January 3, 2021
preached by Pastor Doug Cooper
Time of Reflection Quotations
Religion is what you do with your solitude.
~ William Temple (1881-1944), English Anglican priest
Prayer is the way we work our way out of the comfortable but cramped world of self, and into the spacious world of God.
~ Eugene Peterson (1932-2018), American-born clergyman, scholar, author, and poet
To teach us how to pray, Jesus told stories of weak people who knew they couldn’t do life on their own. The persistent widow and the friend at midnight get access, not because they are strong but because they are desperate. Learned desperation is at the heart of a praying life.
Suffering is unbearable if you aren’t certain that God is for you and with you.
~ Tim Keller (1950-present), American pastor, theologian, and Christian apologist
What God has promised is to be with us, to weep with us, to celebrate with us, to help us, to strengthen us, to never let us go and to outlast every evil and terrible thing with us. His love, His purposes, and His goodness will never quit and no foul thing will ever overcome them. These kinds of “with us, for us, understands us, nothing can separate us” promises are like berries ripe and ready for our tasting.”
~ Zack Eswine, contemporary pastor and author
He is with us in our kitchens, at our tables, on our breadlines, with our visitors, on our farms. When we pray for our material needs, it brings us close to his humanity. He, too, needed food and shelter; he, too, warmed his hands at a fire and lay down in a boat to sleep.
~ Dorothy Day (1897-1980), American writer and social activist
Prayer is a moment of incarnation – God with us. God involved in the details of my life.
~ Paul E. Miller, contemporary author
Faith is the resting of the heart on God.
~ William Ames (1576-1633), English Protestant theologian and philosopher
Mark 1:35-38 (CSB)
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying. 36 Simon and his companions searched for him, 37 and when they found him they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
38 And he said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.”
Matthew 14:10-14 (CSB)
10 So he sent orders and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 Then his disciples came, removed the corpse, buried it, and went and reported to Jesus.
13 When Jesus heard about it, he withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd, had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
Luke 5:15-16 (CEV)
15 News about Jesus kept spreading. Large crowds came to listen to him teach and to be healed of their diseases. 16 But Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray.
Luke 22:39-44 (CSB)
39 He went out and made his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 When he reached the place, he told them, “Pray that you may not fall into temptation.”
41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me — nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him. 44 Being in anguish, he prayed more fervently, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.