A PERSONAL PRAYER
You know how I love church folks. I love my flock, the people you commissioned me to care for, to encourage, those with whom I am asked to share life. I have given my life to the church. But I wonder about us sometimes. Maybe we church folks are too religious. Religion is a dangerous thing. It can make people self-righteous and narrow minded. Religion can lead people to believe they are holier than those who never darken our doors. Religion can focus us on appearances and social expectations. It leads people to check off boxes of the things they are “supposed to do” out of obligation, hoping that they are somehow moving up the spiritual ladder. Wars are fought over religion. People are executed over religion.
What I know is that I want Jesus… I am not looking to be religious. I want to love Jesus with all my heart, and bask in his love for me. I want to love others as he loved them. I want to be his instrument of healing and grace, and join him in his kingdom building ministry.
God, strip away my religious posturing, and fill me with your Holy Spirit that I might simply live by your power and strength.
In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Acts 3:2
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION AND REFLECTION
In what way have you “attempted to live by your own religious plans and projects?” When does it feel like Christians have crossed the line from trusting God to a sense of entitlement?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
All In Generosity Campaign
We had a great Commitment Sunday for our “All In” Generosity Campaign last week. Thanks to all of you who are so generous in your support of our church. If you have not had the opportunity to make your commitment, I hope you will do so. You can go online at www.stlukesmethodist.org/give, or you can pick up a commitment card at the church. If you have misplaced yours or did not receive one, and would like one mailed to you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to send one to you.
“Life in the Spirit” Sermon Series
This week, we begin a new sermon series based on chapters 5 and 6 of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Paul talks about how we are to live not by “works of the law,” but by the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying grace and power. Paul teaches in these chapters that religion doesn’t matter at all, that “the only thing that matters is faith enacted in love.” (Gal 5:6) We begin this week by looking at Christianity basics: what does it mean to be a Christian?
Sunday, October 29
Lord, I need more motivation and a sense of purpose at work. Help me to enjoy what I do again and inspire me to rise up about the negative and share grace with others. Amen.
Monday, October 30
Dear God, help me to understand what I really want outside of everything I may covet. Look carefully at my heart’s desires and create in me a new heart if need be. Amen.
Tuesday, October 31
Heavenly Father, we know that you have overcome the evil of this world. Please be at work in us and through us to shine your light into the world and push back the darkness. Amen.
Wednesday, November 1 – All Saints’ Day
Heavenly Father, we thank you for all of the Saints who have gone before us. We thank you for their dedication to your Kingdom work and for their sacrifices that have helped us in our journey of faith. We pray, God, that you would be at work in us to continue the good work that they have started here at St. Luke’s. Amen.
Thursday, November 2
God, we ask for continued support for those who are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. Help us to not move too quickly to the next thing when there is still so much work to be done. Thanks for all the ways you have shown up already through the people in this great city. Amen.
Friday, November 3
God, we pray for those who are widows and widowers. Be with those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Help them to find comfort in your peace today. Amen.
Saturday, November 4
Lord, we pray for the people in Puerto Rico as they recover from the devastating hurricane. Use your people to help send aid to those who are in great need. Amen.
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