Livingston United Methodist Church

290 W. Hobart Gap Road Livingston, New Jersey 07039

Rev. Kevin Newburg, Ph.D., Pastor

Dr. Patrick Horan, Director of Music

We are worshipping in person, respecting attendee
personal preferences for social distancing.
Please review the
COVID-19 Guidelines prior to attending services.

I say quite boldly that prayer is easy, for prayer is not so much an activity as a state of being. We don’t have to try very hard. All we have to do is to experience the dynamic power of the Spirit working in us. … Christian prayer is an openness setting the Christian free to receive God. It is the basic quality of our Christian life. ... In prayer, the Christian opens his whole existence to God who is present everywhere, but concealed. He shows that he is at the mercy of God in every aspect of his life. Although it is difficult at first for the Christian to break out of his day-to-day existence and become open to God, his prayer will be joyful and easy. What happens in friendship and love is very similar. We may make the effort to be friendly or to love, but ultimately friendship and love come to us in grace and we receive them as a gift. Our life as Christians is ultimately a gift which we accept gratefully. A Christian lives in the tension of prayer, which is acquired by his effort and yet accepted as a gift.

From Christian Prayer by Ladislaus Boros, translated by David Smith (The Seabury Press, 1976 - Uber das christliche Beten, 1973), page 1.

Christ found him in mid-life. The joy and dynamic of this new relationship was visible in every aspect of his life. In Sunday School class, the young Christian testified: “When the Holy Spirit came into my life, He affected every faucet of my personality.”

I am quite certain he meant to say “facet” instead of “faucet.” But 30 years later, I am still praying that every faucet of his personality is dripping with evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in his life.

One of the principles of spiritual formation identified by Suzanne Johnson, in Christian Spiritual Formation in the Church and in the Classroom, deals with this very issue. She writes: “The fundamental contrast for Paul is between life lived wholly under the pervasive influence of God’s Spirit, and life that utterly refuses and resists the Spirit. ‘Inmost self’ and ‘inner nature’ . . . [refer to] our whole human existence as qualified and determined by the creative, mysterious breath of God's Spirit” (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1989, 113).

The call to spiritual formation is one in which every element of our lives reflects the pervasive work of the Holy Spirit within.

Suzanne Johnson understands the formation of Christian character as a lifelong project constantly coming under the shaping of God’s call. “Though we do have inconsistencies, Christian character means at least that we are committed to bringing every element of ourselves, everything we believe, feel, do, or do not do, into relation with our primary loyalty to God’s Realm” (115). The young man was correct: Every faucet of our personality should reflect the fundamental loyalties and priorities of our commitment to God.

From “The Faucets of Personality” by Morris A. Weigelt, in Herald of Holiness (August, 1991), p. 46.