Many of you know that a Stewardship Committee here at Green Tree has been working on ways to promote stewardship education. The main emphasis of this committee at the moment is to get people talking with one another about stewardship as often as we can. Stewardship, namely that of stewardship of our financial resources, is something that most of us do not like to discuss with one another. However, what we have found in the short time that this committee has been active, is that the more people talk about stewardship and giving to the church, the more comfortable they become in discussing this topic.
Too often when we talk about stewardship and the church, we talk about fundraising or the stewardship of our financial resources. No doubt that is part of the stewardship pie but stewardship involves a number of things that are entrusted into our care such as our families, our vocation, the world in which we live, how we manage our time and so forth. So as we have this overall church-wide discussion of stewardship, I would also like to include our prayer lives and spirituality. Are we good stewards of our prayer life and are we good stewards in how we communicate with God?
During the season of Lent this year, I will offer a class on the importance of prayer (see the article on page 1). The class with take place on four consecutive Wednesdays beginning on February 29 and ending on March 21.The first session will deal with the concept of prayer in the first place. When I lived in Baltimore, I was part of a theological committee that surveyed many congregations about prayer. And in one of the questions we asked, what was the major obstacle to prayer? We expected the overwhelming response to be lack of time but instead it was, “We don’t know how to pray.” What a revelation! If people are struggling to pray because they do not know how then perhaps they are not quite sure what prayer is or what it can be.
The second session of the class will deal with prayer and listening, the third session will deal with prayer and the Bible, and the fourth session will examine the value of memorized and other prayers. We won’t cover everything related to prayer but it will be a start.
I invite all, who are able, to attend this class on prayer so we have the opportunity to discuss what prayer is and what it is not. I hope the discussions in the class will be helpful to all of us as we talk about the importance of prayer. I also hope that as we talk about prayer that we will find ourselves working to be better stewards of the spiritual aspects of our lives.