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My Prayer for Us

by Michelle Wilson on April 29, 2022

One of the things I already miss from MaryAnn is her gentle and prayerful devotional letters in our weekly e-news. I feel these have been valuable enough that I’d like to continue them moving forward. In my own devotional reading, I’ve been drawn back again and again to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. And I’d like to share with you some of what the Spirit has been speaking to me through it.

During our 40 Days of Faith Lent Challenge, I prayed daily for healing in my marriage, for several of my friends to experience God’s blessing in their lives, and for Coast Vineyard. This was a deeply valuable time of revived passion for prayer in my life, as well as renewed excitement about reaching out to connect with my neighbors. I found that for me, it was indeed true, as we proposed at the beginning of our 40 days, that engaging the mission of Jesus made me feel more alive, more energetic, and more excited for each day. I’ve decided to continue to pray daily for myself, my friends, and our church. As I was asking myself what I most desire God to do in my own life, I felt the answer was very simple. I want to be happy. So I began asking God to give me happiness. It was at this point that the Spirit directed me once again to the Sermon on the Mount, and specifically to the first twelve verses of Matthew 5, commonly known as the Beatitudes. 

The word “blessed” that appears repeatedly in this passage means “happy.” As I read this section of the Sermon on the Mount and thought about my prayer that God would make me truly happy, I felt the Spirit stirring in me the realization that the Beatitudes are instructions on how to find happiness and inviting me to meditate on them as I ask God to make me happy. As I meditate on happiness over the next several weeks, I’d like to invite you along on the journey. 

Today, I want to start with just Matthew’s introduction to the sermon. 

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
                                Matt. 5:1

As is so often the case, Jesus sees the crowds coming toward him and moves away. He finds a spot to teach and sits down, and those who desire to learn from him come in close. (Remember that there were many disciples, men and women from all walks of life, not just the twelve. All were welcome to come and listen.) Many people wanted to see a spectacle. Many people wanted to be part of the crowd, to see miracles, to see conflict, and to eat free food at miraculous picnics. But Jesus’ disciples came in close to listen and learn from him. And he taught them how to find what makes people truly happy.

My prayer for us this week is that we would come close to Jesus and hear his voice. That we would trust him to show us the way, and that he would bring true happiness into our lives. I invite you right now to take a moment to stop and listen, to trust Jesus to show you the way, and to trust that he does wish to bring real happiness into your life.


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