Skip to main content
St. Matthew's EC Church
email usour facebook page
contact us
Pastor's Blog
Tuesday, March 26 2024


Zoom Blog at 10 today. All welcome

Family Ministry/Adult Huddle with dinner 6pm tomorrow. All welcome as we discuss the events of this week and receive the Lord's Supper together.

Sun 10 am Festive Resurrection Sunday Family Worship with Communion. Live and on Zoom. Bring some friends! Come as you are!

Good Morning Fiends of Jesus! How's that relationship going? Are you working on really connecting to Him and enjoying hanging out? It is the most blessed place to sit at His feet. Make some time for that as a daily priority. He wants to be your friend and to hang out with you all the time!

Our devos today are kinda all over the place. I'll allow you to use whatever you use for your own personal time with Jesus today. Maybe you even finished already and are about your daily routine. Don't forget to include your Friend in all you do today and watch for where he wants you to join Him. ODB reminds us of the basics of knowing Scripture and spending time with Jesus as we work on growing in faith and like Him. The UR reminds us that He is with us all the time. He promises to never leave nor forsake you! Amen! Contemplate the Harvest Prayer blog as you finish your quiet time in prayer. Shalom!


Missing the Basics

You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. Matthew 22:29

READ Matthew 22:23–33


For decades, McDonald’s ruled fast food with their Quarter Pounder burger. In the 1980s, a rival chain cooked up an idea to dethrone the company with the golden arches. A&W offered the Third Pound Burger—larger than McDonald’s—and sold it for the same price. Even more, A&W’s burger won numerous blind taste tests. But the burger bombed. Nobody bought it. Eventually, they dropped it from the menu. Research revealed that consumers misunderstood the math and thought the Third Pound Burger was smaller than the Quarter Pounder. A grand idea failed because people missed the basics.

Jesus warned of how easy it is to miss the basics. Religious leaders, scheming to trap and discredit Him during the week He was crucified, posed a strange, hypothetical scenario about a woman who was widowed seven times (Matthew 22:23–28). Jesus responded, insisting that this knotty dilemma wasn’t a problem at all. Rather, their problem was how they didn’t “know the Scriptures or the power of God” (v. 29). The Scriptures, Jesus insisted, aren’t first intended to answer logical or philosophical puzzles. Rather, their primary aim is to lead us to know and love Jesus and to “have eternal life” in Him (John 5:39). These are the basics the leaders missed.

We often miss the basics too. The Bible’s main aim is an encounter with the living Jesus. It would be heartbreaking to miss it.

By Winn Collier


How do you miss Scripture’s basics? How can you return to the basics . . . to Jesus?

Dear God, sometimes I get lost even amid good things. Please help me.


Matthew 22 contains one of the many examples in the Gospels of a “shame/honor contest.” Much of the Eastern world today is still rooted in the concept of shame and honor because those cultures are more defined by community expectations than by individual rights. In Western culture, however, the individual is more prominent. In a shame/honor contest, the goal is to take honor from someone and bring shame on them. This requires an audience—the community.

In Matthew 22, the religious leaders attack Jesus in front of the crowds with a series of questions intended to dishonor Him in the eyes of the people (v. 15). Christ answers with irrefutable wisdom, and the religious leaders fail in their attempts to shame Him.

Bill Crowder

UR: God Goes with You

Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. - Deuteronomy 31:6 (NRSVUE)

“Where did all the days go?” I wondered aloud as I stared at my planner. As a soon-to-be mom with only a month left before my expected due date, I was growing more anxious each day. I had so many things I had not yet prepared. Our finances were tight, which made me all the more intimidated about our new responsibilities and our future hospital bill. On top of that, I had never taken care of a baby before. An incredible sense of insecurity and helplessness crept into my heart. I felt overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy.

My husband heard my question and came to me. He embraced me and patted my back to comfort me. He read something from my planner that I had written a few weeks back: “Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”

I have known this verse for so long that at times I have felt extremely casual toward it. However, in that moment of great fear, it consoled me. It was as if my heavenly Father had come to hold me and remind me in that exact moment: “I go with you.” I no longer needed to live in dread of my insecurities.


