Dr Gale Watkins is the Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church.  He leads us in our walk with Christ and provides the pastoral care for every person at Westminster.  His Princeton Seminary background allows for a deep and rich understanding of the bible as it relates to modern day use.  As an avid marathon runner, including twice in the Boston Marathon, Gale ran in the World Vision Marathon this spring to raise monies for clean water.  Gale is the one running next to the line. 

 

Dear friends,

I’ve just finished reading a little book by Gordon T. Smith, Teach Us to Pray. Gordon Smith is a Canadian university president and one of my favorite Christian writers. I don’t think he’s a household name, except in the Smith household, but I’ve now enjoyed six of his books. I can recommend this one, along with Listening to God in Times of Choice.

The little book on prayer has an "Afterward" on the topic of prayer as petition. He cites Philippians 4:6, which says, "Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

Smith observes, "Prayer is an act of service. We serve our neighbor and our world by interceding for the needs of the other. In some respects it is the most fundamental act of service that we can offer: to serve one another by praying for one another." This is an encouraging word. When we feel limited in our reach, even if we are not able get out very much, we can still have an impact on people we care about through petitionary prayer.

Sometimes people are in situations that appear to us to be completely impossible. We can’t even imagine how it could come out well. Smith has some comments that seem pertinent when we are praying for people who are in an especially tight spot: "Our prayers of petition and intercession assume that there are things that reflect our utter and absolute dependence on Godwherein we ask God to do what only God can do, and wherein we know that our only hope is that God would act." This this connection to the Lords prayer: "Petition is really, in the end, nothing other than praying thy kingdom come in the lives of those we love."

One of the great privileges of Christian life is prayer. I hope that we will all continue to be faithful in praying for one another.

 

 

God’s blessings on you.

 

 

Gale Watkins, Pastor