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Once Again

Today I renewed my acquaintance with an old friend.  I try to meet regularly with a prayer partner for spiritual accountability.  During the summer both of us were gone, and this practice had fallen by the wayside.  I had on occasions met with the judicatory leader from another Christian faith community (denomination), but that relationship is only in the barest beginning stages.  For my devotional life, I was using a weekly prayer guide (in addition Jolynn and I share the Upper Room readings at night) but the press of time and activities with the coming of fall had been increasingly squeezing out time for prayer, contemplation, and spiritual formation/nurture. In short, I was relying too much on my own power and too little on God’s power.  The great title from one of Bill Hybels’ books came back to me, Too Busy Not to Pray. Today, I returned to a more steady time of prayer and nurture.  The old friend I picked back up was/is This Day: A Wesleyan Way of Prayer by Lawrence Paul Stookey.  It has been my habit since coming to Fort Worth to stop at Arlington Heights UMC and spend time in the sanctuary in prayer and devotion.  Today with my old friend, This Day, I did so again.  What a blessing!  Once again the Lord spoke to me.  “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.”  (I Peter 5:10) This Focused Center calls me back into relationship with God through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.