The PATH to Prayer
Last week, I shared with you about talking with God like you would with a close friend and the PATH to prayer. PATH stands for "Praise, Admit, Thank, Help" and helps us to remember the kinds of things to talk with God about.
First is Praise! Praise is saying how we feel about who God is. "God, you are awesome and holy. I love you." "God, you are so wonderful and mighty. You are my strength." "God, I know I can count on you. You are always there when I need you." Praise is not to be confused with thanking God (which we will cover later). Praising God is rooted in who God is and how we feel about God, while thanking arises from our gratitude for what God has done. One is about who God is and the other is about what God does. It is easy to focus on what God has done and forget to say how we feel.
Yet praise is important on its own, not because God needs to hear it but because we need to say it. If we have a close friend who has really been there for us or we have fallen in love with someone, there are times that we cannot help but to say how we feel. We need to say it to them, and the same is true of our prayers to God. There are times when we are particularly close to God, and we need to express our feelings for our own sake. Even when the emotions are not welling up inside and pouring out, praise is an important part of prayer because it can help us to reconnect to God. Do we not tell our family that we love them even when we could hold back? It is a part of building up the relationship. Again, the same is true of our praise of God.
May we share our deepest feelings with God in our prayers this week!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Called: Hurry Up and Wait!
Sunday's Sermon Snippet: Hurry Up and Wait! (Galatians 1:13-2:1)
As Luke tells of Paul's conversion, beginning to preach, and escapes from Damascus and then from Jerusalem, we would think that all of this happened in fairly short order. Yet Paul himself fills in some of the details in his Letter to the Galatians, and what we find is a messier, longer story. Paul left Damascus, and instead of heading to Jerusalem, he went to Arabia - a province in the Roman empire including the desert wilderness just east of the Jordan River and in the Sinai peninsula. It would be three years before he made his way to Jerusalem. What was he doing there in the wilderness? We do not know for sure, but we know what happens when anyone goes into the wilderness - be it the people of Israel, the prophet Elijah, or even Jesus himself. The wilderness is where people are tested and formed into who they are meant to be. The wilderness is where people are made. It is not hard to imagine that the same may be true of Paul. In time, he would become not only the great missionary of the early church but also the great theologian who had more impact than any other person on how we understand who Jesus is and what his life means for us. Paul had to figure that out for himself at some point, and it stands to reason that his time in the wilderness may have been a part of that wrestling with faith for him. The other disciples had spent three years following Jesus around; now Paul spent three years in the wilderness and Damascus before going to meet them in Jerusalem. When he was then forced to flee there and return home, he tells us it was another fourteen years before he returned to Jerusalem. Given other timelines given in his writings, we suspect that he spent at least ten years at home. We have reason to believe that he was preaching the gospel there and in nearby Antioch, a major center for the early Christian movement, but he still is living up to his full calling to go out in to the world to the Gentiles. Thirteen years from the moment of his conversion and calling, he is still waiting. While none of us actually likes the wilderness and the waiting, it is an important part of the journey. They are the times when we are formed and when we prepare. Following God's call means being patient and preparing for the work ahead! If the calling is true, it will come to fruition in God's time.
Living in Community
Continued prayers of healing for Margie, Larry, and WD.
Thank you to all of our cooks, servers, and cleaners at Wednesday at the Port!
This Week at Port Church
Bible Study cancelled this week and will resume February 27th.
Tuesday, February 14
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Wednesday, February 15
6:00 - Wednesday at the Port
Menu: Soup, Hot Dogs, Sandwiches
Thursday, February 16
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, February 19
9:30 am - Worship: "Friend of Encouragement"
11:00 am - Sunday School
6:30 pm - Financial Peace University
February 20 - CPR/AED Class
February 25 - First Aid Class
March 17 - Paint Night
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!