Worship at Home for Sunday July 30, 2023

Dear Friends,

It is Gasconade County Fair week! St. Peter’s served in the Ice Cream Stand on Thursday from 2-6pm. Many members of our congregation will be volunteering in a variety of ways. I hope that you will be able to enjoy some of the entertainment and more.

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 573-832-2475 (cell).

  • Pack Backpacks for the Back-to-School Fair at 1pm on Sunday; August 6 at St. Peter’s
  • Dorcas meeting on Monday, August 7 at 7pm
  • Registrations for the Back-to-School Fair for students in the Gasconade County R-2 schools may be made by calling St. Peter’s by Thursday. August 3.


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: 1 Kings 3:5-12, Psalm 119:129-136, Romans 8:26-39, Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Sermon: For Faith and Understanding

Let us face it, a lot of things in this world are just confusing. There are trivial things that confuse us. There are important decisions that confuse us. Even God can be confusing when we try to place human parameters on the visions and wisdom of God. Perhaps the best that we can do is to pray to God for wisdom and understanding.

When God appeared to Solomon in a dream at Gibeon, God gave him the opportunity to ask for what he wanted. Solomon who history has judged to be wised, asked for an understanding mind to govern God’s people and to be able to discern between good and evil. This response pleased God. God granted Solomon’s request and blessed Solomon for choosing this gift.

In our daily lives, it is important to pray for understanding and to be able to discern between good and evil. In our limited ability sometimes, what appears to be good sometimes turns out to be bad.

Last Saturday, I was picking sticks out of the yard prior to Aaron Meyer coming to mow. After all the wind and storms, gathering branches and sticks and throwing them on the pile in the backyard has been a regular chore. So, as I made a final sweep of the yard, I leaned over to pick up a few sticks on the shady side of the house. Much to my astonishment one of the sticks quickly squiggled away. It was not a stick! It was a snake!

Needless to say, I let the snake go his way and I went mine. (The snake had a noticeably big head. I believe that it was a bull snake.) I thought to myself, if I cannot tell a stick from a snake what am I failing to discern correctly. I really do need to pray to God for faith and understanding to know what to do and to make good choices.

In life we may feel very weak and confused. Paul addresses this problem when he speaks about the Spirit helping us in our times weakness. When we do not know what to pray or how to pray as we ought to pray, the Spirit “intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26) Even when we do not know what to say or what to pray, just opening ourselves to the Spirit can be enough.

When I was in seminary a student who has grown to be one of my closest friends, called to let me know that her father had a heart attack and died that morning while out fishing with her brother. The only thing I could think to say was “Oh….” Then, “I’m so sorry what can I do?” (Not a very eloquent response for a seminary student!) She instructed me to tell others that her father had died and that she would be in touch later. I shared the information with students, faculty, and staff. A few days later several of us attended the funeral.

The Spirit must of have interceded with sighs too deep for human words, because years later my friend told me that was the only thing anyone could have said to her at that moment. She said that my response expressed just how she was feeling at that moment. Somehow the Spirit had transformed my one syllable utterance into just what she needed.

Prayers for faith and understanding do not even need words at all. Just the willingness to open ourselves up to the Spirit. When we do not know what to do. When we do not know what to say. When we do not know what to think. When we do not even know how to pray. The Spirit will take it from there if we are truly open to God’s guidance. Thank you, God, for faith and understanding which comes from You.

Prayer: Loving God open us to the prompting of the Spirit so that we may have understanding and the ability to know good from evil. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list for a while, Mark’s brother Billy, Delores W., Tyra, Freya, Vicki B., Barb Z., Jesse, Mammie, Heath, Tammy. Tammy Vickie’s niece, Jennifer, Richard, Tamara, Dixon’s great granddaughter and all who are in need that we do not know about. If you know of anyone who would like a prayer shawl, please let us know.