Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Prayer Ministries & Harmony
It would start with a phone call from Caroline Maxfield. Then I’d call Virginia Olson. For many years, this was how the Prayer Chain operated. No long list of names and troubles, just a few needy souls. I looked forward to being able to do something for these members of Sheridan. As our church grew, so did the list. Email replaced the weekly phone calls. On Tuesdays, my inbox is filled with the needs of many. I scan it quickly, looking for friends’ names. Then I reread it slowly again, quietly speaking to God, lifting these names up to Him. During the week, I go back to that email and repeat my prayers.
Paul reminded the Philippians to pray about everything and don’t worry. Easier said than done. When there are so many things to worry about, how do we just shut that off? Writing it down on a yellow card in church or calling the church office, or sharing it with a friend releases some of the weight of worry from your heart. Knowing hundreds of prayers are being said for you comforts you, you are not alone. It creates a caring community, a harmonious culture. Paul wanted us to use prayer to ease the pains of life. Remember he was sitting in prison rejoicing AND praying.
At Sheridan, we have so many opportunities to pray. Whether you are part of an organized group or seek solitude, praying is the connection to God. I rejoice when I can tell a member on the Prayer Chain, “I’ve been praying for you!” I hope they feel the concern and love.
Thank you for listening to my needs. Thank you for answering my prayers. Thank you for all the pure and lovely things in this world. When I talk to You, take away my worries. Amen.
Written by Cindy Swanson
Cindy and her husband, Ray, have been members of Sheridan Lutheran Church since 1978. They have 3 sons, Ben, Andrew and Patrick who were confirmed at Sheridan. They enjoy spending time with their 4 grandchildren (ages 2-7). Cindy retired from teaching writing to middle schoolers for Lincoln Public Schools in 2014. She savors a good cup of coffee, a well-written book, a lively discussion and chocolate. She lives near a cemetery and knows each day is a gift!