A PERSONAL PRAYER
God – Father, Son, Holy Spirit,
I remember the first time I made a commitment to following you, and offered you my life in response to your amazing grace. I felt so empowered, so full of life. I felt that nothing could bring me down. It was like I was getting married – I was going to follow you for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. In my mind, I knew there would be good times and bad times, but I thought we could handle them all together, you and I, and that my commitment to you and my sense of your guiding hand and power to triumph over circumstance would never fade.
Lots of water under the bridge since then, God. I have seen ups and downs. So many wonderful things have happened. Marriage. Children. Grandchildren. Friendships. A career and opportunities I don’t deserve. Many challenges too. Some grief. Some mistakes. Some decisions I regret. Some places I did what I didn’t want to do but felt I had to do. And I wish I could say that in all that time, my commitment to you and your way of life remained steadfast and foremost. I wish I could say that my passion for your kingdom was fiery hot the whole time. But you know better, God, and so do I. Nonetheless, we made it so far. Even when I wavered, you stayed right with me.
So can we start over again? Oh, not as if none of it ever happened. The scars from the journey are part of who I am, and I have learned a lot. My faith today will be less an emotional ideal than a firm commitment of the will. But a fresh start and a renewed commitment will allow me to “lay aside the weight and sin which clings so closely and run with perseverance the race that is set before me.” (Hebrews 12:1)
Today, I take the fresh start you offer me. And then tomorrow, I will do it again. And again the next day. Each and every day I will renew my commitment again, because you are a God whose business is making all things new.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This Sunday, July 14, I will continue our sermon series “Father Abraham Had Many Sons (and Daughters).” This week, we will consider Jacob, the covenant with God he makes at Bethel, and his return to that same place over two decades later. This Sunday’s message is titled “Jacob: A Place of Beginning, Again.”
I hope you will consider sponsoring a child in the Christian Community Service Center back to school drive. Your $45 provides school supplies and uniforms for one of the thousands of under-resourced children in Houston. You can sign up at the table by the Sanctuary, or contact Madeline Beem at [email protected].
Next Saturday, June 20, from 9:30-11:30, come help make sandwiches for preschool kids. Kid’s Meals, kidsmealsinc.org is a marvelous ministry St. Luke’s has long supported, and makes such an incredible difference. I love it because it is so straightforward and basic. The need is especially significant in the summer. Register here and meet in our Fellowship Hall.
Sunday, July 14
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for the opportunities you give us at St. Luke’s to be in community with others in small groups and in Bible study. We appreciate the ways you give us to be in your word each day. Guide us as we work to understand and gain insight into the power of your word and your special love for us. Thank you for leading us in meaningful ways on our spiritual journeys. Amen.
Monday, July 15
Almighty Father be with those of us who feel distant from you this day. We look around this world and see so much pain and illness we confess that sometimes it is hard for us to remember that you have promised to redeem this world. Forgive us for the times we lose hope, and then call us into action to be a part of your transformative work. Give us one or two people this week specifically that you are calling us to show your love in either word or action. Amen.
Tuesday, July 16
Dear Heavenly Father, at this time when there is so much turmoil in the world, let us be mindful of your teaching in Colossians 3:13, “Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other just as the Lord has forgiven you.” Even in troubling times, help us to share your love and grace with those around us. Amen.
Wednesday, July 17
Dear Heavenly Father, healing is such a miracle; we often take credit for the solutions to problems of the body and the heart and the soul, yet we know it is only through faith that true, lasting healing can take place. Open our minds and our hearts to recognize that with faith comes the assurance that healing will happen in Your time, not ours. Grant us patience and trust that Thy will be done in our lives especially when healing is needed. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Thursday, July 18
Dear Heavenly Father help us to serve you with gladness and not let everyday things get in the way. Let us value the gifts, talents, and strengths you have given us and let us use them to your service. We just praise you and thank you for all the blessings that you have loving provided. Amen.
Friday, July 19
Dear Lord, whether we are celebrating a joy or grieving a loss, let us remember to offer thanks to you for each day of living life to the fullest. Let us wake up each day with a prayer of thanksgiving. Help us to receive the gift of each day as a special opportunity for You to work through us to spread joy, comfort, hope and love to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Saturday, July 20
Lord Jesus be with the sick and brokenhearted, and also with those of us who are battling cancer or the loss of a loved one. Help them to know your healing presence in the midst of this storm. Give guidance to their friends and family to know the best way to love and comfort them in their time of need. And, finally, mend their bodies and hearts in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.