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The Rev. Shari L. Rates The Rev. Shari L. Rates
The Rev. Shari L. Rates is pastor of Rock Springs United Methodist Church in Lawrenceville, GA.

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United Methodist Church

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Rock Springs United Methodist Church, Lawrenceville, GA

Restorer of Our Souls - Shari Rates

August 25, 2014

The Rev. Shari Rates encourages us to open ourselves to God's love once again so our souls can be restored.

When do you feel incapable
of extending or receiving love?
Is it when obstacles and barriers
to your faith have been challenged?
Or the demands of daily living are imbalanced?
How do you regenerate yourself in times of
spiritual drought and famine?
Where do you go to restore your soul?
Even Jesus sought refuge from the world.
He too needed a quiet respite.
Oftentimes He retreated to places of isolation
to pray in solitude to His Heavenly Father.

Mark Chapter 1 verse 35 says,
"35 Very early in the morning,
while it was still dark, Jesus got up,
left the house and went off to a solitary place,
where he prayed."

Matthew 26 verse 36 shares that,
36 Jesus went with his disciples
to a place called Gethsemane,
and he said to them,
"Sit here
while I go over there and pray."

And Luke 5 verse 16 adds,
"16 But Jesus often withdrew
to lonely places and prayed."

Jesus knew that in order to achieve
what He was called to do
as the Savior of the world,
would also entail a need to draw back
for reflection and meditation.
In order to be fully available
as the sacrificial lamb of love
He too needed to steal away
from the storms of life
and honor the Father
who had called Him to task.

Prayer is our means
of communication with God.
We are drawn closer
into an intimate connection
with the Holy Trinity
when we pray.
And we are prepared
to go back into the world
refueled with all we need
to be available for others
under the tenants of His love.

Theologian A. J. Gordon, once said,
"You can do more than pray
after you have prayed;
but you can never do more
than pray until you have prayed."
May you take time to pray,
and let your voice be a sweet
fragrance upon the Heart of Heaven.

For Psalm 5 verse 3 says,
"My voice shalt thou hear
in the morning, O LORD;
in the morning will I direct my prayer
unto thee, and will look up."
Look up to the hills
from whence cometh your help;
for in so doing,
God will restore you
to an all-encompassing love of Him,
self and neighbor. Amen


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