Lay Ministry Blog: Prayer has no Boundaries


How many times have you prayed for an event to happen or to turn out like you want and then when it does, you forget to thank God for it happening like you wanted it to?

This forgetting to say “thanks,” points out our selfishness, self-centeredness, or smallness in our relationship with God. Once we realize that we have shortchanged the very One who has given us all we have, we are probably not very proud of our smallness. Once we analyze what we have done in neglecting to thank God first, we quickly thank God and get on with our business.

The older I get, the more I realize prayer is probably the most important activity we can do in praising God for the blessings He affords us on a daily basis.

There are so many blessings that we take for granted in our daily lives. We become calloused to the fact everything we have God gave us. Lots of churches, organizations, and small groups are prayer groups that pray on a regular basis for a lot of different things. There is nothing off limits to pray for as Christians. The circle in which we pray should be moving outwardly all the time. We start with our needs, our family needs, our friend’s needs, praying for them with no limit to how big the prayer circle can be. The blessings of having “no borders for prayers,” is that we can pray for people, countries or situations with no boundaries, all the way to the other side of the world.

The great thing about prayer is we can pray anywhere, anytime for anything. God has made it clear He likes the communications from us through prayer. Perhaps the hard part is when we get through praying for what we want, we have a hard time listening to God and listening to what He wants us to hear.

I must say, I pray much more now, than at any time in my life, yet, my listening time is short.

One of the fun and rewarding things involving prayer for me is the memory of many people I haven’t thought of in years. When this happens, and a memory of a person long gone surfaces, I try to offer a simple prayer for them, for their family and for the surroundings of the memory that made me recall them. Therefore my prayer circle enlarges all the time.

Believe me, I’m no authority on prayer, but I do know the communication with God through prayer is “priceless” as the TV Commercial says.

There are many dedicated Prayer Teams at all of our local churches and there is one at our Conference level. Bishop Wallace-Padgett started the team for the 2013 Annual Conference, but the team’s ministry will be ongoing. The prayer team is led by two lay people Bob Bentley and Pam Townsend. They work with Conference staff members Linda Holland and Lyn Cosby. The Conference Prayer Team also includes a member from each District. This team faithfully prays for our Conference’s Ministry Action Plan and Conference leadership. They also receive prayer requests from United Methodists from all over the Conference. To submit your request, you can email it to

For a long time, Alexander City First United Methodist Church (where I am a member) has had a group that prays for our Church during all the worship services each Sunday. The Emmaus Community is an example of a prayer ministry group that is steeped in prayer for the Pilgrims, for the workers and for all involved in an Emmaus Walk.

Prayer knows no gender, ethnicity, age, nationality or any other word that describes different groups of people.

All prayers are important from the most simple such as “Now I lay me down to sleep” to the prayer Jesus taught us to say, “Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name”….

In the eyes of God all prayer is important, with no boundaries.

Blessings of Grace and Peace from all the United Methodists of North Alabama, as we offer a special prayer for the family of Dr. Leon Hamrick Sr. who passed away on September 7, 2014.

Dr. Hamrick was the Conference Lay Leader of North Alabama for the years of 1984 until 1992. Dr. Hamrick was a long time member of Canterbury United Methodist Church in Mountain Brook, Alabama.

Dr. Hamrick was involved in the General Church and served the General Board of Global Ministry.

He was a quiet strong leader of the North Alabama Conference. In a 1985 Easter message published in the Christian Advocate, Dr. Hamrick wrote “if we would but commit ourselves totally into His hands, what a difference we would make in our suffering world.”

Grace and Peace,
Steve Lyles
Conference Lay Leader

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