Donna asked me to write a devotion for the Women’s Ministry executive committee meeting in early January. I had just spent two weekends in Rochester for Christmas and New Years. It was refreshing to spend time with my sister and her girls. And it provided the focus and inspiration for this devotion.
On Saturday January 2nd, I spent 2 hours rollerskating with my sister, Amy and 2 nieces, Abbie – 1 ½ and Ellie 5. I was reminded of Saturdays growing up. It’s been more than25 years since my sister and I used to rollerskate in the high school gym. My mom would drop us off and we would skate until we were exhausted and our feet had blisters. Oh, the fun we had those Saturdays skating.
I haven’t rollerskated in years, but I go rollerblading a couple of times a year. So I assumed I’d be fine on rollerskates. But I was surprised, when I was a little unsteady on my skates. It took a few times around the gym to feel comfortable.
I believe prayer and praising God is very much the same. If you haven’t prayed in awhile, it may take a few “turns” to feel comfortable talking with God again. We can look to Jesus and the Bible to show us the way to pray.
John 17:20-22 20My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me.
Psalm 145:2-3 2Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. 3Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.
Eph 3:16-19 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
James 5:16 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
And we must be diligent in our prayer time. Plan it, schedule it and enjoy it. If it becomes part of our routine, our walk with God will deepen.
After getting steady on my skates, I started helping my 5 year old niece Ellie. At first, her legs were going every which way. She was having trouble staying upright. She would get her feet under her and then start looking around – at the kids on the bleachers, at the other kids skating, at the skating DJ and for her mom and sister. It reminds me of how we learn to love God. We need someone to show us the way. Either a parent or a friend or a teacher who loves us. And those mentors keep us from getting distracted from doing God’s work. Just like my nieces need teachers, sisters in Christ need teachers and mentors. Our mentors keep us focused on God. They teach us how to walk with God. Ellie was also depending on me to keep her from falling. Our new and growing sisters in Christ are depending on our more mature sisters to keep them from falling. We may “fall” a time or two, but much less than if we didn’t have a mentor. If we do fall, they provide support to get back up. Once we are back on our feet, their coaching and guidance will help us to avoid making the same mistake again. And if we are already walking with God, our mentors will help us deepen our walk with sharing their knowledge, skills and experiences.
Matthew 28:19-20 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing then in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Romans 1:11-12 11I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – 12that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
Titus 2 1You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. 3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. 6Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. 9Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. 11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
Brenda Van Duser January 2010