A PERSONAL PRAYER
I love you so much. I want you to be at the very center of my life, and for everything else to revolve around you. But God, I also love so many other things.
I love my family. I don’t know what I would do without them. They are the very center of my life. God, have I made my family more important than you in my life? Forgive me if I have made an idol of my family.
I love approval. I want people to like me, and for them to believe that I care about them. God, forgive me if I have made an idol of approval.
I love success. I want to achieve my goals, and be a success in every way. Forgive me if I have made success more important than my love of you.
I love security. I want to have enough money that I don’t have to worry about things, or about the future. God, forgive me if I think my security is found in wealth.
I love my church. I love the people, the place, the work, the spirit here. But God, this institution is of you, but it is not you. It is a medium; you are the message. Forgive me when I care more about the church than the Christ whom the church serves.
I love my country. I believe that our values – freedom, equality, opportunity for all – are the highest of all values. God, forgive me if I think those values are higher than faith in you. Forgive me if I put “God and country” as equals in my set of value propositions.
O God, forgive my idolatry, and help me to put things in their proper order, so that my love for you gives meaning to my love for everything else. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
Lenten Sermon Series and Study: These Bones Shall Live!
This week, we continue in week four of our series on Ezekiel. In this week’s message, we will see how Ezekiel speaks of the idolatry in Judah, and compares the people of Judah to an unfaithful wife. Come on Sunday, and let’s consider what we have allowed to become idols for us, placed on the same level as God himself. Don’t forget to move your clocks forward one hour this Sunday morning!
You can still join our Scripture + Shared Bible study, which also studies Ezekiel. The video lessons are team taught by Eric Huffman and me. You can do them alone on your Scripture + Shared app, or sign up for one of our Lenten Living in Faith Together (LIFT) groups here.
Invictus, by Howard Goodall
On Palm Sunday night, March 25, St. Luke’s Chancel Choir is presenting the world premiere of Invictus, by Howard Goodall, a “passion” in music, reflecting on the story of Jesus suffering and the cross in our world. St. Luke’s Friends of Music commissioned this work with funds from special gifts, and we are so privileged to have Mr. Goodall with us to conduct our choir and orchestra in the presentation. Goodall, from Great Britain, is an EMMY, BRIT and BAFTA award-winning composer of choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores. You can find more information here.
We have a number of opportunities you may want to be a part of for Lent and Easter this year. You can find it on the events tab of St. Luke’s new app (search St Lukes UMC Houston) or online at https://www.stlukesmethodist.org/easter/. You might check out the Lenten Path on the south lawn of the church at the purple bell banners on the lampposts. Our Easter Offering this year is Plant With Purpose, an organization that is doing some really cool things to fight poverty and empower people to provide for themselves around the world. Check it out here.
Sunday, March 11
Dear Heavenly Father, I do believe that You are the Creator and Sustainer of all things. But, for some reason, I tend to react to situations in my daily life relying on my worldly knowledge rather than searching my heart for your will according to the teachings of the Old and New Testaments. Today, I pray that your Holy Spirit will help me begin the process of trusting more and more in your divine guidance, helping me to become more like the person you created me to be. It is in your Son’s name I pray, Amen. -Prayer by Phil Murray
Monday, March 12
Heavenly Father, Help me to clear my head, open my heart. Help me to focus on you, your son and your plans for me. Help me to hear your words. Help me to carry them through the day. Help me to use them in my thoughts, deeds and actions. Help me to keep you close to me, present all day, each day. Amen.
Tuesday, March 13
God, I pray for my family to be safe and to follow Jesus in all that they do. Be with them when I cannot and send people into their lives to teach them the things I cannot. Amen.
Wednesday, March 14
Heavenly Father, Help me to keep a sound vision of what is truly important in life. Create in me a pure heart, and help me to seek you in all that I do. Amen.
Thursday, March 15
Father God, we pray for healing for those who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Help them to know that you are always near regardless of the difficulties that they face. Amen.
Friday, March 16
Father, comfort those who are lonely and in need of friendship. Help them to find their confidence and identity in you. Enable them to make more good friends who will walk beside them through life. Amen.
Saturday, March 17
Heavenly Father, we pray for those who are battling depression. Help them to see that this is only a temporary state of being and one day the sun will come out again. Help us love those suffering from this illness and give us the words to encourage them to receive help. Amen.
Want to join this email list, or want to unsubscribe? You can click here and manage all your subscriptions through our membership portal.