2018 Lenten Devotional

The only key to an effective prayer is prayer itself. John 15:4

Our prayer as you join in this daily Lenten devotional is that you discover Jesus in a deeper way. 

Click here to download the Lenten Devotional book.

February 14, 2018

Rev. Pam White

When I hear this passage talk about having a mind like Christ, I am reminded that Paul is not referring to intellectual thought, but more to an attitude or mind-set. He is talking about the mind as something that directs our behavior. Imagine how our lives would be different if we truly looked to the interests of others instead of ourselves, living in humility with compassion and empathy for others. Lent is a good time to evaluate the way we are living. How would our relationships be different if we spent more time developing a mind like Christ?

Scripture: Philippians 2:3-5

Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus.

Response

Lord, help our behavior to be guided not by our own selfish ambitions, but instead by a desire to follow in your footsteps, living a life grounded in humility and love of others.

Prayer Focus

Pray that all of St. Andrew’s Adult Sunday School classes find new excitement and purpose during this time.

February 15, 2018

Rev. Jimmy Decker

It’s easy to tell ourselves to simply not brag vocally to another person. It’s an entirely different conversation to change our hearts in such a way that we don’t even feel the desire to brag. We have to work against the culture of trying to ascend as high as we can, and instead make the effort to humble ourselves. In recognizing that it is by the grace of God and the love of others that we have made it to where we are today, it’s a good exercise to offer praise and support to others rather than just glory for ourselves.

Scripture: Romans 12:16

Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart.

Response

Pray about important people in your lives, lifting them up in love. Then spend some time with someone in your life who is “lower” than you so you can love them and pray for them as well.

Prayer Focus

Pray for our Creative Team here at St. Andrew, that they may be empowered to capture transformational stories and share them for the glory of God.

February 16, 2018

Rev. Arthur Jones

Jesus and the book of Proverbs tell us that we cannot predict what is going to happen tomorrow. We live in a tumultuous world that is wonderful and unpredictable, but we like to think that we are in control. This is an illusion. Our own sense of mastering the world is always – at least a little – delusional. The only thing you can do is control what you are doing and pay attention to this moment. If you do this well, day after day, then the friends and the people around you will notice and praise you.

Scripture: Proverbs 2:1-2

My son, accept my words and store up my commands. Turn your ear toward wisdom, and stretch your mind toward understanding.

Response

Spend time today giving up your own need to be in control, and instead trust the path that God is guiding you to.

Prayer Focus

Pray that through our Bible studies and Small Groups new relationships and deeper Christian connections can form.

February 17, 2018

Dr. Scott Engle

Elijah is not one to brag, but Elisha knows how much God has been with the old prophet. Elisha’s desire for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit is a request to be his primary heir, following the custom of the day. What would you like most to inherit from your friends? What double portion would mean the most to you? Have you told your friend?

Scripture: 2 Kings 2:9-10

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “What do you want me to do for you before I’m taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Let me have twice your spirit.” Elijah said, “You’ve made a difficult request. If you can see me when I’m taken from you, then it will be yours. If you don’t see me, it won’t happen.”

Response

Lord, let me be wise in what I ask of my friends.

Prayer Focus

Pray for smooth ongoing processes as we transition into the second phase of construction for our ChurchOne plan for growth.

February 18, 2018

Rev. Jennifer Powell

When I think of friendships and bragging, I can’t help but think of the use of social media. We tell our “friends” about our accomplishments, or brag about our children and grandchildren. We’ve all bragged at one time or another. While this isn’t always wrong, it can become too much. It’s great to connect over social media, but God also desires us to be present with people in real life. Jesus surrounded himself with intimate friends – sharing his life, laughing and having a meal together. He modeled for us the power of connecting with friends.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:11

We don’t need to write to you about the timing and dates, brothers and sisters.

Response

Lord, You created me with a need for friends. Help me carve out the time for heart-to-heart connections. Help me reach out to others so I can have and be a close friend.

Prayer Focus

Pray that students will connect with one another and grow in their faith through our 412 Middle School ministry and our Lighthouse High School ministry.

February 19, 2018

Kim Meyers

The story of Elijah reminds me of the friendship that we see in the book of Job. Job is in a place of desperation and loss, and his friends join him, sit with him and bring him comfort. They don’t bring comfort with words, but with their presence. Who can you comfort today?

Scripture: Job 2:11-13

When Job’s three friends heard about all this disaster that had happened to him, they came, each one from his home—Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuah, and Zophar from Naamah. They agreed to come so they could console and comfort him. When they looked up from a distance and didn’t recognize him, they wept loudly. Each one tore his garment and scattered dust above his head toward the sky. They sat with Job on the ground seven days and seven nights, not speaking a word to him, for they saw that he was in excruciating pain.

