Invitation to Prayer
If you read Matthew 8:23-27, you find Jesus calming the storm. His disciples are afraid, but Jesus continues to rest peacefully. Jesus expressed no fear in the circumstances and woke up with a non-anxious presence. He wasn’t panicked, nor did He validate their fears. What could He see that they could not?
Jesus models a God who does not panic. Consequently, we serve a God who encourages us to approach Him with our concerns. The Psalms continually remind us of who God is amid the storms of life. “The Lord is my light and salvation, whom or what shall I fear” (Psalm 27:1 NIV)?
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 NIV). I believe Jesus knew the Psalms well and with confidence could pray, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid” (Psalm 118:6–7 NIV).
I believe that developing a consistent communal rhythm of daily prayer is a faithful response to the God we serve and provides space for our community to pray together as we navigate this current storm. While we are all different when it comes to how much structure we need and want, I hope this simple prayer template serves as an anchor point for everyone who participates.
Here are three suggested steps for prayer that serve as a template for 9am daily:
- Wherever you are, pause at 9am to be present with God. Set a daily alarm on your phone as a reminder if that helps. Ask God to help you notice what is occurring within you and what you need for the day. Be honest with God about what you are feeling. Invite God to increase your trust and ask God to meet you in the midst of your concerns.
- Bring God your concerns for others. Here are some ideas: pray for others by name, pray over other countries that are suffering, pray for our community, ask God to be with first responders and with those in the medical field who are treating others. For those who are sick, pray for their healing. Pray for those working to develop a treatment, pray for families whose incomes are affected and pray for opportunities to serve others during this time.
- Take few minutes to read Psalm 103. Pay attention to what the Psalm says about God, and what it says about you. Read this Psalm all week.
As the remainder of your day unfolds, be aware and attentive to God’s activity in the ordinariness of life. Reach out to those God has put on your heart. Call them, text them, video chat or write them a note. As an instrument of peace, provide encouragement, cultivate joy and spread hope. Your presence matters.
Don’t feel like you have to use the included template. It is more important that we are all pausing in the midst of our lives at 9am to be in prayer as a community. Feel free to contact me about the things that God is bringing to your attention.
May you be at rest in the hands of our good God, who knows us, sees us and loves us. May this time of communal prayer be a gift that will bless you and others.
Grace and Peace,
Jon Micah Richardson, Minister of Christian Formation: Discipleship