Here we go.
These first words of Paul to the Thessalonians are the earliest writing in the New Testament. First Thessalonians is even older than the Gospels. What are the very first words from a Christian leader? He sends a loving greeting, then he tells them, "we're always praying for you, and for your ministry."
Prayer is a lifeline to God, not a flowery speech. Let's start with the kind of prayer that Paul is talking about-prayer for the saints and for ministries. Read about First Lutheran's ministries in The Light (our church newsletter) or on the website (www.firstlutherancr.org). Ask God which ministry you should pray for: the Children and Family Ministry, Youth and Family Ministry, Spiritual Transformation Ministries, Caring Ministries-take your pick!
The Quakers have a deep understanding of the mystery and subtle power of Christ's Spirit. Quakers describe intercessory prayer for people as, "holding them in the light."
Try it now. "Hold" the ministry and the people in your hands as you pray, feeling that you are surrounding them with God's love and blessings. Let God put different people into your hands, into the light of the Spirit. Perhaps you hold First Lutheran's youth group for a while or the Solace Servers who prepare luncheons for funerals or the faithful volunteers who teach children about Jesus in KidZone each week. Take a moment to pray, holding people and ministries in the light.
In the comment section below, share what ministries you held in the light. What insights is God giving you as you do so? Share this also.
Oh God, hold me in the light as your Spirit teaches me to pray for others. Amen.