Response

Lord, help me bring comfort to others.

Prayer Focus

Pray for those who are new to St. Andrew, that they may discover all that our Starting Point classes have to offer them.

February 20, 2018

Michael Agnew

The life that Jesus lived was one deeply rooted in humility. From his birth, to the people he surrounded himself with, to his dying last breath, Jesus willingly put down his personal desires in every step of his life. It was because of this humble attitude that He received God’s highest honor. And now, we are called to have this same attitude. We are One, the Body of Christ, called to put down our personal desires and truly give ourselves in our friendships and relationships, so that we too can be exalted.

Scripture: Philippians 2:5-9

Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus: Though he was in the form of God, he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit. But he emptied himself by taking the form of a slave and by becoming like human beings. When he found himself in the form of a human, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God highly honored him and gave him a name above all names

Response

Lord, help me be aware of my words and actions; and help me stay humble as I reflect the attitude of Christ.

Prayer Focus

Pray that God uses the gifts and talents of our church staff in service to change hearts, lives, and the community of St. Andrew.

February 21, 2018

Rev. Allison Jean

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis explains humility. Most people assume that humility means we think very little of ourselves, and that we must constantly be reminding ourselves to be humble. Yet Lewis shows that to be humble is actually very simple. Instead of focusing inward, thinking about humility itself, we simply shift our attention to those around us; we allow our hearts to be opened to the joys and worries of others, loving them like Christ.

Scripture: Ephesians 4:2

Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love

Response

Gracious God, open my heart to the joys and cares of others, so that I might be a vessel for your love and grace in their lives.

Prayer Focus

Pray for strong enrollment in the 2018-2019 year at St. Andrew Preschool an important part of our Children’s Ministry.

February 22, 2018

Len Wilson

It has been said that pride is the chief of all sins, and the one from which every other sin springs forth. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden, it was about a desire to replace trust in God with personal authority. This same desire exists in each of us. When we find ourselves wanting to be known for our own abilities, we are eating the same apple and seeking the same personal authority. The journey toward the cross is a journey downward, from the place of authority we’ve fashioned for ourselves, to a place of humility and dependence on a loving God.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 7:7

It was not because you were greater than all other people that the Lord loved you and chose you. In fact, you were the smallest of peoples!

Response

Lord, show me the areas in my life where I am clinging to my own authority. Make it clear to me that when it comes to any goodness and righteousness in me, only you deserve glory.

Prayer Focus

Pray that our new church members and visitors find places to connect and grow in their faith through Bible studies and Small Groups.

February 23, 2018

Taylor Davis

Nothing in faith is measurable. We don’t have bank accounts or charts to tell us how much faith we have compared to others. A bar graph for our Christianity doesn’t exist, and there’s no way to give a PowerPoint presentation on how pious we are. In fact, Jesus told us to pray in secret – to do acts of kindness in secret. When wearing the lens of faith, bragging can’t even be seen.

Scripture: Matthew 6:5-6

When you pray, don’t be like hypocrites. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that people will see them. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you.

Response

Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Prayer Focus

Pray that those persons seeking a job may learn about St. Andrew’s Career Care ministry. Pray they may attend and find a welcoming, supportive community in difficult times.

February 24, 2018

Josh Miller

Being a musician in church environments for the last 16 years, I have had the great pleasure of being around some truly wonderful musicians. One thing that all of the greatest ones have in common is their awareness of how much they have left to learn and how easily they offer their own knowledge to those around them. Bragging and pride don’t just hurt our friendships – it stunts our growth.

Scripture: Proverbs 11:2

When pride comes, so does shame, but wisdom brings humility.

Response

Take the time to learn something today. Everyone has something to offer, and we all have people in our lives we can learn from.

Prayer Focus

Pray for our Student Ministry Confirmation class and their families, that they will take ownership of their faith journey.

February 25, 2018

Rev. Robert Hasley

Mom’s cancer was inoperable. She declined chemotherapy, having decided that quality of life during her final days was more important than the physical hardships of treatment. Each day her best friend, Martha Sue, checked on her. When Mom became confined to bed, Martha Sue came and sat by her bedside for hours. They would talk, or Martha Sue would sit in silence holding her hand. On several occasions she prayed or read from the Bible. The words of Ruth to Naomi capture Martha’s Sue’s dedication to my mom. Martha Sue’s steadfast presence in a time of need brought great comfort and joy to her.

Scripture: Ruth 1:16

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to abandon you, to turn back from following after you. Wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.

Response

For whom is God calling you to be a steadfast presence today?

Prayer Focus

Pray that those who call St. Andrew home would embrace sharing their prayer needs with their church family so that we are able to support them.

