Prayer is coming into God's presence; talking with him. No human activity draws us more deeply into the heart of God than prayer, and there is no better way to learn about prayer than by praying. However, praying is not always easy. We struggle to find the time to pray. Sometimes prayer does not feel natural or spontaneous and we are not sure exactly how to pray.
Is there a "right way" to pray? Anne Lamont, the author of several books on faith, claims the best two prayers she knows are "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you." God's love for us is greater than our ability to utter "good prayers" or even deeply felt prayers. Whether your experience of prayer is easy or difficult, know that in prayer, you will always meet God.
Clearly, God wants us to pray, so much so that when his disciples asked him to teach them to pray, he gave them and us the model prayer, the Lord's Prayer. Prayer requires that we submit ourselves to God and trust that his answers to our prayers will be what is best for us.
So make time for prayer. As difficult as it may seem, try to find a time and place where you can be with God without interruption. Finding time for solitude creates a space for God in our busy, often chaotic, lives. In this special time, read and reflect on scripture. Listen to what God may be saying to you through his Word. It is our faith that causes us to pray. Like children coming to their parents for help, we should come to God for help, trusting that he will answer our prayers in the best possible manner, out of his infinite love for us.
Prayer is a most important aspect of all that happens at Highland Valley and in the lives of the people of Highland Valley. As we become deeply committed Christians, we discover an awakening and growing awareness that prayer is the foundation of our lives and our ministries. The idea that as Christians we can intercede through prayer is a foundation of our faith. Our faith tells us that God hears and answers our prayers.
Your prayer concerns are important to us and to others, and we encourage you to let us know of situations or people needing prayer. Written prayer request cards are located on each church pew in the sanctuary and may be placed in the offering plate on Sunday morning for the pastors. You may also send us your prayer request by mail, email or by calling the church office. (If you would like your prayer request to remain confidential, you may e-mail or call one of the church pastors directly.)
INTERCESSORY PRAYER GROUP
Intercessory prayer, the prayer on another's behalf, lies at the core of a ministry of prayer. Highland Valley's Intercessory Prayer Group meets at the church the first Monday of each month from 1:00pm-2:00pm to lift in prayer our nation, community, church and individuals in need. This group prays especially for those who are ill or are in need of healing. Each week, members of this group receive prayer requests submitted by our church family. They are committed to pray daily for those requested and other prayer concerns of the church. Perhaps God is calling you to be a part of this very important ministry in our church. If you would like to be a part of this prayer group, call the church office for more information.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
The Prayer Shawl group meets the 1st Tuesday of each month from 1:00pm-2:00pm. The members of this ministry knit shawls during a special time of prayer and fellowship. The completed shawls are then donated to individuals who are experiencing extreme times of need, crisis or illness. This is a wonderful ministry, open to youth and adults. Beginners and experts welcome. Instruction can be provided if needed.
"Christ Caring for People Through People."
Stephen Ministry is a program of our congregation that equips interested members to provide distinctively Christian one-to-one care to those who are experiencing all kinds of life needs and circumstances, going through a crisis or with other needs for care. The Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry: those receiving care can be sure that their identity and what goes on in the caring relationship will remain private.
Stephen Ministers are committed Christian people who . . .
•express God's care through their lives to others;
•receive 50 hours of initial training in important caring ministry skills and concepts;
•are commissioned as Stephen Ministers after completing their initial training;
•visit another person regularly and dependably and offer Christian support and care;
•participate in regular support and supervision under the guidance of trained Stephen Leaders;
•are committed to preserving the confidential nature of the caring relationship;
•serve for at least two years;
•receive continuing education and skill building throughout their years of service.
Stephen Ministers are assigned to "care receivers" - people in crisis that need caring support or for those experiencing moderate difficulties. The Stephen Minister's care helps the care receiver resolve the difficulty and achieve growth. Most Stephen Ministers meet confidentially once a week with their care receivers for about an hour at a time. They may also check in with the care receiver by telephone, particularly when the care receiver is going through a difficult time.
Our Stephen Ministers work together with our pastors to reach more people with Christian care than they can reach by themselves. This multiplies the amount of caring ministry Highland Valley can provide by giving us a whole team of skilled caregivers who are equipped to bring Christ's healing love to people who are grieving, in crisis, or experiencing other stresses of life.
If you would like to find out more about the Stephen Ministry program at Highland Valley , please call the church office 224-6047.
•The Upper Room - Daily devotionals can be found at the website: http://www.upperroom.org/devotional/default.asp
•Heartlight - Excellent collection of well written Christian articles and short devotionals http://www.heartlight.org/devotionals
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."