We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
Sometimes, it is hard to submit to life, to accept life as it is, not as I would have it to be. When things don’t go my way, I find myself either demanding change or giving up. Neither is the right attitude. God, give me the grace to accept the people you have put into my life as the people for whom I should care, and to whom I should submit. Give me the audacity to ask of them what is needed, and the humility to accept their answers in love. Give me the hope I need to keep working in the world to advance your kingdom, and at the same time remind me that I am not the savior of the world. Give me the spirit that asks in prayer for what I believe is best, but the surrender I need to accept your will with faith.
God, as the country we love votes for our leaders this week, remind us of the great privilege it is to be allowed to choose those leaders. Give us the grace to submit to those leaders, and at the same time to pray and work even harder for the betterment of our communities and nation. And we pray that same prayer of Jesus: “nonetheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt, be done.”
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
Do you find yourself erring more on the side of entitlement or apathy? To whom is it hardest for you to submit?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This Sunday is All Saints Sunday, and we will read the names and remember all those who passed away during the prior year. We know they are all around us in spirit, and are cheering us on as we live our lives in service. Pray for the families who have lost loved ones during this past year, that they will know God’s comfort.
If you haven’t had a chance to make your financial commitment to St. Luke’s for 2017, it will help us a great deal if you will do so as soon as you can. You can make your commitment online here, and there are cards in the pews as well. Your pledge helps in two ways: First, it makes the discipline of generosity an intentional act on your part, rather than an afterthought. It helps us put our priorities right. Our finances are a good indicator of our priorities, and a pledge facilitates you putting God first in your life. Second, it helps the church make our decisions about our budget for 2017, which is set from the pledges we receive for 2017. We have important ministries to fund, and we want to be able to step out and do the things we feel God is calling us to do. If you want to see more about what your dollars are doing, please check out our quarterly generosity update here.
This week, we begin a series titled Three Magic Words. Do you remember those words our mothers and fathers told us we had to say? When we asked for something, they would ask, “What is the magic word?” And we were taught to say, “Please!” This week we will talk about how that simple word gives us the right attitude and posture for life. Next week, we will face that difficult phrase “I’m sorry!” and conclude on November 20 with “Thank you.”
Make sure you get out and vote this week if you have not done so already. And pray for all of our leaders, whomever are elected to serve and lead us.
Sunday, November 6
Gracious God, you love me at my best and at my worst. You know me inside and out, and you still love me as I am. Thank you, God, for loving me unconditionally, for never giving up on me, and for giving me new life in Jesus. Amen.
Monday, November 7
God of Miracles, all things are possible with you. Help me to trust in your ways even when I don’t understand. Give me strength to persevere in hard times, and grant me compassion to love at all times. Amen.
Tuesday, November 8 – Election Day
“Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage; we humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people, the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues…” Amen.
-Excerpt from a Prayer by Thomas Jefferson
Wednesday, November 9
“Let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the nation will be heard on high and answered with blessing no less than the pardon of our national sins and the restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace…” Amen.
-Excerpt from a prayer by Abraham Lincoln
Thursday, November 10
“O eternal and everlasting God, …increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give me repentance from dead works; pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thy self, the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments; make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ…” Amen.
-Excerpt from a prayer by George Washington
Friday, November 11 – Veterans’ Day
Lord, I am humbled by the honorable men and women who have laid down their lives to serve my country. I pray that you would provide our past and present service men and women with your protection, your strength, and your peace. Please watch over and provide for their families while they are away in service. Amen.
Saturday, November 12
Almighty God, help me to remember that this is your world and that you are in control. Guide me to stay focused on you in the midst of all worldly things. May my thoughts and words be pleasing to you. Amen.