SED Prayer Ministry
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In the Southeastern District we “walk together,” encouraged by St. Paul’s words to the Philippian congregation – “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now.” (1:3-5) We share this prayer-filled partnership through which God is glorified and His mission is accomplished among us. The New Testament church reminds us that what gives life and energy to our mission and ministry are the Holy Spirit and our connection to God through prayer. In Acts we are told that those who gathered in the upper room following Jesus’ ascension “were devoting themselves to prayer.” (Acts 1:14) In fact, prayer is one of the four foundation blocks of the early church. (Acts. 2:42)
The goals of these prayer web pages are to support individuals and congregations in the knowledge and practice of prayer. We offer these resources as a way of deepening your walk with God and with each other.
We have established a Southeastern District Spiritual Life Team, which is available to teach, facilitate retreats, and accompany those congregations wishing to expand their prayer life. Deaconess Robie Hillhouse is serving as the Director of the Spiritual Life Team.
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL FORMATION?
“Spiritual formation is a process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.” (Robert Mulholland)
We are created by God as spiritual beings, able to connect to Him, others, and our world. Thus spirituality is not an ‘add on, ‘ but the very essence of our being. Mulholland’s definition of spiritual formation helps us to understand four things about who we are and our journey with Jesus.
First, the Christian life is a journey or “process” of spiritual shaping. It is lived out one day at a time and goes against the grain of our instant gratification culture. Spiritual growth is a continuous and sometimes very difficult process. It is an intentional commitment to a lifelong process of growth toward wholeness in Jesus.
Second, we are not in control of our spiritual journey, but we are “being conformed.” Our primal need to “be like God” causes us to seek the right technique or quick fix to find wholeness. Yet, there is nothing we can do to transform ourselves into people who love and serve as Jesus did except to make ourselves available to God so that He can transform our lives. Thus, we are invited to yield ourselves to God and discover where He will take us.
Third, it is the “image of Christ” that heals, transforms, and brings us to the wholeness God intended for us and His world. By His Spirit we are “changed into the likeness of Christ.” (2 Cor. 3:18) As beloved sons and daughters of God we die to self and are made “fully human” and a reflection of Jesus in our world.
Fourth, we are “conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.” Jesus was a man for others. He came to “serve and not be served.” He reminded us that the “love for neighbor” is the very essence of the Christian life. On our own we are incapable of being all that God wants us to be. But when the Spirit fills us we can become Jesus to those who are lost and hunger to be loved by Him.
How are you allowing God to conform your life to the image of Christ? How are you letting others see Jesus in you?
“Grow up in every way into Jesus….to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13 & 15) (adapted from Robert Mulholland, “Invitation To A Journey”)
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