Sermon: Praying from the Belly

Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, our rock and our redeemer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  What happens when you have to stop running? What does it look like to pray when you have no other choice, there is nothing else to…

Sermon: Praying for Mission

Father, may your Word be our rule, your holy Spirit our teacher, and the glory of Jesus Christ our single concern. Amen. This winter, we are fixing our focus on the call of God upon the congregation here at Bethel. We are called to “Share Christ in Community.” What does that look like? How are…

Sermon: Learning to Pray

I invite you to open your Bibles with me to the Gospel according to Matthew. Matthew, chapter 6, beginning in verse 5. Matthew is in the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. If you are in Zechariah or Malachi, you haven’t gone quite far enough. If you are in any of the other…

Sermon: God’s Will, My Way

As we have journeyed through the story of Abram, we have seen some amazing promises from God. But the story of Abram and Sarai is largely the story of the long wait for these promises to be fulfilled. In this way it foreshadows the long wait of Israel for the messiah and the long wait…

Prayer: Too Big, Too Small

A prayer on reading Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, o mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Exalted God, you ask too little and too much of us. You show us justice and mercy and…

Prayer: We are not ready

A prayer on reading Micah 1 Sovereign Lord, we long for your coming, but we are not ready. You come in your mountain melting, valley splitting, holy presence, but we are unprepared. We, who gather weekly – daily – to praise your name find ourselves trembling before your majesty. We want you tame and docile, We…

Prayer: Seeing Salvation

A prayer on reading Luke 2:21-38 Fairest Lord Jesus, eternal Son of the Father, you came down from heaven and became incarnate in the womb of Mary. You took on meekness, took on lowliness, took on humility. You subjected yourself wholly to the law – consecrated to the Lord – obedient in life – loving…

First Glance: Matthew 6:9-10

“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9a) For many Christians, the Lord’s Prayer is the first prayer we learned by heart. We may pray it every week in worship or every day at meals. This prayer has worn deep paths in our souls. However, our familiarity with the prayer Jesus taught…

First Glance: Luke 23:34

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:34) Jesus does not ask that his enemies get what they deserve (“Father, smite them, for they knew exactly what they were doing!”). Instead, he prays for their forgiveness. He prays…

First Glance: Luke 1:1-25, 57-80

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” (Luke 1:13-15a) I…