Pilgrim Prayer Challenge – Week One

5 Weekly Encouragements for Praying Pilgrims!

1.     Prayer: A Spiritual Habit

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” James 4:8

The words “habit” and “discipline can often make us cringe with discomfort.  Yet, don’t we all strive to create healthy habits and disciplines in our lives to benefit our physical health and our emotional well-being?  We eat and exercise to stay healthy; we do those daily crosswords to strengthen our minds; we correspond with our friends and family to keep our relationships on track; we are committed to that daily jolt of caffeine to keep us ready and sharp for the day.

In this short verse in James we find the secret to spiritual wellness – being near and intimately close with the Creator God.  “Come near.”  In the Old Testament, beyond all the rules that God’s people had to fulfill, God called His people to “cling” to Him.  (Deut. 13:4)  From the beginning to the end of the Bible, God’s reconciled relationship with His people is the overarching theme.

How, then, do we come near?  Start a conversation with God – Prayer!  As we challenge ourselves during the next 5 weeks to make prayer a personal spiritual habit, and choose to set aside time and brain space to come near and cling to God, let’s also remember and reside in this wonderful promise: He will come near to you.

**Helpful Hint: Location doesn’t matter!  You don’t need to create a special prayer room to have a meaningful prayer life.  Try adding prayer into a daily ritual that you’ve already established – during a commute, while exercising, or even while doing dishes!


Click HERE to be taken to the Prayer Challenge Resource page for these helpful tools:

  • a recommended prayer format – 5 steps in daily prayer
  • a collection of prayers from others to adopt as your own prayers if you wish
  • an archive of these weekly messages of encouragement

 

Sunday’s Message – May 28, 2017

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May 28, 2017
The 7th Sunday of Easter

  • Psalm 1
  • Matthew 21:28-32

Like a tree deeply rooted in the nurturing ground, beside a stream of life-sustaining water …

The righteous are those who drink –

  • Daily from God’s Word
  • Weekly from the sacraments in worship
  • Continually from the community of believers

 

Steve Schumacher, Pastor

Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Puyallup – South Hill, WA

Sunday’s Message – May 14, 2017

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May 14, 2017
The 5th Sunday of Easter
Mothers’ Day

PRAYER OF THE DAY
Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Give us grace to love one another, to follow in the way of his commandments, and to share his risen life with all the world, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

  • Acts 7:55-60
  • Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
  • 1 Peter 2:2-10
  • John 14:1-14

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“You are a sinner … now come, as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you.  He wants you as you are; He does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; He wants you alone … God has come to you to save the sinner.”

Steve Schumacher, Pastor

Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Puyallup – South Hill, WA

Sunday’s Message – May 7, 2017

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May 7, 2017
The 4th Sunday of Easter
“Good Shepherd Sunday”

PRAYER OF THE DAY
O God our Shepherd, you know your sheep by name and lead us to safety through the valleys of death. Guide us by your voice that we may walk in certainty and security to the joyous feast prepared in your house, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and LORD, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 

  • Psalm 23
  • Acts 2:42-47
  • 1 Peter 2:19-25
  • John 10:1-11

Psalm 23
Translated from Japanese

God is my Father, I shall have no need. He lets me rest under the blossoming cherry tree.
He takes me to the refreshing waterfall. He quiets my heart. 

He leads me along the path of well-doing for Christ’s sake.
Though I face death, I will not be frightened.
For I will place my hand in his and he will lead me where I cannot see.

He will give me rice and tea as I need it. My cup is filled by His love.
His love and peace will surround me until life’s sunset;
Then I shall dwell with Him forevermore.

 

Steve Schumacher, Pastor

Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Puyallup – South Hill, WA

Sunday’s Message – April 30, 2017

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April 30, 2017
The 3rd Sunday of Easter
Weekend of Service

PRAYER OF THE DAY
O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world. Lead us by his love to serve others. Through us give hope to the hopeless, love to the unloved, peace to the troubled, and rest to the weary. May our service to others give you glory, in Jesus name. Amen.

  • Psalm 116
  • Acts 2
  • Luke 24:13-35

Jeff Hobson, Director
Family + Youth Ministries

Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Puyallup – South Hill, WA

Sunday’s Message – April 23, 2017

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April 23, 2017
The 2nd Sunday of Easter

PRAYER OF THE DAY
Almighty and eternal God, the strength of those who believe and the hope of those who doubt, may we, who have not seen, have faith in you and receive the fullness of Christ’s blessing, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

  • 1 Peter 1:3-9
  • John 20:19-31

Steve Schumacher, Pastor

Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Puyallup – South Hill, WA

Sunday’s Message – April 16, 2017

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April 16, 2017
The Resurrection of Our Lord

PRAYER OF THE DAY
O God, you gave your only Son to suffer death on the cross for our redemption, and by His glorious resurrection you delivered us from the power of death. Make us die every day to sin, that we may live with him forever in the joy of the resurrection, through your Son, Jesus Christ our LORD, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

  • Psalm 118
  • Matthew 28:1-10

Steve Schumacher, Pastor

Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Puyallup – South Hill, WA

Sunday’s Message – April 2, 2017

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April 2, 2017
The 5th Sunday in Lent

PRAYER OF THE DAY
Almighty God, your Son came into the world to free us all from sin and death. Breathe upon us the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ and serve you in righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and LORD, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

  • Psalm 130
  • John 11:1-45

Sermon Series for Lent: “Five Encounters with Jesus”

Question to ponder: “How does suffering glorify God?” (reference v. 4)

Steve Schumacher, Pastor

Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Puyallup – South Hill, WA

Sunday’s Message – March 19, 2017

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The Third Sunday in Lent
March 19, 2017

PRAYER OF THE DAY
Bend Your ear to our prayers, LORD Christ, and come among us. By your gracious life and death for us, bring light into the darkness of our hearts, and anoint us with your Spirit, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

  • Psalm 95
  • John 4:5-42

Sermon Series for Lent: “Five Encounters with Jesus”

Question to ponder: “What is this Living Water”

Steve Schumacher, Pastor

Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Puyallup – South Hill, WA

Sunday’s Message – March 12, 2017

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The Second Sunday in Lent
March 12, 2017

PRAYER OF THE DAY
O God, our Leader and Guide, in the waters of baptism you bring us to new birth to live as your children. Strengthen our faith in your promises, that by your Spirit we may lift up your life to all the world through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and LORD, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

  • Psalm 33
  • John 3:1-17

Sermon Series for Lent: “Five Encounters with Jesus”
Question to ponder: “With the altered sight of faith, where do you see evidence of the Kingdom of God?”

Steve Schumacher, Pastor

Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Puyallup – South Hill, WA