September 23, 2022

The power of prayer

by David Alexander

Thoughts from David Alexander

Dear First Family,

This morning I’m sitting outside our Walnut Creek circle drive directing traffic. This week our staff has been participating in a livestream of the New Room Conference happening right now in Nashville, Tennessee. With that starting this morning in our sanctuary at 8:30am, I’m here making sure those coming for morning prayer know that our chapel is available this morning for that time. 

Traffic might not be the right word since it probably implies “congestion.” Since we entered into our 40 days of prayer last Monday we haven’t had hundreds coming to the sanctuary to pray. We will be here every weekday morning from 7am to 9am during this season, but of course, you can pray anywhere. Right now, wherever you are, whatever you may be doing, you can stop and offer a prayer a simple as, 

God, bless your church, 
and give us faith, 
to release all worries, 

and trust you in all things.

And in our praying, we remember that one person’s prayers are enough to change the world. In the beginning of 1 Samuel we read about Hannah praying that God would bless her with a son. Eventually Hannah was blessed with a son she named Samuel. He would go on to anoint the first King of Israel, Saul, and Saul’s successor, the shepherd boy, David. 

Hannah’s prayers alone changed the world. 

The power of prayer is not in the number who pray or the eloquence of our words, but the power of the one to whom we lift them. In our praying, we claim that truth. We release our desire to control outcomes and circumstances. We surrender ourselves again to the heart of the real and raw foundation of faith, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” We declare, “we trust you God. Have your way in us.” 

And even when circumstances may not change in the way we hope, we know prayer always changes us. A little bit of the character and heart of God always “rubs off on us” whenever we invest that time with him.

Sometimes the way the world changes is in how God changes us. It truly is an awesome privilege as the hymn of faith declares to, “take it to the Lord in prayer.” 

This Sunday we are going to continue our journey through the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5-7. Sunday afternoon the pumpkins will be arriving which will fill our Pumpkin Patch throughout the month of October. 

This Sunday at 5pm in our sanctuary I will be hosting our second Town Hall gathering, a time of education and dialogue to inform our congregation in our current season of discernment around our future denominational affiliation.

I hope all who will gather on November 13th at 2pm for our Church Conference will also invest the time in attending one of these Town Hall gatherings to prepare.

In the meantime, we will continue investing ourselves in what we know is of most importance as we look to our future together. We are going to continue to pray. 

God, would you bless your church?
Would you give us faith?
Would you help us to release all worries, to trust you in all things?
Would you remind us again that one person’s prayers are enough to change the world?

I look forward to being with you this weekend. 

Pastor David

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