We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
O God, I pray for humility today. I am sad when I have friendships strained by our differing viewpoints—political, or religious, or cultural, or otherwise. My convictions matter deeply to me. I will stand by them. I think they are right. I think I am right. I am proud of those convictions, God—maybe too proud. Forgive me, God, for my arrogance and self-righteousness. Help me to embrace what Jesus taught, that the relationships matter more that my pious strivings, that I cannot stand righteously before God when I have broken relationships.
“When you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift…” Matthew 5:23-24
Teach me to believe the best about others, and not be afraid to acknowledge the flaws in my own attitudes and perspective. Show me how to make things right with my brothers and sisters, that I might return and offer my time and energy and resources to you and the work of building your kingdom.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Confess your sins to one another, that you may be healed. James 5:16
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
Are you quick to apologize or slow to apologize and why? What keeps you from saying I’m sorry? To whom do you owe a confession today?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
It has been an interesting week, as most people seemed surprised by the outcome of the national election, and it has dominated our national conversation. As expected, however, some people are happy, and others not so happy. I am reminded of the verse we spoke of last week from James: “who knows what tomorrow will bring…?” This Sunday, we will talk about the power of confession, and the importance of reconciliation. It seems like a timely message. The sermon is I’m Sorry, second in a series Three Magic Words.
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.
And continue to pray for all of our leaders, our new president-elect, and all those who strive to make a difference in the world.
Sunday, November 13
God of all things, you have blessed me in many ways and entrusted me with much. I pray that you would guide me to be a good and generous steward of the resources that you have given to me freely. Bless me with opportunities to experience the adventure of generosity. Amen.
Monday, November 14
God, today I pray for the St. Luke’s Woodshop Ministry. Thank you for the volunteers who generously give themselves away in service and hospitality to make toys for children in need and to repair items for our church and community partners. I pray that you would bless the volunteers and the recipients of this ministry. Amen.
Tuesday, November 15
Lord, the busy time of the holidays is fast approaching and to do lists are getting longer. Guide me to use my time wisely for your divine purpose, to remain centered in your presence, to find your peace in the midst of the chaos, and to be a bright light shining in the world. Amen.
Wednesday, November 16
God, I thank you for the St. Luke’s Children’s Ministry staff and volunteers who love children and teach them about Jesus. Thank you for the way that they speak kindly, love greatly, and give generously. Please bless their efforts and show them the fruits of their labor. Amen.
Thursday, November 17 – Personal Prayer Day
Think about what is heaviest on your heart, your most fervent prayer. Read Matthew 7:7. Spend time in prayer and submit your request to God.
Friday, November 18
God our Father, you created the family to live together and help each other. In today’s world, I struggle to remain connected with my family when we are separated by great distance. Help me God to find ways to show love and care for my far away family. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Saturday, November 19 – National Adoption Day
Father in Heaven, I pray for each child who is currently in foster care, that you would provide for their needs and help them to feel safe in a loving family. I pray that you would bring forward adoptive parents to love and care for each of these children, and I pray that you would be at work in my community of faith to love and support these families. Amen.