Pastor Doug Stull

Pastor Doug Stull

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. So, pray and let God worry” (Martin Luther).

Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. The Parable of the Unjust Judge (also known as the Parable of the Importunate Widow or the Parable of the Persistent Widow), is one of the parables of Jesus which appears in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 18:1-8.

Because the widow did not give up repeating her request, he finally gave her justice. Jesus said,” And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you He will see that they get justice, and quickly.

A repetitious request must be in the will of God. Remember what James said, “Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons” (James 4:3). And John says, “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).

Prayers for salvation of others, health, safety, healing, witnessing, understanding, grace, patience, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, wisdom, faith, love and compassion, knowledge, self-control, perseverance and godliness as well as many others are within God’s will for yourself and others.

Forms of Prayer Vary Your Prayer Times:

Lectio Divina

Reading scripture—to engage heart and mind

Look for words or phrases that jump out at you as you read the scripture. Meditate and pray what you sense God wants to say to you about those words and phrases

Example: James 1:1-6— Phrase that jumped out to me--joy in trials

My prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, that I can experience joy even in the worst of times, for your joy runs deeper within me than the trials I face outside of me. You’ve told us that there is no trial or temptation of life that comes our way that can defeat us. Your joy is my strength. Amen.

Prayer of Gazing—praise by looking around you

My prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the beauty I see every spring. Though life has become complicated by disease, your presence is still evident in the in the flowers that bloom, the birds that sing, and the warmth of sunshine. I praise you for the books that line the shelves. In them I’ve read ideas that have enriched my life many times when I’ve felt hungry spiritually.

Thank you for the roll-top desk that Donna Collins gave me that was made by her late husband Charles Collins. Thank you for the piano that has been a source of pleasure as we’ve sung your praises together. Lord, help me to see how your grace has given me so many things that have been a source of comfort and pleasure to our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

Daily Examen

1. Consider the day’s events at end of day—keeps you aware of God’s help to you.

2. Where did you see the graces—gifts of God extended to you—meditate and pray words of thanksgiving for what God has done

My Prayer: Thank you for the people who have been faithful and sending their tithes and offerings to the treasurer. Lord, thank you that we have an extra vehicle to loan my daughter as her car is no longer drivable. Thank you, for safety in getting the car to her today. Also, I thank you for giving Nan the strength to pick up and load groceries while I was gone. We are happy knowing that Robert is now married to Suzanna. May their marriage be rich in love and faith. You’ve made our communication with the people of the church so much more intimate with an elder’s work to provide daily updates and worship available online.

The blessing of our Lay Pastor has been wonderful in keeping prayer requests of the congregation before us. Thank you for giving grace to so many in the church who are praising you with joy and thanksgiving. And, thank you for giving us an experienced IT person whose made it so easy to deliver sermons and songs online. Thank you, Lord, for blessing upon blessing of this day. Amen.

Jesus Prayer

1. Derived from a certain scripture, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.

2. Walk and pray the verse—breathing in as you pray and allowing the words to sink deep into your heart, mind, and soul as you repeat it over and over.

My Prayer: All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me. All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me. etc.

Submitted and written by The Rev. Douglas Stull, pastor for Shepherd of the Valley United Brethren Church.

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