Take hold of these “do not miss” opportunities:
Come to the Campout (to camp or just enjoy fun and food) on Saturday, beginning at 4:00.
Be here Sunday morning at 9:00 for a pancake breakfast; after Worship, enjoy hamburgers and hotdogs and our Fall Festival, concluded with our famous Trunk or Treat!
Be on the lookout for when we make available the video of Angela Lane’s transformational testimony to prayer and how God came alive in a new way in her life in the face of her cancer
And prayer is the most “do not miss” opportunity, as Jesus showed us…
Invitations to Blessings
On Sunday, Jesus invited us to let God give us His Holy Spirit and what is good, by: seeking for God to guide us; asking for God to give us what we want; knocking for God to open a door that seems closed to all that is good. (Luke 11:1,9-13)
- Jesus teaches us to pray, promising that God will respond by giving us His Holy Spirit to give us what is good – because His Spirit guides; encourages; empowers; comforts; gives peace; fills us with love, joy, and the presence of God Himself!
- This is what Jesus wants for our marriages and families. I urged all of our wives and husbands to pray together, for God to guide and bless each other and their marriage; and for our families to pray with each other, not just blessings at meal times and bedtime, but at a set-aside time to pray together for God to guide and bless each other and your family…and see what God will do…
- What God will do is fulfill Jesus’ three Promises of Prayer – The 1st: Seek for God to guide you…He will open our eyes to see what He wants us to do and be! The word “seek” Jesus uses means “search for,” and is literally translated “keep on searching.” The more we spend time with God, the more we see with His eyes, His opportunities for what He wants to do in our lives; just as we see more clearly business opportunities when we spend time with other experienced and knowledgeable people in our business/profession.
- God gives us two helpers for seeking: (a) The Bible – Pray for His Word to guide your decisions and actions. (b) Other Christians – Ask them to pray with you, for God’s Word to guide you. Others help us see what we cannot see ourselves. I hope our Small Groups are, or will evolve to be, places where this happens. For my Small Groups and my Sweetie helped guide me to come here. A Small Group saved and changed the life of Julie; they prayed with her; helped her see through the Psalms that God wanted her to teach piano…giving her a way to support her children and a joyful new life after her husband died.
- Then there are times when we need to seize Jesus’ 2nd Promise of Prayer: Ask for God to give you what you want…God will give us what we need, what He knows is good! The word “ask” that Jesus uses is for more than a question – “a request for what you want.” As The Message puts it, “Be direct; ask for what you want; do not play cat and mouse with God.” God wants us to pray what is on our hearts, not some “perfect prayer” of what we think He wants us to pray. We can trust God to transform what we want to what we need.
- And keep on asking. Richard Foster (a leading expert and practitioner of prayer), experienced this truth when he was a professor at a university. A student, Marie, fell and hit her head on a curb. The doctors said there was little hope; the university chaplain simply prayed for God’s will to be done. But Richard urged her parents and friends to pray for God to heal her; to picture Marie up and walking out. They bathed Marie in prayer 24/7; three days later she woke up; one week later she walked out! The doctors had no explanation.
- For reasons unknown to us, it does not always happen that way. But we do know that Jesus promises that our prayers make a difference to God. Although we may not see it, God may be working in a way that is good…in this life or the next. For when we ask for what we want, we open a path for God to do what is good.
- Yet, there are times when we do not know what to pray for. That is why Jesus offers his 3rd Promise of Prayer: Knock on doors that seem closed to what is good…God will open the door to our hearts to the best good – Himself! This insight is illustrated by the father and son who were driving on a narrow road; when it was blocked by a large rock, the son asked if he could move it; “Yes, if you use all your strength.” When the boy tried, but cried out that the rock was too much for him, his father responded, “That is because you did not use all your strength; you did not ask me.”
- There are seemingly immovable rocks in our lives – illness; sinfulness; broken relationships; broken dreams; doubt; fear. Jesus invites us to let God move those rocks for us. I have seen this happen in my life; I saw it happen in Sallie’s life last October and continuing now.
- I saw it last week in the life of Angela Lane. I cannot do justice to her testimony (which I videotaped) – but the essence is this: When she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she cried out to God that she could not help herself, and put herself in His hands. A miracle happened – God suddenly (for the first time in her life) opened her heart to Him; “The scales fell off my eyes; I saw how much He loves me, that He will take care of me. I know that whatever happens, I will be just fine; I am at peace; I am excited; I have never felt better in my life!”
Connection for the Week: Spend time in prayer with your husband/wife, your family, your Small Group; seek for God to guide you by His Word; ask for what you want; knock for God to open some seemingly unopenable door; open your heart to Him…and experience God blessing your life with what is good.