February 26, 2018

Rev. Pam White

When I think back to difficult times in my life, one of the things I remember most vividly is the way that my friends walked beside me. They didn’t just tell me that they cared, but they exhibited the love of Christ in concrete ways. It is quite a gift to be surrounded with prayer and support, serving as a reminder that I am not alone.

Scripture: 1 John 3:16-19

This is how we know love: Jesus laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. But if a person has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need and that person doesn’t care—how can the love of God remain in him? Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth. 19 This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts in God’s presence.

Response

Think of a time when you have experienced a representation of love through the action of another. How can you be more focused on passing this type of care along to others?

Prayer Focus

Pray for the Welcome Ministries of St. Andrew, and consider how you might participate in welcoming new people into our church family.

February 27, 2018

Rev. Jimmy Decker

The old phrase “Blood is thicker than water” is misunderstood. The actual phrase is “Blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb.” The whole idea is that we are to exist in community not just with family by virtue of our shared lineage, but to live in communion with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Real friendship forms a familial bond, and we are encouraged to do so with our fellow disciples.

Scripture: Matthew 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and brothers stood outside trying to speak with him. Someone said to him, “Look, your mother and brothers are outside wanting to speak with you.” Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” He stretched out his hand toward his disciples and said, “Look, here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven is my brother, sister, and mother.”

Response

Thank God for the family you have who aren’t related to you. Take time to list out 5 people who you have a shared bond with and have helped you come to know and love Christ more.

Prayer Focus

Pray that God would provide the resources needed to fund and expand the ministries of St. Andrew.

February 28, 2018

Michael Agnew

In today’s culture we’ve been taught that to be successful we have to be independent and a self-starter. While that might be true in some cases, for our spiritual lives, we are dependent on others. We need real relationships, and that’s the picture the early church shows in Acts. They relied on each other for everything they needed. Community wasn’t just greeting each other on a Sunday morning, it was sharing in every area of their lives with one another. This depth of relationships can be scary to commit to, but it is necessary to fully live as the body of Christ.

Scripture: Acts 2:44-47

All the believers were united and shared everything. They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them. Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.

Response

Name some things that hold you back from being fully open and honest in your relationships at church. Who is someone that God is calling you to have a deeper friendship with?

Prayer Focus

Pray and give thanks for the Contemporary Worship band and the ways that they lead our congregation in praise and worship.

March 1, 2018

Dr. Scott Engle

Boaz tells Naomi that Ruth has loved her more than seven sons! What sort of friend are you? To whom have you been the very best of friends? For God, friendship is grounded in self-sacrifice, putting our friend’s interests ahead of our own. As Jesus put it, we are to be willing to lay down our life for our friends. How close to that has Ruth come?

Scripture: Ruth 4:14-15

The women said to Naomi, “May the Lord be blessed, who today hasn’t left you without a redeemer. May his name be proclaimed in Israel. He will restore your life and sustain you in your old age. Your daughter-in-law who loves you has given birth to him. She’s better for you than seven sons.”

Response

Lord, let me be a better friend, willing to put my friend’s interests ahead of my own.

Prayer Focus

Pray for those in our community in need of support who have yet to find it, that they may find it through our Storehouse Ministry.

March 2, 2018

Rev. Jennifer Powell

Ruth had no way of knowing that her way of blessing Naomi would eventually become a blessing in her own life. Ruth is blessed with a new home, a new husband and a son, Obed, who would become the grandfather of David. God delights so much in seeing us love and bless others that God turns that love and blessing back to us in double measure.

Scripture: Proverbs 11:25

Generous persons will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Response

Lord, I am thankful for the persons who have played an important role in my life. Help me find ways to express my love and gratitude to them. I ask you to bless each one in a special way.

Prayer Focus

Pray for the worship transition, that we will be able to reach many new people. As we prepare for this change, may our staff and volunteers have grace for one another as we learn together.

March 3, 2018

Kim Meyers

We know that together we are greater. Our church is stronger when we join our different gifts and graces together as one people of God. We see this in action at church events such as Fall Festival. Confirmands, Sunday School classes, Young Adults, Adult Connection Groups and kids of all ages come together to make the event a success. We cannot do it alone. This is also true in our friendships. A true friend is one who helps us be the person God has called us to be.

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their hard work. If either should fall, one can pick up the other. But how miserable are those who fall and don’t have a companion to help them up! Also, if two lie down together, they can stay warm. But how can anyone stay warm alone? Also, one can be overpowered, but two together can put up resistance. A three-ply cord doesn’t easily snap.

Response

Lord, let me be thankful today for the bond of friendship.

Prayer Focus

Pray for those grieving the loss of a loved one. May they discover the community of our GriefShare ministry to support them and walk through this journey with them.

