My Prayer Life Isn’t Great

I have to make an admission – my prayer life isn’t very vibrant.

This is terrible since I’m a pastor. You’d think of all the people on the planet, the last person to complain about their prayer life would be a clergyman.

Yet, my prayer life isn’t great.

I don’t pray enough. And when I pray, I feel as though I’m rushing through the petitions so I could get onto doing something else.

I’ve thought about setting aside time on my schedule to pray, kind of like saying, “Between 8 and 9 AM, all I’m going to do is meditate and pray.”

It sounds good, but it ain’t happening. Life gets hectic very fast.

But the hectic life is my fault. I don’t organize my time well enough. Honestly, I’ve never been great at organization when it comes to merging my personal and professional lives. I compartmentalize too much, setting up group times for stuff needing to get done so my personal life doesn’t crash around me and stuff that the pastor needs to get done.

And even with compartmentalizing, setting up “Prayer Time” never happens.

I think I need to pray for my prayer life.


This weekend in church, we’re praying for:

  • An end to senseless violence as another horrific shooting happened this week at a bar in California. Truthfully, I’m getting tired of adding these petitions in our weekend prayers every time when a crazy person shoots up a public gathering. The sadness of these events rips at our souls.
  • Sunday is Veteran’s Day and we’re going to remember the Veterans of our church, community, and nation.
  • That the weather gets better in California that will help curtail the wildfires that are burning up the landscape and ripping apart lives as great numbers of people and families are losing so much.
  • And, for the Church and all Christians. We need to be better people.

Of course, our regular petitions for the sick and needy, asking for greater faith so we can trust God more, and for our church’s leadership here in New Milford.

 

Monday Morning, November 13th

A few years ago when I was sick, one of my doctors told me rather emphatically to stay away from sugared cereal, especially every brand of Cheerios. Considering the advice was coming from a doctor promoting a whole food, plant-based diet, the “stay away from the presweetened cereal aisle” advice didn’t seem so far-fetched.

Yet to the doctor, the importance of staying away from added sugar was important since a number of studies showed that sugar helps feed cancer. And if you have cancer, my doctor believed the best way to stop feeding it was to stay away from added sugar in foods.

CheeriosA couple of days ago, the New York Times ran a story about Honey Nut Cheerios, asking whether or not this sugar-laden cereal was healthy. Over the years, General Mills, the creators of the Cheerios brand, have reduced the serving size of the Honey Nut cereal from one cup to three-quarters of a cup to reduce the sugar-per-serving visual on boxes. Honestly, have you ever eaten just three-quarters of a cup of Honey Nut Cheerios? No. Do people actually follow the serving size suggestions on the sides of their breakfast cereals? No. All of us end up pouring cereal into a bowl until our eyes smile saying “Yeah, that’s enough.”

My doctor from years ago suggested I eat a more balanced whole foods breakfast. Maybe some scrambled tofu with vegetables, or if I am more adventurous, eat a salad. But my doctor’s advice was clear – stay away from the cereal aisle.

Hat Tip to The New York Times: Are Honey Nut Cheerios Healthy? We Look Inside the Box https://nyti.ms/2hpLggR

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Yesterday, our Voters’ Body at church held their not-so-monthly, not-so-bimonthly meeting. Usually, we hunker down in the weeds of finances and budgets, the workings of ministries and calendar issues, business plans and worship thoughts. Essentially, it is a business meeting that most people don’t want to go to, but do because the running of the operations of the church is important.

One idea that I brought up was to start a conversation that builds on our evangelism team’s efforts to rebuild the outreach of St. Matthew’s. I asked if it would be prudent to sit down with our paid staff at church – our music director, church secretary, and pastor – and evaluate what we expect from and determine the future duties of our staff. Our evangelism team is working on the outreach part of our church life. Our Voters’ Body is going to focus on the structure of our operations. To me, both our Vision and Voters’ initiatives will help redevelop the direction of St. Matthew’s for the future. Both church entities are on the same page, yet are doing different and very important leadership tasks. Sunday’s meeting was good.

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This week, we are going to re-launch our Prayer Team’s digital webpage and newsletter. The webpage should be live on Wednesday, the same day we’re sending out the newsletter.

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One question that we received at church this weekend was when were church announcements due in the church office for publication on the weekend? Wednesday at noon has been our traditional date and time. We’re going to stick with it.

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The recent explosion in sexual harassment and assault allegations against a large contingent of male Hollywood stars and leaders shows us once again that our world is sick. Today, say a prayer for an end to this violence, healing for the victims, and that those who committed the acts repent.