We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in service and generosity.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
God of Peace,
“Do not be anxious…” I hear you, God, but it is easier said than done. Sometimes, I know what makes me anxious. Will there be enough? Enough to pay the bills? Enough to do the things I feel you calling us to do? I have been so blessed over my lifetime, but there have been times in my life when too much of my energy was spent worrying about “enough.” Forgive me God. Somehow, by your grace and the generosity of your people, there has always been enough. Seems like I would learn to not be anxious, but apparently, I catch on slowly. All around me there are folks who have good reason to worry: the price of oil, the economy, company cutbacks. God, I pray for those who worry. I pray that you would be for them that God who provides. Show them your faithfulness. Give them your peace. Sometimes, I don’t even know what makes me anxious. There is just a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It can be crippling, but I am learning over the years, over the decades, to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known” to you. (Phil 4:6) And I can feel God’s peace, which passes all understanding, keeping my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
Thank you, God. I believe and trust you. Help my unbelief.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
Read the full text for this Sunday: Matthew 6:25-34 andPhilippians 4:6-9
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What do you worry about the most? What impact has anxiety had on your life? What practices do you have that help you deal with your anxiety?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
Do you ever feel anxious? The statistics show that we are in the midst of an epidemic of anxiety. But Jesus says “do not be anxious…” This week in worship, we continue our conversation about courage, and we will discuss how to deal with the anxiety that robs us of our joy. If you missed last week’s kickoff sermon, you can watch it here.
I want to invite you to sign up for a small group during Lent. Rev. Eric Huffman and I have authored a curriculum titled “Start Here.” I have poured a lot into the chapters, and really enjoyed my own learning as I write. Using the Apostle’s Creed as a skeleton, we will look at the key questions that seekers and skeptics and believers alike all consider when we ask “what do Christians really believe?” If you were in an Unbinding Your Heart group, get back together for the Lenten season. If you were not, feel free to sign up. There is a link right here on how to sign up.
Sunday | January 17
Loving God, you provide for all of our needs faithfully. You are always at work in our lives through the good times and through the hard times. Give us strength to persevere and courage to be faithful in all things. Amen.
Monday | January 18
God, help us to see people through your eyes without judging them from our perspective. Bless us with your Holy Spirit so that the world may see your love in our words and deeds. Amen.
Tuesday | January 19
Personal Prayer Day
God places people in our lives for a reason. Sometimes we see God’s purpose, and sometimes we do not. Pray for all of the people God brings into your life today. Ask God to care for them and to bless them.
Wednesday | January 20 Scripture Prayer
“You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands. How wonderful are your gifts to me; how good are they!” Amen. Psalm 16: 5-6, TEV
Thursday | January 21 Personal Prayer Day
Many people in today’s economy have been laid off from work or can’t find work. Pray for those you know who are seeking employment. Pray for them by name. Ask God to give them new job opportunities.
Friday | January 22
God, we are grateful for another week. You continue to bless us and guide us even though we often fail to keep your commands. Open our hearts and minds to hear your message in church on Sunday. Amen.
Saturday | January 23
Gracious God, keep my eyes open today as I go through my day. Help me to see you in the people I come in contact with. And, help me to be your hands and feet in the world. Amen.