United Methodist Church
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21 (NIV)
As I sit down to write this I am praying that the Lord will guide and direct my thoughts. I think that it is important to connect with the person that I am getting ready to talk about, especially because he first connected with me. Over the past 31 years, I have learned a lot about Jesus and who he is, which in itself has thoroughly amazed me. It was awesome enough to get to know him but I have also learned a lot about what he has done for us. I still remember the day that I read this passage of scripture and realized that Jesus, our Lord and Savior, prayed for me. Maybe he didn’t pray for me by my surname but he did pray for me as one of his followers and not just me but for all who believe that he is the Christ, the Savior of the world.
The idea the Lord himself prayed for me brought me a great sense of peace. It also helped to shape my own prayer life. I realized that I too can pray for people who have yet to be born. I began to pray for my children’s children and their children and future generations of children to come. I began to pray the same for my friends and co-workers and many others that I have met along the way. The power of prayer is not subject to time, space, or anything else. That is because prayer begins in the throne room of God and the answers are dispensed from the throne of God.
The Bible is full of the promises of God about prayer and all the blessings that come from our prayers. Jesus’ life and ministry were built on the foundation of the Torah and prayer. Jesus knew who he was from the lessons and prophecies of the Torah. He also understood that the power to complete his mission on earth came from his Father so daily prayer was a necessity. This was especially true as he neared the end of his journey to the cross. This is evident in the Garden of Gethsemane when he was struggling with his next step. He invited his disciples and us to join in with him. He even gave us a template to work from when he introduced the Lord’s Prayer to his followers, and now to us in Matthew 6:12.
Our Father, who is in heaven – a recognition that God is our Father.
Hallowed be your name – remembering God’s holiness and the respect he deserves.
Your kingdom come – acknowledging that the kingdom is here and is coming.
Your will be done – asking for God’s will and knowing that, if He said it, it will be done.
On earth, as it is in heaven – what God proclaims in heaven will be done here and vice-versa.
Give us this day our daily bread – asking for what we need for each day.
Forgive us our trespasses - a reminder that Christ died for our sins.
As we forgive those who trespass against us – forgiveness requires forgiveness.
Lead us not into temptation – protect us from the things that affect our relationship with God.
Deliver us from evil – the true power over evil is our position with God and the Holy Spirit.
Not only does Jesus show us how to pray, he encourages us to pray daily. Here is the really good news, he is also still praying for us today. He is seated at the right hand of the Father and is speaking with him on our behalf.
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 1 John 2:1 (NIV)
An advocate is somebody who acts or intercedes on behalf of another. Prior to Jesus entering the picture that was the job of the High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus did this on the cross and now at the throne of grace. Through his death on the cross Jesus removed the sin that prevented us from having a close and personal relationship with God. His resurrection provides the evidence that he uses when he interacts with God on our behalf. In both cases we can trust that we are covered and that we are now free to pray to God on our own. We walk in the assurance that the perfect prayer warrior, Jesus, is still interceding on our behalf. It also means that we can now pray for others believing that God hears our prayers and is more than ready to answer.
There is no other faith in history where the god, or gods, of a religion has done what our God and Jesus has done. That goes to show just how much God loves us and how far he was willing to go to show that love. We were created to be in this intimate and personal relationship with God now it is up to us to take advantage of it. I look forward to another month of serving with you all and watching what God is doing in our midst. Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Greetings from Butler United and Pastor Kevin Marsh. My wife, Susan, and I want to welcome you to Butler United's website. We hope that you find what you need to get to know who we are and all that we have to offer if you come to visit us. We hope that you will because we are sure that you will be blessed because you did.
We believe that God loves everyone and that he has a perfect plan for each and every one of us. His greatest blessings come through a personal relationship with his Son, Jesus Christ. The people of Butler United are striving to reach out and truly make a difference in the lives of the people in our community. We do so by sharing Christ's unconditional love and helping out whenever and however we can. Our main ministry is a food pantry that serves the Eastern Dekalb School District.
We believe that everyone who comes here, no matter who you are or where you are from, can find a connection here in some way. We hope that you will come and find out for yourselves. We look forward to seeing you soon. Shalom!