No, I haven't been put on the Herald's payroll, but on behalf of those who are in the ministry, I would like to thank the Herald for this opportunity to share a Christian message each week. The reason that this message has the title it has, is because I would like to propose a new use for the Herald.

We all know the many uses for old newspapers: they work great for cleaning windows, they can be rolled up to be burned in a fireplace, and those of you with puppies or bird cages may even have another use in mind. Today, I would like to encourage you to not throw out your Herald after reading it, but to use it as a devotional for the week.

Many of you have spent a lot of money purchasing devotionals that you use on a daily basis, and that's great. But, I am here to set you free! Spend no more, and use the Herald!

When you are done reading this paper in your usual manner, go through it again with a different mindset; that of a pray-er. As Christians, we are called to be a people of prayer. "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving." (Colossians 4:1) "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

As you look at the Herald with a mindset of prayer, you will see much that you may have missed. Look at all of our local congregations! Pray for each of them. Look at all of these pastors, priests, youth workers and other ministers. They need your prayers. Take note of all the events, worship experiences, Bible studies, choir practices, luncheons, education events, etc. They all need to be prayed for. Look at all of the businesses in this paper. Let's pray for them. We can pray that they will be blessed in the business that they do. We can also pray that these businesses might do business in an honorable way, and that they will treat their employees in an honorable way.

When you see that familiar name in the police report, don't just laugh, or think that it "serves them right," but pray for them. When you check out the obituaries, take some time to pray for those families and friends. Lift up prayers of thanksgiving for those who are celebrating anniversaries, or who have given birth. Every one of those homes for sale represent a major life change for some family (kids leaving friends, the loss of a job, a new job, finding new friends, and so on), and all are in need of your prayers. Look at all of those wonderful kids! They are in the paper for being in sports, music, plays, service projects, clubs, and many other activities. Let us lift them up in prayer.

One only has to read a few weeks of the Herald to realize that we have some very diverse opinions and beliefs, but one thing we all seem to have in common is this paper. You read it. I read it. Let's face it, everyone reads the Herald! So, let it be a tool to lift up others in prayer. Every single article, letter, picture, ad and report in this paper is a prayer just waiting to be prayed. So please, don't throw away your Herald after one read through, but keep it by your bedside, or wherever you do your praying, and use it to lift up people of our area.

In concluding this column, I pray for you, the reader, that you might be blessed by God; that you might be praying for others; and that, if you do not know our living God, you might come to know Him through one of our area congregations.