As Christians gather in worship and fellowship, we are reminded of the tremendous power of prayer and the significant role it plays in the life of a Christian and the world around us. In 1 Timothy 2:1, the apostle Paul instructs Christians to prioritize petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving for all people. He urges us to pray for kings and all those in authority so that we can live peaceful and godly lives. This call to prayer extends beyond ourselves and encompasses the well-being of society as a whole.
Throughout history, we find examples of individuals and communities who the Spirit guided to the transformative power of prayer. The medieval monasteries served as prayer and service outposts within their surrounding cities. These communities recognized the intrinsic link between scripture, prayer, and societal welfare, endeavoring to bring about Shalom in their midst as the members dedicated themselves to a vocation of prayer and worship. Through their unwavering commitment, they became local beacons of God’s love and agents of peace. The fervent prayers offered within their walls had a tangible impact on their cities, influencing the spiritual, social, and even political landscape of the time.
As followers of Christ, we are both insiders and outsiders. Our intimate connection with God through faith in Jesus Christ grants us insider access to the Creator of the universe. Yet, we are also called to be outsider agents of transformation in the world, bringing the love and peace of Christ into every aspect of society. Our prayers, therefore, hold great significance.
Their prayers were not detached from action; rather, they were deeply intertwined with service and compassionate outreach. The monastic communities understood that their role extended beyond the cloistered walls; they were called to actively participate in God’s redemptive work in the world. By embodying the love of Christ through acts of mercy and selfless service, they manifested the power of prayer in practical ways.
As Paul writes, prayer is not just about ourselves; it extends to the well-being of society as part of God’s redemptive plan. Through scripture and prayer, we align ourselves with God’s purposes, bringing healing and justice to a broken world. So, let us embrace the role of prayer in our lives. Pray for all people, including those in authority (even the ones you don’t like). Let gratitude fill our prayers, acknowledging God’s goodness. But let our prayers not be limited to words alone; let them inspire us to love and serve others. Together, let us be a praying congregation, passionately interceding for the world and bringing peace and redemption to every corner of society.
In the days ahead, I encourage you to dedicate time for personal and corporate prayer, seeking God’s guidance and empowerment. Using a passage of Scripture, follow the medieval pattern of lectio divina (holy reading):
- Lectio: Read
- Meditatio: Reflect
- Oratio: Respond
- Contemplatio: Rest
May our hearts be filled with compassion, our minds renewed by the Word of God, and our actions guided by the love of Christ.
Coffee Club is Back!
Coffee Club is a way that Redeemer West Siders may connect informally during the week, on Fridays from 7:45 to 8:45 am, thereby forging deeper connections throughout our church over time. Each week will be hosted by a RWS member and one other congregant.
- Jul 18 | Join Tuesday Morning Men
- Jul 20 | Considering Jesus
- Jul 22 | Run with W83 Dashers
- Jul 23 | Join the Mandarin-Speaking Group
- Jul 25 | Grief & Loss Support Group
- Jul 25 | Join the Evening West Side Women