At our favorite restaurant we have a menu of delicious options to choose from. While we might have a little trouble deciding what we want to enjoy on any given day, the choices are clear and we will select from that day's offerings. But what if we could choose anything we wanted?! What amazing meal would we design and ask the chef to prepare? We tend approach God in prayer as though we have limited options from which to choose... "God, help me with this... fix that... give me strength... forgive me..." But what if there was no limit to what God might do... no boundaries to God's goodness... no parameters within which we would expect God to work? Scripture says that God is able to do more than we can even ask or imagine - wow! Let's consider how we invite God to break through into our lives with that kind of power! Worship Link:

Adventures in Prayer Week 3: Surrender

When was the last time you surrendered something? When did you last give up something of value or concede your victory to another? It's probably not a positive memory. We tend to think of surrendering as something negative. For many of us it means admitting we are not good enough; that we've been outplayed or outsmarted. But giving up something can also be helpful and healthy. To give up something that commands too much time on our calendar means that we have more time for the things we care more about. To surrender priorities such as success and wealth means that we can pursue other important things that serve our families and others. Is there anything you might give up to grow in grace and peace and walk more closely with the One who loves you the most? Surrender might not be such a bad thing after all! Worship Link:

There is so much to do on any given day, we all do our best to employ the latest and greatest efficiency techniques... lists, notes, delegating, planners of all kinds. We are willing to do whatever it takes to get more done! Even as followers of Jesus we sense the need to be efficient and productive. There is so much to be done that we often sacrifice our time with Jesus to be about the business of Jesus. And besides, spending time with Jesus in prayer is so... so... nebulous. We don't know what to say, and we don't very often sense that God is even listening or that it really matters that we say anything at all. Roadblocks abound when it comes to praying and spending time with Jesus. Feeling the need to get things done is one of the biggest. But Jesus and the early church held praying as one of the highest priorities of the spiritual life. Maybe those roadblocks are the ideal place to pause and refocus our time with the Divine. Worship Link:

Adventures in Prayer, Week 1

Many journeys have begun with dreams of high adventure and amazing discoveries! To see new things and experience unfamiliar people and places will be so exciting! But as we begin to make our plans, it is often the case that the hoped-for high adventure turns into a rather safe excursion. We map out our route, collect all the supplies we’ll need, book hotels, buy tickets, set timelines, load the car, and head out with the intention of going exactly where we’ve planned in as safe and easy a manner as possible. What was to be an adventure turns out to be just another road trip, and then we’re back to the grind of work, school, and regular life. What would it be like to launch out on a real adventure, an expedition where we didn’t know where we were going or what we would experience along the way? Now that would be exciting! And that is exactly what God calls us to. A journey with Jesus, facilitated by prayer and an open heart, can be the greatest adventure we’ve ever had! Worship Link:

Every group or community of people have words and rituals that are common to their life together. Scouts have pledges that proclaim their high ideals. Countries have national songs and pledges that unite them. Sororities and fraternities have rituals that all members must participate in to join. When Jesus was with his closest followers (the disciples), he gave them a prayer to pray that would help unite their hearts in love and point them all in the direction of kingdom living after he left them. Christian churches and communities of faith of every stripe and tradition have used this prayer in some fashion across the centuries. Commonly known as The Lord's Prayer, this prayer is learned by children in Sunday school and often prayed out loud, together, in Christian worship settings. As we examine "The Deeper Life | A Life of Prayer," we take a fresh look at this set prayer that has been close to the heart of Jesus followers for centuries. Words matter, and in The Deeper Life, words have the power to shape and guide our lives for God and for good. "So, when you pray, say" this... (Luke 11:2) Worship Link:

Be Still

From as far back as most of us can remember, we've sought ways to take our music, conversations, and media with us wherever we go. For some of us it started with a transistor radio and change for a pay phone. And through the years we've moved through the evolution of technology to the place where we have every nearly form of communication and entertainment right in our pockets, with us 24/7. It's as though we do all we can to avoid silence. Silence has the power to unsettle us. It leaves us alone with our thoughts and fears. It offers up so many questions, and so few answers. What is there to be gained in the quiet? The Deeper Life (a life of prayer) is built on silence, but not for the sake of quiet alone. The Deeper Life is a life of quiet contemplation, purposeful silence, and intentional listening. The Deeper Life asks God to speak, and rests in the quiet to hear what God would say. Worship Link:

Expectations are powerful things. They influence our words, actions, planning, and hopes. Rarely will we put effort into cooking a meal, repairing a broken appliance, or entering a negotiation without the expectation of a positive outcome. We don't put energy into a relationship, time into learning a new skill, or effort into a team sport without the expectation of a meaningful connection, growth of some kind, or a win (at least occasionally!). What about our deeper lives of prayer? Do we pray with the expectation that God will bless us if we can check prayer off our list today? Or do we pray with the expectation that God will grant our prayerful wish list and solve our prayerfully presented dilemmas if we are diligent in presenting them properly? Scripture suggests that we pray with a thankful heart and attitude, expecting the good God we know and worship to be who God promises God will be. When we pray with alert minds and thankful hearts, we can always expect good things. Worship Link:

We learn in elementary school that big things often have even larger hidden foundations. A towering oak has a deep and wide root system. An iceberg only shows a small portion of itself above the water. And tall buildings have foundations that go deep into the ground to hold them stable and make them strong. But what of those people we see with strong faith, great confidence in God, and unfailing hope in the face of adversity? What do they have hidden away that makes them such resilient and joyful people? For people of faith, a deep and rich prayer life is what keeps them stable, grounded, hopeful, and peace-filled, in the good times and the bad. For followers of Jesus, the deeper life is a life of prayer. In July at Union Chapel Indy we explore the power and blessing of a deep and rich prayer life. Join us for worship in-person or online, Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Worship Link: