December: The Way of Faith
By Leah Hidde-Gregory
|This week, I went in to get my nails done. A thirty-year indulgence that my husband doesn’t quite understand. My nail tech, Carrie, explained to me that she could not do my nails next time, because she was headed back to Vietnam to see her parents and family. During our conversation, she explained that she was to be baptized and join her church when she returned, but that she needed to go home and tell her family, who are devoted Buddhist, that she was converting to Christianity. I could tell in her eyes that this was going to be very hard for her to do, but she also had this amazing joy that bubbled up when she talked about Christ. She said, “Jesus is my everything. He has completely changed my life. We talk together every night before I go to sleep.” Her faith was so pure and sweet.
Carrie then explained how she had come to know Christ. She told me that Jesus had literally come to her. She was in a superstore parking lot, when a man with a gun came up behind her. He put the gun to her head and took her backpack. Carrie said she felt as though her life was about to be over. A bumper sticker across the way from where she was standing had the words, “Jesus is the Way.” Something in her cried out to Jesus in that moment. Immediately, she felt Christ come beside her and wrap his arm around her. The man who was robbing her, dropped the backpack and said, I am so sorry and took off running. Carrie said from that day on, she knew Jesus was real and she wanted to find out about the “way” on that bumper sticker.
When I asked how she found her way to a local church, she said, “Because they have that giant Jesus out front, and I want to always be near Jesus.” Carrie told me about a couple of the sins that she had truly wrestled with her whole life and how Jesus had taken them away from her. She said, “I am a new person. I have a new life. I owe Jesus everything.”
Whether we were born into the Christian faith or experienced a radical conversion like my friend, the way of faith starts with awakening to our need, surrender of ourselves, and deep innate desire to be with Jesus. The way of faith means relying on God’s strength in our weakness and walking in the way of Christ.
A Suggested Pattern of Prayer
As you pray through the following prayer points, invite the presence of the Lord into your time of prayer. Each day’s prompt has a Scripture reference for you to pray through. As you pray allow time to also listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. When you have prayed through the Scripture and prayer point, you may be led to add your own prayers. Pray and consider what action steps you might take in response to the Lord’s leading. Repeat this prayer pattern weekly for the month.
Sunday: Pray for victims of violent crime and their families. (Hebrews 11:4)
Monday: Pray for those who are passionately seeking the way of Christ (Hebrews 11:6).
Tuesday: Pray for those who chose the way of faith in the face of family and worldly pressures. (Hebrews 11:7)
Wednesday: Pray for those who want nothing more than to be obedient to Christ but struggle along the way. (Hebrews 11:9)
Thursday: Pray for those who seek the better way. (Hebrews 11:16)
Friday: Pray for those who are called to seemingly impossible tasks. May they trust that God will provide. (Hebrews 11:17)
Saturday: Pray for those who are disgraced for the sake of Christ. (Hebrews 11:26)
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Rev. Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory is the President Pro Tem of the Mid-Texas Conference, after serving as chairwoman of the Transitional Leadership Council of the Global Methodist Church. She served 30 years in the United Methodist Church in congregations ranging from 20 to 8,000 in worship attendance. She is a Denman Evangelism award winner.
Brought to you by the International Intercessory Prayer Network