Pastor’s Message – October 15, 2019

The Ways We Pray
For the past two weeks, I haven’t really felt like “me.”  My rhythms and rituals have been out of order because I had to spend more time on finishing my doctoral thesis.  I visited less and stayed up later.  My blog has been on sabbatical.  I had to postpone meals with friends.  No matter how thoroughly I planned and worked over the past three years in the doctoral program, there was still much to do at the last minute.
On Friday afternoon, as I proofread a hard copy of the 136-page thesis one more time, I began to feel a weight lift.  I knew the time had come to surrender all the writing and research to the Lord, make those final revisions, and click “send.”  But surrender is a lot easier said than done when you’re letting go of something so close to your heart, isn’t it?  Even though I was ready to turn the thesis in, I also struggled with letting it go.  I needed some help in seeking the Lord’s help!
Then I remembered my prayer beads, which were handmade by FUMC member, Gracy Taylor.  I quickly retrieved the beads from my bedroom and took them to the reading table.  As I finished reading a page, I put them under the beads.  One by one, until all 136 were stacked upside down, the pages rested under the cross and beads of prayer surrounding it.  By the time I returned to the computer, made the changes, and clicked “send,” there was no struggle with surrender.  I’d left it all in prayer under the weight of the cross.
The ways we pray sometimes change depend on circumstances.  For years I’ve easily prayed about my doctoral work in conversation with the Lord.  Yet in the final stretch, I needed a tangible guide to help me with the difficult prayer of surrender.  Not only did the beads remind of the power of Jesus Christ.  They also reminded me of the community of faith praying with me.  When I go on campus in November to defend the thesis, I plan to carry those same beads to remind me of the One in whom I’ve put my trust.
What are the ways you pray?  I would love to hear more about how you converse with the Lord and the rituals that help you in prayer.
                                                                                                     all good things to each of you,
Pastor Darian
Lectionary Texts for Sunday, October 20, 2019
Jeremiah 31:27-34
Psalm 119:97-104
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8
Posted in Uncategorized.