A PERSONAL PRAYER
God of transformation,
I must have a corrupted file somewhere in the operating system of my mind. The thoughts I think. The passions that pop up when I don’t expect it. The angers and resentments that won’t go away. The fears that eat at me. I can’t seem to shake them. I continue to think about how your son taught us: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8) I am a long way from pure in heart, I am afraid, so does that mean that I won’t see you?
I like to think that what is going on inside me doesn’t show up on the outside, that my silent attitudes have no impact on my actions, but I know better. If I want a tree to bear better fruit, I need to give attention to the roots, the important components hidden from view. If I want my life to produce better fruit, I am going to have to dig below the surface, and address the root of the problem.
So God, I pray for you to help me. I want to be your instrument of your peace, to sow love in the midst of hatred, to sow hope in the midst of despair, light in the midst of darkness, but it seems I have to have it before I can sow it. I confess my impurity, God, and pray that you would cleanse my sinful heart.
God, awaken in me a deep desire to pursue faith, love and peace, that they might push out my cynicism, hatred, and hostility. I want to be a vessel cleansed of those corruptions, that I might be useful to you. Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
In the name of the one whose heart and life had no sin, Jesus the Christ, Amen.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
Sermon Series continues: “Focus On These Things.”
This week, we continue our sermon series based on Philippians 4:8: “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is beautiful, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, focus on these things.” Last week’s message about “whatever is just” dealt with the externals of life – how we treat one another and how we work to put things right. This week, we will consider the fourth phrase in the verse, “whatever is pure,” and talk about internals: the holiness of heart and life. Come and join us!
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “State Fair Musical” by St. Luke’s Tapestry Players is coming! There are four performances this Thursday – Sunday, August 2-5. It really is lots of fun. More information here.
The first Wednesday evening of every month is our Service of Prayer and Healing. This Wednesday, August 1, from 7-8:00 p.m., folks will gather in the Chapel to pray for healing of body, mind, heart, spirit of relationship. It is a wonderful Spirit-filled time of healing, and all are welcome. If you want more information contact Rev. Thomas Harper, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, July 29
Lord, we thank you for the gift of family – biological family, adoptive family, church family, family-in-law, and friends who are like family. Thank you for the amazing ways you are at work in all of these relationships. Thank you for giving us loved ones who walk through life together with us. Help us to strengthen and affirm these relationships. Amen.
Monday, July 30
Heavenly Father, we pray for those who are going through divorce. We pray that you would provide for their needs and give them comfort. Carry them through this time and give them hope for the future. Amen.
Tuesday, July 31
Lord, we pray for the students who are getting ready to leave home for the first time. Prepare them and give them all that they need. Send people into their lives who will guide them into good decisions and grow their relationship with you. Amen.
Wednesday, August 1
God, I pray for those whose jobs are in jeopardy and who are worried about tomorrow. May they find their self-worth in you and be confident that you will not leave them or forsake them. Amen.
Thursday, August 2
God, help us to remember those who are struggling with physical and mental illness, poverty, and addiction. Guide us to use our time and resources to do what we can to help them. In your name, we pray. Amen.
Friday, August 3
Heavenly Father, we pray for those who are going through divorce. Be with their children and carry them through this difficult and confusing time. Heal the brokenness within their family and fill their household with love again. Amen.
Saturday, August 4
God, we pray for our friends and loved ones who don’t know you but are longing to find purpose in their lives. Put people in their path who will lovingly show them that it is you they are seeking. Amen.