Loving Father, thank you that you will never leave us or forsake us. Help us to live in this truth daily. Amen.Harvest Prayer Blog:

March 26 - Give God Your Undivided Attention

For those who have come by faith, Christ—through His death and resurrection—has taken us by the hand and walked us into the Throne Room. God is on one side, we are on the other, and Jesus has introduced us to the Father. We once were at war with the One on the throne, but now we have “peace facing God!” What a glorious privilege! What an unspeakable honor!

Pause as you enter and look around. As you gaze throughout the Throne Room you will see Christ seated at the right hand of the Father and you will notice that He “always lives to make intercession” for His children. Angels hover around the throne. Praise is unending. Let the wonder of this environment overwhelm you. Your heart will begin to be filled with worship.

As you have entered, begin to pray. Filled with this vision, you will probably not rattle off meaningless rituals. You are going to “close the door and pray TO YOUR FATHER.” There is a singular direction. You are not praying to others. Your whole vision is filled with the Almighty. You are directing your prayers to the One who is seated upon the Throne!

Rosalind Rinker said, “I have discovered that prayer’s real purpose is to put God at the center of our attention and forget ourselves and the impression we are making.” This posture changes everything for us in prayer. We are looking at Him, and Him alone. Everything else pales in comparison to this vision.

If we will enter in like this, giving God our undivided attention, the greatest reward will be God Himself.
Father, my heart is filled with worship as I consider what Your throne room must be like in reality. I don’t have to wait until the end of my life to experience some of what Your word says is truly taking place right now in heaven. Help me to focus on the lovely description of the place where I will spend all of eternity! I can’t even comprehend the beauty of it! For the rest of my life, my deepest desire is to be in Your presence!

---Adapted from Simply Prayer by Bill Elliff. This book is available at

Prayer Points

  • Praise God, who is perfect in beauty and holiness (Ps. 50:2).
  • Thank him for making everything beautiful in its time (Eccl. 3:11), including your own life.
  • Confess those times during this past week when your words or actions did not reflect to others the beauty of Christ.
  • Commit yourself to being transformed into his likeness (2 Cor. 3:18).
  • Ask God daily to change the ugliness of sin in your life to his loveliness.
  • Pray that the spirit of worship may fall upon all who enter your church’s sanctuary on Sunday, that they may desire “to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple” (Ps. 27:4).
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Kim's Blog:

8 Scriptural Prayer Practices to Engage God

By Kim Butts

Over the past several years, God has been stretching my creativity and my imagination in prayer. It has been such a refreshing season of growth for me, as I am one who, in the past, tended to get stuck in comfortable ruts.Like many of us, I grew up praying with my head bowed, eyes closed and hands folded in my lap. I was often told that this posture came about as an effective way to keep children from doing what they shouldn’t  do during prayer time. The practice continued into my adulthood, as I was never taught another way. Even in worship services, it is common to hear the admonition to “close your eyes and bow your heads” as we are led in prayer.

As I studied the Bible, I discovered multiple examples for utilizing our bodies and our voices in prayer. This started a rich practice of utilizing the numerous ways God’s people in Scripture and throughout the ages sought and responded to Him in prayer and intercession.

I highly recommend letting the Holy Spirit speak to your heart and guide you (and/or your family, small group, etc.) into what may seem unusual or strange to you at first, but which may give your prayer lives fresh life! Following each, I will give you one or two suggestions for utilizing the practice.

1. Bowing Your Head or Body

Bowing heads or bodies shows reverence and submission to God as an act of worship– Genesis 24:26-27 (Abraham’s servant bowed low in worship to God when his very specific prayer had been answered); Exodus 34:8-9 (Moses bowed his body toward the earth and made his request before God).

Consider putting on some worship music and bowing before the Lord as an act of reverence before Him. Consider a prayer request that is close to your heart and offer it to God in this posture. See if this position brings your prayer to a different level as you consider the God on the other end of your prayer.

