But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all Gentiles might hear it.

I read this passage and thought over the many times that the Lord had given me the strength to do something.

I was told that part of lay preaching was that God was with me and leading through the preparation and the leading of the worship.  I have experienced this many times.  The ideas for my worship services have come from a variety of sources – a program on the radio, something I have read or heard or the Bible Reading set for that Sunday.  Once I have the idea the rest of the service come together very quickly.

I am often nervous before a worship service.  I quietly ask God to be with me and help me through the service before each worship service I lead.  I feel a strength and confidence that stays with me throughout the service.

These words were written by Paul who experienced a number of times of trials after he converted to believing in God.  I think that he spoke from his own experiences of God with him giving him strength.

Perhaps it is time for each of us to stop and think about the times when we have needed strength from God to do something and we have received that strength from him.

Shirley Bowers

Longford Uniting Church