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Taking it to the Lord in prayer

July 10, 2015 No Comment

by Thomas Prachar

President Thomas Prachar.

President Thomas Prachar.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.” This is the first prayer I memorized, with my mother’s help, when I was around three years old. It was the prayer I prayed every night in bed before I went to sleep. And then as I recall, after I prayed this short prayer, I attached this addendum: “And God bless mommy and daddy and Bobby (my younger brother), grandmas and grandpas, and all my aunts and uncles and cousins. Amen.”

Maybe you’ve had a similar experience to mine. After 60 years you’d think I’d have this prayer thing down to an art! But there is still so much more to learn, so much to experience as my gracious heavenly Father continues to answer my prayers, sometimes with a “yes,” sometimes with a “no,” and often with, “patience—it’s not yet time.” On the whole, as I look back over the years, my Lord has been so good to me. He has often answered my prayers beyond what I have requested, and taught me His wisdom by withholding things that He knew would not be good for me. Like many things in life, I’ve probably learned as much about prayer by actually doing it as compared to simply studying it. Nevertheless, “Lord, continue to teach me to pray.”

Like many things in life, I’ve probably learned as much about prayer by actually doing it as compared to simply studying it. Nevertheless, “Lord, continue to teach me to pray.”

As we look around our beloved Central District, there is so much we can bring to our Lord in prayer! There are all manner of issues and people for whom we can and must pray. And I am as guilty as anyone for not saying “thanks” to my Lord for all His blessings, for all His answers to prayer, be they small or great, the answer I wanted, a different answer, or no answer at all.

Lately, I have been praying about my future, realizing that there are fewer days ahead than there are behind. In moments of pure self-absorption, I have prayed about what would happen should someone else become district president at this convention. I have been at peace should that change happen in my life, knowing that my Lord will continue to provide for all my physical and spiritual needs. And I have brought before my Lord’s throne of grace the scenario of having to serve another term as district president. And since that is the path upon which He is leading me (based on your voting this morning), I trust in His compassion and goodness, His grace and mercy, to help me to serve to the best of my ability.

Now, I must also confess that as I have said my prayers lately, I have done so with one eye on the calendar, counting my years of service to Christ and His Church. And I have come to the conclusion that this will be my last term as district president; it is time for someone else to take a turn at steering the ship. By the way, down through the ages, the church has been portrayed as a ship. I humbly realize that my ecclesiastical oversight is definitely only dinghy size when compared to the “mother ship”—the Holy Christian Church. But God’s people are important no matter their number or location. In the last fifteen years, I have seen the worst of God’s people and the best of God’s people. The challenges that you have laid before me the past fifteen years have made me weary, especially without the foundation and pleasant distractions of a family upon which to fall back. But with the Lord’s help—and that is the only way anyone can proceed in service to His church—I will endeavour to serve the best that I can in my final term.

The Central District has been my beloved home for the last 30 years. I sincerely thank you for the prayers you have sent to our heavenly Father’s throne of grace on my behalf, and for the prayers you have offered on behalf of this precious Central District. May our Lord truly be merciful to us and grant us an abundance of His grace, especially when we ask Him, “Lord, teach us to pray!”

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Rev. Thomas Prachar is President of the Central District of Lutheran Church–Canada. The above is taken from his President’s Report following his election for a sixth term at the Central District Convention, Saskatoon.