Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My LIFE of PRAYER

I start my work day with a process of prayer and devotion. I’m working my way through the Psalms right now. Today, I read Psalm 3. The Psalmist prays for deliverance from his enemies. He says: “Arise, O Lord; rescue me from my enemies.” In my devotions I use a process that I got from Bishop Richard Wills called the SOAP method. S stands for scripture. Read the scripture and then re-write it to express it in your own words. O stands for observation. What do you observe in the text? What do you notice? What stands out for you? In Psalm 3, I noticed that there’s a lot of talk about enemies. The heading says that this was a Psalm written by David as he was being pursued by his son Absalom. I remembered the story of how Absalom turned on his own father. Family war…there’s no war like that. So, Absalom and others were after David. David prays for deliverance from his enemies. He says: “Arise, O Lord…” Sounds like a command but it’s more like a call. Call on me, says God, and I will answer. When have you called on God and god an answer? “Get up, arise, O God…come to me, rescue me from all who would keep me from doing your will.” A stands for application. How does this apply to your life? I have to admit that I don’t think of myself as having enemies. I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t create enemies but is loved by all. Yet Jesus told his disciples: “Beware when all speak well of you...” I used to say that if someone isn’t upset by me then I’m not doing my job. You know, my calling is, in part, to afflict the comfortable. So, Lord, my enemies are those who would keep me from doing my best, from doing your will, from following your way. P stands for prayer. You guessed it. Write your own prayer here. So I write: O God, is someone, or something, my enemy, or the enemy of your will. Arise, O Lord, and rescue me from all that would keep me from doing your will in my life and in my family’s life and in my church. I only want what you want for me, O Lord. Make me an instrument of your peace… Amen. I share that to say that it has worked for me for a long time, and I hope that maybe someone who reads this may find it helpful in their own prayer journey. Prayer is the foundation of our Christian walk with God. I have not always kept prayer time as meticulously as I have kept “me” time. But, I have come to see this time as precious. God has been so good to me; I am grateful. So, as I begin my day of work, I ask God to “arise” and lead me. I dare not call myself a pastor/priest without the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Arise, O Lord, I need you. Blessings! Dave Nichols

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Welcome

Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.
Blessings!
Dave

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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