Dear Watermark Church family,
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
As we wrap up our series on prayer, I have added a blog by Tom Short to this week’s newsletter on Praying Without Ceasing. Enjoy!
“There is some disagreement amongst commentators as to whether this command means to "always be praying, every waking moment," or perhaps it simply means "to maintain prayer as a regular part of your life without slipping into times of prayerlessness." Maybe it has to do with both. My guess is that whichever one it is referring to, most of us could do better at "Praying without ceasing." Let me make a couple of comments about each application.
A Spirit of Prayerfulness
God is with us always and prayer helps us cultivate an awareness of His presence. The world distracts us in so many ways, some of which are unavoidable. But not all worldly distractions are out of our control. Silly talk, excessive entertainment, being immersed in temporal pursuits -- all our choices we make that dull our spirituality and can block our fellowship with God.
One thing I do is to pray the simple prayer, "Help me," many times throughout the day. I don't pray out loud. I don't close my eyes or get on my knees. But whenever I'm about to say something, give advice, answer a question, or write something, I simply pray quietly to the Lord requesting His help. I acknowledge my dependence on Him at all times and for all things. There are days when I may pray this simple prayer dozens of times. "Help me." Try it yourself today. Apart from Him, we can do nothing, so go ahead and tell Him that when you are in a needy situation today.
A Time of Prayer
I believe the habit of sincere, daily prayer has been one of the two or three most significant factors in my spiritual formation. Yet, that practice is so easy to neglect. I get busy and prayer just slowly gets crowded out of my life. Once it's gone, it's really hard to reestablish it as a daily delight and practice. Here are some hints I have on how to develop a regular time of prayer.
1. Put it in your schedule and keep to your schedule. If you only pray when you feel like, it's not likely you'll "pray without ceasing."
2. Have a private place of prayer. Praying out loud is essential for me and it's hard for me to focus on God if others can hear me.
3. Ask God to help you to pray. Many times I've told Him I don't know how to pray and I need Him to teach me.
4. Sing. Songwriters have a gift from God to express what I feel but can't quite articulate. Many times, my prayers have been prompted by a good song or hymn.
5. Listen to God. Prayer is conversing with God. When we converse with a person, we shouldn't do all the talking. It's the same with God. Let Him have a chance to talk back to you and, when He does, listen.
6. Learn from other prayer warriors. I learned to pray by listening to the prayers of others who were far beyond me in spiritual maturity. Initiate with others you respect and ask if you can simply listen to them pray some day. After all, that's how the disciples learned -- they listened to Jesus.
I'm sure there are more things we can do, but hopefully, this is a good start to help you... PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.” Blog by Tom Short (see www.TomThePreacher.com)
Help needed for our YARD SALE PREPARATION DAY! On Sunday, September 8, immediately following the worship service, we will begin to layout and price all yard sale items on tables in the sanctuary. We need volunteers to help sort and price the items. Pizza will be provided for lunch. Let me know if you are able to stay after church on Sunday, 9/8, to do the prep for the yard sale to be held on 9/15.
Bring your donated church Yard Sale Items to church! The Watermark Church Yard Sale to be held on Saturday, September 15 from 9:00AM – 1:00 PM. You can bring any and all items you wish to donate to the sale to the church this Sunday. We need more non-clothing items. Then on Saturday, 9/15, come between 9:00AM and 1:00PM and help us greet the community members who shop at our yard sale! We will provide free food and beverages for those who “shop” at our yard sale. (A donation has already been given to Watermark Church to cover the cost of the food and beverages for the yard sale!)
Please take your donated items to the appropriate designated area for each ministry – 1) School supplies are to be taken to the old church area near the piano. 2) Yard sale items including adult clothes are in the back-entry way of the old church 3) Clothed With Love (CWL) area is by the stairway in the front left side of the sanctuary leading up to where CWL is located, and only has Children’s clothes.
The Men’s Fellowship Breakfast is held every Friday at 7:00 AM, and the location is moving to the Waffle House at the Monroe Outlets / SR 63 & I-75. Join with the men of Watermark Church for an encouraging time of fellowship!
The Prophecy and World Events class is being offered at 9:30 AM Sundays, taught by Pastor Ron.
Life Group: The Gibson’s and Settimos’ Life Group bible study meets every other Friday. Contact Paul or Nathan for more info.
Please pray for peace, wisdom and healing for Robert Crowder, as Robert was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Together learning to pray without ceasing,