This week I give thanks to God for the gift of prayer; a gift that allows us to be honest and forthright with God in sharing our feelings, emotions and concerns. One of the worst things we can do with painful feelings is bottle them up. Kept inside, hidden and unaddressed, pent up feelings can take a toll on our emotional well-being. They can, slowly but surely, rob us of joy, gratitude and peace. When we go ahead and share what we’re feeling with God, however, the healing process begins. To speak our struggles to God in prayer is to acknowledge them and to begin the process of getting past them (with God’s help, of course).
As a kid I held a lot of emotions inside and didn’t dare speak them. This method of “dealing” with my emotions led inevitably to those emotions overwhelming me until I finally would burst in a fit of rage and frustration. As I got older, it became clear that speaking those feelings, instead of bottling them up, helped me manage them in a more healthy way. Instead of my emotions being in control of me, prayer helped me (with God’s obvious help) be in better control of them. Prayer became my pressure release valve, letting off steam a little at a time rather than letting that steam build until explosion.
Prayer is simply the best way I know to manage life and as we approach Thanksgiving it is a practice of our faith I am very thankful for.
I hope you all have a blessed week,
Meet the Fourth Family
Meet Pat Gould
The quote below really struck me when I read it this past week in preparation for preaching. In fact, it hit me so hard I obviously based my sermon on it. Jessica Tate had these words to say in her commentary on Psalm 70 and I think they speak great truth and offer great wisdom.
Ultimately refreshing is the psalmist’s example that our prayer need not be logical, beautiful, and presentable, but simply the honest, messy, even ugly cries of our deepest selves. How comforting that God chooses to hear them.
When I read those words, I was struck by, and grateful for, Jesus’s humanity and divinity. In Jesus’s humanity we know he knows what we are feeling and experiencing. In his divinity, we know he can help us through any and all of the messiness of our humanity. What a gift to have a savior who is one of us but also so much greater than us.
Please remember the good folks of Fourth in your prayers. Here's a list of those we've been remembering:
Dennis and Joan Little - family situations and concerns
Bill & Ruthie Brent ask for prayers for Debbie, Jeff and Loretta
Jan Merrick asks for prayers for friends Karen and Jim. Jim is battling health issues
Michaelle and Larry Steier's son John - eye surgery
Margaret Lewis - Health issues. Prayers, too, for Alex.
Tom & Robin Woodruff - both recovering from surgery.
Leonard Yates who has been diagnosed with bone cancer and is receiving treatments.
Esther Sparks post-surgery. Please keep praying for her recovery.
The Family and Friends of Carl Bolton upon his death.