By Tim McCoy, Executive Minister
Inside the front cover of my “preaching Bible” I have literally cut (a real piece of paper) and pasted (it’s scotch tape, not paste) one of Charles Finney’s statements on prayer. It reads, “Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other’s hearts in prayer.” It’s a reminder to me of the power of prayer within our Christian family. I’ve witnessed it. You have too. When we seek the Mind of Christ, or lay ourselves open to God’s guidance, there is a galvanizing and empowering that comes from these confessions, pleadings, and conversations with God. And then we wait, listening for the voice of God. God then replies with words like Wait, Go, Be Silent, Wait Longer, and then…God reminds us that God is ALWAYS with us. Thanks Be to God.
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
When times and our lives are in a good place, following Paul’s direction is relatively easy. When times and circumstances are hard, being joyful and thankful is hard. However, we can always pray, plead, confess, and wait. Be joyful, pray and give thanks. This Easter, I call us to pray prayers of gratitude together for the goodness of the Resurrection. Through the pain, pandemic and heartbreak of Christ’s death, new life bursts forth from Christ’s resurrection. Praise and thanksgiving be to God!
There’s a powerful line in Mary Oliver’s poem, The Gift, that reminds me of my obligation toward gratitude. It reads: “Let God and the world know you are grateful.” Join me in this prayer of gratitude:
Dearest Lord, thank you for all you have given us. Thank you for bearing our burdens at Calvary. We realize what you carried and buried for us. Gracious God, your promise of forgiveness and a life with you forever, is more than we deserve. Thank you for the constant reminder of your unchanging love. We have hope and we give thanks to you, our God. May these things inspire us to give you praise. Hear and receive our eternal thanksgiving and praise. With glory and honor to you O God, Amen.
May your hearts and lives be filled with gratitude this Easter.
With hope and thanksgiving,