Posted tagged ‘prayer list’

Dad’s Bible

February 25, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                         February 25, 2018

                                               

I brought Dad’s Bible home with me this past week. Laurence Wolfe passed away on the fifteenth of February four months shy of his 90th birthday. His Bible has been speaking and reaffirming to me who Dad was and is.

A Bible often does that…communicates who the owner is! It shows his search for truth and the value he placed on wisdom and revelation. Sometimes it also reveals the lifeline that the person held on to in facing difficulties and weaknesses.

My dad’s book of scriptures has verses underlined on most of the pages. Not a single verse in the Book of Psalms is underlined, but Proverbs is well-used. “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.” (Proverbs 3:13)

“He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.” (Proverbs 14:21)

“Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.” (Proverbs 16:6)

Wise counsel would be a term people would associate with Dad. I remember the number of phone calls he would receive at home after he retired from the Social Security Administration. People would call him for advice and guidance on how to approach a situation with his former employer. He would listen and offer…wise counsel. I’ve got a feeling that Proverbs was a book he read often to help ground him in the area of wisdom. The Book of James echoes that belief. Underlined in the first chapter are these words: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt…” (James 1:5-6)

And then a bit later. “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13)

Paul’s letter to the Romans seems to have been a favorite book, as well as the Gospel of John. In the midst of the gospel one verse gets emphasized. “He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.” (John 14:24)

Dad’s Bible tells me other things about him as well. Any verse that is emphasized is underlined with great care to make sure the line is straight. It reminds me of a father who was always organized. A task worth doing- even underlining a scripture verse- was worth doing well!

And then there is the prayer list! It was tucked between pages in the midst of Nehemiah. The list held the names of friends, family, his pastor, his church, and his country. Some of the names were of people who had been struggling with health difficulties, and others who were struggling with spiritual difficulties.

In the coming months Dad’s Bible will be the Bible that I read, discovering in the midst of the Word of God the man of God that my father was. In a way it will be like a continuing conversation with Pops, visits that I am extremely grateful for.

Rearranging My Prayer List

December 17, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       December 17, 2016

                           

Prayer is not my strength.

I recognize in writing that sentence in that way that it was read in different ways by different people. Some may have read it thinking about the power of prayer, and what in the world am I thinking!!!!

Others may have read it and thought I was referring to the lack of effect…the absence of strengthening… that prayer brings into my life.

And still others read it the way I intended it. That is, when compiling a list of my strengths prayer is not one of them. That is not to say that I do not pray, and it not to say that I do not believe in the power and potential of prayer…the difference that prayer makes, but rather it is to say that prayer is seldom my reaction. My first reaction is to think of solutions and construct plans.

Over the years some folk have assumed that prayer was my strength since I am a pastor. Perhaps they thought I had a habit of rising at 5:30 and heading into my prayer closet. The truth is that I do often rise at 5:30, not because of an urgency to pray but because of an urgency with my bladder. I know…I know, too much information!

Recently, however, like casseroles at a church potluck, God seems to be heaping more concerns on plate. And interestingly enough, it isn’t because I’m a pastor, but rather because of the people I’m encountering during this time of my life journey. Let me give you some taste of my “prayer portions!”

-While sitting in Starbucks one morning and writing one of my blog posts one of the Starbucks employees that I’ve gotten to know a little bit, Sarah, was wiping off the counter beside me. She gave me one of those looks that non-verbally said “I want to say something to you!” I asked her how she was, and she told me her mom had passed away a couple of days before and the funeral was to be the next day. We talked about the loss of a parent, the pain and the sorrow, and I told her I would be praying for her and her family. Having lost my mom three years ago I know the absence such a death brings to one’s life.

-This week I was talking to my good friend Dave, who now lives in the San Antonio area. He told me that his three sons will all be deployed next month. Having been a career military person, he is proud of his sons’ service for their country, but also acutely aware of the heightened risk that deployments bring and raised anxiety levels of parents, spouses, and children back home. I told him that I’d be praying for them.

-Another person who lives elsewhere had an important court date that he was very anxious about. As the hearing came this week I prayed for him.

-Last night I was officiating a women’s basketball game at Colorado College. One of my partners, Tony Exum, was recently elected to the Colorado House of Representatives. As we were talking before the game he told me about his experience of receiving a word from the Lord back in 1993 about running for political office, and how his decision to run for office in the recent campaign was confirmed by three people he had asked to pray for him. At the end of the night as we were walking out of the gymnasium I told him that I would be praying for him as he was preparing to begin his term of service.

-At our Monday night meetings for area basketball officials one of our older officials (Older than me, okay!) has asked me to join him in prayer at the end of our meetings. Our association of officials has had a trying year and so we join together for a few moments of prayer, asking for protection and wisdom for the close to two hundred men and women who blow their whistles at high school games.

-Two months ago I conducted the funeral service for my friend, Greg Davis. At 41 years of age, he left behind a wife and nine year old daughter, plus his parents and brothers. I’m still grieving his passing, but find myself praying frequently for his family.

Sometimes God places people in our lives for a moment to provide prayer support for a season. Sometimes our relationships are long journeys where the support is like a slow movement in a casual ongoing conversation. At other times it’s a short spurt of conversational prayer, like going to 7-11 for a Slurpee…for a moment and then onward. It seems, however, that God is placing people in my path- heaping those relational portions on my plate- to drive me to prayer. They are the relational roadmap of spiritual support.

Prayer may never be my strength, but it is my summons.