Morning prayer

January 13, 2022

From Pastor Joey

Morning Prayer

Beginning Thursday, January 27th, I will lead morning prayer beginning at 9:15 a.m. It will be for anyone who wishes to come, last 45 minutes, and have a simple structure. There will be time for silent prayer, joys and concerns, prayers for each other, the church, and the world. My urgency for this time began during Advent while I was preaching about Mary. I do not think her faithful response to God would be possible without a prayer life that was fed by scripture.

When I was pastor in Port Angeles, the congregation used the theologian Henri Nouwen’s Reaching Out for one of our small group studies. I was “caught” by the following passage:

Prayer is the language of Christian community. In prayer the nature of the community becomes visible because in prayer we direct ourselves to the one who forms community… Praying is not one of the many things the community does. Rather, it is its very being. (p. 112)

My translation of the last sentence is “praying is not what we do, it is who we are!”

At that time in Port Angeles, I began a prayer breakfast which has met every Tuesday since then. Since I do not live in Sequim we will forgo the breakfast, but folks are welcome to bring whatever beverage and food they wish.

Here are a few other quotes from Nouwen’s book:

The paradox of prayer is that we have to learn how to pray while we can only receive it as a gift. (p. 87)

There is probably no image that expresses so well the intimacy with God in prayer as the image of God’s breath. We are like asthmatic people who are cured of their anxiety. The Spirit has taken away our narrowness….and made everything new for us. We receive a new breath, a new freedom, a new life. (p. 89)

When God has become our shepherd, our refuge, our fortress, then we can reach out to him in the midst of a broken world and feel at home. (p. 106)

Prayer as a hopeful and joyful waiting for God is a really unhuman or superhuman task unless we realize that we do not have to wait alone. In the community of faith we can find the climate and the support to sustain and deepen our prayer and we are enabled to look beyond our immediate and often narrowing private needs. (p. 109)

Nouwen, Henri J. M., Reaching Out. Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1975.

I plan to continue morning prayer every Thursday (unless I am away) through June. I do hope that a few faithful ones will join me as we continue to be and become the Body of Christ for the world. Those interested, please email me at pastorjoeyoffice@sequimtumc.org.

Prayer Concerns that we have:

  • For those who haven’t been vaccinated yet; for all those who are ill from the Covid-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; and for essential workers.
  • For peace in our country.
  • For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.

The power of prayer

July 1, 2021

Dear Saints of Trinity,

Prayer; it’s one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and each other. It engages a power unlike any other. It moves and surrounds those for whom we pray. It allows love, particularly God’s powerful love, to fill, surround, embrace, comfort, and support those who may be in need. At times our prayers are short, what we used to call “arrow prayers,” prayers that we kind of shoot up into the air hoping they will land wherever the need may arise. Other times the prayers become that much more focused. We spend intentional time on the work we need to do in our own souls, and the needs we know are needed in the lives of others. If ever there was a time for prayer at Trinity, this is it.

Carl Christensen has bladder cancer. Barbara Hughes is struggling with some major health issues. Gary Nichols just lost Lelia. Cathy McCaffery just lost Joe. Helen Rice recently lost her daughter Lori. Jerry Wright is struggling with some physical challenges. David Barber is struggling with lung cancer. Bill and Lynnette Baughman are worried about young Sophie, Linda Gordon is facing knee surgery as are others in the congregation, Ely Springer is being challenged with health issues, and there are others in need of our prayers. Each one of these beloved folks has others around them who, because of the struggles and challenges of those they love, are struggling as well. There are others I haven’t mentioned, who also need our love, our support, and our prayers.

Even as a church we’re trying to figure out how to reopen in ways that keep people safe. We’re beginning to examine what may be next for us as a church. I am aware that emotions can run high when dealing with stresses like COVID, politics, community matters, and a church trying to figure things out. So please pray for our staff and leaders here at church. Each one listed above could use personal prayers. Each spouse, partner, friend, loved one can use the power that is a prayer away. Each person in leadership at Trinity can use the kind of love and support that prayer brings, particularly as we make hard decisions about our future.

I believe in the power of prayer. When I went through my heart attack, and particularly as I sought to recover, your prayers were tangibly present. I felt them. Dorothy felt them. My family felt them. If we are open to it, all of us can feel them when we are being prayed for. My prayer shawl and prayer quilt still contain those prayers. I find deep comfort in those, as do others who have received them. Truth be told, I believe prayer to be the primary role of the church. Certainly worship and fellowship and service play significant roles, but as a Body of Christ, it is prayer that can and will truly unite us and guide us.

So friends, take the list above, and please take the time to pray for each one I’ve listed; by name, by circumstance, by need. If you know of others in need, pray for them in the same, focused, loving way. Prayer works, friends, so let’s pray for one another. I’m certainly praying for all of you.

Pastor Brad

Some Concerns that we have:

  • Please keep the family and friends of Rev. Jack Anderson, former pastor of Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church, in your prayers at his death. Memorial service on Saturday, July 10th, 2 pm at DVLC.
  • For those who continue to go through physical struggles, those who are dealing with cancer, or other health situations. For those who are emotionally feeling lost and alone.
  • For all those who are ill from the Covid-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; for essential workers; and for those who haven’t been vaccinated yet.
  • For peace in our country.
  • For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.