My wife, Ashley and I have been here at Central for about a week now, and so far, so good! We had an amazing first Sunday, much of which can be attributed to the outstanding music ministry in both the Classic and Contemporary worship services. It is clear to all who enter the Sanctuary or the Great Hall that the Holy Spirit is present, and we were certainly filled with the Spirit on Sunday.
Anytime you move cities, change jobs, and transition into a new role, there will be things to adjust to, and this one is no different. There are new people to meet, a new staff to work alongside, new policies and procedures to learn, not to mention new restaurants to try! I hope you know what an amazing group of pastors and staff you have here at Central. I have already been so impressed by their collective love for the Lord and heart for the church. I also hope you know how grateful Ashley and I are for the warm welcome we have received from all of you. We loved meeting many of you this past Sunday, and we can’t wait to meet even more in the weeks ahead.
Speaking of Sunday, this week we begin a six-week focus on prayer. Before we get started on this journey together along with our journey through the Bible as a church (beginning August 29), I really want us to have a heart that is prayer-focused. As we look at six different prayers in the Bible, my hope is that we will be drawn into a life of prayer ourselves. So often we get busy with life and prayer gets pushed to the back seat, relegated to a quick grace over a meal, a rushed “Now I lay me down to sleep…” at kids’ bedtime, or a collective recitation of the Lord’s Prayer on Sunday mornings. I know for me, things are pretty hectic right now – my calendar doesn’t have a lot of white space! In seasons like this, I need to be even more intentional about my prayer and devotional life. These six prayers from the Bible will reveal to us six individuals who made prayer a key part of their lives; my hope is they will inspire you and me to do the same.
If you need some help getting started, let me offer you two suggestions. The first is the best book on prayer that I have read: How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People, by Pete Grieg. The second is the prayer for this Sunday, the first in the Before We Get Started… series. It’s from John 17:1-26, and it’s a prayer that Jesus prays on that Thursday night just before his arrest. Why not begin reading it today and prepare your heart for what God will do in you and for you this Sunday morning? See you then!
Together on the Journey,