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Praying Our Way Forward


Bishop Gregory V. Palmer encourages all West Ohio United Methodists to participate daily in Praying Our Way Forward until the conclusion of the Special Session of General Conference which ends February 26, 2019. Below are some suggestions and resources for your use.

  • Engage in a weekly Wesleyan 24-hour fast from Thursday after dinner to Friday mid-afternoon.  Those who have health situations causing food fasts to be inadvisable might consider fasting from social media, emails or another daily activity.
  • Pause and pray for our church's mission and way forward daily for four minutes from 2:23 through 2:26 a.m. or p.m. in their own time zone OR at another time.  This is because the Special Session of General Conference will be held February 23 through February 26, 2019.
  • Pray using a weekly prayer calendar that will be posted on the UMCPrays.org website from June 2, 2018, through the end of February 2019. The calendar will list a unique cluster of names each week. The names will balance United States bishops and delegates with Central Conference bishops and delegates. It will also include General Secretaries, Commission on a Way Forward members, the Commission of the General Conference and the staff of the General Conference.

Parson to Person - July

Dear Friends, 

I have loved my life lived near the heart of the Church.  Never more so than at Armstrong Chapel. Our daily lives are noble teachers when we are attentive.  All of the following happened to me on a bright summer day not long ago on a visit to one of the fine hospitals in our city.

 The beautiful lady I was calling upon was suffering from short term memory loss.  While I was with her, she kept repeating that she had something she wanted to tell me but just couldn’t remember what it was.  When it was time to go, I asked her if I might have a prayer and she answered and I did.  After the prayer, she said to me with a smile and bright eyes, “While you were praying, I remembered what I had wanted to say.  What I wanted to say was ‘please help me’ and your prayer did.”  Leaving, I thought to myself, what a perfect request of our Heavenly Father, “Please help me!  It is always an appropriate prayer.

When I got to the exit door of the locked unit, I realized I was a long way down the hall from the nurses’ desk and that I couldn’t get off the floor without them pushing the buzzer to release me.  Just then, from the other side, a lovely nurse opened the door and eyed me with a modicum of suspicion.  “Can you let me out?” I asked.  “Well, I guess I can,” she replied, with a wry smile.  I have been in lots of closed places over the years where it took someone from the outside to set me free.  At times it has been Jesus.  Other times a friend.  Even at times a stranger.  While I would like to be always adequate for every occasion, it just doesn’t happen that way.

The third learning occurrence that hour was when I entered the elevator on my way back to my car in the parking garage.  There was a doctor already on the lift.  He could be identified by his badge, his coat and his stethoscope.  I guessed him to be Indian and he was supported by a cane in his right hand.  I must have entered with a good stride because he smiled and stated, “It is a good thing to be able to walk!”  It IS a good thing to be able to walk!  Even when your hips grind and your knees ache.  I thought about all the good people I know who aren’t graced with the mobility I often take for granted.  As I drove away that morning, I realized anew how many more gifts I had received in a short span of time than I had given.

 Thanks for spending the time to read this.  I hope you found it as helpful to read as I did to write.

 Love, hope and prayers,
Stanley Lawrence 

Posted by Stan Lawrence with

Disturb Us, Lord

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I recently came across a piece of music performed by Larnelle Harris: DISTURB US, LORD by Tony Wood/Lee Black/Dave Clark

 Disturb us, Lord When worldly things delight us and we fail to look above
When we withhold from others though we’ve been given much
If the fire of our first love’s not burning bright as before
Disturb us, Lord
Disturb us, Lord
When we’re not in your Word and we don’t spend time on our knees
When we have a chance but we don’t speak the truth that sets men free
If we don’t worship you with fiery passion anymore
Disturb us, Lord
Sometimes in your great love, You comfort the troubled
But other times in your great love, You trouble the comfortable
Disturb us, Lord
If our lives never touch the lives of those still in the dark
If we don’t live with hearts that break for things that break your heart
In tenderness please lead your church back to your heart once more
Disturb us, Lord
If we ever lose the wonder of the cross that you once bore
Disturb us, Lord
Disturb us, Lord

This prayer has spoken to me in such powerful ways. When we do not cherish the first-love of Jesus. Christ. When our ministries are no longer about us but how we serve others, we know the Lord has moved us from our places of ease to the power of redemptive love. Praying that God will not leave us in apathy or worse contentment. Each day affords the Lord to stir our hearts once again to follow after Christ and to offer the power of the gospel in every aspect of the church and our community. Often it is easy to think that one issue or another issue ‘disturbs’ us, but not enough for action. This prayer seeks the power of the Holy Spirit to stir us in the embrace of the power of the cross. Join me in praying this prayer during the summer. Let’s make it a season that will cause us to discover what is at the heart of God for our community and the mission of Armstrong Chapel.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor David

Posted by David Brown with