March 4, 2018

Rev. Allison Jean

Growing up in a small, rural town and church, I had quite a few “adopted” parents and grandparents. When my parents would sit in the choir loft to lead worship, I always had other families to worship with in the pews. As I have grown older, I have come to appreciate those adopted moms and dads, grandfathers and grandmothers who protected and shepherded me in my early years of faith. They did not have to invite me in, but chose to think of me as one of their own in many different ways.

Scripture: Proverbs 22:6

Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it.

Response

Who has raised you and protected you in the faith? Who can you offer this same grace to?

Prayer Focus

Pray for our Children’s Ministry’s special events and their leadership, such as Party in the Park and VBS, that they will give families an opportunity to discover St. Andrew.

March 5, 2018

Len Wilson

Recent studies show that, contrary to popular belief, sheep are not stupid animals. Sheep have impressive memories. They build friendships, stick up for one another in fights, and feel sad when their friends are sent to slaughter. But sheep are also destructive. They overgraze. They have no protective characteristics. We’re like sheep in more ways than we know. We wander around and get lost. Thanks be to God that Jesus is a friend, the gate we go through to find pasture.

Scripture: John 10:7-14

So Jesus spoke again, “I assure you that I am the gate of the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and outlaws, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 1When the hired hand sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away. That’s because he isn’t the shepherd; the sheep aren’t really his. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. He’s only a hired hand and the sheep don’t matter to him. I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep and they know me

Response

Lord, thank you for keeping the wolves away. Protect me from myself, as well. Help me to know you and follow you through the gate where I am protected and safe. Amen.

Prayer Focus

Pray for all of our choirs, who provide beautiful music for worship. We give thanks for those who use their gifts through music and song, and hope that others will join them in serving.

March 6, 2018

Taylor Davis

There is an African proverb, “to go fast, go alone; to go far, go together.” Our faith partners serve us in so many ways – holding us accountable, modeling faith for us, challenging us to be our best Christ-like selves when the world tugs us away. This walk is not a sprint or a contest to see who can get there first. It is slow and deliberate and, thank God, it works best in community.

Scripture: Romans 12:4-5

We have many parts in one body, but the parts don’t all have the same function. In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other.

Response

Hymn 632 - Draw us in the Spirit’s tether, for when humbly in thy name, two or three are met together, thou art in the midst of them. Alleluia! Alleluia! Touch we now thy garment’s hem.

Prayer Focus

Pray that our Young Adults continue to find new friendships and places to belong here at St. Andrew.

March 7, 2018

Josh Miller

In his book The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value. Rather it is one of those things that gives value to survival.” Our friendships are designed to be a key element in what brings us joy and peace and a sense of life. We are designed to protect and preserve the survival of those that we love, and that isn’t limited to physical survival. This trickles into emotional and psychological health as well. But all of this must come from a place of genuine love and care for those around us.

Scripture: Proverbs 18:24

There are persons for companionship, but then there are friends who are more loyal than family.

Response

Lord give me the awareness and wisdom to know how I can best be a shield for my friends when they have a need for it, and the courage to take action to protect those around me.

Prayer Focus

Pray that our hearts may be broken for those who are in need and hurting. Help us to live out God’s call to love and serve one another.

March 8, 2018

Rev. Robert Hasley

Not unlike Abram and Abram’s nephew Lot, there was a special bond between my sister, Sara, and me. We did everything together. We also protected one another. One Sunday morning, Mom parked the car across the street from the church and we all got out of the car to walk over to the Sanctuary. I stepped off the curb to cross the street when a scream stopped me in my tracks. As I turned around to look at my sister, I felt the draft from the car that came within inches of me as it sped down the street. The Lord God Almighty created us to be in relationship with each other to enjoy, support, and protect.

Scripture: Psalm 23:4

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff – they protect me.

Response

Who needs God’s and your protection this week?

Prayer Focus

Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide our students daily.

March 9, 2018

Rev. Pam White

God is our refuge, a hiding place in times of trouble. If we are called to be channels of God’s love for a world in need, that means that we offer this same protection to others. The first step is to open our eyes to the needs around us so that we can be aware of the opportunities we have to offer love and support to one another.

Scripture: Psalm 32:6-7

That’s why all the faithful should pray to you during troubled times, so that a great flood of water won’t reach them. You are my secret hideout! You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of rescue! Selah

Response

Who do you know that is going through a difficult time? How can you offer them assurance that God, who is faithful, will preserve them and surround them?

Prayer Focus

Pray for those facing challenges in their lives; may they find peace, community, and a place to call home here at St. Andrew.

March 10, 2018

Rev. Jimmy Decker

We are called to support and protect the ones we love, and draw them closer into a relationship with Christ. As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, we are called to stay with friends, regardless of what they are going through. And in doing so, we realize that in true friendships, there is a cord of three strands: us, our friend, and God. And a friendship built on that foundation is a friendship that protects and strengthens.

