Prayer for the Week | Pentecost

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Even Greater Works

Acts 2:1-21 • Psalm 104:24-34, 35b • Romans 8:14-17 • John 14:8-17, (25-27)

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

John 14:8-17, 25-27 New Living Translation (NLT)


Again we have a passage that comes from John. It seems like I have been here quite a bit lately. On Maundy Thursday, we looked at John’s Gospel from chapter 13 all the way through 17. During this Easter season, we have looked a select passages. This week, we look at Jesus’ words.

To set up this week’s words, at the end of chapter 13, we find out Judas will betray Jesus and Peter will deny Jesus – immediately after Peter and Jesus’ conversation, Jesus speaks, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me…” Jesus is speaking words of comfort to his disciples. They don’t know what’s going to happen over the next few hours and Jesus reminds them that there is a Kingdom beyond this world…but that they will have to remain here. Philip speaks up and asks Jesus to show the disciples the Father. Jesus replies, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”

At this point, Jesus reminds us that He and the Father are one. It is now that Jesus tells us that those who believe in him will do the same works and even greater works, because Jesus is going to the Father AND sending the Holy Spirit. Jesus reminds the disciples that if we ask for things in Jesus’ name, He will do it. We often think that means just speaking the name of Jesus. But I believe it is much more. It is knowing that what we ask is what Jesus wants – that it is something that Jesus himself would do. If we do that, we have his power, because the Holy Spirit is coming – which we celebrate on Pentecost – which is tomorrow. The Holy Spirit will lead to all truth and he will be our counselor and guide – if only we follow His leading. The Holy Spirit comes so that we are not as orphans, but we are children of God. As we close out this passage, we are reminded that the Holy Spirit is promised and just as the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, he comes to us today – and we can do the same works – and even greater works than Jesus – if we follow him, love Him and obey His commands.

The Long Run

When I started running, our pastor at the time would give me his old copies of Runner’s World. It was often stated the importance of the long run. Since the beginning of the year, I have done running, but not much long running. Today I ran my longest run of the year – 8 miles. It took me an hour and a half. Wow, that’s a long way from when I could run 8 miles in about 66 minutes – but a long run is a long run and it doesn’t have to be fast and one of the things about a long run is that it helps your short distance runs. I’m hoping to get up into the 11 to 12 mile run game and do that on a regular basis. Interestingly enough my over all pace wasn’t far from my short run paces of late.

The first week of June has been a really good week. Since last Saturday, I have run and walked over 33 miles! Close to 75% of those miles are running miles – so I’m really excited about that. It is the first time I’ve had that many miles for a week and hopefully things will continue like that this summer. So I am encouraged with my long run and the progress I have made this week – Pressing On!

Over the past few years I have featured a D-Day remembrance. Today I share with you President Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer.

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. 

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. 

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph. 

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war. 

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. 

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas — whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them–help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice. 

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts. 

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces. 

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be. 

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose. 

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. 

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.”

Sunday Night Thoughts

What started out as a dreary cold morning has blossomed into a beautiful, yet chilly late spring afternoon. The trees are almost in full green these days. It seems like we are cutting the grass every couple of days. If the rain continues, we are going to continue that for some time. Everything is very green.

It’s been a good week. This past week was the last week of the fiscal year for our church. The church year ended on Friday and stats have to be in by June 10. I put my stats report together on Thursday. We also had our Local Church Conference this morning, so I had to put that together as well.

This morning we had a wonderful spirit of worship as we looked at Jesus last words to his disciple as found in Luke 24. Jesus has called us to be witnesses to the power of Christ. We finished that with communion and it was special.

Our local clergy association offers a scholarship to a local senior. On Wednesday I presented that at the school’s award ceremony. It was good to be part of that. Friday night, we had a dinner for one of our pastors who is leaving the area because he is going to a new church. We had a wonderful dinner at Spragues and the fellowship was sweet.

Yesterday, we took our District Superintendent to lunch for pastor appreciation. The Lord has been good to us and blessed us so we wanted to pass that blessing onto to him and his wife. We took them out to Beef and Barrel. We’ve seen him several times over the last eight days.

This morning’s conference brings to a close a very busy spring. It has been busy since Ash Wednesday. The next thing we are looking forward to is Vacation Bible School and we just learned that our grandkids might be here for that. It would be so cool!

On Friday our local school district had our last day of school, so I won’t be doing as much driving for the summer, but I do have a summer route. This week begins a two-week stint followed by three weeks off. I am looking forward to the break.

Have a great week!

Prayer for the Week

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.