A Power of Prayer
Several years ago when I was in seminary, I applied for an internship with a ministry that I was very excited about. There were only a few spots and many more applicants. I had applied rather late in the process, so I was glad to even get an interview. I went for my interview with the director, and things were going very well with a positive, humorous tone. Right before we closed up our time together in prayer, however, the director grew very serious. "I really wish you had not made this so hard for me," she said. "I really want to offer you a spot, but we only have one left, and I need to have more balance on our team. I have decide to between bringing you in or having more balance on our team. I really don't know what I am going to do, so I need you to do something for me." This was quickly turning into the strangest interview I had ever had. "I want you to pray," she continued. "I want you to pray for me as I make this decision, and I want you to pray for the other folks who have applied as well." What do you say to someone who holds the power to hire you or not? "Sure, I'll do that." We then prayed together, and I left more than a little bewildered. What would it hurt, though? Over the next few days, I prayed several times as she had asked me to. These times of prayer gave me a sense of peace that I would be okay no matter what her decision may be. By the time she called to tell me that I had, of course, not gotten the last spot and how much she regretted that I had not applied earlier in the process, I had reached a point of knowing that this internship was not part of God's plan for me. I had even considered turning her down if she had offered me the spot, because I had been changed in my time of praying for the others involved in the process. To this day, I am thankful to this director for opening my eyes so fully to one of the powers of prayer - the power to change me and what I want. Simply put, prayer changes us. You see, I could have spent those days, begging and bargaining with God, trying to change God's mind and swaying God over to my side. Instead, I prayed that God's will be done, and my mind was changed and I was swayed over to God's side in the matter. So often, we go to God in prayer seeking to get what we want, but one of the great powers of prayer is to offer ourselves to seek what God wants.
Starting this Thursday at 10:30, I am inviting you to join me in a brief time of prayer for the needs in our lives, in our church, and in our community. If you cannot make it because of work or school, I invite you to say a quick prayer some time around 10:30. If you cannot join us but have a joy or a need you would especially like us to lift up, please send me an email or call or leave a message on the church phone. I hope to see you there!
Wherever or whenever we pray, may God change us through the power of prayer!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
We are midway through our journey with Jesus as we witness the people who met him along the way. By hearing their stories, we reflect on what happens when we meet Jesus in our own journeys.
Sermon Snippet: Reaching Out (Luke 8:40-56)
As Jesus hurries to the house of Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, a woman in need of healing for twelve years stands in the crowd waiting for her opportunity. If only she could touch Jesus' cloak, she thinks, she might be healed. Standing there confronted with an opportunity that will transform her life, there are a million reasons for her not to reach out for that blessing: she does not feel worthy, she wants Jesus to reach out to her first, she is afraid of losing her last hope if Jesus does not heal her, she is afraid of how her life will change - even if it is better - if Jesus does heal her... There are millions of reasons for her not to reach out for the blessing and only one reason to just go for it - to be transformed by God's grace. In our lives, we have opportunities every day to reach out for and fight for blessings from God, but we so often let them pass us by. After all, there are a million reasons to let Jesus pass us by and only one to reach out for the smallest drop of Jesus' blessing - because we want to be transformed by God's grace.
This Week's Challenge
What is holding you back from reaching out for Jesus' transforming blessings? What would it take to overcome that fear? Ask God in prayer to help you remove the barriers and to show you one new thing you can do to follow Jesus more fully this week.
As Jesus continues his journey to Jerusalem, one of the local rulers of the people approaches him to ask what he must do to have eternal life. He is a good man who has followed the laws of God, but Jesus tells him there is still one thing he lacks. With just a few words, the man is completely convicted of what stands between him and God. Join us this Sunday as we explore what may be lacking in our lives as we seek to follow Jesus more fully.
September 6 - "Convicted" - Luke 18:18-25
September 13 - "Reconciled" - Luke 19:1-10
September 20 - "Crucified" - Luke 23:32-43
Looking for MORE?
Are you looking for an opportunity to worship more? MORE is a community worship service focused on singing praise to God and is held every two months. The next MORE service is September 13 from 6 to 7 pm at Mountain View Fellowship Church in McGaheysville. Enjoy Oreos and milk after the service! Talk with Pastor Jim or Keith Robinson for MORE details. We will offer bus transportation from our church for the youth at 5:30. Let Dinah Watson know if you are interested.
Living in Community
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, September 1
7 pm - Lay Leadership Nominations Meeting
Thursday, September 3
10:30 am - Prayer Time
Join Pastor Jim for a brief time of prayer for our church and community.
Sunday, September 6
9:30 am - Worship with Holy Communion
"Meeting Jesus - Convicted"
11 am - Sunday School
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!