By Jessica Brodie
Prayer works. I know this in my core, to the very edges of my infinite soul. It’s my dialogue with God, my ultimate connection and surrender to Him and His will in the world and in my life.
God always listens to my prayer. I know this because I feel it, but also because Scripture tells me so, and I believe in the holy power and authority of the Word of God that is the Bible.
Scripture also tells us that when we gather together in God’s name, He is with us.
“I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you,” Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 18:20 (CEB). “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.”
John the Apostle reiterated that in 1 John 5:14 with these words of comfort: “This is the confidence that we have in our relationship with God: If we ask for anything in agreement with his will, he listens to us.”
Even when I don’t get the answer I desire, I know God has heard me. Even when I don’t get an answer at all, or at least one I can hear in my flawed, distracted human perspective, God has heard me. Sometimes no answer is God’s answer. God knows what’s best for me—and God knows what’s best for the world, for His eternal Kingdom, and for all of us.
May His will be done.
That is why I am committing myself to what our resident bishop, Jonathan Holston, is calling on every South Carolina United Methodist to do in these final weeks leading up to the special called session of General Conference 2019.
As he writes in his column (read Bishop Holston's column here), prayer is powerful, and focused prayer is particularly powerful. Our bishop offers daily prayers, one for each day of the week, that he urges us to pray.
That is exactly what I’ll be doing, and I call on you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to join me. I want to be God’s disciple, His hands and feet in the world, His instrument.
I don’t know what God’s will is. I am not God. But with all my heart, mind and soul, I desire that God’s will be done on earth as in heaven—whatever that looks like, whatever that causes, whatever that entails. He knows best. I’m putting my own ego aside to join in this collective cry to heaven that God use me to do His will.
Together our collective voices will be heard.
For me, I’m printing out a copy of these daily prayers (see below) and taping up copies in my car, in my home and at my desk here at the Advocate. I’m also saving a copy in my smartphone.
I encourage you to do the same. Join me.
And let God’s will prevail.
Bishop Holston's call for a season of focused prayer between now and General Conference 2019 (Feb. 23-26):
- Monday: Merciful God, help us to see the many opportunities before us to serve you by serving our neighbors. Open our hearts and our hands to both receive your grace and to offer it to everyone we meet. Amen.
- Tuesday: Almighty God, we confess to you that we have not loved you with our whole hearts. We have often failed to be an obedient church when we have not heard the cry of the needy. Free us for joyful obedience that where there are corridors of shame, despair and want, we might create corridors of faith, hope and love that glorify you. Amen.
- Wednesday: Gracious God, I know that you are the potter and I am the clay. Mold me and make me into a disciple of Jesus Christ. Show me how to offer your grace and mercy in ways that transform the world. Amen.
- Thursday: Lord, we know that when we make space in our hearts for you, Jesus redeems the broken pieces of our lives. We ask, O God, that you will be at work in us and through us to make a difference in the lives of the hurting and the hungry in our midst. Amen.
- Friday: God, we thank you for the gift of faith that carries us through those times where we cannot yet see what you are doing in our midst. Help us to walk in your light and to be a light for others. Amen.
- Saturday: God of Heaven and Earth, As your humble servants, we know that the needs around the world and around the corner are great. Open our eyes so that we can see how to use the gifts you have given us to serve our neighbors and be in mission in the community and beyond. And give us the strength and perseverance to get started in this holy work. Amen.
- Sunday: Gracious and loving God, we give thanks for your presence in our lives and the promise that you have plans for us to prosper and not be harmed. Continue your good work in our families and our lives. Help us to understand how we can make a difference in our church, in our community, and in our world as your instrument of hope. Amen.
(Read his full column here.)