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their hard work.

Response

Pray to God for a friend who is struggling, or someone you just realize is wonderful. Lift them up to God. Then call, email, or text that friend to tell them what they mean to you.

Prayer Focus

Pray and give thanks that we will have the opportunity for our community to come together and share a worship space. May we be more connectional with those who worship in the style other than our own.

March 11, 2018

Rev. Arthur Jones

True friendships are formed not just by one moment of investment, but in a constant remembering of the commitment of one to another. Just as God did with us – beginning with a covenant with Noah and Abraham and all of Abraham’s descendants. This covenant would have been worthless if in their difficult moments in Egypt and the wilderness, God didn’t remember that covenant. Today, remember people to whom you have made commitments. It is that remembering that keeps the friendship going.

Scripture: Exodus 6:5-6

I’ve also heard the cry of grief of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians have turned into slaves, and I’ve remembered my covenant. Therefore, say to the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord. I’ll bring you out from Egyptian forced labor. I’ll rescue you from your slavery to them. I’ll set you free with great power and with momentous events of justice.

Response

Lord, help me remain true to the covenants I have made with others.

Prayer Focus

Pray that God will raise up those with servants hearts. May they have courage to answer and become Small Group Leaders and Greeters in this community.

March 12, 2018

Dr. Scott Engle

Jonathan and David have made a covenant, which is all about faithfulness. Here, David and his men are hiding from Saul in the wilderness. Yet, Jonathan comes from the palace to Jerusalem to check on David, putting himself at great risk again. Jonathan is ever-faithful to David; he knows what faithfulness means. How faithful a friend are you? Are you often a fair-weather friend? How do we stay faithful even in the hard times?

Scripture: 1 Samuel 23:15-18

While David was at Horesh in the Ziph wilderness he learned that Saul was looking to kill him. Saul’s son Jonathan came to David at Horesh and encouraged him with God. Jonathan said to him, “Don’t be afraid! My father Saul’s hand won’t touch you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be your second in command. Even my father Saul knows this.” Then the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. David stayed at Horesh, but Jonathan went back home.

Response

Lord, let me be a faithful friend, ready to be a friend in bad times, as well as good.

Prayer Focus

Pray for our Small Groups that they may continue to grow in their connectional faith and outreach to the community.

March 13, 2018

Rev. Jennifer Powell

Have you ever been on the “outs” with a friend? It isn’t always easy to love our friends. There are times when we get our feelings hurt or disagree with our friends and wonder if it is worth it to restore the relationship. When I’ve gone through this, attempts to work through these feelings on my own haven’t usually worked. During those times I have prayed for God’s insights to help me work things out. Friendship is a true blessing from God. Let us remember that we are not perfect and we need our friends through the good times and the bad.

Scripture: Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?” Jesus said, “Not just seven times, but rather as many as seventy-seven times.

Response

Lord, friendships can sometimes seem complicated. Help us to be honest and brave, and to love and forgive each other the way you do.

Prayer Focus

Pray for all the volunteers of the Storehouse ministry who so generously give of their time to lovingly care for each and every one of the families that come to the Storehouse.

March 14, 2018

Kim Meyers

In different seasons of our lives, we have different friendships. In my life, I have a group of friends from college that have been a part of my life for many years. We have been there for each other in marriage, pregnancy, miscarriage, divorce, raising children, and more. I have also gained new friends throughout the years that have impacted who I am today. I am thankful for each friendship. How do your friendships make you a better person?

Scripture: 1 Samuel 18:1-3

As soon as David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan’s life[a] became bound up with David’s life, and Jonathan loved David as much as himself.From that point forward, Saul kept David in his service and wouldn’t allow him to return to his father’s household. And Jonathan and David made a covenant together because Jonathan loved David as much as himself.

Response

Lord, let me love my friends and stand with them.

Prayer Focus

Pray for those persons who work behind the scenes allowing us to Worship, Connect, Serve and Give.

March 15, 2018

Michael Agnew

This Scripture begins with Jesus commanding us to love each other. He doesn’t give us the option to not love based on how we are feeling. True love that is modeled after the example of Christ perseveres through conflict. Jesus is calling us to meet a friend’s need even if it inconveniences us, or text someone a kind word even if they don’t deserve it, or celebrate with them even if we feel jealous of their accomplishment. This agape love that Christ is commanding us to give pushes past our emotions as we demonstrate a love that knows no bounds.

Scripture: John 15:12-13

This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends.

Response

Who is someone that God is calling you to push past your emotions and hesitations and to sacrificially love in the way that Jesus loves you?

