Grace and peace to you from God our Father Amen. Let us pray!

I have a friend named Jerry. We’ve known each other for many years. He’s kind of like that little brother you can’t get rid of. He goes away for a while and soon he’s back at your door again. Jerry is very versed in theology and the study of God and is even ordained from a university out east. His knowledge is vast! We’ve had many deep discussions about religion and about Jesus and God and I revel in the intellect he shares.

Jerry though isn’t always accepted by others partially for his mystic interests. But how do you know anything if you don’t explore other cultures or beliefs? Jerry can almost be too friendly and outgoing, but he lacks certain social skills and people don’t understand him. He is very intelligent but sometimes loses his direction. He stopped over one night and he told me of his recent depression, his trials, and how sometimes there seems to be no hope. He knows and trusts God but still there is some doubt; some loss of purpose. Feelings some of us too may have experienced. We talked for a while about church and what we’ve been doing lately with the remodeling and our Adult Forum and such and I told Jerry this, “Jerry you know God and you know your Bible. The answers are there in your Bible and especially in your prayers. Get back to your Bible and your studies and your prayers.” We talked a bit more and he left feeling renewed and rejuvenated and peaceful! I’m no scholar, no authority on the Bible but I am his friend and we are God’s children! I just reassured him of God’s peace and God’s love for him. Hallelujah!

There has been a constant whisper or echo in my head the past few weeks. This whisper or echo is telling me there is need for more prayer in my life. I pray regularly but lately I find myself praying a lot more. My routine for prayer as well as my life journey constantly changes. Still, now I find I need to pray more often. Perhaps it is the Holy Spirit guiding me to be more aware, more in tune with everything. In my travels I believe God has shared with me, many gifts. Maybe a beautiful vista of the countryside or the sight of nature’s creatures seldom seen by most but made visible to me. Oh, the things I’ve seen and experienced! What blessings bestowed to me by God! Sometimes I can barely contain my joy and feel the need to praise God and thank him for such gifts!

Jesus taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer! If we pray only one prayer, this prayer seems to me to cover it all. We can say this prayer often. This is the one prayer I feel everyone should know. Jesus taught us this prayer as he prayed it to God himself! This is how God wants us to pray. But this is not the only prayer he wants us to use. He wants us to pray constantly. Communicating always with him. Not only when we need his help but also when we enjoy his gifts and blessings. I feel that need to praise and thank him for all that I have and all that I experience on this life journey. I still need to ask for forgiveness and for our daily bread and for his constant protection from the many evils lurking about, along with many other requests, but I think we could all be more aware of these precious gifts he gives us. I hope to pray more often praising and giving thanks for all he gives us.

Let us pray! Yours in Christ,

Ron Johnson

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