In Traveling Mercies, author Anne Lamott says there are really only two prayers. One is "Help me, help me, help me." The other is "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Sometimes these are the only words we can muster, and that is enough! Starting January 3 and continuing for 6 weeks, we will be doing a teaching series on prayer. Even though our prayers can be as simple as “help me” and “thank you,” there is mystery and complexity when it comes to communicating with God. Maybe you have asked yourself these questions:
Is God listening?
Why should God care about me?
Does prayer really help with physical healing?
Why does God seem sometimes close and sometimes far away? Does prayer change God?
Does prayer change me?
We will be digging into the Bible, and also be drawing inspiration from a book by Philip Yancey called Prayer: Does it Make a Difference. We encourage you to find a copy of this book for your personal reading. Other books on prayer that have inspired me are:
Help, Thanks, Wow: Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott A quirky and honest book about prayer.
Too Busy Not to Pray: Slowing Down to Be with God by Bill Hybels. A great read for how to get started in your prayer life.
Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton. A Roman Catholic monk who drew a deep connection between silence, solitude, and prayer.
Before Amen by Max Lucado. How to have a richer prayer life. A number of people at Good Shepherd have done a Bible study with this book, and it has changed many lives!
Praying Our Goodbyes by Joyce Rupp. A book about how to express your grief through meaningful prayer rituals.
Fingerprints of God: What Science is Learning About the Brain and Spiritual Experience by Barbara Bradley Haggerty. This book is for those who get excited about the mind, body, and spirit connection discovered through science.
Happy reading! Happy praying! And Happy New Year!
God’s Peace, Pastor Mary