Loving Prayer – God in the World

 

Our focus in this class is to talk about ways we can live in a world that hurts, is not often kind, and be a representative of our vision of a loving God. The way we are approaching this topic is through study and conversation about the history and practices of the Spiritual Disciplines. Before going on to study the early church mothers and fathers, it became clear that our group wanted to spend more time on prayer first.

Our conversation for this week is about the power of love in our intentional prayers. Each week we start our conversation with a prayer chosen from the church’s history, the LBW, or the Psalms that address our particular topic of the day. The topic in prayer this week is love. How do we choose to love our enemy and do good to those that hate us when it’s hard sometimes to love and do good to those that annoy us?

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As we think about our world today, everything seems overwhelming. Martin Luther said that the busier he was, the more he prayed. In our busy lives, our prayer time is often the first to suffer. Yet, when we take time to pray we are given more than time because our understanding of our own needs as well as the needs of others becomes clearer. Often we can also begin to better discern the things/events which we need to let go of and allow God to be the one in control.

For this week, our prayer exercise will be to use the worksheet  The Power of Intention in our Prayers to pray about love. How is it that we recognize the love of God, the love of others, and the love of self in the coming week? Write your answers down in the columns. Which column has fewer entries? What does it mean to recognize the love around you?

If you cannot join our wonderful group on Sundays, we would be blessed to hear from you. You can comment below or send your information to our church. Please pray for us. We are praying for you.

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What Is This ‘Tithing’ Thing About Anyway?

5 Reasons To Consider Tithing

1. Ancient and Biblical Model. Tithing is our most ancient model for giving. It is an example for us. (Genesis 28:10-22, Genesis 14:20, Leviticus 27:30-32, Deuteronomy 14:22-23, Numbers 18:22-29, 2 Corinthians 8:12-15, Matthew 23:23, Matthew 5:23-24 are just a few of the many places in scripture to learn about tithing)

2. Trust in God. Tithing helps us to worship God more fully in our whole life. It cultivates our spiritual growth and trust in God.

3. Financial Wisdom. Tithing brings God’s presence into our financial planning. When we involve God in planning how we will use our money, we are exercising a healthy spiritual discipline and that helps us to combat the destructive influence of materialism and greed that can infect and destroy our lives.

4. Ministry Support. Tithing provides the means to keep a full time pastor at our church as well as supporting staff, office and a well maintained building.

5. Congregational Strength. Tithing strengthens the ministries, outreach and health of our congregation and helping to mold a Christian community of faith love and grace.

Tithing is the practice of pledging and offering 10% of your income. In the Old Testament, tithing was part of the Law and it was considered the minimum amount one would offer to God. In the New Testament, we have been freed from the requirement and obligation to follow this as Law. However, it has been a common practice in the Christian church for centuries to use tithing as a good, concrete example for giving to the church that we are not obligated to obey but given as an example we may choose to adopt.

If you are interested in tithing or in percentage giving, here is a chart that may be helpful. At first, it might sound overwhelming to think of giving what may seem like a huge amount of money especially if we’ve never considered tithing before. This chart breaks down the amounts into weekly portions and gives smaller and larger percentages to start from and grow into in the future.

Annual Income

Monthly Income

Weekly Income

Weekly Offering 4%

Weekly Offering 6%

Weekly Offering 8%

Weekly Offering 10%

Weekly Offering 12%

Weekly Offering 15%

$18,000 $1500 $346 $14 $21 $28 $35 $42 $52
$25,000 $2083 $481 $19 $29 $38 $48 $58 $72
$30,000 $2500 $557 $23 $35 $46 $58 $69 $87
$40,000 $3333 $769 $31 $46 $62 $77 $92 $115
$45,000 $3750 $865 $35 $52 $69 $87 $104 $130
$50,000 $4,167 $962 $38 $58 $77 $96 $115 $144
$60,000 $5,000 $1,154 $46 $68 $92 $115 $138 $172
$75,000 $625 $1442 $58 $87 $115 $144 $173 $216
$100,000 $8333 $1923 $77 $115 $154 $192 $231 $288
$125,000 $10,417 $2404 $96 $144 $192 $240 $288 $361
$150,000 $12,500 $2885 $115 $173 $231 $289 $346 $433
$175,000 $14,583 $3365 $135 $202 $269 $337 $404 $505
$200,000 $16,667 $3846 $154 $231 $208 $285 $462 $577
$225,000 $18,750 $4327 $173 $260 $346 $433 $519 $649