Prayer is foundational for Christian living. Jesus said “when” not “if” you pray. (Luke 11:2)
The Lord’s Prayer, prayed by Christians all around the world, is based on Matthew 6:9-15 and Luke 11:2-4. It includes four dimensions to prayer: Praising, Repenting, Asking and Yielding (PRAY). I often use the PRAY acronym as a structure for my prayers.
P: Praising God – “Hallowed be Your Name “(Luke 11:2, Matthew 6:9)
R: Repenting- “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” (Luke 11:4, Matthew 6:12)
A: Asking- “Give us this day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3, Matthew 6:11)
Y: Yielding- “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10)
In Luke’s Gospel Jesus immediately follows up his response to his disciples on how to pray with two lessons that emphasize the importance of perseverance. In the spirit of Jesus’ teaching on persistence in prayer, the Cabinet and I invite North Alabama United Methodists to join in praying 3-5 minutes at noon or another time each day between now and April 30 about matters related to the coronavirus. Let us pray for all of those in our nation and around the world whose lives have been turned upside down by the coronavirus through the death of loved ones, illness, job loss, food insecurity, postponed graduations, delayed celebrations and more. Also, pray for the homeless and most vulnerable among us. Especially, offer prayers for the safety, strength and wisdom of healthcare providers as well as community, state, national and global leaders who are serving and leading us through the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Conference, let us offer these prayers in the name of the One who cares deeply for all persons, the Great Physician and Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your perseverance in prayer. As always it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
North Alabama Conference
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