Tag Archives: hopes

Hopes and Prayers at a Baptism

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, December 10, 2016


Hopes and Prayers at a Baptism

Tomorrow, my church is hosting a baptism. It is always so wonderful to celebrate a baptism! Seeing the new life, the hopeful, eager attitude of the family, the godparents, the others who have joined to celebrate with the family. An exciting time, to be sure. It is a time of expectation and hope, too.

Since I am a pastor at a Congregational church, I do have several personal, theological views on baptism. I am glad my viewpoints rub along well with the baptismal views of the official group with whom we are recognized.

Pastor Gordon is bringing this couple and their child to St. Luke’s Church to be baptized, and I am so pleased to be able to host the family of the child, as well.

I wonder—how often should I encourage others to celebrate the sacraments? As often as I get the opportunity, that’s what I think. Such a chance to welcome these new people, these new members in God’s forever family.

Gracious God, thank You for the gift of baptism. Thank You for the mark we impress upon the forehead of those who are baptized in love and obedience to You. We pray that this family will raise their child in the knowledge and understanding of You, Your will and Your ways. We ask Your blessing to rest on not only this child and the family, but also on all those who will celebrate with Pastor Gordon and me, tomorrow. Dear God, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.



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Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Internal Life? Or External Walk?

matterofprayer blog post for Monday, December 30, 2013

winter road

For the past few years, I’ve been concerning myself with—myself. I have been striving to maintain some kind of spiritual balance, working on my internal, spiritual component. I pray regularly (or at least, try to). I visit my therapist and spiritual director regularly, work out on a weekly basis at the local YMCA gym, and I even practiced relaxation and meditation in an intensive way for several months. In all of this, I have been working on the inner “me.”

I have also been intentional with my prayer life. Not only have I been praying on an increasingly regular basis, but I’ve also started a prayer chain and prayer blog, so we all can be encouraged in our personal prayer lives. This helps my inner relationship with God prosper, too.

But, what about my relationship with others? How about my family? Friends? What about those at church, or at the gym? What about my co-workers, or strangers I meet on the street? Have I been as studious and diligent at developing my relationship with them?

Yes, I am called by God to be in relationship with God—the vertical relationship.  But I am also called to be in community, as well—the horizontal relationship, one with another. One of my spiritual gifts is helping people. And by nature, I am kind and compassionate in my relations with others. It’s my relationship with others and with my local community (as well as their relationship with me) that I want to work on in 2014.

That’s why 2014 is my year to be kind. To help. To be of service. Intentionally.

(I will explore my thoughts and experiences of my year of service throughout 2014. I’ll do this at a new blog— www.ayearofbeingkind.net, starting on January 1, 2014. I’m excited! Visit me there, too.)

Let’s pray. Dear God, as the old year ends and the new year begins, I see new hopes ahead. New opportunities. New experiences. God, be with me as I begin a year of intentional service. I pray that this service be God-honoring. I ask You to lead me into places and experiences that You intend. Even challenging and difficult things. Protect me, guard me, guide me. I know You will be there, holding my hand. Thank You for my friends and prayer partners, who will be right by my side (in prayer!). God, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.