DAY 1: 40-Day Walk With GodPosted: April 24, 2013 Filed under: 40 Day Walk With God, Bishop's Blog | Tags: bill mcalilly, bishop, bishop mcalilly, mcalilly, memphis, Methodist, nashville, Prayer, UMC 10 Comments
I John 4:9
This is how the love of God is revealed to us: God has sent his only Son into the world so that we can live through Him.
Our grandson, Thomas, is 18 months old. He can say a few words now, but my favorite is “Papa.” He calls me Papa and sometimes calls his grandmother Papa. It makes me smile when I hear him say my name. Sometimes Thomas says “Papa” as praise. Sometimes he cries it when he is wounded and hurt. There are other times when he says “Papa” as a prayer.
Recently, in my own prayer life, it occurred to me that when I pray to God, call God’s name, God must surely smile as I do when Thomas calls my name. In its simplest form, this is what prayer is. Sometimes when I say God’s name it is praise. Sometimes it is when I am in pain. At other times, it is simply as a silent prayer.
Inviting God’s presence to give us a deep sense of the many ways God’s love is being revealed into us and through us is our hope for this prayer guide. For the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world, we invite you to commit the next 40 days to a “Season of Prayer.” We invite you to journey with us as we seek to bear witness to the love of God in the world.
Across the Nashville Area, we are calling you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ who will invite others to become a disciple who will then change the world. May this prayer guide be a tool to assist us as we lean into God’s movement across our conferences.
We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (I John 4:14)
Prayer: O Lord, speak to us with clarity as we seek to bear witness to the world of your love. Keep our lives focused in you as we live into your desired future. These things we pray in the strong name of Jesus Christ. AMEN.
Bishop William T. McAlilly
Nashville Episcopal Area Leader
– – – – –
REFLECTIONS FOR THE DAY | Use a program on your computer, a traditional journal, or feel free to use the comment section of this blog post to record your reflections as a conversation with others…
READ – What spoke to me as I read today’s meditation?
REPENT – Where is God showing me that I have failed to be obedient to the call to discipleship today?
RECEIVE – What words of redemption and grace is God offering to me?
REMEMBER – Who and what is God calling me to remember in prayer related to today’s reading?
RESPOND – How is God calling me to respond today?
> DOWNLOADS – 40 Day Walk prayer guide (.PDF), 40 Days of Doodles kids journal (.PDF)
> CLICK HERE for sermon starters/suggestions
Hello, Thank you for the 40 days of prayer! I printed both out and am utilizing them as a tool for communication and prayers with the Lord. We also have a grandchild who is 18 months. She calls out as you have described. Your words of the “different cries” to God reflect how much Jesus is in tune with us as we are to our grand children. God’s Blessings, Debbie Bosten
Hi Bishop McAlilly, I too understand about a grandchild calling your name. The first one that done so was my precious little Breanna. We were at the hospital where my husband’s mother lay dying, and little Breanna came into the room and said, hi mamaw. My heart melted. I had never really thought about God wanting us to call out His precious name, but I too now understand. Thanks so much for the insight. May God continue to bless you as you lead us. God Bless, lisa vaughn
Thank you for reminding me that God isn’t just “up there in the sky”! He is right here with me ….just waiting for me to acknowledge his presence. What a comfort to me. I want to share that knowledge with others that I meet.
It was in your prayer – ‘speak to us with clarity as we seek to bear witness to the world of your love’ that I felt called to both give thanks and to welcome the place where this 40-day walk will take me. I gave thanks for those words of ‘bear witness’ – for they reminded me of my marriage ceremony just 11 days ago. During the time of ‘declaration of intention and response of the family/friends those who attended our small wedding gathered in a circle around the two of us, and bearing witness to our covenant, responded with their own commitment to love and support our lives together. I looked into their faces and wept. As our friend, Frederick Buechner wrote, “. . .Sometimes, even in real life we have it in us to be the life-giving, life-saving, and healing power, to bear something of the Holy Spirit. . .to be Christs, maybe at rare moments even to ourselves.” I have no idea where this 40-day walk will take me – yet I will pray for you and the conferences; for my pastor, Craig Goff, and for myself – that we can ‘lean into God’s movement’. . .out there. . . . .where the pesky Spirit takes us.
Thanks, Jackie! Prayers for you as well!
I would like to get an actual prayer booklet and also one doodle too. Is that possible to buy or can we only do it online. That’s a lot of pages for me to print.
Please let me know. Thank you!
1808 Abrams rd Clarksville,TN 37042
Contact Jay Archer. He can help you with that.
Thank you for continuing to write. Your writings are a blessing for me.
Today’s meditation reminded me that God gave the ultimate gift, His Son, to show me a love greater than any love ever given. My discipleship demands that I show love to everyone I meet, even those difficult to love. The meditation also reminded me of the personal nature of our time with God. Far too often I am guilty of seeking a more professional relationship with God rather than going to Him as “Papa”.
I just say AMEN and AMEN!