John 3:21 “But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
Serving describes action. It is not uncommon in our lives to do something on behalf of others. Moms and dads are often called upon to serve their children and families providing for needs and support. Church ministries do not function without willing hands (and feet!) to teach in children and youth programs, serve on commissions, or providing care and provision through financial giving. Of course these are only a few of the ways we serve others in the church. We pray for one another, we check in when someone is hurting, we provide meals and companionship, we tutor and mentor others. Serving has no boundaries. At one time or another many of us have been part of parent-teacher groups, helped out in a classroom, engaged in public service. Serving is marked by generosity. When we invest our time, resources and energy in people and causes we do so because we care both for the organizations and the people we associate with, for the need presented. In serving we seek the welfare of that place -- home, church, community, world.
Serving is not always easy, we can become drained and empty. Serving prayer invites us to be attentive and responsive. In Serving Prayer we become attentive -- to our motives and reasons, we give up our need to be honored and recognized. Interestingly, Jesus call to servanthood was to those in authority. We do not give up our identity, in serving prayer we have an opportunity to express our identity. Serving prayer opens avenues of compassion and imagination. It brings together service and prayer in tangible and visible acts of service. We may find that we are doing the same servant activity, but because of our openness to the Spirit we have a new heart attitude. Perhaps we are seeing those we serve with less judgement, opening the way for compassion.
Serving Prayer Experience
Begin by reading Philippians 2:5-11. Take a few moments to reflect on any hindrances to being a servant. In prayer ask for guidance for your servant behavior -- something you might do as a gesture of kindness, something you might do for another. If it is helpful take a few moments to plan your servant activity. Close your prayer time by praying through Philippians 2:5-11 again.
You have options this week depending on how and what you will do as an act of serving. Our focus is on serving and less on the amount of time. You may find by being attentive that you are serving others in tangible ways at various times in the week or you may take one or more opportunities to do a specific act of serving. In serving we are disciples of Christ
If you are interested in sharing how you experienced the prayer exercise this week, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
[Sources: MaryKate Morse. A Guidebook to Prayer: Twenty-four Ways to Walk with God (Downers Grove, IL:IVPress, 2013), pp.104-105]