For the past few months, we have been hosting our Lifegroup (small group Bible study) at our house. I love hosting for a few reasons. First, it's convenient for the kids. The boys can finish their homework if they need to or play in their room if they don't want to sit in on the study. And I have all of Julianna's toys and books to occupy her and can put her in bed at her regular bedtime. Secondly, knowing we are having company insures that the house is clean. It's great to start out the week with a clean house. And thirdly, I like having people in our home. We don't do it often enough since we live out of town and sometimes feel like it's a burden for people to drive so far. But all of our group lives within a few miles of us, so it's not an inconvenience for them. Lately I have really appreciated the members of our small group. We are the youngest members of the group by at least 15 years (the oldest member of our group is 85). We are the only ones with kids still at home. In fact, all the other members of the group are grandparents. But we have this bond that isn't found anywhere else. They all love our family and we love them. I know without a doubt that I could call on any one of them for anything and they would do all they could to help. How wonderful is that? We meet every Monday night to eat together and study God's Word together and pray together. And because of that time spent together, we know and appreciate each other.
Last night we were discussing prayer and what prayer means to us as Christians. We read several scriptures and two of them happened to be two of my favorites. I'd like to share them with you.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.