I heard a saying once, “The more I pray, the more coincidences seem to happen.”  Incredible… and true.

Last September or October, I thought it might be nice to start a prayer service in the two-point charge where I serve.  At some point during the month of October, I sat down with a devotional book that had some suggested readings from the lectionary, and planned out five months worth of key verses for this prayer service that was going to start in Advent.

The service is pretty simple.  It starts off with a call and response, and then we go into a lectio divina reading of the key verse.  There are four readings of the passage, and after each reading, there are a couple of minutes of silence to meditate on the verse.  The second part has been a variety of guided prayer exercises that I have come across.  I hoping to add more of these to my repertoire, but I have four right now that I’m rotating through.  Finally, we close the evening with communion.  From start to finish, it typically lasts 35-40 minutes.

I’ve enjoyed leading this service almost more than anything else that I am doing as a pastor right now.  It’s nice to carve out some time for silence and reflection, and it’s great that other people want to be a part of it.  To use a current buzz word, this is how Veedersburg and Hillsboro are doing Intentional Faith Development right now.  However, I’m not writing this morning to just put in a plug for the prayer service.  I want to share a personal testimony about how God is working on me through the service.

A couple weeks ago, I lost my notebook where I had put all the verses.  I was afraid that I was going to have to plan it all out once again.  However, last Monday, I found the notebook and the passage that I had scheduled for last week was Matthew 6:25-34.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of Godt above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:25-34, NLT)

Now, first off, I realize that may be a little long for a lectio reading, but it worked out well.  Secondly, I’ve had a lot on my mind lately.  The Friday before, I went to see the doctor because my heel has been hurting and getting progressively worse.  I found out that I either have a partially torn Achilles or it’s tendonitis.  Either way it’s pretty painful to walk for any length of time.  In fact, sometimes it even hurts when I’ve been sitting for too long.  I’ve been worried about it because there is a possibility that I may need to have surgery if it doesn’t get any better.  Additionally, I have to be careful about the physical activity that I do or else I run the risk of tearing it completely, which will be incredibly painful, and require surgery and a long recovery time.  I was talking to Katie that Monday morning about how I was worried about it, and then, in the afternoon, I sit down to plan out the prayer service, and I find that this was the passage of the night.

I’m trying to worry less.  I’m not much of a worrier anyway, but this has been weighing heavy on my mind… as well as a couple other things.  It helps to know that God cares and is speaking to me even in the midst of all this worry.  It’s amazing how God can speak to us when we least expect it.