down, Lord. I’m movin’ too fast. Can’t see my brother as he’s goin’ past.” I pray that I would open my eyes and ears and heart and hands not just to you, but to my neighbors and family and friends.
In Christ, the one who taught us how to love.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 2 Timothy 1:3 Read the whole passage of Scripture for the sermon here: 2 Timothy 1:1-7
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What are the ways you have best invested in relationships? Who are the people you are investing in the most? How have you neglected or abused others? What keeps you from investing in relationships more?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
Mother’s day is this Sunday of course. It is a great day for some, and we celebrate all the mothers among us, both biological and spiritual. It is a difficult day for others. Remember to be compassionate and caring to those who want to be moms but are not, who have lost mothers, who have difficult or broken relationships with mothers or children.
There is a family in our church who is facing a potentially devastating disease, and one member of that family needs a stem cell transplant. No match has been found. I ask for prayers for this family. In addition, we will be having a stem cell donor registry drive next Sunday, May 22. I want to encourage every one of you to sign up to be a part of a donor registry. We will have kits to swab your cheek and then will record your HLA tissue type in a registry. In the United States alone, there are 20,000 people who need a transplant, and 70% of them do not have a match from their family. While your willingness to be a donor may not make a difference to the family in our church, it may make a huge impact on another family somewhere else. Remember, we give ourselves away in service and generosity…
Sunday, May 8 | Mother’s Day
Gracious God, we see your love in the gift of our mothers. We are thankful for our mothers who gave birth to us, the mothers of friends who have welcomed us as their own, our grandmothers who care for us, and the mother figures in our lives who have helped us in the absence of our mothers. Bless all of these women today. Give them what they need, strengthen them, and encourage them. Amen.
Monday, May 9
God, you have blessed us with many relationships – family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. Show us how to nurture these relationships in a loving way. Help us to build up relationships on the foundations of truth and grace. Let us love one another as you have loved us. Amen.
Tuesday, May 10 | Personal Prayer Day
Make a list of all of your relationships that you hope to build up. Pray to God for each of these relationships and ask him to show you new ways to love and support these relationships.
Wednesday, May 11
Dear Lord, thank you for my food, friends, grandparents, the fresh air, and my eyes. Please be with all my family and all the kids who don’t have any family, food, and books. I love you. Amen. -Prayer by Prentiss Carter, age 6
Thursday, May 12 | Personal Prayer Day
There are people in our lives who are have broken relationships. Pray for them by name today. Ask God to heal those relationships.
Friday, May 13
Dear Lord, I love Jesus and my family. I also love my grandparents and all of the animals. Thank you for my friends at school and for keeping me safe. Amen. -Prayer by Lydia Carter, age 4
Saturday, May 14
Almighty God, you gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to keep us close in relationship with you, and to unite us as brothers and sisters in Christ. Open our hearts to let the Holy Spirit guide our relationships. Let our words be words of encouragement and building one another up. Amen.