Grace By Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Norfolk
The power of prayer
God never promised we wouldn’t have trials. Yet, he does promise always to get us through them. He promises he will never leave nor forsake us, never give us more than we can handle, and always make it all work out for our good.
We may feel powerless under trials and temptations. Yet, through prayer, we have access to the unlimited power of God. “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” God not only wants us to ask for help, he wants us to persist, “continuing instant in prayer.” He encourages us to keep praying and not give up on his promises. Often, it may seem like he’s not listening, or that he doesn’t care. But, “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us.” The cross of Christ reminds us how much God truly cares, and gives us the assurance that he does hear us. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
Trials are not meant to harm us, but rather to help us. “The trying of your faith worketh patience.” He wants our faith to grow. He wants us to trust in him, pray to him, and find comfort and assurance in his promises. Whatever our trial may be, Jesus says, “All things are possible to him that believeth … All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
— The Rev. Wyatt Rosebrock
First Presbyterian Church, Norfolk
One of the qualities we admire in our leaders is honesty. We have stories about our national leaders — people like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln — that tell of their honesty growing up. Some of those stories are, shall we say, more reliable than others. But in any case, we want our leaders and our friends to be folks who will be straight with us, giving us the plain truth.
In this week’s passage from the book of Mark, Jesus is talking with his disciples about some things that they don’t really want to hear. Jesus is being straight with them, but the head disciple, Peter, goes so far as to rebuke the master. Jesus quickly and firmly corrects Peter and tells all the disciples that some very difficult events are going to come. These events must come to fulfill the prophecies about the Messiah.
So while we do want honesty in our relationships, we must be prepared for some of that honesty to challenge us. Jesus says that we should take up our cross and follow him, an image of sacrifice. But the important thing to note is that Jesus will always be with us, no matter what.
Our worship service this Sunday is open to all; safety measures will be practiced. We also have recorded worship on Facebook. Come and worship our Lord Jesus, who is open with us and loves us.
— The Rev. Brian Johnson