Prayer Focus

Pray for our Young Adults ministry to continue to empower men and women to find their purpose in Christ and new ways to live this out every day.

March 16, 2018

Rev. Allison Jean

In his book, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis says, “Friendship ... is born at the moment when one [person] says to another ‘What! You too?’” Have you ever had this moment with someone who instantly became your friend? It strikes me that God often connects us with people we would never expect to have anything in common with. Yet through the grace of God, we can say “Me too!” with any fellow Christian we meet. All of us have fallen short, and all of us enjoy the power of the Holy Spirit, which binds us together.

Scripture: 1 John 4:19

We love because God first loved us.

Response

Gracious God, open my eyes to find unexpected friendships that are rooted in your grace.

Prayer Focus

Pray for our lay leadership throughout the church that they may continuously strive to do God’s good works.

March 17, 2018

Len Wilson

When Saul and Jonathan die at the Battle of Gilboa, a nurse gets news and attempts to flee the scene. She drops Jonathan’s 5-year-old son Mephibosheth, and in the accident he becomes “crippled in both feet.” Perhaps his ankles are broken and heal poorly. Whatever happens, he can’t walk, and grows to adulthood in this condition, a “dead dog” of a man. Yet because of his covenant with his father, David brings Mephibosheth to the king’s table, where he sits forevermore as one of the king’s own sons. True covenant friendship lasts for generations.

Scripture: 2 Samuel 9:6-8

Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson, came to David, and he fell to the ground, bowing low out of respect. “Mephibosheth?” David said. “Yes,” he replied. “I am at your service!” “Don’t be afraid,” David told him, “because I will certainly show you faithful love for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the fields of your grandfather Saul, and you will eat at my table always.” Mephibosheth bowed low out of respect and said, “Who am I, your servant, that you should care about a dead dog like me?”

Response

Lord, show us how we can give honor to our friends and to their families. Teach us how to live a life of covenant. Amen.

Prayer Focus

Pray for each family in our ministries, that they may find our church to be a place of comfort and inspiration.

March 18, 2018

Taylor Davis

Generally, you will find me listening to the Lord’s Prayer, rather than reciting it. Not because I don’t believe in it, but because the people that taught me those words echo in my head. Most of them now among the saints, I long to hear them guide my faith each week – so I listen closely for their voices, their imprint on my faith, and I thank God for their friendship. Aren’t we all grateful, even indebted, to the countless people who invested in our seedling faith?

Scripture: Philippians 1:3-5

I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers. I’m thankful for all of you every time I pray, and it’s always a prayer full of joy. I’m glad because of the way you have been my partners in the ministry of the gospel from the time you first believed it until now.

Response

Take time to say the Lord’s prayer today, thinking over each phrase deeply.

Prayer Focus

Pray that the technicians, support staff and volunteers operate with clarity and a sense of joy as we transition into worshiping in the same venue. We are thankful they are willing to serve.

March 19, 2018

Josh Miller

A catch phrase of mine is that I seek to “love people well”, which to me goes beyond simple affection or generic care. As Christians, we are called to love people in ways that communicate a sense of care that reflects God’s care for us, and when we do that effectively, we can leave a permanent positive mark on those around us. More importantly, that effective love can point people towards Christ and the life-changing love that is offered in a relationship with God, which could impact people for generations.

Scripture: Romans 12:10

Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other.

Response

Lord give me the grace and perspective to love people well, and the divine intuition to be effective in my relationship pursuits.

Prayer Focus

Pray that our church staff exhibits clarity and grace in their roles here St. Andrew.

March 20, 2018

Rev. Robert Hasley

Ramon, from a small village in Mexico, had survived a tragic home fire that had taken the lives of his family, leaving him alone and disfigured. This boy walked from home to home asking for help. Each time he was turned away. Feeling alone and disheartened, Ramon wandered into a small chapel where he saw a carved image of Jesus hanging on a cross. Ramon noticed that Jesus’ face was disfigured from pain and beatings. He then realized he was not alone. Jesus himself knew his pain and isolation. Because of this transformational encounter, Jesus became a source of strength and a constant friend.

Scripture: John 15:13

No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends.

Response

To whom might you offer to become a Christ-like steadfast friend this week?

Prayer Focus

Pray that the new worship opportunities provide the chance for those who come through our doors to see not only excellent worship, but to see that St. Andrew can be a place to call home.

March 21, 2018

Rev. Pam White

Friendships come and go, but a friendship with the foundation of Christian values bonds us together as members of the Body of Christ. We are baptized into a family much bigger than what can be defined by biological ties. It is a blessing to be a part of a community like St. Andrew, where we have the opportunity to experience grace through the caring of others.

Scripture: Proverbs 18:24

There are persons for companionship, but then there are friends who are more loyal than family.

