Celebrating God's Presence

I enjoy using prayer books these days. I find written prayers keep my mind focused and heart free from all the internal noise that clatters around inside me. I've been reading Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth.

Here's a portion of a prayer I recently found meaningful along with a few of my reflections...

God sovereign and generous,

...who haunts every local culture, including ours, with Your will for our well-being...

...who draws close to the powerless and surprises with power via weakness...

You are the one I praise in astonishment...I adore in gladness...I thank in gratitude.

Father the reminder that you 'haunt' our community looking to bless it with your goodness is a refreshing thought. I too easily lose sight of your presence and movement in our community. I stand at a distance, remain aloof and at times judgemental. Give me your eyes...your heart.

I am grateful that our church family has an enlarging heart for our community. It seems that every opportunity to serve placed before them they gladly embrace. Just this Sunday we celebrated a recent investment in one of our neighboring communities - over 60 people gladly serving 18 families by repairing their homes and loving them.

There are times Father I feel small and insignificant - actually powerless - in the face of needs that feel bigger than life. Here in Fayette County we are a small church which lacks the wealth, facilities and size that so many believe would afford us real presence in our community. Our presence is small and our influence quiet. Yet you draw close to us...gladly displaying your power through our weakness. Father continue to surprise us - may your presence and passion for people be felt by others through our simple expressions of compassion in our community. Strip away our ego. Guard our hearts against the sin of coveting another's influence. Give us gratitude and gladness for the influence you've entrusted to us. May we steward it well. May our dream never drift toward any desire to expand our influence as a church but remain focused on expanding your presence. That happens best - most purely - when we are weak and powerless.

Fighting for your heart,

Gary Franklin