New Members at St. Timothy's
Welcome to St. Timothy's! Your presence and participation are a gift for all of us. We're delighted that you're interested in being a member and want to let know you what that means to us.
Keep talking with God.
Prayer is intimidating for most people: they don't feel like they do it well enough or often enough. They may not know the "right" words and wouldn't feel comfortable praying out loud in front of others.
But prayer is much more than words: it's an attitude toward God, a willingness to be touched in a deep way, an opportunity to lift up the needs of others. It finds verbal form only after rising up from our hearts. Prayer takes place in times specially set aside but is also expressed in the actions of our lives. Loving and caring for others—doing the work God calls us to do—treating people as we would wish to be treated: these can all be prayers.
Prayer doesn't have to be complicated. One of the classic writings on Christian spirituality, The Cloud of Unknowing, observed that "God wants us to pray and will tell us how to begin where we are." Give thanks for the blessings of your life. Remember the needs of others. Ask for God's help with the challenges you face.
While prayer can (and does) take place anytime and anywhere, it's helpful to set aside a time and place for intentional conversation with God. Even if it doesn't seem like much, keep at it regularly and see if it doesn't grow on you. Remember God's presence through the day: at meal times, in transit from one activity to the next, in the morning and at bed time.
Jesus' disciples watched him pray at decisive moments, but they didn't know how to do it themselves. "Lord, teach us to pray…" they asked, and he responded by giving them the Lord's Prayer. (Luke 11:1, Matthew 6:5) If you're not sure exactly what to say, these words are always on the tip of your tongue. They remind us of our relationship with God and point us toward the right ways of living with our neighbors.
Sunday worship and fellowship are the most visible forms of St. Timothy's community life, but our members' personal prayer practices have a great influence on our character and identity. Take note of what you're already doing and set your intention to begin new steps forward in your prayer life. That may help you find a better answer to Corrie Ten Bloom's provocative question, "Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?"