A PERSONAL PRAYER
There is stuff in my life that needs “mucking out.” You know my stuff, my challenges, my issues. I say things that are hurtful and then wonder “where did that come from?” I find myself dividing the world into “us” and “them.” I decide to do what feels good, even if I know it doesn’t help build your kingdom in any way. I choose to spend the resources you put me in charge of on things that are not consistent with your purposes. And pride – oh my own pride and ambition – that is what takes me over. The list goes on. You could look up the words “works of the flesh” in the dictionary, and my picture is probably there. I have tried to remove these from my life by self-discipline, by prayer for strength, and by just trying harder still, to no avail. What am I doing wrong?
I give up, God. If they are going to be removed, you will have to remove them. I can’t seem to do it. Instead, I will focus on you, and being led by you in the person of the Holy Spirit. I will pray continually that you will fill me with that Spirit, pushing out everything else. I will live by your strength and not my own. And your fruit will grow in my thoughts, words, and deeds, until it is no longer I who live, but you who live in me.
In the name of the one who was crucified for my sake, Amen.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION AND REFLECTION
What muck have you tried unsuccessfully to clean out of your thoughts, feelings, and actions? What fruit of the Spirit have you seen grow gradually in your heart and life?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
All Saints Sunday
This Sunday, November 5, we will remember and give thanks in all of our services for those who have gone on to be a part of the Church Triumphant. We will read the names of those members of St. Luke’s who have passed away over the past year, and give God thanks for their witness and love. This is a special time, and I know you will want to be with us at one of our worship services.
“Life in the Spirit” Sermon Series
Why do we continue to do the things we don’t want to do? How can we be the people we know God is calling us to be, and act the way we know God is calling us to act? This Sunday, we continue our sermon series based on chapters 5 and 6 of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Paul moves from his theological focus on justification by grace through faith to admonitions about the kind of change God can bring about in our lives. Our sermon title is “Flesh and the Spirit.” Come and worship God with us this Sunday.
All In Generosity Campaign
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.
Hold the Date: St. Luke’s CCSC Dinner
On Thursday, November 30, from 6:30-7:45, you are invited to be our guest for dinner in the Fellowship Hall to learn about God’s dreams and visions for the Christian Community Service Center, and what St. Luke’s United Methodist Church can do to help make those dreams a reality. During our Advent and Christmas season this year, we will support CCSC as they seek to replace their old flooded facility near St. Luke’s with a new one, as well as seek to increase our volunteer support of CCSC’s fine ministries. This effort will be our 2017 Christmas Offering, and we will dedicate our entire Christmas Eve offering to this endeavor. CCSC was the brainchild of one of St. Luke’s associate pastors 40 years ago, and we have been a foundational partner for their work since it began in 1980. Please come and hear about how you can be a part of this effort. Click Here to RSVP
Sunday, November 5
God, I pray for the parents who are tired and stressed in their daily lives. Give them great joy with their children and rest in the areas of life that are weighing them down. I also pray that our children know how much they are loved by us and by you. Amen.
Monday, November 6
Father God, today I pray for discernment to know what you want me to do next in life. Help me to hear your voice clearly, and then give me the courage to follow in the way that you lead me. Amen.
Tuesday, November 7
God, we pray for the struggling economy and for those who have lost their jobs. Help those who are stressed to find peace and those who are seeking to find work. In your name we pray, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Wednesday, November 8
Lord, we pray for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. Help them to find their strength in you, and remind them that you are with them always. Be with the family members who love and care for them as well. Amen.
Thursday, November 9
God, I pray that everyone finds a community where they can get the care they need as well as the opportunity to grow through caring for others. If they can’t find a community for themselves, I pray that the community will find them. Amen.
Friday, November 10
Eternal Father, grant, we pray, to all the protectors night and day courage, honor, strength, and skill. Their land to serve, thy law to fulfill, be thou shield and armor for our Military who protects our shore. Amen. -Prayer by Pat Hendon, United States Marines
Saturday, November 11 – Veterans’ Day
Dear Lord, we lift up to you the members of our Armed Forces, past and present. We recognize that their sacrifice is not limited to physical danger; the service that they have chosen requires countless nights away from their families and loved ones. Many are struggling with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress and will never speak of their anguish. They fight for a nation that was founded on faith in you and the belief that all men are created equal. Please comfort them and guide them; embolden them with a burning faith in you and a thirst for your truth. Amen. -Prayer by Spencer Manley, United States Navy
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