Pastor’s Blog-Sept. 2019

Sep 17, 2019 by

This month, as we head into a new church year, we are beginning to look more deeply at the most important of all the virtues: that of prayer. There are some fundamental things to keep in mind and heart whenever we pray. First of all, God loves each one of us very much. God, who is Love, created us in God’s image. Therefore, the ability to love is inherent in our very being. But sometimes, we have a hard time believing that God really, truly loves us. Some of us may even have a deep-seated belief that we are not very loveable at all. If the goal of Christian life is to love God with our whole being and our neighbor as ourselves, as Christ commanded, then we are reminded that this includes loving ourselves; it includes not rejecting the self God created and loves. If we need to, we can ask God for assurance of God’s love. Secondly, God longs to help each of us overcome the passions that blind us and the hurdles that cause us to stumble in our relationships with God and others. When we accept God’s invitation to the regular practice of prayer, we are making ourselves much more available to God’s guidance and healing. When we respond to God’s love in faith and obedience, God both undergirds us with love while also guiding, correcting, and refining us. John Wesley described this as the negative and positive dimensions of the process of sanctification: purgation and love.1 We experience purgation and love most strongly in prayers. This two-pronged aspect of prayer, though challenging, feels deeply healing. When we open ourselves regularly to God through prayer, we are working with God’s grace of sanctification, and we grow more and more into the image of God we were created to be. May God bless you richly in the coming fall season,

Betsy Caudill

1 Theodore Runyon, The New Creation: John Wesley’s Theology Today (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998) p. 85.

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