A PERSONAL PRAYER

God,

Let’s stir the pot. Let’s shake things up. Let’s turn over some temple-tables. Let’s make something happen. OK, I know you have been doing that all along, but let’s you and I do it together (meaning I will join in this time).

God, I thank you today for all those pot-stirrers and thing-shaker-uppers, and temple-table-turners who have been your agents to accomplish your purposes. It takes courage to do that. I thank you for those who come up with the strategies for change. I thank you for those who bear the brunt of social ridicule and rejection, persecution and harassment for your sake. I thank you for those who “in the course of human events,” are willing to throw off the yoke of bondage for the sake of the rights you gave us as human beings – “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I thank you for those women who decided it wasn’t just men that were created equal, but women as well. I thank you for all those in the church who nailed these doors and irritated the hierarchy in order to reform your church. I thank you for so many who died so that people cannot be bought and sold because of their color. I thank you for those who did far more than ruffle feathers to stand up for the rights of everyone – black, white, brown, old, young, gay, straight, rich, poor, woman, man, sick, well, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, or any other faith. I thank you for those whose patriot’s dream of alabaster cities gleaming, undimmed by human tears, led them to not go along to get along any more. I thank you for those who figured out ways to move others forward, to change hearts and minds, to help others to understand.

God, you know I don’t like to mess up my happy quiet life, so help me to see when the time is right to do what needs to be done. I know change is not always in the direction of your purposes, so help me to hold fast to that which is good and essential and true. And when others stir the pot and ruffle my feathers, when they shake up my way of life and turn over the tables in my neatly ordered world, give me the insight to know if I am wrong, and let me receive your Holy Spirit as a fresh wind blowing not only in the world, but in my soul as well.

In the name of the greatest social revolutionary in history, who calls us to be a part of his emerging kingdom, I pray, Amen.

SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This Sunday, July 7, I will continue our sermon series “Father Abraham Had Many Sons (and Daughters).” This week, we will consider Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, and what we can learn from this woman with mettle. This Sunday’s message is titled “Well Behaved Women…”     

I hope you will consider sponsoring a child in the Christian Community Service Center back to school drive. Your $45 provides school supplies and uniforms for one of the thousands of under-resourced children in Houston. You can sign up at the table by the Sanctuary, or contact Madeline Beem at [email protected].

Come on Sunday afternoon, July 14, for an intergenerational family celebration of the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. Includes dinner (5:00), an interview with a NASA engineer from Apollo 11, and watching the Apollo 11 movie. You can register here.

PRAYER CALENDAR
Sunday, July 7
Heavenly Father, we thank you that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in your image. We thank you for all of the blessings in our lives, and we pray that you would continue to grow us in your ways and guide us to your paths of righteousness. Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that it overflows into all that we do. Amen. 

Monday, July 8
Dear God, The ministries of our faith community are widespread and unending. Help us to focus on each specific area with dedication and determination to lift up the individual needs of each. Often we feel drawn in so many directions that we fail to recognize where our prayers and efforts should be focused. Guide us to make wise choices and direct our prayers to support and maintain the many opportunities we have for service in Your name. Strengthen us and take us by the hand as we give ourselves away in service for Your sake. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen. 

Tuesday, July 9
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for the people in our lives that love and support us. Help us to show gratitude, love, and kindness to the people we care about in both the good and the difficult times. Help us to remember the community that surrounds us even when the busyness of life is distracting or overbearing. Amen. 

Wednesday, July 10
Gracious God, with just one touch from your Almighty hand, You have healed the sick and raised the dead. How amazing and powerful is your redeeming love. How great was your sacrifice to go before us and bring forgiveness and hope. By your strength I ask for healing. May life and wellness grow in fullness until it overflows. Amen. 

Thursday, July 11
Lord, help us to both abide in You and engage in the world, so Your Gospel is lived out among us; so it becomes public truth. Come Holy Spirit, revive our hearts and minds in this place. Show us your love in our hearts. Bring down the idols among us so You are sovereign over everyone and everything. Amen. 

Friday, July 12
Heavenly Father, we thank you for: the many blessings bestowed upon us; your abiding love for each of us personally; sending your only Son to earth so those who believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life; for forgiving our sins as we confess them. We are also grateful for your willingness to hear our prayers and your Holy Spirit to assist with them. Amen.   

Saturday, July 13
Thank you Lord for the gift of family and community. You created relationships to be powerful. Lord, strengthen all our marriages, supply all our parents with the wisdom, resources, and steadfast love for their children. Strengthen our friendships with perseverance, self-sacrifice, and honesty in Jesus’ name. Amen.