8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
We are bombarded with information from social media, news media, well-meaning friends as well as those who do not wish us well. As I approach the new year, I hold tight to these two verses. I will look for the truth, the lovely, the pure and the praiseworthy. With God’s help, I will not fall prey to the things that frighten me or tickle my curiosity for gossip. Instead, I will seek to fill my days with the things the Lord instructs me to capture.
Prayer- Precious Father, I cannot control my mind on my own. Please guide me as I filter the messages that come into my home and into my mind. Protect my heart from gossip, slander, fear and jealousy. Create in me a clean heart! Use me to help bring others to you. Amen
Written by Patty Praytor, Life Group Leader at WHPC
Lord, God of my salvation, by day I cry out, even at night, before you — let my prayer reach you. Psalm 88:1-2
During the continuing pandemic, the racial and political discord, and so many other trials the world is suffering as we begin 2021, prayers of comfort do not feel adequate to me. Books on the pandemic by both N.T. Wright and Walter Brueggemann call on Christians for prayers of lamentation, for prayers for mercy in our dire situation, for God’s voice somewhere in the clamor. Lamentation is not a rejection of God, but a turning to God. Psalm 88 is one of many Psalms of lament and it is speaking for my longing soul.
Prayer - Lord God, hear our pleas in the darkness and guide us to be your church in serving the needs of others. Amen.
Written by Ellen Weed, Life Group Leader at WHPC
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid. John 14:27
For me, much of the world seems to assume that external realities need to be somehow fixed in order to experience “peace”. However, we are instructed to be “peace makers” right in the middle of what’s broken, and to let go of our fear in order to do that. We are called to trust in the presence and wisdom of Christ as we peacefully and faithfully and courageously choose to let go of fear which blocks love’s awareness. We are called to remember the healing power of love, not fear which robs us of our peace.
Prayer - Dear God, remind me that I do not have to be afraid; that you are walking with me and empowering me to be peace and to be a peace maker.
Written by Janis Claflin, Contemplative Christianity Class Leader at WHPC
5-Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding 6-in all your ways submit to him and he will make your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Trusting in the Lord is something we do so little of but is something that yields so much. Trust can relieve anxiety, fear, anger, misery and sorrow. Trust can create comfort, patience and even joy. In this time of uncertainty, I urge you to place your trust in the Lord and see what benefits you will acquire.
Prayer - Heavenly Father, please provide the comfort we all need by reminding us to have the trust that you are continually loving us and caring for us. AMEN
Written by Judy Crochet, Director of Pre-K and Infant Ministry
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
In our family full of teenagers, young adults and parents, the phrase “audience of One” has become a regular reminder and motto. I heard it from a friend a few years ago as she whispered it to herself in a moment of reflection. It moved me in such a way that I quickly adopted the reminder, and it has made all the difference to be mindful that God is truly the only audience I need be concerned about.
Prayer - Dear Jesus, thank You for being our gracious audience of One. In times of doubt, I pray You will remind me that You are my encouraging supporter. When I find myself tempted to boast and seek the praise of others, I thank You for celebrating with me and that the joy between us is so very splendid and complete. AMEN
Written by Erin Andrus, Preschool Director at WHPC