Sermon – August 3, 2014

Community - Letters to the Church in CorinthA Beneficial Mystery,” by Rev. Tom Duley

Sermon Series: Community – Letters to the Church in Corinth

Today we are thinking about prayer. More specifically we are thinking about the sense of consolation and comfort that we have as a result of a life of prayer. Anyone who has ever prayed knows that our prayers are not always answered in the way that we want them to be. There is no formula to ensure that what we pray for happens. If we knew exactly how to pray so that we received everything we asked for we would be God and clearly we are not.

However, there are many positive benefits associated with a life of prayer. Chief among them is God’s consolation and comfort. When we pray deeply and consistently we develop a deep sense of peace; a bright awareness that we are in God’s hands surrounded by God’s love no matter what may come our way. That is God’s consolation and comfort at work in our lives. This sense of peace is especially real to us when we face afflictions and difficulties. We don’t always get our prayers answered in the way that we pray them. However, prayer always results in beneficial spiritual growth and insight. Knowing that we have God’s consolation in all things is surely one of the greatest benefits of a life of prayer.

~Rev. Tom Duley

The Word

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

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