Unanswered Prayers 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

“Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:10

  When life becomes overwhelming and clouds hang dark and heavy, we suffer; we hurt physically and emotionally. So we turn to prayer, fervent prayer for relief. Well-meaning folks proclaim they are praying for us in our time of greatest need, and that is good. Prayer is our lifeline, and those who pray for us are certainly appreciated, yet…. Sometimes it seems all the praying in the world does nothing to soothe our suffering and at times can make us feel abandoned by God. The question is, does God truly answer all prayers or do some go unanswered? Prayer in its essence is our communication with God; Jesus prayed continually and John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Movement called each of us to “pray without ceasing.” Perhaps prayer is less about giving God a “to do” list and more about us humbly acknowledging that we cannot bear our burden alone, and we need the one who invites us to “come to me, all you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your weary soul.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Maybe our prayer life is more about seeking God’s strength when we feel weak, God’s hope when we feel hopeless, God’s wisdom when we feel there is nowhere to turn, being fully and completely convinced that nothing “in all creation, will ever be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39) Someone once wrote that “when God seems most distant, that is when God is most near.” God’s will for you is not that you suffer or feel overwhelmed or overcome by life’s twists and turns, but rather God’s will for you is that no matter where your journey is leading and the difficulties you find along the way, you are never alone and will be strengthened for the journey that lies before you, even and especially in your weakness. Take comfort that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ promises to be with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Thank you Jesus.

 Pastor Tom

Well Pleased Luke 17:21-22

“You are my Son, the beloved, with you I am well pleased.”

Luke 17:22

  When Jesus was baptized, God ushered into the world amazing grace and a totally new way of viewing life. Baptism is the affirmation you are not only loved, you amazingly loved for who you are in God’s eyes; baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace that was given to you from the time you were conceived. No matter what you have done in the past, God has redeemed you, and has called you by name today. God doesn’t keep a scorecard of your past life and continually reminds you of what you have done. In God’s eyes, you are beloved enough to be given another chance now; all that stuff that you have regretted and held you back from fully realizing the amazing love of God (sin) has been washed away. When you turn back to God, repent, you will know the joy that comes with living a life of faith. Joy is knowing that where ever the journey of life takes you, God is with you, to strengthen, to encourage, to equip you to “run and not be weary, to walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) Remember that God loves you more than you will ever know; you are God’s beloved, no matter who you are and the dumb things you may have done in the past. No matter where you find yourself or the challenges that you are enduring, remember God is with you now, even to the end of the age. Remember your baptism. Remember you are loved. Remember you have been called by name by the creator of the universe, and that is a really big deal. Thank you Jesus for the gift of your presence and knowing you love me, even and especially me. Amen

 Pastor Tom

Serenity Prayer