Pastor’s Ponderings


Dear Families and Friends of Woodmar UMC,

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

By the time you are reading this, we will be in the third week of Lent…so I ask, “How is it with your soul?”  Lent is a time of repentance in preparation for the coming of Easter…it is a time of self-examination and reflection. For this Lenten season, we, as a church, are focusing on prayer. There is power in prayer. Not the type of power that the world offers, but the type of power that comes from a close connection with our Heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that helps us put our earthly troubles in an eternal perspective.

While Jesus lived on this earth, he spent much time in prayer. The Gospels are replete with passages that tell us that Jesus prayed alone, with others, on a mountain, late in the evening, all through the night, early in the morning.  I invite all of us to dig into our Bibles and discover all the ways and times Jesus prayed. A Concordance is helpful, but so is Google!  It’s easy to go to and type in “Jesus praying in Scripture” …you’ll be amazed how many verses pop up!  (Technology isn’t going away, so we might as well use it to grow in our faith.)

If Jesus longed for and needed to spend time in prayer, how much more do we need it? Consistent prayer produces miraculous results. I am not implying that God answers all of our prayers the way we hope. God is not a genie in a bottle. What I am saying is that consistent prayer changes us. Consistent prayer connects us to God in a way that helps us be more aware of God’s presence in our lives…that no matter what happens to us or those closest to us, we have the assurance that God is with us. Consistent prayer helps us to trust God with every aspect of our lives.  Through the storms of life, we have access to a peace that surpasses human understanding. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to grieve and have pain…we will, but we also have a Savior who suffered for us and sent an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to walk alongside us in this life.  Thanks be to God! We are not alone!

The Church Council, the UMW Circles and the Wednesday Noon Prayer Group are praying for each person in our church directory by name.  Each member of our church matters to Jesus and matters to our church leadership.  Praying for each person by name helps us love each one and draw closer together as a church family.  I invite all of us, in the privacy of our homes, to pray through the church directory as well.  God works miracles through prayer!

One final thought…I once heard a beautiful song about prayer, and I invite all of us to pray the words to the chorus:  “Teach me how to pray, teach me how to live. Make them one and the same…to the glory of thy name…please!”  (lyricist unknown) For the glory of God and for the sake of the world, may this be so!

Living in the Grip of God’s Grace,

Pastor Esta