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Prayer Tip--Paul and the Power of the Holy Spirit

March 3, 2024
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Daily Scripture

Romans 8:14-16 (CEB), 8:26 (NRSV), Galatians 5:16,19a, 22-23 (NRSV) and 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7 (CEB)

All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons and daughters…With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The same Spirit agrees with our spirit, that we are God’s children…Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.
                                    

Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh… Now the works of the flesh are obvious… By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
                                    

No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; and there are different ministries and the same Lord; and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Galatians 5:16-25: I say be guided by the Spirit and you won’t carry out your selfish desires. A person’s selfish desires are set against the Spirit, and the Spirit is set against one’s selfish desires. They are opposed to each other, so you shouldn’t do whatever you want to do.

I left the church and denomination I grew up in when I was 17. Part of it was that I didn’t agree with some of the foundational beliefs that the church had, but I didn’t go to look for a better church fit. I knew what I wanted to do was against the Holy Spirit’s will. So I just stopped going. I arrogantly thought that I could have fun, enjoy my twenties, and come back to God when I was ready.

I did what I wanted in my twenties. I had some fun times in the moment when I was with my girlfriends. Then it was time to get married. I married a Christian whose father used to be a pastor, just like mine and had the same mind set as me. It was fine to drink in excess, to party every weekend and show up hung over on Mondays ready to get through five days and start again. We did not go to church (unless our parents were in town), tithe, volunteer or set aside money for charitable causes.

I did what I wanted and then it got lonely. When I would go to church with my parents, I could barely make it through the songs without crying. I think that was the Holy Spirit telling me this was where I belonged, but I fought it. The person I was married to was unable to stop drinking. There were other issues that escalated until the marriage had to be ended. If my life were a car, the insurance company would have called it a total loss.

God is different though. God is in the restoration business. After my divorce I went to church with a friend, and we would go to different Methodist churches in the area (not joining any), but it was a step in the right direction. I eventually met a lovely man when I was in my mid-thirties. I brought him to Resurrection and we both loved it. We got married and found ourselves back in a Bible study (I hadn’t been in one since I was child).

The Holy Spirit has led me to beautiful places of peace and love. I have a husband who is loving and safe. The Holy Spirit led us to adopt a beautiful child. It led me to apply to work at Resurrection and my life has become fuller and more amazing than I ever could have done on my own. I am so grateful I surrendered to the most wonderful guide.

Prayer Tips for the Week
–As we learned in the Lenten Bible Study on Wednesday, solitude is a good spiritual practice. Find some time for solitude and listen to how God speaks to you. You can put on some soothing music and just spend time with God. You might prefer a hike or walk with no music where you can invite God to speak to you.
–Read the lyrics or listen to “Spirit of the Living God” and meditate on it.
–Journal about a time where you feel you have heard the Holy Spirit speak to you or a time you have strongly felt the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life.

 

Prayer

Dear God, Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for giving me a guide who is always with me. Help me to submit evermore to you. Amen.

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Ashly Cooley

Ashly Cooley

This week's prayer tip is by Ashly Cooley. She has been on staff at Resurrection since 2015 and says this is the best job she has ever had. She is passionate about serving the Lord, normalizing mental health care, and is a self-proclaimed bibliophile. She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, extended family and friends as well as dancing badly and snuggling her dog, Bessie.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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