A Message from Pastor Dave
For five Sundays in worship, we read from the New Testament letter of James. We concluded September 26 with James 5:13-20, about prayer, suffering, confession, and even unanswered prayer.
Garth Brooks’ song “Unanswered Prayers” has this refrain:
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
Today I read an email from the organization called Science for the Church.
A sentence stood out to me that reminded me of James 5:15-16 about prayer, confession, forgiveness and healing. The author of “Science” wrote “some science, like that of learned helplessness or forgiveness, can even tell us how God through Christ has worked out freedom from bondage and offers hope for a world where everyone can flourish and find joy.” It linked the word of “forgiveness” with a previous article that I found really helpful, insightful: “God Says to Forgive. So Does Science.”
OK. Let’s talk with the man upstairs: Heavenly Father, You have created us for companionship and have re-created us for fellowship in our Lord Jesus Christ. I confess I often disrupt fellowship by thoughtlessness and selfishness. I pray for forgiveness. Destroy in me the vanity that keeps me from liking others. Help me overcome the timidity that makes me fearful of others. Keep me from the urge to take advantage of others, but discourage in me the feeling that I cannot call on others. Help to find friendship among those who know the constant love and mercy of Your Son. Enable me to be kind, generous, and forgiving. I pray in the name of Jesus, who brought me into the fellowship of the church.
(Lutheran Book of Prayer, p. 194. 1970 Concordia Publishing House)