Thursday, May 6, 2010

Prayer and the New You (part 2)

Today is the national day of prayer. We had about a dozen community members, students, staff & teachers in prayer at the high school earlier this morning. This evening we will have our regular time for prayer at 6:30. Then those who desire will go at 7:00 to the Elim Mission Church for a time of prayer as a community.

As an introduction to prayer we read Luke 11:1-13 and at the end Psalm 16 which begins:
Protect me, O God; I trust in you for safety. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; all the good things I have come from you.” (Good News Bible)
Though this world is still ruled by the powers of evil, and though all creation is corrupted and broken, all creation and every creature is still precious to our wonderful Creator.  And though we human beings are responsible for the "fall" into sin and evil, God's love has never given up on us.*  In fact, in His mercy, because of what Jesus has done, God gives us the opportunity to leave the past behind and to become new every day.

When we do become new through forgiveness and trust, we are really new!  We may not feel new.  We may not look new.  Like Jesus, we may look quite "normal."  But we're not.  And because we're not, there are times when we won't fit in.  There are times when we'll be under attack because, in some way or another, our newness comes shining through.  The old darkness hates the new light.  So, because we are new, we may actually feel worse than we did before!  And that's another reason we need to be in prayer.
Protect me, O God; I trust in you for safety. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; all the good things I have come from you.”
When we are new we cannot rely on old methods of protection.  The Bible makes it clear, over and over again, that we cannot rely on anything other than God.  People who trust in themselves or in the powers of this world will stumble and fall.  But when we trust only in the power of the Lord our God, we will rise and stand firm (Psalm 20:7-8).  And, when we pray, we trust in the power of God.  Prayer helps us trust.  Prayer helps us believe.  Don't pretend you can live as a new person in this old world without prayer.

Once again I encourage everyone to come for a day or more to the Prayer School we'll be hosting here at our church from May 17-22.  If you can't do that, just come tonight or any Thursday evening at 6:30.  It's good to get together and pray, to pray for God's protection, and, of course, to pray that others also will become new through repentance, forgiveness, and the all inclusive love of God.

*Last night Nate and I shared part of a video with our youth that presents God's love in the first person.  It's six minutes long.  You can watch it by clicking here.

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