Response

What would change if we looked at our interactions with others not as forming surface-level friendships, but instead as developing deep bonds within the Body of Christ?

Prayer Focus

Pray for our Student Ministry, that their new program changes with allow those serving to reach old and new students in a deeper way.

March 22, 2018

Rev. Jimmy Decker

Friendship that is blindly supportive is not a true friendship. As we grow closer to one another, we are called to be willing to challenge those we’re closest to when such a challenge is necessary. This is not an easy task, but the blessing in this responsibility is it allows for mutual growth: growth on the part of our friends, and growth in us as well.

Scripture: Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so friends sharpen each other’s faces.

Response

Pray that God might give you the strength and the courage to have difficult conversations with your friends when the time is needed so that you might sharpen one another.

Prayer Focus

Pray for our Project Hope participant families, that they may be able to escape cycles of emotional, financial, and relative crisis.

March 23, 2018

Rev. Arthur Jones

Have you ever noticed that the best way to develop a friendship is to do something with someone? This is why it is easier to make friends in college – you are “doing” the class with them. In our Student Ministry, we emphasize trips because when you are “going” somewhere with someone, you end up bonding together. The same is true for your faith. The best friends are made side-by-side. God meant for us to be doing, and he hopes the people we do them with will become our friends.

Scripture: Philippians 1:27

Most important, live together in a manner worthy of Christ’s gospel. Do this, whether I come and see you or I’m absent and hear about you. Do this so that you stand firm, united in one spirit and mind as you struggle together to remain faithful to the gospel.

Response

Invite someone to do something with you this week that will help develop your friendship together.

Prayer Focus

Pray for the families who have not yet walked in our doors, but continue to think about it. May they be invited by a friend.

March 24, 2018

Rev. Allison Jean

It always strikes me that Jesus never sends his disciples out on their own. Instead, they are always sent out in pairs or in groups. I think this is because Jesus understood this fundamental truth: friendship never fails us. Yes, our friends can certainly fail at times, disappointing or hurting us. But friendship itself – the bond between Christians, is created by God. That bond between us as a church, as God’s people, will always be there to build us up, because we are a family created in the love of God.

Scripture: Mark 6:7

He called for the Twelve and sent them out in pairs. He gave them authority over unclean spirits.

Response

Lord, even in times that I fail as a friend, help me to repent and follow your example of friendship.

Prayer Focus

Pray for our young people, whose presence and leadership is powerful when added to our Traditional Worship.

March 25, 2018

Dr. Scott Engle

The hour has come. Jesus comes to Jerusalem as the long-awaited Messiah, a rightful king bringing about his kingdom. The crowds are with him, as they shout “Hosanna,” Save us! God’s salvation, his rescue, is all-encompassing, all-embracing. There is more to God’s rescue of us than forgiveness of sins. From what do you need to be rescued? Just as importantly, for what do you need rescue? Where do you want God to take you?

Scripture: Mark 11:8-10

Many people spread out their clothes on the road while others spread branches cut from the fields. Those in front of him and those following were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest!”

Response

Lord, my king, rescue me. Let me hear joy and gladness. Hosanna!

Prayer Focus

Pray that we continue to proclaim God’s Word boldly and that lives are transformed as a result of our worship.

March 26, 2018

Kim Meyers

We are rejoicing that Jesus is here, walking with us. Yet, we know what is going to happen this week – it is a week of deep sadness, brokenness, redemption and life. The Gospel of John tells us how to be a friend, to love as Jesus has loved us. Are we loving others as we should? What will happen in your life if you begin seeing all people as children of God?

Scripture: John 15:12-13

This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends.

Response

Lord, open my eyes as your eyes, my heart as your heart. Allow me to love as you loved us.

Prayer Focus

Pray that you might reach out in a new way to love your neighbor despite your differences.

March 27, 2018

Michael Agnew

As we prepare this week for the risen Christ, take some time to think about the depth of Jesus’ love for us: that it cost him the ultimate price and that we are so undeserving of his sacrifice, yet he still joyfully gave his life. Although we continuously ignore and disobey his commands, Jesus truly wanted to save us and provide a way for us to spend eternity with him.

Scripture: Romans 5:6-8

While we were still weak, at the right moment, Christ died for ungodly people. It isn’t often that someone will die for a righteous person, though maybe someone might dare to die for a good person. But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Response

Take some time and thank God for loving you even though we all are so undeserving.

Prayer Focus

Pray that our congregation looks at the future shared space of worship as an opportunity to engage and see God in new ways.

