Prayer journal: week 1, day 5

Baptism makes partners.

[B]e of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” Philippians 2: 2-3

This is the scripture for the prayer journal today, which is partly to help our “Unbinding” group start thinking about prayer partners. But I heard it differently, maybe because I had just been to the installation of a pastor in a neighboring Lutheran church, and because I am becoming more aware of how congregations are subtly competing with each other in an age of limited resources and of easy mobility for parishioners looking for one thing or another. We don’t mean to compete, but it is easy to get stuck in our own circle of interests. We avoid the humility it takes to look to the interests of other congregations as well as our own.

Individually we may need prayer partners, but for the sake of mission and gospel we need more congregation partners where the strengths of one congregation can be shared with another. One may have dynamic bible studies. Can it be shared? Another have an efficient quilting group for Lutheran World Relief. Can others join? Another is good at organizing mission projects. Could we work together for the interests of all rather than just our own interests? Can we humbly admit where we are not strong and need help?