Good morning! I hope you enjoyed our guest blogger yesterday. He has another one for me for another time…you will see it in the near future. 🙂 I also want to mention that if you would like to be a guest blogger, let me know. It can be any scripture that speaks to you. I would love to host you!
Today’s scripture: 2 Timothy 1:3-7
I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
This (2nd) letter to Timothy was presented to the culture as Paul’s farewell letter to his beloved disciple. In some ways this is Paul’s last lecture or so we are lead to believe. The teacher gives honest ministry advice into a new emerging leader. If you are a bible nerd like me, you might be interested to know that even though the letter says that Paul wrote it and it tries to be in the style of Paul writing it, historical and theological evidence says that it was not written by Paul. Many writers at the time would put other leader’s names on the letters to give them validity. If Paul wrote this, then people would listen….obviously true if hundreds of years later we are having this conversation.
I don’t want to get too bogged down in details because I love how much is jampacked into just these few verses. In just a few lines, the writer expresses gratitude, prayers, community and our calling. I could focus on any of these topics fairly well. They are great topics. I could even focus in on writing letters to one another to empower and connect with people. But I am going to zoom in on prayers. This letter is grounded in them and prayer is pretty essential to our Lenten journey.
I know that my Lent is trying to be grounded in prayer. Just in the past week, my life has changed significantly. Not really a blog conversation to tell all why (we can have that convo offline) but it has changed drastically and all at once….in awesome and scary and sad ways. I find that in these times I pray a lot more than I ever have. I know that we should be constantly praying but in these times, that piece of my life goes waaayyy up. It is as constant as the writer (day and night). I rely on Anne Lamott and her saying that there are two kinds of prayers, “Help me. Help me. Help me.” and “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
For some of you prayer may be a new experience, so let’s talk about it for a moment. Prayer doesn’t have to be a certain way, form or script. For me it is about how we communicate with God. Prayer is a conversation with God, however that happens for you. I once worked with a woman who would open her out loud group prayers with, “Hey God…it’s me…” Some people chuckled but it always reminded me that prayer is real and comes from a very human place. For me, prayer starts the moment I get up…”Ok, God, what will we be doing together today?” I admit I am not very good at long set aside prayer time. For me, it is a constant conversation throughout the day with lots of thanks and blessing and lots of pleas for guidance, assistance, strength, walking alongside, grieving with, and love. Prayer is powerful I am convinced. I am convinced it is powerful because when people are praying for me I feel that much connected to them and feel great support surrounding me. I know that it matters to raise someone’s name to God because it connects me so dearly to them. God doesn’t need me to tell God about situations that arise. I believe God is bigger than that but it does mean that I connect to the other on that different level and still hold communication with God.
What needs your prayer this morning? When and how do you pray? Do you believe prayer works? Like the writer, are you praying constantly? If the words don’t come to you, there are many structured prayers out there. I have thought about taking on memorizing a prayer or two as a discipline but I continuously come back to thank you and help. That seems to be all the structure I need right now. I will leave you with this video. It seems helpful to me and perhaps helpful to you this morning.