Arbor Grove Congregational Church
March 2020

Prayer

Prayer is a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship. 

In many Psalm we are told to pray to God continually, so how do we do that?  St. Basil the Great tells us: “This is how you pray continually – not by offering prayer in words, but by joining yourself to God through your whole way of life, so that your life becomes one continuous and uninterrupted prayer.”  Now that may require a lifestyle change.
Have you ever considered the different types of prayer? 
The prayer of faith: A prayer is offered for someone who is sick,           asking God to heal.
The prayer of request (or supplication): We are to take our
      requests to God. Philippians 4:6 “Do not worry about anything,
      but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
      let your requests be made known to God.”
The prayer of thanksgiving: Focus is on what God has done.         (Count your blessings)
The prayer of worship: Focuses on who God is.
The prayer of consecration: Setting yourself apart to follow
      God’s will.
The prayer of intercession: Requests for others as we intercede
      for them.
Praying in the Spirit and when we are unable to think of the
     words:  Those times, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us.
     Romans 8:26-27 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness;
      for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit
      intercedes with sighs too deep for words.  And God, who searches
      the heart, knows what the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit
      intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
      I have posted, on my Facebook page, a picture of a sign board
      the  has at the top DEAR JESUS then a pile of letters dumped
      in the center and had AMEN at the bottom.  The caption reads:
      He hears your prayers…even when you can’t find the words.
      That is praying in the Spirit.

With all these different types of prayer, it may seem prayer can be exhausting.  These prayers can be done in private and probably all of us pray some or all these prayers at some point in our life.
 
Probably the most challenging type of prayer for many people, clergy included, is the corporate prayer: Corporate prayer is praying together with other people.  It isn’t about getting enough people together to pray and persuade God to submits to our will.  Instead, corporate prayer is about cooperating with God and submitting to God’s will.  Matthew 6:8 “…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

I totally understand the fear of praying aloud with others present.  Not sure the words will be right, it may make me look weak or uncomfortable talking to God, or any other idea our mind may suggest.  It is a challenge, but worth the effort to overcome that fear.
 
I offer Prayer Time at the church because it is often comforting to be in the presence of others for support in prayer.  I have set aside time Thursdays at 2:00 PM to be at the church for anyone that would like to come to pray.  I know it can be difficult to make time for prayer in our busy life.
 
I will be available to share prayer with you or you may want to pray alone and that is fine.  I simply want the church open so those that people may come to pray in church other than Sundays.  Let me know if you would like to have the church available to pray and I will make every effort to accommodate you.  Contact me in person, phone call, send me a text, email, letter or card, place a request in the collection plate Sunday (cards are available in the pews), or leave a message at church.  I believe in the power of prayer and want to provide the opportunity for others to have a time for their prayers.

I pray because I believe in the power and goodness of God.  I would like to share that experience with others.


Respectfully,
Rev. Jerry W. Turner 

Arbor Grove Congregational Church
2621 McCain Road
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 784-4824
[email protected]
[email protected]