• Will Spink
    Senior Pastor
  • Rita Clardy
    Executive Assistant
  • Ron Clegg
    Assistant Pastor, Discipleship
  • Peter Render
    Assistant Pastor, Youth/Families
  • Winnie Winford
    High-Life Assistant Director
  • Kim Delchamps
    Administrative Assistant
    High-Life/Children
  • Niña Banta Cash
    Director of Children's Ministry
  • Sarah Niemitz
    Director of Community Development/Assimilation
  • Janice Crowson
    Director of Facilities/Office
  • General Contact
    For all other purposes
 
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Pastor’s Note


Lord, Teach Us to Pray

Have you ever told someone that you would pray for something and then completely neglected to do so? Me, too. I’m sure there are a variety of reasons this happens to us, including mere forgetfulness. But one of the reasons that sometimes trips me up is that I don’t feel as practically dependent on God every day as I say that I am. I don’t just need to talk about prayer; I actually need to pray!

We are going to try to flesh that out a bit as a congregation this fall as we enter into a season of focusing on prayer. We are not leaving the book of Luke on Sunday mornings, but we are arriving at Luke 11, where Jesus’ disciples come to him and say, “Lord, teach us to pray …” and Jesus responds by giving them the Lord’s Prayer and some other helpful teaching on prayer. So, we are going to slow down here in this section of Luke’s gospel and talk for a few weeks about prayer.

But we need to do more than talk about prayer; we actually need to pray! We say as a congregation that one of our Core Commitments is that we recognize our deep dependence and need for prayer, but do we pray? In other words, we tell God that we are going to pray for many things, but we often neglect to do so. That deep dependence upon God that we profess to have is many days a feeling we don’t experience. As a result, the opportunity to enter into the throne room of the King of Heaven, to marvel at his greatness, to recount his faithfulness, and to request his provision is one we somehow pass up.

Now Jesus – the one who has won for us the right to walk into the throne room of the King of Heaven as we would into our father’s home – is going to teach us to pray. My heart is for us to learn together and to practice together. So each Sunday following the (somewhat shorter) sermon we will also have some sort of season of prayer. We will not only talk about crying out to our Father but also cry out to him together and listen to him as He speaks to us by his Word and Spirit.

You will also begin receiving a weekly Prayer Guide via e-mail (hard copies will be available on Sundays, too). Our heart is that this will serve us in several ways toward being a more prayerful family: 1) As a regular reminder of our need to be praying to our Father as Jesus teaches us to pray, 2) As a tool to guide our prayers toward the priorities that Jesus instructs us to have, 3) As an encouragement that others are praying with us for the same things, 4) As a way to share some of our particular needs with each other so that others can carry the burdens of our hearts with us.

The room across from the Guest Center (formerly called the Community Room) has been designated as a Prayer Room, where individuals or groups can spend time talking with God. Of course, we encourage you to pray everywhere – hallway, sanctuary, classroom, wherever – but this will give us a particular space committed to prayer. Finally, there will be cards in the pews regularly on which you can share prayer needs with the pastoral staff, the broader congregation, or request the elders to gather and pray with you, which we love to do.

I hope you will take advantage of these opportunities to practice what Jesus teaches us about prayer. If you want to study more on your own, I commend to you Paul Miller’s A Praying Life or Tim Keller’s Prayer (both available in the Guest Center) as two really biblical and practical books that have helped me in this area. Let’s join together as a needy and dependent people and sincerely ask, “Lord, teach us to pray.”