Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.
Yesterday we remembered the life of a dear aunt along with her blessed family. Among the things which stood out other than the love which was central to her life lived out in Christ, was her practice of prayer. Her husband, and a dear uncle who preceded her in death some months back used to join her at least one set time to pray most everyday. And as I heard it, she spent significant time praying morning and evenings. This was such an encouragement to hear, and a great blessing to her family, and from what was said, to a good number of other people, as well. Prayers from her and my uncle answered by God is wonderfully evident in the testimony and love of the family gathered yesterday.
I have been much helped through following the morning and evening office in the back of the new Mennonite hymnal, Voices Together (985, 987). I don’t ordinarily necessarily feel like doing it, although I know it is an oasis of being in Scripture and in a couple of hymns/songs in the book, as well as directed prayer. I find in doing so, God’s help, since I certainly can’t pray well without that, really can’t pray at all one could say in a true sense. I pray first for myself and those dear to me (family, friends), next for our community and neighbors, then for the church, for the world, and for other concerns carried in my heart. I am finding this resource so helpful for me. Hopefully, and I’m confident that by God’s grace this is the case, the prayers are a means of God blessing others. But I am much blessed myself in so praying.
It was a good reminder yesterday to us, the importance of prayer. What God can do, which none of us can do by ourselves or together, indeed, what God wants to do, even using us many times in that special work. Wonderful that we can bring ourselves, our loved one, and all of our concerns, as well as the concerns of others before God in prayer. In and through Jesus.