Our new Bishop, David Konderla, was invited to speak at a women's retreat last Saturday. He quoted our retreat scripture theme from 2 Thessalonians 3: 5, "May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ", then spoke about three P words--prayer, providence and prudence.
"Prayer is essential;" it "grounds us. We must be listening" to the Lord, he said."We do not work out of our own power. We do not have faith..." out of our own doing either. "Everything," he reminded us, "is a gift. Everything returns to Him." Bishop David encouraged us to "trust that the Lord is doing this" and that "Jesus changes our lives if we stay out of his way." He exhorted us to "do everything without worry and anxiety."
"The key to prayer," he instructed "is practical and human. Go to bed, get seven hours of sleep..." get up earlier and have time for prayer. We can "be a more transparent instrument when prayer is done well, especially in the morning."
Providence. "God is in our life in large and small ways all the time. Not just the good things. Bad things happen to good people. Things are just something that happens in our lives." He continued to encourage us, "See God more often. Live with ambiguity. Seek meaning in everything."
Being practical again, Bishop David said, "Catch early signs and symptoms of not praying." For example, "If someone cuts us off in traffic," ask yourself, "where are we going in such a big hurry?"
Insight again: go to bed earlier and pray.
"God is around us all the time," he said. "Our awareness dims in and out from time to time." So we need to "pull Him to mind when He dims."
Prudence is the "mother of the virtues." It "helps us know which virtue to apply. We practicing virtues when "we're praying and attentive and sensitive to God's presence around us, in good and bad things, big and small." We need to live our lives in virtues" which means "stable habits," like being patient.
Three powerful P words: Prayer, Providence and Prudence.