2. Kneel

Kneeling has always been a universal sign of submission and obedience – Daniel 6:10 (Daniel knelt three times a day, praying and giving thanks); Luke 22:39-44; Matthew 15:25; 2 Chronicles 6:12-14.

Pray for your unsaved family and friends as you kneel before the Lord. If you feel led to, spread your hands toward heaven, as King Solomon did.

3. Raise Hands

Raising or spreading out our hands as a sign of both praise and petition – (The Hebrews used their hands to show their dependence upon God and their respect for Him. Lifting up holy hands was the common prayer posture among the Jews and the early Christians. Lifting their hands symbolized an expectant attitude and trust in God–that He would fill their empty hands with His blessings) Exodus 9:29; Exodus 17:10-13; 1 Kings 8:54-55; Psalm 63:4; Psalm 141:2; 1 Timothy 2:8.

Pray for the leaders of your nation, your state, and your community. Lift up holy hands as you do. Pray that God will give them wisdom and discernment. Pray for their health and protection. Pray for their families.

4. Stand

Standing is a sign of reverence and respect – 1 Chronicles 23:28-31 (The Levites were instructed to stand every morning and evening to praise the Lord); 2 Chronicles 20:2-9; Luke 18:9-14.

Stand alone or with others and give praise to God. Take turns thanking Him for all of the blessings He has brought into your lives. If you want, say short sentence prayers like this: “Lord, I praise You for_____.”

5. Lie Prostrate

Lying prostrate before the Lord – This is a position taken in times of deep, intense, emotional prayer. There is no more humble position than this one. Deuteronomy 9:18-20, 25-27 (Moses lay prostrate before God for 40 days and nights); 1 Chronicles 21:16-17; Matthew 26:39.

Think of some deeply important needs–your own or someone else’s. Perhaps someone is struggling with a life-threatening disease or some kind of life crisis. Perhaps sin has been weighing you down–this would be an appropriate position in which to confess and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Or maybe you need to ask God something very important. Come before the Lord on behalf of these requests, and lie face down before the Lord. You can pray quietly by yourself or pray out loud with others.

6. Look Up

Looking up – (Jesus looked up when He gave thanks for the loaves and fish) Mark 6:39-44.

As you give thanks for a meal, look up to heaven as you do. Spend time thanking the Lord for the way He has provided everything you need–your food, your clothing, your housing. Look toward heaven when you pray.

7. Pray Quietly

Spend some time praying quietly. – 1 Samuel 1:9-18 (Hannah prayed quietly before the Lord).

God is perfectly capable of hearing our thoughts when we pray silently. There are times when praying in this way is very appropriate. We need to learn as an individual or a family to be comfortable with silence, because out of silence the Lord often speaks very clearly.

Spend some time in silent prayer. Ask the Father to speak to your heart. If you have trouble concentrating, picture Jesus in your mind and concentrate on Him.

8. Shout

Shout your praise to the Lord – Psalm 66:1-4 (The director of music was directed to shout for joy before the Lord in this psalm.) Psalms 71:23; 95:1; 98:4-6. It is certainly appropriate to cry out to the Lord in times of desperate prayer. It is also appropriate to raise our voices in praise!

Try praising God in a loud voice, saying Acts 4:24: “Sovereign Lord . . . You made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.”


It is important to learn that if we seek the Lord, He will be found by us (1 Chronicles 28:9). It is also important to know that our Heavenly Father rewards those who seek Him in faith: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Model this passage: “Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always” (1 Chronicles 16:10-11).

–Kim Butts is the co-founder of Harvest Prayer Ministries.

Posted by: AT 10:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
St. Matthew's EC Church

5th & Ridge Streets
P.O. Box 433
Emmaus, PA 18049
Telephone 610.965.5570


We are learning to live and love like Jesus. 

We are working on becoming who we were created to be and doing our custom made purposes well. 

We are part of the Evangelical Congregational Church

email usour facebook page