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This week's eNote

february 19, 2024 by pastor chip freed

Our season of Lent is in full swing. We kicked off our series, A Safe Place to Search: Questions Jesus Asked this past Wednesday and Sunday. In our “B.L.E.S.S. Series – 5 Everyday Ways to Love Our Neighbor & Change the World,” we gave all of us some homework for the 40 days leading up to Easter (not counting Sundays). They are:

Be in Prayer – Write down 8 names of people that you want to pray for daily during this time. Have some be people you know well -- family, friends, co-workers, church members, etc. -- and have some be people you do not know all that well. Just lift their names up daily to God, individually or as a list.

Listen with Care – Spend 3 minutes a day in prayer that is simply listening before God. Do not ask for anything, give thought to anything except God’s presence and just listen. We have already heard back from two members that reported that they are amazed how much this simple act has impacted them since they started doing this on Ash Wednesday. I’ve set my timer on my phone each day when I’ve prayed to listen, and then go on to pray for my list.

Since doing so, a family of four who are on my list and are new next door neighbors that I have greeted casually but not met more personally, has come more to my attention. I have prayed for them daily since Ash Wednesday while also spending my 3-5 minutes listening to God, and as I shared on Sunday, I saw them four times last week. I had to ask myself was this an unusual frequency of encounters, or is my intentional prayer and listening time making me more aware of them? Maybe I have normally been running into them four times a week and just not aware?

Also for Lent and Easter, we are connecting our Monday evening House of Prayer Service from 6:30-7:30 PM with our Sunday morning themes each week. So if you are unable to worship in-person any given weekend, consider joining us at House of Prayer where we will open with a time of soaking prayer and meditation; have devotional time together – sometimes a re-cap of Sunday’s message and a chance to go a little deeper -- have communion together, and spend time at prayer stations. Tonight, I will be leading our devotional time around Sunday’s message and Jesus’ question: “What are you looking for?” (John 1:38). I will have a card with the four aspect of Jesus’ invitation to “Come and See?” and ask each of us to reflect on which of those areas we need to be more attentive to in our spiritual journeys.

Remember, if there are things you would like prayer for please contact us at prayer@garfieldchurch.org. If you would ever like a care visit or are in need of a meal, please contact info@garfieldchurch.org. Jesus grieved during his visit to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem saying, “I thought I would find a house of prayer for all nations (all people-groups)” (Mark 11:17). Let us seek to be a more intentional people of prayer and care this Lent & Easter season.