January 8, 2018

Greetings in Jesus Christ,

Let me ask you a question: “Are you too busy to pray?”

More recently, I was talking to a busy college student who shared that he’s struggling with not having much of a prayer life because he has been working a job, going to school, and trying to have a social life. Other folks in Orange County have to commute long hours on the 91 freeway, 5 freeway, or 405 freeway and this can take away 1-2 or more hours per day. Mothers and fathers of young children are often so exhausted by the time they could sit down to pray— that they fall asleep! I’ve fallen asleep during prayer time when my kids were younger. And there is an increasing number of people who are facing significant illness or they are caring for someone who is seriously ill.

These, in my opinion, are understandable, and even noble, reasons why some people have a hard time with developing a daily practice of concentrated prayer. It’s easy to condemn oneself for not having the time for this important practice in our lives. What if we take away condemnation and any kind of weird guilt trip, what is left? Can we form a practice of prayer for those challenging phases of our lives?

Here are some ideas that have helped me and folks I’ve known:

The Lord’s Prayer is our basic form of prayer, and it covers everything. Worship, praise, thanksgiving, intercession, confession, reconciliation, requests, and doxology. Start each day by saying the Lord ’s Prayer. Say the names out loud of the people you are praying for. Speak your out louds outloud.

Pray over each meal. In fact, you can use the Common Table Prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest, and let Thy/these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.”

At the end of the day, before bed, kneel and say Luther’s Evening Prayer:

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

The last couple of weeks, a few people have mentioned to me that they have prayer partners they call. You can call someone on a commute, or for 5 or 10 minutes a day, and simply pray together.

Also many have found the blessing of the Jesus Prayer, which is prayed throughout the day. The prayer goes like this, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.”

Finally, you can even try the A.C.T.S. method of Christian prayer. It goes like this:

  • Adoration: Give God praise and honor for who he is as Lord over all.
  • Confession: Honestly deal with the sin in your prayer life.
  • Thanksgiving: Giving thanks to God for what He has done and is doing in your life.
  • Supplication: Pray for the needs of others and yourself.

There are a lot of great resources out there to help you develop a consistent practice of prayer. Personally, I use a couple of great apps. They are: Pray Now and Pray. In addition to those apps, next week I will start an emphasize upon daily prayer. Beginning this upcoming Sunday I will provide a daily prayer, Scripture, and devotional thoughts for 30 days via social media, emails, and printed packets. If you are interested, please let me know.

Another way to grow in the practice of daily prayer is by attending a retreat. Right before Holy Week our congregation will host a morning retreat at Hephatha‘s campus that will provide a longer block of time for you to read through Scripture and prayer. The date of this event is Saturday, March 17th. The theme will center on Jesus praying in Gethsemane.

Prayer is a lifelong journey. From my own experience, it focuses more on a relationship and we develop it as a spiritual discipline in our lives. So, cut yourself some slack if you are limited on time. Develop a simple rule of life that involves prayer and the reading of the Bible. Go to worship every Sunday. Talk to friends about how they pray.

I’m excited about taking this 30 day journey into deeper prayer as we prepare our hearts for the season of Lent.

I love being your pastor!

Because of Jesus,

Pacific Southwest District Elections

The Rev. Dr. Larry Stoterau, President of the Pacific Southwest District of the LCMS is retiring on June 30, 2018. This means the congregations of the Pacific Southwest District will be electing a new president at the District convention in June 2018. Each congregation of the District has the opportunity to nominate an ordained pastor to fill this position.

If you would like to nominate a qualified pastor to fill the upcoming vacancy for District President please contact Jeff Wakefield, president, Henry Aschbrenner, vice-president or Catherine Lagaris, church administrator before January 15, 2018. The church Council will discuss the nominations received and submit our congregation's choice for President at its January 18th. meeting.


Why are you Lutheran Christian? It's a valid question in this modern age of denominations, distinctions, and choices. Throw out all those notions you might have about what it means to be Lutheran.

When it comes down to it, being a Lutheran Christian is really very simple. It’s about following Jesus. We go where Jesus goes, we listen when Jesus speaks, we trust when Jesus promises. And we live because Jesus lives.

If you’re new to Hephatha, or just looking to get more connected, we’d like to invite you to Foundations! This is a time when you can hear more about who we are, what we believe, and where we’re going as a church. It’s also a place where you can find ways to connect with Hephatha. We would like a chance to get to know your story better, and for you to know ours.

At the end of this study, you will have the opportunity to formally join the Hephatha family.


Wednesday EveningsSunday Afternoons
Dates: Starting January 10 Dates: Starting January 14
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Time: 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Pastor Andrews' Office Location: Pastor Andrews' Office

Men's Bible Study

In a time when religious leaders and a religious system made it increasingly complicated to connect with God, a teacher appeared whose message was profoundly simple. Jesus arrived on the stage of world events and announced that God's intent was to connect with, not confuse, humankind. To those who were considered most distant from God, Jesus offered this simple invitation, "Follow me."

In this 3-part Bible study, we’ll unpack the compelling simplicity of Jesus' message: Follow. Believe. Obey.

Dates: Thursdays, January 11, 25, and February 8
Time: 7:15 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
Location: Pastor Andrews' Office

Hephatha Lutheran Church and School serves Early Childhood through Eighth Grade.

For more information, click here to visit our website

College Planning Workshop: Steven Barillier, Head of Counseling at Orange Lutheran & Rob Burns and Jay Huckabone from Thrivent are hosting a College Planning Workshop on January 17th at 6:00 pm. Please call if interested or questions. 714-525-4360

What is Happening at
Hephatha this Week

MONDAY: January 8

  • Junior High School Youth Group @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.

TUESDAY: January 9

  • Hephatha Mom's Bible Study @ 6:30 p.m. at the Potthoff's home.
  • Praise Band Rehearsal @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.
  • Women's Tuesday Evening Bible Study @ 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

WEDNESDAY: January 10

  • Women's Wednesday Study @ 9:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Confirmation @ 3:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
  • High School Youth Group @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.
  • Foundations @ 7:00 p.m. in Pastor's Office.

THURSDAY: January 11

  • Men's Bible Study @ 7:15 a.m. in Pastor's Office.
  • Women's Thursday Morning Bible Study @ 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • All Boards Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

SUNDAY: January 14

  • Services: 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.
  • Sunday School @ 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Child Care @ 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Room 6.
  • "Open in the Word" Bible Study @ 9:30 a.m. in the Youth Room.
  • Foundations New Members Class @ 12:15 a.m. in Pastor's Office.
  • Ignite 5th/6th grade youth group @ 4:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.

MONDAY: January 15

  • Junior High School Youth Group @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.
Amazon Smile

Shop for everyone on your gift list this Christmas at Amazon Smile and Amazon donates to Hephatha Lutheran Church.
View this email in your browser
You are receiving this email because of your relationship with Hephatha Lutheran Church and School. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here.
This message was sent from HephathaChurch@hephatha.net to HephathaChurch@hephatha.net
5900 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road, Anaheim, CA, 92807

Update Profile/Email Address | Forward Email | Report Abuse