July 28, 2019


Last year, while I was finishing up my last year in the seminary, one of the requirements to get our degree was to take a comprehensive exam. This exam covered all the material that we had learned in our classes over the course of the last four years of graduate school. The way that this exam was set up, was that we were given three questions to answer over the period of a couple hours. After finishing the exam, we were given the results of it a month later after they were reviewed by a handful of our Theology professors. I remember spending a few months studying for this exam and getting stressed out over it, because it had such big impact on me getting my degree from the university. While I was undertaking this challenge, what helped me to get through this very stressful time was prayer. The one phrase that I would repeat to myself was “Jesus, I trust in you.” Every time I began to study and got stressed or nervous, I would recite this simple phrase, and it would help me to refocus. This phrase helped me to see that Jesus was there by my side helping me and through it I was able to place my trust in him. This prayer, then, became a powerful tool in helping me to overcome the anxiety that I had during that time and with God’s help I was able to pass the exam.

In the Bible, the theme of trusting in God is one that can be found throughout it. Repeatedly throughout the Old Testament the Jewish people trusted that God would lead them to the Promised Land, which as we know he did. They trusted that he would be by their side, and that he would help them to overcome the various challenges that they faced along their path towards salvation. In the New Testament, as well, this theme of trusting in God can be found throughout it. In the Gospel of Matthew, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds us not to worry because, God will take care of us and he knows all that we need. God is always there watching over us and helping us in so many different ways. At every moment of our lives, God is there beside us guiding us along the path towards Heaven. What we learn then from the Bible is that when we place our trust in God, he will always help us and come through in his promise to take care of us.

One tool, then, that we can use to help us center ourselves every day to trust in God is repeating a short phrase such as “Jesus, I trust in you.” The way you can use this type of prayer is very simple. Whenever you are nervous or stressed out about something in your life, take a moment to close your eyes and focus on Jesus, while slowly repeating this phrase. As you repeat this phrase, breathe slowly and ask God to be with you, and to give you the courage to trust in him. This is an easy and effective prayer that we can practice at any time of the day. This prayer doesn’t have to be long either; it can be as short as a couple of minutes. As we pray this prayer, it allows for us then to focus our hearts and minds on Jesus, seeing that he is there by our side and helping us. When we see that Jesus is with us and when we place our trust in him, we are able then to quiet our hearts and take on whatever the world may throw at us.

Father Joseph Boykow


Two buckets meet at the well. One is sad, the other cheerful. “What’s the trouble?” one asked the second bucket sympathetically. “Oh” sighed the gloomy bucket. “I get so discouraged being taken to the well every day. No matter how full I am, I always come back empty.”

The second bucket laughed. “Think about this. I always come here empty too but I always go away full. The same is true for you!” Now the two empty buckets were full of laughter and never truly empty ever again!

During this last month of my medical treatment, which included inserting four stents in the left side and two stents (a few days ago) on the right side of my heart, I remembered the story of the two buckets at the well. Whenever we are ill, anxious or distracted, it is always a challenge to pray for a positive perspective. We seek the good news discoverable in prayer even when our bucket feels empty. God’s providence was and is abundantly blessing me through the gifts of medical care, prayer, caregivers and your kindness and support.

Thank you for your goodness to me and may we all use the key of prayer to rejoice that the Lord always fills each empty bucket and teaches our hearts to overflow with laughter at ourselves.

Prayer is the key to not feel empty.

To read complete bulletin click here