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February 19, 2013

Prayer Resources

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

Good evening …

Tuesday started off great here at Saint Matthew’s as our caring hands Food Pantry committee met with local Girl Scouts looking for ways in which they can help the needy here in New Milford. These wonderful young citizens are going to prepare emergency kits for our food pantry and the one at Ascension Roman Catholic Church. They are also looking for additional ways to serve the needy in our town, and with the support of Saint Matthew’s, I know they can achieve much to help the less fortunate.

After a couple of home visits following our morning meeting, I arrived home this evening to find that two wonderful prayer resources I ordered finally arrived. First, Lutheran Hour Ministries has prepared a small booklet on prayer entitled, “Prayer: When You Don’t Know What to Say.” I ordered 50 copies for the church and for my use during visits. And before anyone asks, yes, I paid for them. Tomorrow evening when you come to our Midweek Lenten Service at 7pm (or at 6pm for our Lenten Soup Supper), you can pick one up.

The description:

Prayer, quite simply, is communication. It’s the privileged exchange we share with God the Father, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. In prayer we converse with God; we pour out our hearts to Him; we offer up our praise to Him. We acknowledge Him as Lord of our lives, and we thank Him for sending His Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior. Prayer is all these things. It is also the searching talk we have with God when our hearts are burdened and sin lays us low with its crushing weight.

In this booklet from Project Connect, the ways God answers prayer, why praying is important, and the words of our prayers are considered. An examination of “The Lord’s Prayer” offers valuable insights into this magnificent and simple little prayer, which Jesus gave His disciples. More than just wish lists we put before God, our prayers are an opportunity to share our deepest thoughts and heartfelt concerns with Him, who always has our best interests in mind.

The second resource that came is one that I have been looking forward to reading. NJ District’s Rev. James Buckman has written a book on prayer entitled, “iPray.” It is an all-encompassing book that outlines why we pray, how we pray, and how we can make prayer a central part of our lives as Christians. In just flipping through a few pages, I gleaned a quick story that Pastor Buckman tells — one day at Newark Airport waiting for his flight, he went into a restaurant for a bite to eat. When the waitress came by to take his order, he said to her that when his food arrives, he was going to say a prayer over it and he asked her if it would be OK if he could pray for her, as well. Her answer was wonderful. “Can you do that?”

It is said by pollsters that 90 percent of Americans pray at least once a day. Wouldn’t it be special if we can increase not just the 90 percent number, but also the “once a day” tally?

To get a copy of Pastor Buckman’s book, you can order it from his website. I encourage you to do so.

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Prayer Resources

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

Good evening …

Tuesday started off great here at Saint Matthew’s as our caring hands Food Pantry committee met with local Girl Scouts looking for ways in which they can help the needy here in New Milford. These wonderful young citizens are going to prepare emergency kits for our food pantry and the one at Ascension Roman Catholic Church. They are also looking for additional ways to serve the needy in our town, and with the support of Saint Matthew’s, I know they can achieve much to help the less fortunate.

After a couple of home visits following our morning meeting, I arrived home this evening to find that two wonderful prayer resources I ordered finally arrived. First, Lutheran Hour Ministries has prepared a small booklet on prayer entitled, “Prayer: When You Don’t Know What to Say.” I ordered 50 copies for the church and for my use during visits. And before anyone asks, yes, I paid for them. Tomorrow evening when you come to our Midweek Lenten Service at 7pm (or at 6pm for our Lenten Soup Supper), you can pick one up.

The description:

Prayer, quite simply, is communication. It’s the privileged exchange we share with God the Father, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. In prayer we converse with God; we pour out our hearts to Him; we offer up our praise to Him. We acknowledge Him as Lord of our lives, and we thank Him for sending His Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior. Prayer is all these things. It is also the searching talk we have with God when our hearts are burdened and sin lays us low with its crushing weight.

In this booklet from Project Connect, the ways God answers prayer, why praying is important, and the words of our prayers are considered. An examination of “The Lord’s Prayer” offers valuable insights into this magnificent and simple little prayer, which Jesus gave His disciples. More than just wish lists we put before God, our prayers are an opportunity to share our deepest thoughts and heartfelt concerns with Him, who always has our best interests in mind.

The second resource that came is one that I have been looking forward to reading. NJ District’s Rev. James Buckman has written a book on prayer entitled, “iPray.” It is an all-encompassing book that outlines why we pray, how we pray, and how we can make prayer a central part of our lives as Christians. In just flipping through a few pages, I gleaned a quick story that Pastor Buckman tells — one day at Newark Airport waiting for his flight, he went into a restaurant for a bite to eat. When the waitress came by to take his order, he said to her that when his food arrives, he was going to say a prayer over it and he asked her if it would be OK if he could pray for her, as well. Her answer was wonderful. “Can you do that?”

It is said by pollsters that 90 percent of Americans pray at least once a day. Wouldn’t it be special if we can increase not just the 90 percent number, but also the “once a day” tally?

To get a copy of Pastor Buckman’s book, you can order it from his website. I encourage you to do so.

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