March 28, 2018

Rev. Allison Jean

This week is the culmination of the season of Lent, the time we have spent examining ourselves and preparing for the risen Christ. True friendship reveals itself in the people we know we can be our worst with, those who love us beyond our faults and sins, and instead see us for who we truly are. Each time I think of the journey the disciples take between Palm Sunday and Good Friday, I am struck by this fact: Jesus is the truest friend, for he sees us at our worst, and loves us better than we could ever hope for.

Scripture: Matthew 26:26-28

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take and eat. This is my body.” He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from this, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many so that their sins may be forgiven.

Response

Gracious God, even in my doubts and sins, you love me tremendously. Thank you for accepting me, just as I am.

Prayer Focus

Pray for our Creative Team that God works through our church to create stories of changed lives.

March 29, 2018

Rev. Jennifer Powell

John’s Gospel gives the only account of Jesus washing his disciples feet on the last night before his betrayal and arrest. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and then gave them a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34). During this season of Lent, we have been focusing on friendship. We can look to Jesus as the model for loving others – Jesus knows his death is near and yet he takes the time to wash his disciples’ feet. There is no greater example of how God intends for us to love one another.

Scripture: John 13:1-7

Before the Festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his time had come to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them fully. Jesus and his disciples were sharing the evening meal. The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew the Father had given everything into his hands and that he had come from God and was returning to God. So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will understand later.”

Response

Lord, Help me love others as you love me.

Prayer Focus

Pray that those persons facing surgery, in the hospital or rehab might let their church family know so we can visit and be in prayer for them.

March 30, 2018

Rev. Arthur Jones

On this day, Jesus is crushed. He is punished for sins that are not his. He is wounded for crimes that he did not commit. The disciples’ hopes of a triumphant Jesus are crushed. Judas has betrayed him, Peter has denied him and everyone except the women have abandoned him. Jesus cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” We, who remember this dark night every year, are sitting with all those across the ages that have wondered why salvation has not come in the darkest moment. We wait, wondering if there is any hope.

Scripture: Jeremiah 8:20-22

“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, yet we aren’t saved.” Because my people are crushed, I am crushed; darkness and despair overwhelm me.

Response

Lord, help me to be aware of your presence, even in the painful waiting.

Prayer Focus

Pray for people’s desire to worship authentically, not focusing on “what’s in it for me,” but instead to be in favor of those things that benefit the greater good.

March 31, 2018

Rev. Pam White

Growing up I spent time in the summer at my grandmother’s, and this meant Sundays at her small rural church. One thing that is striking about rural churches is that their property is often attached to a cemetery. Celebration of life happens in the midst of the reality of death. This is significant on this day of waiting between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It is our tendency to want to move straight to resurrection Sunday. But we cannot get to the celebration of Easter without going through the graveyard first.

Scripture: Matthew 27:57–61

That evening a man named Joseph came. He was a rich man from Arimathea who had become a disciple of Jesus. He came to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate gave him permission to take it. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had carved out of the rock. After he rolled a large stone at the door of the tomb, he went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting in front of the tomb.

Response

By running too quickly to the joy of Easter we can miss the depth of the gift of resurrection. Take time to reflect on the reality associated with the emptiness following Good Friday.

Prayer Focus

Pray that St. Andrew can be a place of hope and healing for our community.

April 1, 2018

Rev. Robert Hasley

Kurt had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. When I arrived at the hospital, he shared how he had wandered away from God. Tearfully, Kurt asked if I thought God would ever forgive him. I prayed with Kurt that he would open his heart to receive God’s love. The next day, he shared with me a couple of decisions he and God had made. First, he would donate his organs to research. Secondly, he would leave his savings to his niece and nephew to fund their college education. A few months later I celebrated Kurt’s life with friends and family. Because Christ is risen, we too can rise by the power of his grace and forgiveness.

Scripture: Matthew 28:5-6

But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him.

Response

Share the gift of the Risen Christ this week by inviting someone to join you for worship next weekend.

Prayer Focus

Pray for the continued growth in our attendance and the joy as we celebrate the new transitions at St. Andrew. May everyone find peace and comfort here.

Prayer strengthens our faith and love for Christ. If you’re unsure about the practice of prayer, ask God to help you, and consider one model, below:

Adoration

Spend time praising and worshiping God. Acknowledge who God is. Praise him for his attributes of faithfulness, goodness, power, mercy, and love.  - Psalm 35:10

Confession

Confess your sins to the Lord, because we are always forgiven. Confession is a daily cleansing exercise. 1 John 1:9

Thanksgiving

Give thanks to the Lord for the many blessings that have been given to you. Thank God for the large and small things in our lives. These are the blessings that we easily take for granted. - 1 Chronicles 16:34

Supplication

Present your requests to God. God is our Creator and is delighted when we come to him with our requests.  - Philippians 4:6

Submit prayer requests to the church at by clicking here. Church staff will pray over every received request.

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