Centerport United Methodist Church

Is any among you suffering?  They should pray.

James 5:13 (NRSV)

PRAYER

The Lord said, “…the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the

Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things

and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the

world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be

troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14: 26-27


Why do so many of us find it so difficult to pray? I have found myself among this group. It’s not as though we prayer-slackers think that the Lord requires linguistically perfect prayers. I think we know that He just wants to hear from us, whatever we have to say, as often as we want to say it. And, it can’t be that we don’t have enough things about which to pray.

We’re breathing; we’re sheltered, fed, clothed, have clean water; we live in a beautiful community. Here we have a multitude of educational, cultural, and social opportunities. And, that’s just some of the good stuff. But maybe we can’t see all this good stuff for the relentless trials in our lives or the lives of the people we care about. And yet, we still don’t make prayer a priority. We are not finding communication with our

Lord, the great Healer, as easy, comforting and rewarding as it should be. What is wrong here?


What can we do if we are struggling with establishing, or with making any headway in improving, or with just plain getting started with our relationship with Jesus, through prayer? I believe that for most of us, our problems with developing a fruitful prayer life have to do with our God-given free will. Left to my own devices, I can find a hundred things to do each day other than pray. And, some of the things I’m doing are the Lord’s work sort of things, but that, of course, is not praying. So, realizing that discipline, or the lack thereof, was at the core of the problem, I set out to develop a plan for prayer that would work for me even in a busy day. What happened became so enjoyable that I really look forward to this daily time

with God, and this prayer time is producing blessings in my personal life that have truly been transformative. No matter how your days usually begin – on the run from start to finish, or somewhere in between, prayer can actually become a joy-filled

ritual.


In some previous prayer articles, I have mentioned how helpful I have found the book, Moving Mountains, Praying with Passion, Confidence and Authority by John Eldredge. With my morning cup of coffee, I pray several of the prayers in the “Daily Prayer” chapter, with my own adaptations, and end with the Lord’s

Prayer. I pray out loud, and I am most successful when I do this every morning. This ritual keeps me deeply focused on the Lord, proclaiming His greatness, confessing my sins, thanking Him for His mercy and goodness, and asking Him for His help with my needs. My mind doesn’t wander, and I find it easier to incorporate the names and needs of those for whom I have been asked to pray.


I start with my version of the prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, quoted by Eldredge: “Lord God, Almighty and Everlasting Father, You have brought us in safety to this new day. Father, preserve us with Your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity. In all that we think, and say and do, may it be of You, and direct us to the fulfilling of Your purpose for us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” I go on to the next prayer in the chapter with a few

changes, and/or one of the several on the following pages, ending with the Lord’s Prayer. I will provide my version of these prayers in a future article. However we devote time to prayer, let’s just plan to persevere, giving Him our whole selves, with honesty, and with awe at His greatness! Praise God!



 


By Meredith Fichtel

 

Do you have a prayer request? 

You can e-mail it to
Prayer Request Cards can also be found in the pew card holders.
Prayer requests will be prayed for daily by our Prayer Team.
All prayer requests are held in confidence unless you specify otherwise.

Please join us at our James 5:13 Prayer Gathering every Thursday night at 7 PM in the CUMC chapel. This is open to all and you do not need to be a church member to be lifted up in prayer.

 

Free Bibles


Available from the stands at both ends of the main hallway. Take one home if you need one!

PRAYER PARTNERS


 If you have not signed up to participate in Prayer Partners, and would like to, please contact Meredith Fichtel for more information.


BECOME A PRAYER PARTNER 

“Prayer is the center of Christian life.  It is the only necessary thing. (Luke 10:42)  It is living with God here and now.”                                                             ~ Henri Nouwen, Prayer and Peacemaking

 

Jesus said, “And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven.  For where two or three come together in My name, I am there with them.”   

 Matthew 18: 19 – 20


 WHAT IS PRAYER PARTNERS?

Prayer Partners is a team that was formed in our church several years ago to provide encouragement, support, accountability, and faith-building within two-person groups.  With the guidance of Pastor Roy and lay prayer leaders, participants will be paired with a prayer partner of the same gender.


 WHAT WILL PRAYER PARTNERS DO?

Partners get together regularly to pray for one another, for others, and for whatever is weighing on their hearts.  They share their joys, their trials, their faith journeys, their struggles in a covenant relationship of Christ-like love, compassion, honesty and trust.  Prayer partners are secure in the confidentiality of their relationship.  They often make gratitude to God a focus of their time together.  Learning how to listen to one another and how to become attuned to the voice of God speaking to their hearts are important skills that prayer-partnering helps to develop.  Also, there is real power in praying together!

 

WHY DO I NEED A PRAYER PARTNER?

You might think, “I have close family and several friends I can talk to, why do I need someone else to pray with?”  Your prayer partner will, hopefully, be someone who knows you less well than a family member or good friend, and can be more objective, non-judgmental, and can share in your mutual growth in faith.  Praying gets God involved in our lives in a very personal way.  Scripture affirms that when two or more are gathered in His name, God is there with them.  God wants to share our joys, bear our burdens, and be in communion with us through prayer.  With a mutually-sustaining and caring prayer partner, you will find that you are growing closer to God, and gaining greater insight into the person God made you to be, through the regular, intentional practice of prayer.


Centerport United Methodist Church is a welcoming, family-friendly worshipping community.  In addition to worship services, we offer spiritual formation and christian education for children, youth and adults.  We have an active and growing Sunday School and youth group.  There are multiple and varied opportunities to live out your faith in the local community and the world.  Our members currently come from Centerport, Greenlawn, Huntington, Northport, East Northport, Cold Spring Harbor, Smithtown, Syosset, Fort Salonga and Kings Park.

Centerport United Methodist Church 97 Little Neck Road Centerport, NY  11721 631.261.5222