April 26, 2018
Greetings to you all on this Thursday - A number of times since I arrived in Goochland County, I've heard someone say, "Spring's coming!" And I think it's finally safe to say that Spring is here. The fields are gloriously green, and wildflowers are popping out all over the place. Here at the church, the azaleas have been in full bloom, and just within the last day, the irises have opened up. It's a lovely time of year, and a reminder of God's gracious renewal from the "winters" of our lives.
One organization that does a lot to help people recover from their "winters" is Samaritan's Purse. They are at work all over the world, bringing relief and assistance to people in some of the most dire circumstances, all the name of Jesus Christ. I opened the Spring issue of their devotional booklet, Prayer Point, to see an article about prayer drawn from the late Dr. Billy Graham's book, The Journey. Typical of Dr. Graham, the words are simple, yet powerful. I decided to share some excerpts with you here, and I hope you will find these helpful as you consider God's call to each of us, to pray.
The following words are from Dr. Graham, from The Journey, in regard to prayer:
First, have the right attitude. A friend of mine likes to define prayer as "a declaration of dependence" - and he has a point. We will only pray when we realize how dependent we are on God and we trust Him to hear our prayers and answer them according to His will.
Second, seek God's will in your prayers. God wants us to bring our every concern to Him in prayer and to be persistent. But we don't see the whole picture, and sometimes we ask for things that are unwise or even wrong...ask above all for God's will to be done.
Third, bring everything to God in prayer. God loves us, and He is concerned about every detail of our lives, both big and small...the Bible says, "In everything...present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)
Fourth, learn to pray at all times, and in all situations. Nothing can replace a daily time spent alone with God in prayer. But we also can be in an attitude of prayer throughout the day - sitting in a car or at our desks, working in the kitchen, even talking with someone on the phone.
Fifth, trust God for the outcome...God knows what is best for us, and we need to learn to trust Him for the outcome. Sometimes God answers "Yes" when we ask Him for something. But sometimes His answer is "Not yet" or even "No." And sometimes His answer is simply "Trust Me, even if you don't understand."
Finally, learn to listen. Prayer is speaking to God - but sometimes He uses our times of prayerful silence to speak to us in return. He may simply give us an inner assurance of His presence, or He may guide us in a certain direction.
Pray because of Jesus' example. Pray because God has commanded it. Pray because Christ died to give us access to the Father. Pray because God is worthy of your praise. Pray because you need His forgiveness and guidance and protection. Pray because others need your prayers. Pray most of all because God wants your fellowship and you need His fellowship on this journey He has set before you.
The Rev. Dr. Billy Graham
A few more things from your pastor:
This Sunday, April 29th - Our sermon text will be Acts 8:26-39. This is the story of Philip's encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch, on the wilderness road to Gaza. The sermon title is, "Rejoicing On Our Way."
REMEMBER: Please bring your bag(s) with food for Goochland Cares by this Sunday, the 29th. We'll have a time of recognition and prayer during the service for this important ministry in our community.
Fiddler on the Roof: Interested youth and adults are invited to meet at Goochland High School at 2 o'clock this Sunday, to see the school's production of Fiddler on the Roof. The performance starts at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults.
Sunday, May 6th: The Rev. Clay Macaulay will be our guest preacher and worship leader next Sunday, as I will be away next weekend for my oldest son's wedding in Georgia. Clay serves as Director of Alumni Development for Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, and was the preacher for my installation service at Hebron.
Dates for your calendar:
Outdoor worship service at Dover Lake, on Sunday, June 10th
Heritage Sunday & 175th anniversary celebration, Sunday, October 21st
THANK YOU - Many thanks to those who supported the youth Plant & Bake Sale last weekend. Proceeds from your purchases will go toward the youth's mission trip in July to Pikeville, Kentucky.
See you Sunday!