This is Whyel Chapel, in Hopwood, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1882 for Civil War orphans.
Two years ago, I opened that red door on a windy night and spent a little time with Jesus.
I cried, I prayed, I sang. And it was good.
The Wednesday Word Devotional
by Julie Hart, Director of Connectional Ministries
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalms 121:1-2 New International Version (NIV)
On Sunday, Pastor David returned from his month off (yay!) and launched a new sermon series — Reflections on the Psalms, Creation, and the Human Experience. In laying the groundwork, he did some teaching about what prayer is. He shared an explanation of prayer by theologian and author, Richard Foster, who says that God invites us to come home and that Jesus is the door to God’s heart, and prayer is the key to the door.
I have the privilege of managing the prayer chain for Desert Spring where prayer requests are sent via email by folks like you and sent out to folks in the church for whom prayer is a meaningful spiritual practice that they feel called to participate. The prayer chain is something that is special to me because it not only helps me to connect with you, but it also keeps me connected to God as well. Communicating our joys and concerns for others to God strengthens our relationship and therefore strengthens our faith.
When I was a youth director, I often joked that the quickest way to quiet a room full of teenagers was to ask for a volunteer to pray. Guess what? I learned that that trick also works in a room full of adults — including church folks! Why do you think that is? I think that we sometimes make talking to God more complicated than it is intended to be. Pastor David preached that prayer is simply about being in a relationship with God. He helped us think about how any good and healthy relationship requires communication and used the analogy of his relationship with Geri and how he spends his time both talking and listening to her.
It turns out that the things David talks to Geri about are the same things he talks to God about. And if it’s good enough for David, I think it’s good enough for us too. So, let’s try it. Why not take a moment to fill in the blanks below:
[prayer of adoration]
Creator, I stand in awe of the beauty I am surrounded by today like ______.
Jesus, I admire you for how you lived on this earth and the lessons you taught such as ________.
Spirit, I adore you and your presence that I feel with me always, especially in times of _______.
[prayer of thanksgiving]
God, I know that I am abundantly blessed, and in this moment, I thank you for the blessing of _________ in my life.
[prayer of lamentation]
Lord, I am frustrated by some people or situations that I have to deal with. Today I am not happy about _______.
[prayer of petition/supplication]
God, I need your help and your strength to get through a situation that is bigger than I can handle on my own, but never too big for you. Please help me today to with ___________.
[prayer of intercession]
Today, I lift up someone in need of your love/grace/healing on. I lift up _____ and ask that you ________.
[prayer of confession]
Holy One, teacher, and friend. I come to you humbly in need of your grace and forgiveness where I have missed the mark in living as you have taught me to live. I confess to you the sin of ______ which I know does not reflect your light into the lives of others. I commit to trying harder and doing better.
Guess what? You just wrote your own psalm! By opening your heart and honestly expressing your feelings to God, you put the key into Christ’s heart which will lead you home. How did that feel? Why not try that for a week?
Not ready to write your own Psalms yet? No worries, the Psalms that were written thousands of years ago are still relevant today. Here’s a list that I keep on my phone for a quick reference:
Psalms of Praise & Devotion: 8, 19, 23, 33, 65, 100, 103, 104, 111, 113-115, 117, 134-136, 145-150
Psalms of Thanksgiving: 30, 32, 34, 41, 65-67, 92, 105, 116, 124, 138
Psalms of Lament (Pain, Complaint, Anger): 12, 22, 42, 44, 58, 60, 74, 79, 80, 83, 90, 106, 123, 137
Psalms of Petition (Request): 3, 4, 13, 25, 26, 55-57
Psalms of Intercession (Help): 12, 27, 44, 58
Psalms of Confession: 14, 32, 38, 51, 130
Finally, if you missed Pastor David’s sermon on Sunday, I highly encourage you to catch it online. He shared Psalm 121 and the providence of God. Our hope truly does come from the Lord!
God bless you,