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The Power of Prayer


by the Rev. David M. Crosby, Associate Rector, December 10, 2015

Long before I was ordained, I served as a pastoral/Eucharistic visitor and as a Stephen Minister. Being a member of and leader in a congregation meant I was invested in the life and people of that parish, and I wanted to know how everyone was doing. There were times where it was apparent that life was challenging and prayer was called for, so I offered to pray for any whom I knew, by name, intentionally.

Since being ordained and serving here at Immanuel, there have been times where clergy had not been informed of trials and tribulations some were experiencing. It might be afflictions to mind, body, or spirit. It can be most awkward and even embarrassing when someone thinks you know and you don’t. Because if you’re not told directly, how can we know? Bishop Susan Goff recently reminded the clergy at our semi-annual retreat, if something is shared with one bishop, they don‘t always think to inform the other two bishops. The same can be said for parish clergy. We try, but it doesn’t always work that way.

Then there are some who are eager to ensure others are being ministered to in a pastoral way by clergy, but do not or will not ask the same for themselves when and issue or problem should be visited upon them. That puzzles me. Why can we not minister to you in your time of need as you would have us minister to others in theirs? If I push back about the power of prayer for you yourself, I do it in love.

Approaching my anniversary of being ordained priest (Dec. 15, 2012), I review the vows I took in this sacred trust. In the Examination, I committed “… to love and serve the people among whom you work, caring alike for young and old, strong and weak, rich and poor,” and to “persevere in prayer, both in public and in private, asking God’s grace, both for yourself and for others, …”. I do this through personal prayer as well as at corporate Morning Prayer here in Zabriskie Chapel weekdays at 9:30 a.m.; using our weekly prayer list, the birthday list, our parish directory, and those needs of my own concern, please know you are loved and prayed for regularly.

Of later, I have sensed more of a turn to prayer, with more intentional requests for prayers, or being notified of events that might call for a pastoral response directly or indirectly. Some are celebratory, others are challenging. Please know that Fr. Randy and I are both here to be of help and service. Please know also that it is our custom here on the 3rd Sunday of the month, following services, to offer healing prayers for you or for others, with the laying on of hands and anointing with blessed oil.

If we can do nothing more, we can always pray with you and for you.

Blessings & Peace always,