Thursday, September 30, 2010

Healing the Sick

I know that healing the sick is in my job description.

I so often feel like I fail at it, and can merely offer words of comfort.

The truth is I can keep my distance with church folks. Those lines have been well drawn over the years.

The hard stuff comes when I face situations like yesterday. The neighbor was squirting a power washer through the fence to spray my dog, enflaming my dogs barks.

I went to check on the neighbor, and see what was happening. She proceeded to yell at me to shut my dog up, as there were people sleeping (5PM in the afternoon). There is an invalid next door I found out in her enraged tirade against my barking dog.

Now, I know that shooting water through the fence at the dog is only going to raise the level of the barking, either because the dog feels attacked, or because the dog thinks it is play time. Neither one is going to accomplish the neighbor's wish that my dog would shut up.

And now, my conscience is stirred within me. I am supposed to visit and heal the sick, and I have a complaint with my neighbor, who is stressed beyond her measure. I feel like I want to throw up my hands, shut the dog away in the kennel full-time, and go visit with the invalid and this woman - alternately throughout the minutes and hours of the time since this encounter.

I beg, what would you do; what have you done? Does being a pastor, and a representative of the church change what I should do, or being a Christian for that matter? What does being a good neighbor say I should do - Biblically and a culturally?

I ask because I am struggling


Monday, September 20, 2010

Understanding Prayer (Part 1)

Understanding Prayer
Sunday Teaching 9/19/2010

Jesus' Instructions on Prayer

Luke 11
Jesus' Teaching on Prayer
1One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
2He said to them, "When you pray, say:
" 'Father,[a]
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.[b]
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.[c]
And lead us not into temptation.[d]' "
5Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'
7"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness[e] he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Matthew 6
5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.[a]' 14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Why do we pray?
-Commandments from God and Jesus
-At base, to connect to the Divine
-to tell God what we want
-To listen to what God has to tell us
-”I pray not to change God, but to change me” CS Lewis
-God is changeable through prayer and conversation (Cf. Abraham, Ninevah)
-To order my life/center myself
-Holy Spirit moves us

What do we pray?
-Spiritual Connection

How do we pray?
-Pray without ceasing
-Cast all your cares on Christ for he cares for you
-The Lord’s Prayer
-formula prayers
-Stories of the persistent widow and the persistent neighbor (pray until answered)
-Other prayers we have gathered

Patterns of prayer?
-What is your pattern of prayer?

Introduction to prayer methods:
-Words to know: Lectio Divina, Guided Meditation, Directed Prayer, Partner Prayer, Open Prayer, TongSongKido, Healing Prayer, Requested Prayer, Intercessory Prayer, Silent Prayer, Unspoken Prayer, Prayer Languages, Centering Prayer, Breath Prayer

Effects of Prayer:
-Requests received
-Deepening of Spiritual Connection
-Social Awareness
-Personal Awareness

Basic Instructions for Prayer:

P raise
R epent
A sk
Y ield

Hand Prayer
Pinkie - Small People/Least, Last & Lost
Ring - Family
Middle - Big People/Leaders
Pointer - God
Thumb - Self

A - Adoration
C - Confession
T - Thanksgiving
S - Supplication