What am I Grateful for Today – Prayer

13 If any of you are suffering, they should pray. If any of you are happy, they should sing. 14 If any of you are sick, they should call for the elders of the church, and the elders should pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Prayer that comes from faith will heal the sick, for the Lord will restore them to health. And if they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve. 17 Elijah was a person just like us. When he earnestly prayed that it wouldn’t rain, no rain fell for three and a half years. 18 He prayed again, God sent rain, and the earth produced its fruit (James 5:13-18, Common English Bible).

It was August of 2010. On the way home from dinner out one Sunday evening, a driver ran a red light, broadsiding our car. It landed Cindy in the hospital for ten days with a broken hip. I was pretty beat up and bruised. I didn’t know it at the time but I had pinched a nerve in my elbow and torn a ligament in my shoulder. I spent one night in the hospital, (well one night as a patient). I spent more than two weeks very sore from the seat belt and the impact in general.

At the time, Cindy had recently gone to work at a church. I am not exactly sure who brought them, but that church sent us each a pager. Every time a member of that church prayed for us, they were instructed to call the pager. It was a way of letting us know that someone was praying for us.

What a great ministry. People who didn’t know me and sometimes didn’t know Cindy, were praying for us and we far more often than not, we had no idea who they were. The pager would beep, we would look and all that was there was a telephone number. I had no idea of the identity of the person who owned the number.

Truly, their identity wasn’t important. To know that someone, a lot of someones were praying for us was reassuring. We were truly blessed every time those pagers went off.

Of course intercessory prayer is not the only form of prayer but it may be the most important. Dr. Maxie Dunham, in his Workbook on Intercessory Prayer, says intercessory prayer may be the most selfless act one person can do for another.

During my years in ministry I have heard many people say, “I just don’t know how to pray.” My usual response is, just sit in the presence of God, and God is omnipresent, all around us, and have a conversation with God. But, remember, a conversation, by definition means we talk, but we also listen.

It seems to me, we are very fortunate. God gave us a way to talk to God about the many things that rest on our hearts.

This day, I am grateful for prayer. For what are you grateful today. Write it down in your journal and share it with someone in your life. You will make a difference for the.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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