|Greetings in Christ’s name! |
Sunday morning I mentioned that Eugene Peterson characterized prayer as “Answering God” (the title of one of his books). He claims that prayer is not first of all our words to God, but rather it is first recognizing and hearing God’s word to us. Therefore, Peterson asserts that our prayers are primarily answering the God who has first spoken to us. The first part of prayer, then, is to pay attention to how God is speaking to us and what God is saying. That, of course, is a tricky thing to talk about because very few people ever hear audible words from God. Peterson urges Christians to notice the way the Psalms speak about God’s voice. Psalm 19 is an example. It proclaims,
God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening. Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere. (Psalm 19.1-4, The Message)
If you read (or pray) further, the Psalmist says, “That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies…” In other words, the Psalm claims that God is speaking to us through creation. I wonder how we might answer such words? There are, of course, other ways that God speaks to us. I, for one, most often hear God’s voice through other people. What would happen if we started paying attention to how God is speaking to us through creation or through trusted friends or mentors? It may stimulate our prayers and give us ideas for ways to respond in prayer to the God who has first spoken to us.
This Week: High school students are traveling home today from Camp Quaker Haven. Remember to pray for them and for the junior high students who are at camp this week.
The team that provides showers for homeless people on Tuesdays is in need of men’s clothing. They especially need belts, shoes and shorts or pants. You can drop donations at the church—they get sorted and packed on Monday afternoons. Contact Janet Black for more information or to help with the sorting of donations.
Congratulations to Matt and Katelyn Newton, whose son, Peter Anthony was born on June 8th (6 lbs 14 oz, and 19.5 inches)! If you’d like to help provide meals for the Newton family, you can sign up here: http://mealtrain.com/n1582o
May you hear God’s voice this week in ways that lead you to answering God in prayer.