As I was sitting in the pastor’s study reflecting on what to write for this newsletter, immediately, the word prayer popped into my mind. So, let me encourage you to do just that, pray. It is imperative for us as Christians to patiently persist in prayer. I can remember being a kid and having sleepovers at my grandmother’s house. Every night before bed, she would have me kneel down at the bedside to pray. Because I was so young and I didn’t know what to prayer for, she would sit down on the edge of the bed (as I was kneeling) and she would recite the Lord’s Prayer - I would simply repeat after her. It was those seeds of prayer that my grandmother planted inside of me that have sustained me and cultivated my spiritual journey throughout the years.
As many of you know, I am a night owl. I stay up sometimes until around 2 a.m. If you were to ever ride past the parsonage during the hours of 11 p.m. to 12 midnight, you would probably find me outside looking up at the stars on a clear night, praying; praying for the church, praying for the community, praying for my life, praying for my daughter (as she enters her first semester of college), praying for our world, and praying for direction/guidance. This is not a new practice that I just started. I have practiced the art of praying for years. And, let me tell you this, it has been prayer that has sustained me and kept me through the years.
Finally, remember that prayer is not just you speaking to God. Prayer has just as much to do with listening as it does speaking. Remember to take time out to practice what some call listening prayer. When you are in bed at night, listen. When you are riding down the street in your car, listen. When the winds of life begin to blow, listen. And, when you kneel down at your bedside at night, don’t forget to listen. Listen to the still small voice; listen to the music that plays in your own heart; and, listen to the voices of those around you (sometimes God answers our prayers through the unsolicited advice of others).
Finally, I leave you with the words of the Apostle Paul: The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Pastor Michael L. Sloan