We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you for all you have done for me.
Thank you for the basic joys of life—food, family, friends, shelter and security, health and freedom.
Thank you for equipping me with the internal resources to live a good life, for health and wits and education and motivation.
Thank you for planting within me gifts that the Holy Spirit has brought to life in me.
Yes, O God, thank you even for my own versions of leprosy—the struggles I have within my soul, the challenges in my relationships, the spirit that too often holds others at arms’ length. It is these maladies that lead me to turn to you and cry out, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.”
And thank you for your ongoing healing of these maladies. As I choose to obey you, I find that I experience your salvation in amazing and profound ways.
And when I turn around and say thank you, I find that my heart is filled with a richness that is hard to believe. That is when I no longer stand at a distance from you, but feel you closer to me than ever before.
God, I pray that you would awaken in me a grateful heart, so that I might be filled with the rich banquet of life and your love that you have prepared for me, and so that I would be driven to be generous in sharing that life and love with others.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
In the name of the one who makes me rich, I pray.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. Luke 17:15 Read the whole passage of Scripture for Sunday here: Luke 17:11-19
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
How would you describe being rich? What is the difference between being healed and being “made well?” What has God done for you that you have forgotten? How do you express your gratitude?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This week, we begin a series entitled Rich in Heart, and we are going to look at four spiritual drivers of generosity—gratitude, duty, vision, and trust. If we can cultivate those four qualities in our own hearts and lives, then generosity naturally follows. And more importantly, if we develop the disciplines and practice of generosity, those four outcomes follow, and we find ourselves “rich in heart.” This Sunday, we will begin with gratitude and study together Jesus’ story of “the grateful leper.” This series will culminate with commitment Sunday on October 30, when we dedicate our commitment cards in worship. Watch for a letter from me this week with your commitment card and a brochure sharing some information about our 2016 spending and 2017 key goal.
Next Sunday, October 16, is our grand opening event for our new facilities. We need volunteers as well, and you can email Jennifer Gould if you are willing to help. It is going to be a marvelous Sunday. Check out more information here.
Sunday, October 9
Father – Thank you for blessing me each morning with your unfailing and empowering love. You have generously provided me with a loving family, nurturing friends and so many blessings throughout my life. Help me, Father, to remember the brevity of our lives and to be mindful of all the opportunities I have to share the talents and treasure that You provided and my love and service with others, so that I might fulfill the special purposes you have planned for me. Keep my heart open to reach out to those searching for a caring friend. Let me be “blessed to be a blessing” to others. Amen.
-Ginger Blanton, Generosity Committee
Monday, October 10
Fill me today with a spirit of generosity and gratitude for all of the many gifts and blessings that you provide me every day. Help me see your presence in my life, to hear and listen to your voice and to rejoice in this precious gift of life. Guide me with your wisdom and grace to serve and give of myself in spiritual and meaningful ways that strengthen my faith and honor and glorify you. Amen.
-Mike Palmer, Generosity Committee
Tuesday, October 11
Father, I came into this world with nothing and will leave this world with nothing. Open my heart and mind to grasp that everything that I possess really belongs to you. May all that you have given me be an instrument to bless someone else’s life so that they will find Christ. Amen.
-Sally Gray, Director of Generosity
Wednesday, October 12
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve, to give and not count the cost, to fight and not heed the wounds, to toil and not seek for rest, to labor and not seek reward, except that of knowing that I do your will.
-By St. Ignatius of Loyola; Submitted by Tamyra Palmer, Generosity Committee
Thursday, October 13
Father, help me to remember that we are your children. Grow my faith, and help me to make a difference in your world. Guide me to your perfect will. Amen.
Friday, October 14
Dear God, thank you for today and the time we have to spend together with our friends and loved ones. Help us to remember it is better to give than to receive. Proverbs 22:9 reminds us “He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.” Generosity can come in many forms. Help us to be generous to others with our forgiveness, service, and love. We ask that You shine your light in us so that others may see your love. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
-Prayer by Pam Gray and Tyler (7th grade)
Saturday, October 15
Lord of all things, help me to be a faithful steward of all that you have entrusted to me. Show me ways to use my resources to further your kingdom. Open my heart to cheerfully give back to you, and show me the joy of blessing others. Amen.