John Wesley taught that there are several ways for us to encounter God’s grace every day. He called them “means of grace.” Among them are communion, spending time reading scripture, works of piety, works of mercy…and prayer. The list isn’t exhaustive. I believe that food and drink shared in the company of friends can be a “means of grace.” But prayer, like we discussed this past Sunday, holds a special place in the life of a disciple of Christ.
If you listen to some who teach about prayer, it seems a bit like sitting on Santa’s lap and telling him what you want for Christmas. (Yes, that was a Christmas reference in July.) But prayer, at its truest and best, is a conversation with the One who created us and has given us salvation. So, that means prayer includes us telling God what is on our hearts and minds and praying for each other. But, it should also include a time to sit in silence and listen for what God might be trying to tell us that can all too easily drowned out by the noise of the world. Sometimes hearing God’s voice means intentionally listening for it in stillness and in quiet.
It might be that God will sanctify us all by grace, make the image of God in our lives shine a bit brighter, if we allow him to speak to us instead of us doing all the talking. God might be asking us to do something we never would have imagined doing. God might speak an answer into our lives. So, what are you praying for this week? And are you giving God space to talk back to you? (And a prayer for the people in the path of the storm might be a good idea.)
I’ll see you all on Sunday morning as we talk about what it means to uphold our church with our gifts. And plan ahead for next Sunday, July 21. I would like to invite as many people who would like to, to remain after service on the 21st for a brief moment of prayer. Then we'll walk our campus together in small groups to dream about what we want this place of ministry entrusted to our care to be so that we might reach our Magnolia community for God’s glory.