WEEK 1: MARCH 1-5
We begin our Lenten journey together on Ash Wednesday and appropriately we start with the “Valley of Dry Bones” from Ezekiel 37. In this valley there is a stark visual of death, dryness, nothingness—think ashes from Ash Wednesday service. Then God tells the prophet to breathe life into the valley and the bones are raised to life. At Kingwood United Methodist Church we are a people that have individually been brought to life by Christ so that as a community we can Rise Up to join Christ in His mission in the world. We stand by the truth that it is only on Christ that we stand, much like the valley of dry bones brought to life. This week as you spend time with the daily devotionals be sure to include intentional times of prayer over Ezekiel 37.
Prayers of the Community
By Caroline Zinnecker
I have been blessed to be a part of Kingwood United Methodist Church since I was a little girl. I cannot remember a time in my life where I did not have some of the members of this church directly influencing my faith, loving me, and praying for me. The first time I saw the Lord’s community in my life was when Rev. Judy Tefteller brought me a prayer shawl from the church to Texas Children’s’ Hospital. As a young kid, I stayed in the hospital due to a lung condition. Rev. Tefteller’s selfless act of bringing me a prayer shawl made by all of those people sculpted my faith in significant ways. She delivered the prayer shawl with such compassion, joy, and happiness that I couldn’t help but feel the joy of Christ through her.
Although I was only in about the second grade, I still remember the feeling of peace I felt while holding the shawl. This act truly showed me the power of Christian community. The volunteers who make the shawls constantly pray for the recipient. The thought of so many individuals coming together to pray for a person in need is truly beautiful. In my weakest, most vulnerable state, the people of KUMC prayed for me and I am so thankful for this. The prayer shawl served as a reminder through all of my hospital stays that God is here in this situation and that I am so blessed to have people in my life who pray for me.
Now that I’m in High School, I have many opportunities to share the love of Christ through community. I enjoy going to FLIPT, UMARMY and delivering food baskets at the White Oak apartments. Praying with these people as they face trials and struggles is such a touching experience. I am confident that without KUMC programs and the prayer shawl I may have never discovered the power of praying for others in community. This experience continues to remind me that God hears all prayers and keeps his promises.
“Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:10
In the most beaten down, devastating, broken circumstances, God’s presence guides you. Turning to God in prayer in the face of trials can strengthen you with peace. Often Christ puts people in your life to pray for you and support you. God granting us a network of people to turn to in the darkest times reminds us to look to Christ is such a blessing.
How has God’s love reached you through others?
What have you learned about God through community?
How can you be a “prayer shawl” to someone else today?