Bethlehem United Methodist Church
Monday, November 20, 2017
Mission Statement: To give of ourselves so others may know Jesus Christ.
 
 

Prayer Ministry

     
The Prayer Ministry of Bethlehem Church is designed to encourage more and more people to be powerful in prayer, and constant in prayer.
 

Richard Foster, a great spiritual light of our generation says that in prayer, God is “inviting you – and me – to come to home to where we belong, to come home to that for which we were created.  His arms are stretched out wide to receive us.  His heart is enlarged to take us in. 

For too long we have been in a far country:  A country of noise and hurry and crowds, a country of climb and push and shove, a country of frustration and fear and intimidation.  And God welcomes us home:  Home to serenity and peace and joy, home to friendship and fellowship and openness, home to intimacy and acceptance and affirmation.

 
 
 We do not need to be shy. He invites us into the living room of His heart, where we can put on old slippers and share freely. 
He invites us into the kitchen of his friendship, where chatter and batter mix in good fun.  He invites us into the dining room of his strength, where we can feast to our heart’s delight. 
 
He invites us into the study of His wisdom, where we can learn and grow and stretch… and ask all the questions we want. 
He invites us into the workshop of his creativity, where we can be co-laborers with him, working together to determine the outcomes of events. 
 
He invites us into the bedroom of his rest, where new peace is found and where we can be naked and vulnerable and free. 
It is also the place of deepest intimacy, where we know and are known to the fullest.”
 That is prayer… that is prayer.   God invites us to pray.  It is one of God’s great delights.
 
 
 A Christian statesman once observed of his spiritual life:  “For me prayer is the most difficult of the Christian practices.  I can attend church happily, I can tithe, care for the needs of the poor, help someone in need, counsel a friend or a stranger, but when it comes to prayer my lips still form the words, ‘Lord, teach me to pray.’”  We need to learn to be comfortable in prayer.
 

 A college student, a new Christian, broke into his friend’s dorm room, saying, “Do you believe this?”  His friend was rather taken aback.  “Listen to this.  ‘Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’  That seems to be a very wonderful promise; don’t you think?  Why don’t we pray more?  Why don’t we pray more?”  We need to learn to pray more.

 
 

Abraham Lincoln, at the height of the Civil War said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere to go. My own wisdom, and that is of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”  
 
We pray for many reasons, and are often driven to pray, even in desperation. 

 Everyone who observed the life of Jesus quickly discovered that he was often in prayer, and that his praying made a difference.  If we are to follow Jesus, we must learn to pray like Jesus.

 We know we ought to pray… and we ought to pray more.  The Apostle Paul encourages us to “pray without ceasing.” Let us all be encouraged to pray and to pray more.

 
 
John 15:16 - "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name".      
  
 

 
 
 
 Prayer Room
 
 
The Prayer Room at Bethlehem Church is designed to be a place for quiet meditation, contemplation, and conversation with God, and with those who may wish to pray with you as a small group.
 
It is a comfortable room. It is an inviting room. As our prayer life grows, it should be a room with which all of us should become familiar.
 
 In 2010, a suggestion about having a place in the church dedicated fro prayer was made to the prayer ministry team.
 
Thanks to the inspiration and contributions of many church members, a former storage room was gradually transformed into a beautiful prayer room.
 
The prayer room is available to all whenever the church is open. People have shared stories of stopping by to spend quiet time in the midst of a hectic day, joining others there to pray for specific needs of families and friends, finding solace in the comfort of the room during troubled times, and offering prayers of gratitude for blessings received.
 
The prayer room is located on the main room of the church near the network table. At the entrance of the room, there is a sheet where people may also sign up to 15 minutes in prayer for the worship services on a specific Sunday morning.
 


Prayer Shawl Ministry
 
Shawls, lap blankets, and baby blankets are prayerfully made and blessed at the altar of the church for those who need comforting during a time of trouble. 
 
 If you or someone you know could use one of these beautiful items, please contact Sue Sharp at 717-244-8888 or ssharp.psu@verizon.net . 
Everyone is welcome to participate in the Prayer Shawl Ministry through your quilting, knitting, crocheting, or fleecing talents, please contact Sue Sharp.
 
Members gather in the parlor on the third Monday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm to make shawls. 
 
 

 
 
 
  From John Wesley's Covenant Service in 1780
 Prayer Ministry Team
 

Praying Together is made up of people who desire to offer a variety of prayer opportunities at Bethlehem.

The group meets between six and eight times yearly, and members are grateful for any suggestions about ways to deepen the prayer life of our church.

In 2011, members of the group were able to offer various prayer experiences and also created an Advent Devotional made up of contributions from church members.

Please consider strengthening and enlarging our prayer ministry by joining the team.