A Prayer(6)

           I am a shy person, so when I am asked to something that requires me to stand before a group of people I usually decline. Of course, I want to do my best for God so I am making an effort and saying, “yes” more often. One thing that I enjoy doing is praying. All I have to do is step to the mic and say, “Good morning church, please bow your heads and close your eyes” (or some variation thereof) and spill my guts to God. Everyone’s eyes are closed, no one is looking at me and my knees stop knocking together (as much).

            I was asked to do opening prayer then teacher’s prayer the next week and I would like to share them with you.

            Holy Spirit, come and fill this place. Embrace and comfort us as we gather together in the house of the Lord. Spring brings revitalization, renewal and new life. The vegetation is being restored after winter, which reminds us of how you were resurrected in a hardened, cold world, we rejoice in the new life that you bring and worship your name in the spirit of holiness. Please be with those that are on their way as well as those who cannot make it. May we continue to be led in the path of righteousness with earnest and loving hearts, *Bless the teachers as they are the vessels that contain your word. Be with them as they pour knowledge into us so that we may overflow with you spirit. In your holy name we pray, amen.

            Merciful Heavenly Father, we humbly come into your presence with a spirit of praise. Thank you for bringing us through another week to see another blessed Sabbath day. You are the Great Teacher but you have impressed our Sabbath School teachers to instruct us in your word. Please be with them as they lead us. Let the words you speak through them take root in our hearts and may the Holy Spirit water us with your blessings so that our relationship with you will flourish. In your name we pray, amen.

            In an effort to become more involved in my church, I went to the Sabbath School Council meeting and Sister Nance made a comment about how the youth run from prayer and do not participate. I agreed and reflected on my own actions. Even though I usually pray when I am asked, sometimes I am not so eager. It is not that I do not want to talk to God or am embarrassed but I tend to revert to a “go-to” prayer of sorts and repeat myself when I am put on the spot (I like to write them out beforehand).

          When Brother Noakes asked me to pray again, I said “no”. I had done it the past few weeks (not that it meant anything). Then I remembered what Sister Nance said about running from prayer and I vowed right then and there that I would not say “no” anymore if anyone asked me to pray. So I changed my mind and said “yes!” I truly believe that God spoke to me through Sister Nance to bring my attention to something I could not see before.

           This time I prayed: Loving Heavenly Father, we come to you with a grateful spirit, thankful that we can see another Sabbath day. It is chilly outside but please send your Holy Spirit to warm our hearts so that we may be receptive to what you have in store for us. Be with as we fellowship and worship today in the spirit of holiness. Amen.

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A Prayer (3): A Prayer for Soothing

           My Lord, most worthy and high God, you are beyond precious to me and of infinite value. I humbly come before you in prayer to lay my burden at your feet. Instead of the happy, hopeful, peaceful spirit you desire for me to have, my spirit is downcast and restless.

            I am angry with myself for what I cannot do and my inability to change as dramatically, drastically and as quickly as I want to. This easily frustrates me and I wonder, “What good am I. Of what use am I to anyone in this state?”

           Consider my words Lord, and when you speak I will listen. I cannot do anything without you so please work in my life and rearrange anything in my life that you have to in order for me to change. Change my mind. Change my heart. Change my life. Send your Holy Spirit to comfort me in this period of anxiety and soothe my restless spirit so that I can move forward and not drown in these stagnant feelings but cling to the buoy that is your loving care and kindness.

            All these things I ask of you claiming the promise that if I ask, it shall be given to me and that you hear my prayers. In your holy name I pray, amen.

The ABC’s of SDA’s (2)

              The second fundamental SDA belief is that of the Trinity, which is the concept of God in three persons or God the father, son and Holy Spirit as one unit. Not all Christian denominations believe in the Trinity and the concept is difficult to understand but even if one understands it, one has to decide whether to accept it as truth. I was probably introduced to the idea of the Trinity when I was around ten years old (I was in Pathfinders then) but I do not remember having a hard time either understanding or accepting it (who knows why…). However, I do remember an image that is often used in conjunction with this concept which is (an artists’ rendering of) the baptism of Jesus. Even non-Christians have probably seen it at least once; a picture of Jesus (and John the Baptist) in the middle of the Jordan river, with his hands outstretched, a ray of light shining down upon him and a dove flying overhead. There is Jesus (God the son), the ray of light (representing God the father) and the dove (representing God the Holy Spirit). The source of this image is Matthew 3:13-17 (also Mark 1:9-11 and Luke 3:21-23). I am fond of this image because it depicts the three parts of the trinity but it does not explain or show how they operate as a unit.

            After thinking it through, I have come up with an example that may make it easier to understand. Imagine if you will C Corp. C Corp. has three co-founders. Each co-founder has a separate role but they are all equal in ability. If you make an appointment to see THE co-founder, any one of the three co-founders could show up and aid you as effectively as the other two because they are all THE founder(s) of C Corp. if someone out there is struggling with the concept of the Trinity, I can only pray that this will provide at least a little clarity.