A PERSONAL PRAYER
God, I need to learn some things.
I need to learn when to say no, and when to say yes.
I need to be clear about what I am responsible for, and what I am not responsible for.
I want to know how to help others without being a “fixer.” I need to understand when it is ok to say “Sorry. It’s not my problem.”
How do I know when it is time to intercede for someone else and when it is none of my business?
I watch people struggle, sometimes people I love, and think I have the answers – if they would just listen to me! But truthfully, I have my own stuff to deal with, and I don’t always do such a great job with it. So who do I think I am? But I don’t want to just pass by on the other side when there are people who are hurting. How do I know the difference, God?
God, your love is the model for us. You love us more than anything, more than we could possibly imagine, but you give us both the freedom and responsibility to make our own decisions and allow us to live with the consequences of those decisions. You could take over our lives and run them for us, but maybe that isn’t how real love works. God, teach me how to set the right boundaries in my life. It just seems so fuzzy.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This week, we continue our sermon series, “Better Parents, Better People,” focusing on how our own approaches to life and to relationships help to form both our own children and the children and young people in our church family. This week we will focus on how we know when to step into other people’s lives and when to let others, including children, make their own decisions and succeed or fail. Our sermon is “Boundaries.”
Next week, we begin the season of Lent. It begins with Ash Wednesday services on February 26, 7:30 a.m. in the Chapel (brief service) and services at noon and 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary. Next Sunday, March 1, we will begin a new sermon series, “In the Garden,” examining the powerful events on Thursday night, beginning with the Last Supper, and continuing through the anguish Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane. The word Gethsemane comes from a phrase meaning “place of the olive press.” It was here that olives were pressed into oil. It is here that the world and Jesus’ mission press down on him as he cries out to his God in agony. Perhaps you have been pressed down, crying out to your God. If so, Jesus won’t desert you. I hope you will plan to be present for this series.
Our Scripture+Shared Bible study during Lent begins March 1. The six-week lesson series is titled Best.Sermon.Ever., a study of the Sermon on the Mount. Scripture+Shared is delivered over the Scripture+Shared app (not the St. Luke’s app), or on your computer. Find a friend and do it together, or use it for your small group study. Download the Scripture+Shared app here, or download study materials here (available Feb 23).
Our 2019 impact report is out for your review. What did God do through St. Luke’s in 2019, because of your investment of time, money, and prayers? These booklets are at the connection center and other places around the church, or you can download it here.
Did you miss the message, “Give Yourself a Time Out” on February 16? Watch it here.
Sunday, February 23
Gracious God, we thank you for the gift of eternal salvation, and we pray for the courage to share your Good News with others. As we prepare for Lent, examine our hearts and remove anything that keeps us from following you wholeheartedly. Then, O Lord, fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we may go and make disciples of all nations. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Monday, February 24
Lord, we pray for those who have no family around them. May our church be their brothers and sisters in Christ and keep them strong in their faith. Praise be to you, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Tuesday, February 25
God, when we get anxious or worry, let us remember that you promise to be with us; give us peace and joy for today and always. Amen.
Wednesday, February 26 – Ash Wednesday
Heavenly Father, we confess that we have sinned against you, and we thank you for your amazing grace. As we enter into this Lenten Season, we pray that you would use this time to purify our hearts and move us to honestly and sincerely follow you in all that we do. Amen.
Thursday, February 27
Lord, help me attend to your presence in my life today. From the moment I wake up, show me all of the ways you are working for good in my world. Help me to not be overwhelmed with my circumstances or my to-do list, but to open my eyes to discover you in new and powerful ways. Amen.
Friday, February 28
Father God, we are so grateful for you. We are grateful to be healthy enough to read this. We are grateful for the beautiful world you created for us. We are grateful for the people you have put in our lives. We are grateful for the mind-blowing love and grace you have for us. Amen.
Saturday, February 29 – Leap Day
Patient and Life-giving God, sometimes it feels like life is moving so fast that I cannot find the joy and blessings from You in each moment. Yet now I pause and recognize that you have provided me with another whole day to spend praising You and honoring Your presence with every breath I take. Jesus, give me the grace to be aware on this Lenten Leap Day that with every revolution of the earth comes another opportunity to become the disciple you have called me to be. In Christ’s name, I pray, Amen. Prayer by Madison Garcia