The One Place We’re All Beginners by Guest Blogger Connie Milchling

Today, we welcome Connie Milchling as our guest blogger sharing her thoughts on prayer.

Respected author and theologian Philip Yancey says, “When it comes to prayer, we’re all beginners.”  I find that both comforting and encouraging. His book on Prayer is an inspiring read.

I have to admit, I love to read books on prayer.  I have an entire shelf dedicated to the topic yet with all this surrounding me, most often I sense the Lord whispering, “Connie, put the book down, just sit here and talk with me for a little while.”  That’s where our relationship grows the most as I pour out my heart to God.

When we grasp prayer as a conversation with God, and recognize Jesus makes that exchange possible through the cross, we realize our burdens are only ever meant to be carried as far as the foot of the cross, where we lay them down and the Trinity lifts them for us.

As the Prayer Ministry at Living Word grows, we have a deep desire to help people embrace the beauty of this intimate relationship (watch Pastor Aaron’s message on prayer from July 2.) We have prayer cards in the morning program, an online prayer request form to easily share requests. We have many ways to join in praying for others listed at LWCCyork.com/prayer. You can join our  core class called Prayer: Opening our Hearts to God  (coming again this fall), or participate in our first ever summer Prayer Community that kicks off this Wednesday with the movie War Room, continues for 5 weeks, and wraps up on August 2 with a Concert of Prayer. Learn more about this new Prayer Community.

About now you may be thinking, “Is she going to mention anything about the fourth of July?” Absolutely! But as we celebrate America’s birthday, allow me to lovingly recommend a distinct tweak in how you pray. Rather than praying we become a Christian Nation, let’s focus on praying that we all become genuine Christ followers within our nation and beyond (since we know we are a small portion of God’s Kingdom which encompasses the entire world God loves so much. John 3:16)

Here’s another idea. What if, whenever and wherever someone asks us to pray, we exchange the phrase, “I’ll be praying for you” with “Let’s pray.” Can you envision our church filled with people gently placing a hand on a shoulder and immediately praying? Imagine being in a grocery store as a few people quietly huddle, or pausing walking down the sidewalk, or stopping on the front lawn of a home (maybe you and your neighbor)? WOW! That would be exciting.

Now, I’d like you to picture one more thing with me. Listen closely. Hear Jesus’ tender invitation to “sit here and talk with me for a while.”  Take him up on the offer.

And remember, he is no longer hanging on the cross. He defeated death, has resurrection power, and wants to bring that power into your story.