Pastor’s Friday Comments (02.22.19)

Through my ministry as a pastor I often hear myself saying the words, “I’m praying for you.” Though I may not always be as intentional at following through on that promise as I should be, I try to be true to my word. And I believe that prayers offered for others make a difference. You and I may not always know exactly the difference that they make, but we faithfully affirm that God hears and answers prayer.

However, I’m not sure I have fully appreciated how deeply meaningful and important that promise of prayer can be to a person until the last couple of weeks.

I don’t need to go into the details here, but as a family of faith we have recently shared in the grief of a tragic, senseless death of a member of the family. And many of you have been incredibly sensitive, not only for those directly affected, but to me as I tried to minister. I have lost track of the number of you who have come up to me, some of you embracing me, and telling me that you have been praying for me.

I have felt those prayers and experienced their power. But I have to tell you, the most moving part was just your telling me that you were praying. There may not be a more eloquent expression of love and concern than to say the simple words that indicate both that you are concerned and that you understand wherein our strength lies.

There is a lot of tragedy in this world, more hurt and loss and sorrow than any of us can bear. And in our human strength there is only so much we can do to help others. But bringing them before our heavenly parent’s throne of grace and asking that they be received with love and care can bring help beyond all expectation and peace beyond understanding. You have given that to me and I love you for it. And I know you are giving it to others. It makes all the difference in the world.