Lent 2020: Devotional On Prayer By Rev. Clayton Oliphint

Clayton OliphintBy Rev. Clayton Oliphint, senior pastor at First UMC Richardson

The season of Lent is a period of spiritual preparation. Traditionally, members of the Body of Christ are taking inventory of their lives during this season, perhaps even giving something up, as a way of preparing for what is to come.

And what is it we are preparing and looking forward to? Easter!

The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus offers us hope of our own resurrection. In order to experience the joy of Easter in fullness, we get very intentional – dare I say, even methodical – preparing the soil for the new birth and growth Easter will bring.  

This is also a season of preparation for your North Texas Conference General Conference delegates. As we seek to read through mounds of petitions and network with other delegates from around the world, we also are seeking to ground ourselves spiritually for the hard work that is before us.

Through the years of serving at General Conference, I’ve found that one of the most important things to do is to lay a spiritual foundation through prayer. I am choosing to look at my spiritual preparation for General Conference very much like my spiritual preparation for Easter. God is going to do what God does and bring resurrection – new life and new hope! My role is to prepare the soil of my heart, mind and soul to receive this gift of new life that God will offer.

I want to invite the North Texas Conference family to join your General Conference delegates in praying the Lord’s Prayer daily. This is a spiritual discipline that will guide us and shape us as we seek God’s will and not our own. As we pray, let us trust that God is already at work preparing a resurrection for our lives, our church and our world. As Paul said in Romans 15: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

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.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Published: Wednesday, March 4, 2020