A PERSONAL PRAYER
O God of love, Great Physician, healer of all, compassionate one…
I know so many people who are sick. Some with ever-present pain. Some who are dying. Some with chronic illnesses. Some who live each day with mental illness. Some who just suffer as their bodies fight the periodic afflictions of human life. We are bold to pray for healing for all of your beloved children.
When you walked among us as a human being, you showed us your desire for healing. You brought life again to the daughter of the religious leader, but stopped along the way to cure the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. With your word you put a man’s mind right again, and with your touch you restored the leper. When I read your word, your compassion for those who are ill is crystal clear.
So I ask that you do it among us right now. Touch those who are sick with your hand of healing. Speak your word of restoration to broken bodies, minds, and spirits. And when healing cannot come in the way we ask it, use even our infirmity for something good, something holy, something beautiful.
There are moments in which I become acutely aware that ultimately, I will be healed in one final and ultimate miracle, as I pass from this physical body to the spiritual one of resurrection. Our lives here are like a single day… morning gives way to noontime, afternoon to dusk, evening to nighttime, and finally our time to sleep. So let me take hold of this life, the one I have right now, while it is still daylight, and use it to the fullest, for your purposes and your glory.
I pray in the name of Christ,
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.” –John 9:3 Read the whole passage for Sunday’s sermon here: John 9:1-12
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION AND REFLECTION
How has God used illness or other experiences of your life for God’s purposes, taking “what is” and moving from “why” to “what for?” What are the things you need to do while it is still day?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This Sunday night: St. Luke’s Family Reunion and Church Conference, 2018
Our mission statement states who we are: “We are one family in Jesus, putting our faith to work in love.” This Sunday, January 28, at 6:30 pm, in the Story Houston Building, our Traditional, Encounter, The Story, and Gethsemane communities will gather as that one family. We will reflect on and rejoice in what God did through St. Luke’s in 2017 and hear from our pastors about plans and hopes for 2018. We will elect our officers for 2018 and approve our 2018 budget as well. All are welcome and encouraged to join this evening of worship, vision and good news.
Sermon Series: Getting Through The Storm of Illness
Periodically, I visit with people who, along with their loved ones, are facing difficult illnesses. It is one of those times that people find themselves asking the significant questions of life – Does God heal? Why do people get sick? Am I living my life in the best way, using my time to the fullest? Fully 20% of the gospels are about healing of some sort. Matthew summarizes Jesus’ ministry this way – Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.” (Matthew 9:35) So how are we supposed to deal with the illnesses we face? This Sunday, January 28, we continue our series “Getting Through The Storms” as we talk about these very questions. Come and join us.
Sign up now for a Lenten Scripture+Shared LIFT Group
Lent begins in just a few weeks. (Ash Wednesday is February 14 this year –yes, Valentine’s Day.) Our Lenten sermon series and study this year is called “These Bones Shall Live,” and is based on the book of Ezekiel. There are hard truths we often avoid. There are things we don’t want to hear. There are consequences to the decisions we make and lifestyles we choose, and we would rather not think about them. But the prophet reminds us that truth and consequences will catch up to us. And the prophet also helps us to see that God can redeem us, and put the broken pieces back together again. This Scripture+Shared study is team taught by Eric Huffman and Tom Pace, and will support the sermon series by the same title as well. Sign up for one of our Lenten Living in Faith Together (LIFT) groups here.
Sunday, January 28
Dear God, You have put special people all around us. They look after us and give so many good times. They let us know we are not alone. They remind us of Jesus’ love for us. Thank you for the gift of our friends and your son. Amen.
Monday, January 29
Father, we know that thankfulness and gratitude are the antidotes for bitterness and anger. Help us to believe more strongly in you and in your transforming power so that we depend on you and not on ourselves. We pray for the victims of Harvey as they start this New Year. Help us to continue to help each other to get our lives back on track. Help us to remember and concentrate on all our blessings… family, friends, health, good doctors, medicine, and You. Please help us to grow more like you. In the name of Christ I pray, Amen.
Tuesday, January 30
God, I pray for strength, acceptance, love and gratitude in 2018. May we as your people be filled with your love for the transformation of your world. Amen.
Wednesday, January 31
God, I pray that you would open new doors for those who are in need. Bring them your peace and put people in their life who can help guide them in their next steps. Amen.
Thursday, February 1
Heavenly Father, our hearts are burdened with things of this world that affect us or our loved ones. We seek your face and enter into your presence for you are our refuge. You alone, O God, can save us and give us peace and healing. We are holding on so tightly to keep our heads above water. Help us to let go and surrender. Hold us in your loving arms. Your grace is sufficient. Amen.
Friday, February 2
Dear God, Thank you for this wonderful world. As we enjoy all that you have given us, let us find you in even the most unexpected places. Guide us through your world in new ways. Amen.
Saturday, February 3
God of all things, you created this world, and you rule over all things. I take comfort in knowing that you have everything under control and that there is nothing that you cannot handle for me. Thank you for always providing for me in good times and in hard times and for never leaving me. Amen.
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