Epistle Lectionary Text: 1 Timothy 2:1-7
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all—this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7
Great God, help us to make room in our lives for prayer. Help us to turn off the noise around us and be open to voicing our concerns to you as well as listening to your voice echoing throughout our day. Amen.
As parents, we are told/warned that our kids will emulate us. There are lots of things that my kids copy (or get) from me that I don’t want to pass along, but how often do we think about the attitudes we do want them to emulate? To emulate it, they have to see. If you are like me, often times the outwardly spiritually parts of my day are saved or shoved into times when the kids are at school, asleep, or when the kids are not begging for my attention. Yes, we say grace over our meals and I lead them in the scripted nightly prayers, but wonder what would happen if I went off the script. What if I stopped, paused, and went to God immediately rather than collecting the concerns for nightly prayers? What if we listened to Paul’s words in his letter to First Timothy? What if we heeded to the urgency in Paul’s voice?
Quotes for Reflection:
“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.” ~Oswald Chambers
“Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Jump Off Questions to Spark Conversation:
What is you favorite prayer?
When are you most likely to pray?
Are there people you are uncomfortable praying for? Why?
Who needs your prayers this day?
Spiritual Practice: 5 Finger Prayer (There are quite a few versions of this on the web)
What you need: Your Hand
Thumb: Pray for those who are close to you–These are people that come to mind first (parents, siblings, grandparents, pets, friends).
Pointer finger: Pray for those who point/show the way–These are the ones who guide you (teachers, boy scout/girl scout troop leaders, pastors).
Tall Finger/Middle Finger: Pray for those in leadership/authority positions–As this scripture reminds us, those in authority positions (presidents, dictators of countries, military, police officers) also need our prayers.
Ring Finger: Pray for those who are weak–Your ring finger is the weakest finger on your hand. This finger reminds us to pray for those who are sick, homeless, victims of war, or are in need in some other way.
Little Finger: Pray for your own needs–God not only wants us to share the needs of others, but also wants us to voice our own needs aloud. Where can God help you learn, grow, and serve?