“Kerry, do you ever pray?” asked a pastor to a non-religious church visitor. To which she quickly replied, “No. Never.” The pastor waited, then Kerry flicked a smile and qualified her denial. “Sometimes I wish upwards.” The pastor concludes this remembrance with the observation, “It was, I thought, a remarkably telling difference” (Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer, 1989).
Prayer is more than wishing upwards; it’s a profoundly human engagement of speech with God. In contrast to Eastern religions that “connect with the divine” through mindless mantras and in contradistinction to pagan rituals of incantations, the Psalms teach us to pray directly, humbly, fully. God accepts any prayer or whisper without evaluating its language or rhetorical flourish, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t better tools for prayer. I’m thankful for any help my kids offer when shoveling snow, whether it’s just a gloved hand or a plastic play shovel. But overtime, I teach the the use of better tools. The Psalms are God’s best tools for prayer. “If we dismiss the Psalms, preferring a more up-to-date and less demanding school of prayer, we will not be without grace, but we will miss the center where Christ worked in his praying” (Answering God).
It’s for these reasons and for others, that we have dedicated our recent Sunday morning services to the study of God’s marvelous Prayer Book.
Speaking of Sunday morning services…
Our online Facebook Live Service will start at 9:25AM this Sunday, May 3 (tune 5 minutes early to say hello in our virtual foyer)! The elders have also begun to put together a plan for regathering this summer. We’re mailing out a newsletter with details that you should get this weekend or early next week (if you’re not sure we have your physical address, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org) . We’ll also email out all the particulars next week and post them on our website and Facebook.
1) An all-church online prayer gathering will happen Tuesday May 5 and 19 @6:30PM using GoToMeeting: Click HERE for login info.
2) Pastor Matt’s most recent Encouragement Video was posted today @https://cornerstone-marion.org/2020/04/30/pastor-matt-video-encouragement-4-30-2020/ (sorry for the poor video quality this week)
3) Kids!! If you missed Randy Pospisil’s video teaching last night, you can still watch it (and all previous videos) at this link: https://www.facebook.com/pg/cornerstoneefca/videos/
God is with His people. In the depths, in the darkness, God is there. When dawn breaks, we will see His countenance, the same face that was near us, He who had crouched down near us in the dark whispering hope.
Take heart, Christ has overcome the world.