On the way to church the Sunday after Easter, my mind recalled my college days, an age when most question everything about life. I questioned secretly if Jesus was truly real, or was this all man’s fabrication. I have never admitted these thoughts to anyone before!
I remember thinking about prayer in particular. I wondered if prayer was simply the act of thinking through things bringing a resolution aside for any God influence. I still question if there could be some truth to that. Perhaps this is self-directed prayer where God teaches us to work things out on our own. God created us to be questioning. After much experience with prayer, I came to the ultimate conclusion thoroughly convinced God does listen to my prayers, helping me to resolve my issues whether through divine direction or supernatural intervention.
This website claims to have scientifically-supported benefits of prayer:
1. Prayer improves self-control.
2. Prayer makes you nicer.
3. Prayer makes you more forgiving.
4. Prayer increases trust.
5. Prayer offsets the negative health effects of stress.
Upon arrival, Senior Pastor David Goehring preached on doubting! Completing my thoughts!
The Psalter Lesson came from Psalm 150 – the wonderful praise Psalm. The pastor spoke of God’s word as inspiring, causing singing, then believing, and doing: “Praise him in the mighty heavens!, Praise him with trumpet sound… with lute and harp… with tambourine and dance… with strings and pipe… with sounding cymbals… let everything that hath breath praise the Lord!”
The New Testament lesson from Revelation 1:4-8, which John wrote while in prison on Patmos Island, ends with “God, who is and who was and who is to come,” covering past, present, and future.
Finally, the Gospel Lesson – John 20:19-31 wherein Thomas questioned that Jesus had risen from the dead, until Jesus appeared among them and told Thomas to touch His wounds! Thomas had doubt, as we all do! Jesus has a way of dealing with our doubt. When we dare to walk with Jesus holding on to faith, He convinces us of His presence. Some have to SEE before believing. If the leap of faith cannot be conquered, they are in danger of never believing.
Bullet points from the sermon:
- Remembering Christ’s death with Communion is important! Jesus demonstrated to His disciples the use of bread and wine to remember his sacrifice of body and blood. Remembering is an affirmation of our faith.
- Experiencing – we can only share what we know. “Some may say they don’t believe in God, but God believes in them!”
- There are 50 days of Easter before Pentecost. Christ was not resuscitated, but resurrected. He stayed long enough to let people know and see Him alive and well.
- We keep coming back because we need remembrance!