Prayer


Well, this morning went pretty well. Princess did the announcements for me, so I wasn’t completely a one-woman show. I need more practice running the service. Maybe I should tell Hubby that. Oh, wait, I think I just did! The worst part was worship. I just don’t know what to do up there. I feel awkward. I know it would make most sense to just worship, but then I get some words wrong and get embarrassed. I need to work on that, too, I guess. Someone told me I have a beautiful voice. Many people have said that, actually, but I never believe them. I suppose that they can tell better than I can, but my voice isn’t consistent. I could use some voice lessons, then I would probably feel comfortable singing. I always tell people I don’t sing, but it’s just because of all that. Overall, a very good service. And I was pleased with the sermon. I anointed two people with oil. It may seem strange, but that may have been my first time. I even felt comfortable praying in front of everyone today. God definitely gave me extra courage and strength today. I think it may have helped to know that Chris wasn’t there to help, so I had no choice but to do it. And if I was going to do it, I was going to do it my very best. God was definitely using me, I couldn’t have done it without Him. Thanks, God! And thanks to all who wrote encouraging words and sent a hilarious song to me last night. You all cheered my lonesome heart, greatly.

Well, tonight I still have a Bible study to do, but then the rest of the week will be just doing my best to keep a happy household while Hubby is gone. We’ve been playing Scrabulous on Facebook more often since he’s been gone. It’s been fun. I look forward to the rest of the week. Now, I’m off to feed some friends’ cats. They are visiting family and we (me and the kids) have charge of their cats.

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I feel empty right now. I think I am just overwhelmed at tasks that need doing this week. I have a wedding to plan, a funeral to attend (which will take all of one day with travel), a house that is a disaster right and needs some serious attention, a husband that needs to plan ahead for his homework and apparently needs my prodding to do so… I’m just stressed out! I thought the funeral was Tuesday and I just found out that it is Thursday. That is a good thing, but for some reason it set me crying while on the phone with my mom. But, right now, I just give everything to God.

God, I need your help! I can’t do all this on my own. I’m a mess! I give you all of my worries and sadness. I give you my feelings of inadequacy and failure. Please take my life and work it out how it should be worked out. Thank you for loving me and caring about me always. I love you. Amen.

Conte Del GraalFor the past few months, I’ve known that I would be leading the congregation in communion the next time I didn’t preach on the Sunday we have it each month. But, both the hubby and I kept forgetting that I was supposed to do it. I asked to wait because I wanted to be extra prepared the first time I did it. I’ve taken communion and heard it done for years, but it’s always different when you have to do it yourself.

I think it was last night as we were falling asleep that I remember and chided him for not reminding me. Of course, it was my fault, too. This morning as we were driving to church, he asked me if I would do it. I said, “no!” I wasn’t ready. He said, “Well, I have it all ready. You could read it before service.” I just glared at him. That was all I figured I needed to say. It was pretty clearly a glare. At least I thought it was. We got to the church and the basement, where hubby does a coffee shop for school kids, was a mess from the concert on Friday night. The people in the church would have been upset if they had seen it, so I went to work. People were already upstairs when I stopped at not perfect, but good enough.

Well, service started and everything went normal until the end. When hubby asks from the pulpit, “Elaine, will you please come and do communion?” I was not happy! What could I say though? Especially in front of everybody. His excuse was my lack of response in the car. Apparently my glare was not mean enough! And he said he couldn’t read my face when he was about to ask at the end of the service. My look at that point was, “He’s gonna ask me. No, he wouldn’t dare.” Boy was I wrong!

Well, he says I did fine. I beg to differ. He did have it all typed out, but I still wasn’t mentally or spiritually prepared. I know I should be spiritually prepared for anything, anytime, but I wasn’t today. That makes me sad, really. I was so nervous and uncomfortable, I tell you! I wasn’t really dressed for it either. I would have preferred to have been wearing a dress instead of just slacks.

Picture credit: drp on Flickr

The Prayer of JabezI started reading The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkerson the other day. I have to admit that I tend to shy away from reading or doing things that have gone through a “fad phase”. Sometimes it seems like things get too popular and everyone does something simply because they want to be part of the fad. However, it has been some time since the prayer of Jabez fad and my mom gave me the book and recently suggested again that I read it, so I am.

I am nearly done with it already because it isn’t long. I think I only have one chapter left. My opinion on the book is this: it’s a great prayer and a good practice to pray it. I am enjoying reading the book and praying the prayer. However, I recently preached on the Lord’s Prayer and have been praying that since then. The prayer of Jabez is essentially the same except that it is shorter than the Lord’s Prayer. I think I prefer the Lord’s Prayer actually. It is more focused on God working through you than on God blessing you. God blessing you is a fine thing to pray as illustrated by Bruce Wilkinson’s book, but I think that we all need to focus more on God and stop focusing on ourselves. I think the Lord’s Prayer does a better job of helping me do that. You be the judge for yourself. Try out both. The essential thing for all of us is to seek God and His help and guidance in our lives. We need to be His workforce on Earth.

The Prayer of Jabez: 1 Chronicles 4:10

Oh, that you would bless me
and enlarge my territory!
Let your hand be with me,
and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.

The Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:9b-13

Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

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