Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Prayer is a powerful tool. Powerful, but often misunderstood. I know that at times I have used prayer as an opportunity to ask for what I want – or an opportunity to manipulate the circumstances around me. And yet, even as I type this I know that Jesus taught us to ask God for our “daily bread” – which Luther defined as more than simply food but also shelter, good health, wise leaders, good weather, and much more. So, I’ve decided that I’m not going to overthink it.

My prayers are my way to speak to God whose love is big enough to discern my intentions in the midst of my bungled prayers.

The truth is, it simply feels good to share my worries, fears and joys with the One who is powerful enough to handle all of them – and more.

So, as a people committed to “going out to transform lives through Jesus Christ” I want to suggest an idea during this time of social distancing. What would it be like if we share the gift of prayer with our neighbors allowing the power of prayer to transform lives while we stay at a safe distance.

What would it be like if we all had a “prayer station” in our front yard?
Here are a couple of ideas for a prayer station – you might have your own idea!

• Have 3X5 cards and pens, clothes pins and a rope or string tied between tree branches. Have an instruction card clipped to the rope that invites people to write their prayers and add them to the rope.

• Have strips of cloth and sharpies on a table. Write out a couple of prayers on the clothes and tie them to a tree or bush or fence as examples. Leave an instruction card on the table that invites others to do the same.

• Make a plain cross out of a 2X4. Have sticky notes and pens on a table. Invite neighbors to write their prayers on the sticky notes and place them on the cross.

Get creative – find your own way to create a prayer station in your neighborhood that invites prayers from all people. Don’t worry about the form or the words. God will hear our hearts!

For tonight’s prayer we will use one of my favorites from Mother Theresa:

Let’s pray:
I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now, O Lord, I pray that You will guide me to do whatever I’m supposed to do.
I used to pray for answers, but now, O God, I’m praying for strength.
I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now, O God I know that our prayers to You changes us and we change things. In Jesus Name, Amen