I am Gail Achilles and am grateful for this opportunity to speak to you today. I walked into Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church seven years ago and found my home where the word of Jesus is spoken, but not just from the pulpit but each and every one of you touched me by your love for Jesus, and your actions shine His light. I hope you share the joy that I have that we have a good strong building to worship in, but more importantly a strong faith-based congregation--we are Family. Just think how blessed we are that we are all God’s children and that no matter what we are doing and where we are in this world we are all connected through Him, our Creator, who loves us and is ever present.
This message is focused on Prayer. There are many references to prayer throughout the Bible. One that is very helpful can be found in Phillippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.”
In my youth, I can remember praying to God at specific times; there was a certain prayer to thank God before meals and there was a prayer to say before bedtime asking God to save our souls. The only other times I can remember praying in my younger years were at church and whenever I felt fearful.
Once in my tweens, I found myself on an amusement park ride that went high into the sky and spun like a spinning top. I prayed my little heart out and this got me through without passing out. Then in my twenties, while on a plane ride, I made it through a lightning storm praying to God. In both situations, I was comforted by God’s presence.
As I went through my adulthood, I unconsciously put things of this earth before God. Many days passed where God was not even a thought. I can vividly remember the exact incident that I turned to God in prayer, took his hand, and never let Him go again. I was in my late thirties, and I was in a very dark place. I was trying to be a good wife and mother and to keep a peaceful household. I thought I could control everything!
Well one sleepless night, I was shivering uncontrollably and my head felt like it was about to pop having no solution in mind to help with my family’s ongoing problems. Then, I began to pray. I had a heart to heart with God, right there in my bedroom. It was as though I felt God’s hands reaching out to take all my worries and concerns from me, and as if he was asking me to trust in His love. So I did and then, my body became still, my head seemed calm, and I fell into a peaceful sleep. From that day on, the answers came to help my family.
From my experience, I am convinced that God is always present and I am never alone and I am loved. He had been waiting for His daughter, Gail, to reach out and pull His spirit into my being. In my daily life since, I walk through the word of God and talk to Him, and my life here on earth is blessed. Of course, there are hard times, like what we are going through in this current pandemic and our search to find a Pastor to lead us, but I am comforted to know that I have God to lean on. I am in His hands and that is where I plan to stay.
As you read in the New Testament of the Bible, you will find that Jesus prayed to Our Father continually during His time on Earth. He trusted God’s love for us. Prayer is powerful. Talk to God, praise Him, thank Him, get angry with Him. God can take it and you will get your answers. They may not be the answers you were envisioning and wishing for, but they will be according to His plan, where you will find your comfort and peace. We, all of us, need to pray for patience and know that we have God to lead us, His Son Jesus, our Savior, and His Holy Spirit!
Please pray along with me the prayer that Jesus taught us as written in Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 9-13:
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” Amen
Thank you and May God be with you!