"First of all, then,
I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions,
and thanksgivings be made for everyone,"
- 2 Timothy 2:1
I remember holding my son and daughter for the first time. This little life placed in my hands. A new human soul brought into this world. I remember the panic feeling as we left the hospital and were expected to take care of this small being. My mother moved in for 6 days and even though she lives only two doors down, I cried when she left. She knew it was time for her to let me learn on my own.
My mother had been praying for me. She had prayed over me as a baby and as I grew through elementary school. Teenage years brought, I am sure, frustrating prayers and cries to the Lord. I remember groggy mornings waking up looking for my mother to find her in “her chair” having her quiet time before the busy bustle of my working mother’s day began. Still to this day, if I stop by in the mornings, I will find her sitting in the same spot, eating breakfast, and praying for me, my sisters, my dad, and others friends and family.
I love knowing that she prayed for my husband before we met. I love how she prayed for my babies everyday in a journal for nine months as I carried them. I love how she prayed aloud in the car as we went to school or special tryouts for this team or that choir. I felt them. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the prayers of my mother.
Prayer got me through the first stages of motherhood when my mom left to go those long two doors down. And prayer will no doubt get me through these elementary years. As I raise my children, I pray that I can provide the gift of intercessory prayer she provided for me. I strive to know the right words to pray with them as they grow and experience this life.
In the same way our family members need our prayers, so does our church family. Our church would not be where it is today without the prayers of those who came before us. May we can continue this legacy by praying for those we worship side by side with in this community of faith.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, Thank you for giving us our earthly parents to teach us your ways and pray over us as we grow. We pray for our church and all the families who worship you in this place. We ask your blessings on her as she continues to grow for 150 more years.
Thought for the Day: It is important for us to be in intercessory prayer for our immediate and church family.
Written by Mary Stewart Rhea
“By prayer let me wrestle,
And He will perform:
With Christ in the vessel
I smile at the storm.”
- John Newton
Sometimes…well, truthfully, often it seems to me that prayer is a wrestling match. It’s not wrestling with God, but with my own self. I sit down with the best of intentions to be present to the Lord in prayer. Suddenly my mind kicks into gear – the ToDo list, calendar items, fears, anxiety, chores; a storm of thoughts clamor for attention. I begin to wrestle with them all in order to do what sounds so simple – pray. “Master,” I cry out, “don’t you know what’s happening?” And there I am, in the boat with Jesus who is sleeping through the storm. He awakens and speaks to my stormy wrestling, “Peace, be still.” (Mark 4:39) Be still. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Rest has emerged from the wrestling by the word of the Master. Finally I can be in God’s presence and open myself to the divine work of transformation wrought by the Living Word.
Prayer begins when I sit down with intention; I get into the boat with Jesus.
Prayer continues when I cry out from the place of my own weakness.
Prayer deepens as I remain quietly open and available to God.
Faithful prayer is continuing to show up to God with our entire imperfect selves. And the One who created us by and for love is delighted to transform us for the sake of his kingdom. (Philippians 1:6)
Let’s be transformed.
Written by Jennifer Shepherd
“one of his Disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’”
Prayer is the way that the life of Christ in us is nourished. The Bible tells us that we may get to know God himself through our prayer. P ● R ● A ● Y can guide us in our petition.
P ● Praise God for who He is and what He has already done.
R ● Repent; recognize and expose where you are still resisting God in your life. Not only resisting His commands but the blessings and benefits He gives those who follow him.
A ● Asking; you’ve been invited to ask, seek and knock. Your requests must be known to Him, be personal and specific. Also ask for guidance, counsel and the courage to trust His word.
Y ● Yes; thy will be done. Expect God to respond with His boundless love for you.
To say prayer changes things is not as accurate as saying prayer changes me and I change things, clearing the obstacles in my heart to receive His miracles.
PRAYER: Almighty and Everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift. We have sinned and fallen short of living a holy life. Restore us and prepare our hearts to receive your word. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Prayer is the way that the life of Christ in us is nourished.
Written by Sandra Hudson
“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”
– Jude 20-21
What a privilege to call our Lord, our Savior, the God of the universe…our intimate friend! We can go to him in prayer anytime, anywhere. He is as close as our very breath. While preparing this devotion, one treasured old hymn kept gently reminding me to take “everything to God in prayer.” May these beautiful verses, written by Joseph M. Scriven (1820-1886), which brought so much comfort and blessings to generations before us, comfort and bless you, today!
What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.
Prayer: Precious Savior, thank you for the gift of prayer and communion with you that is never-ending. Thank you for being my strength and my refuge in times of need. Keep me filled with your Holy Spirit and taking everything to you in prayer. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Proverbs 18:24 “...but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” And HE is just a breath prayer away.
