Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Word from the Wise (The Wise Being God)

Dear Nadia,

 This is going to sound really weird but, is there a right way to pray? I feel as though I need to be all formal but, it says that Jesus is our Father and Friend. A few of my friends say to talk to Him like He's right in my
 room but I don't know. What do you think?

 ~ Wannabe Prayer Warrior

Dear Wannabe Prayer Warrior,

The best person to get advice about prayer from is... Jesus! He was God Himself, and still He prayed. His prayer was powerful and full of faith, but also humble. You sound like you have a beautiful, humble
heart... especially in prayer. Keep it up! In one of Jesus' teachings about prayer he said: "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you... for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." (Matthew 6:5-8). I
think it's beautiful that you talk to Him like He's right in your room! He tells us to come to Him in silence and pray and, wherever that may be, He is there! Whether you pray formally (which is great -there are many beautiful formal prayers) or as if you were talking to a friend (which is awesome as well - He IS our best friend after all), "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." (1 John 5:14).

Girl, you are a prayer warrior! Once, when the disciples were struggling with having faith, Jesus explained to them: "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Most people today aren't familiar with what a mustard seed is, so think of a grain of rice or sand. Our tiny bit of faith in God's goodness can produce amazing results, and I'm certain you have a lot more than a tiny grain of faith! God bless you
Ms. Prayer Warrior!

 Dear Nadia,

I want to get more involved in my church but i don't know where I can serve. Do you have any ideas for me?
 ~Helper Outer

Dear Helper Outer,

What a beautiful servant's heart you have! Every church is different and has different needs, but there are a few basic ways that you can help in pretty much any church. Use your God-given gifts to serve. "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace" (1 Peter 4:10).
  • Encouragement - this is so underrated! You have no idea how much a kind, encouraging word can brighten someone's day and give them the strength they need to continue in ministry. Let God speak words of joy through you to others! 1 Thessalonians 5:11 - "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up."
  • Organize a team to repair/clean - Talk to your pastor or church administrator. Maybe your church needs a major cleaning up or just a little bit of TLC. Whether you volunteer to take on a weekly task like sweeping up after service, or even pull together a large group to do a big spring cleaning project, giving of your time in such a way gives so much honor and glory to God. Cleaning can be tedious, but especially in such acts, God is blessed because you: "with good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men" (Ephesians 6:7).
  • Lead youth group/child care - Helping with a youth group for middle-schoolers, elementary school children, or even babysitting is an incredible help to parents as well as regular adult leaders/teachers. If you work well with kids, serving in this way can be a huge blessing to your church family!
  • Music ministry - Many times in the songs, we hear: "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High" (Psalm 92:1). If you are a talented musician or singer, joining your church's music ministry is a great way to glorify God. Even if don't consider yourself musically gifted, singing your heart out to God during praise and worship is a wonderful way to just adore Him and thank Him. You can sing your heart out quietly if you need to ;)
  • Set up/clean up for events - this goes along with forming a clean-up crew. I think that any person who was in charge of social events would be thrilled to have extra help with setting and cleaning up before and after youth group, Bible study, or church BBQs! If this interests you, try talking to your church administrator to get a calendar of upcoming events, plan to arrive early or stay late, and then offer your help!
  • Usher - Some churches have ushers to greet people and engage newcomers. If you have a friendly and outgoing personality, you may enjoy ushering. Some churches prefer adults to play this role, but it wouldn't hurt to ask if you can help in this way!
  • Bulletin/fliers - All you tech-savvy or artsy girls, I bet your church would be THRILLED to have you help them make weekly church bulletins or event fliers. If art and design is something you enjoy, offer to serve in this area. Maybe come with a sample of your work or an idea for a poster/flyer. How cool to get to glorify the Lord through your creative art!
In all of this, it is important to remain humble and take on a spirit of service. "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind... do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4).

Did you know that Nadia loves to sing and dance though she doesn't think she's good at either?!

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