Written by Kim Hopmann
"Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
– Hebrews 4:16
I love this word that the Lord gives us in Hebrews. It has been a "go to" verse for many years in my walk. Whether it is for adversity in my life or my family, or a circumstance a loved one is facing. I love the thought of approaching the throne with confidence! This is an open invitation for us to go boldly to our Heavenly Father. He waits in all of His power and might on the beautiful place of His Throne. Signifying His reign over all, the "Maker of heaven and earth" is there to give grace and mercy for whatever we are facing. And we can be confident that this grace and mercy provided will be fitting and perfect for the situation. We go with confidence because we know He is able. We don't go meekly with our prayer, we don't have to be shy in our asking. His word also tells us in James, "you do not have, because you do not ask… And we must believe and not doubt when we ask." There will be storms this side of heaven that do not make sense to us, or that we do not understand. As it says in Isaiah, "Our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts." But we can be confident knowing that He is God, He is good, and He is able.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, We come boldly before You, believing and trusting You for who You are. You know the needs of each of us and the places in our hearts and lives that need Your touch. Thank you for this invitation, and the perfect grace and mercy that only You can provide. We pray that our lives will always glorify and honor You. Help us, Lord, to always be about building Your kingdom. We love You, we praise You, and we thank You. In your Holy Name we pray, Amen.
Thought for the Day: Make it a daily practice to be confident in your prayer life. Thank Him in advance with expectation for what He will do!
Written By Posey McGraw
"Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest, take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and Humble of heart and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light."
– Matthew 11:28
This has been one of my favorite verses since I said, "yes" to Christ at 19. (And yes, I was late to the party!) After putting Christ on the back-burner for 19 years, I've become determined to make up for lost time! I can't get enough of God's Word, and the incredible gift of being able to talk/pray to Him! (I give my mom the credit for my love of prayer. I have such vivid memories of our family prayers- at meals, Church, and most special to me; those on our knees at night praying for dad to come home safely. Praise God for answering that specific prayer, with my dad's safe return from Vietnam, after 8 years of torture!!)
I can say Matthew 11:28 aloud and physically, spiritually, and emotionally feel myself become more peace- filled more hope-filled. How incredible that the Creator of the Universe, the Author of the Bible sits beside us, breathing life into us as we read HIS WORD!
I'm such a visual person; I picture myself putting on a "yoke" to Jesus. I ask Him to guide me, to go with me, to keep me "in line", to hold me close, to focus my attention on His will and His ways. I don't want to fall behind or run out in front of God. I want to be shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, arm in arm. Prayer and God's word, give me this "connection". As I pray thru the situations of the day, I truly FEEL God's guidance, His shoulders bearing my burdens, sharing life with me. When I'm most intentional, I hear His voice more clearly...I notice His presence, I'm more sensitive to the needs of others He puts in my path. I'll secretly pray for those I'm talking with during the day, I ask God to guide my conversation, to reveal needs, to bless others. Invariably I'll have an opportunity to pray with or for someone! I've overcome my shyness about praying. (Why would I hold back, be silent...When I see or hear of a need???). If someone asks me to pray, I don't just say a casual, "oh I will" and leave them wondering. I DO! Right then and there...stranger or best friend, it makes no difference! I want them to know that I care enough, God cares enough, to hear their need! What a blessing!!! There are so many times that I don't have the answers for a situation....but God does.
Once again, I visualize this "God yoke".... My arms around Jesus, His arms around me and the person(s) I'm praying with and for. What a powerful image!! In this Chaotic world we live in, oh how we Need God and NEED His arms of love and protection over us. HE IS ABLE!
PRAYER: Father God, Thank You for Your Word that guides and directs. Thank You that You accompany us on our journey...that You are always available to listen, comfort and guide us. Strengthen our prayer life, our communion with You. Help us to be more intentional and bring everything before You. God we know there is much work to be done...help us as Believers to Follow You, to Submit to You, to Give to Your Kingdom work, and to spread the Gospel. Help us to undergird every aspect of our lives in prayer. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, amen.
Thought for the Day: Try TODAY, to pray over every aspect of your life. Your "to-do list", conversations, finances and giving, those you love, the needy...Etc etc! Allow God to impact your journey!!
Love in Christ,
From the very beginning, the disciples of Christ committed themselves to follow and obey His command to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.“
Throughout the ages, Christians have continued to follow Christ and committed themselves to fulfill the great commission of Christ.
“In 1867 nine devout souls met in the home of postmaster W. A. McCanless to organize a congregation of “the people called Methodist.” Since that day, thousands have professed their faith in Jesus Christ and have joined this congregation. Our Christian witness over these 150 years has touched countless individuals as we committed ourselves to be the salt and light of Christ.
Everyone who joins our congregation answers the question, “Will you be loyal to The United Methodist Church, and uphold it by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness? Our commitment to Christ and to uphold the work of His Church as a member of First United Methodist Church makes a difference. Much has been accomplished for Christ through the united efforts of the members of this congregation.
On Sunday, September 25, our congregation will begin a thirty-five day spiritual journey by reflecting upon the five ways we have committed ourselves to support the work of Christ’s Church. This membership daily devotional booklet has been compiled as part of the Sesquicentennial Celebration of our beloved church to encourage us to faithfully serve Christ.
You will be encouraged, challenged, and blessed as you read these daily devotionals written by our fellow church members over the coming weeks.
We give thanks to God for the faithful witness of all who have gone before us. May God’s blessings be upon us as we seek to faithfully follow and serve Christ together as His Church.
In His Grace,
Rev. Fred S. Britton
Let us do life together, growing closer to Jesus, and closer to each other, through stories and experiences from the people of our church. Join us as we begin a new series for the Advent season, beginning Tuesday, November 28.