A letter by Todd to the people of Hope….
This coming Sunday it will eight weeks since our arrival. In this time Dr. Bob Rowley, our District Superintendent has installed your new pastor, the 2009 Budget was submitted to you at our January Business Meeting with your agreement of support, and we have begun a new series in Ephesians, exploring God’s Eternal Purpose…and You. What encourages me most of all however, are the signs of life I am seeing among our youth (did you know there are three youth attending who simply began “showing up” and are being drawn closer to the cross?); favorable feedback from visitors regarding the warmth and welcome they have experienced from you, and your continued willingness to support the work and ministry of this church. I thank our Lord for your faith in him, and your love for one another. Good things are happening, and no matter how small or insignificant they may seem, we need to take time and celebrate. Thank you Lord for what you are doing here at Hope in our midst.
Last Sunday in Ephesians 1: 15-23 we talked about God’s desire and provision of Empowering the Church through Prayer. I want to again invite you to be a part of prayer for our body as it is through prayer that God affects change in the lives of others. Prayer is the sharpened ax that brings down the tree!
First was our Attitude in Prayer: That it is to be a God-directed, Christ-centered celebration of thanksgiving and praise that is unceasingly in petition for others in the church. Paul’s attitude of gratitude is because of what God in Christ has done for us, and because of what he observes in people’s faith in Him and love of one another. Paul expresses a most appropriate, yet very big ask of God. He prayed for God’s Divine Enlightenment for the Church through an ever deepening understanding of, and intimate relationship with God, in Christ, through his Spirit of wisdom and revelation. He prayed as I do today, that God’s Spirit would open the eyes of our hearts, offering ever increasing understanding from the very core of who we are, that we may know the hope to which he has called us, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Wow! That’s a God-sized prayer for all of us to pray for one-another.
Our burden of prayer is that the mighty power of God may be known in experience by its operation in us who believe, and that we lay hold of it and accept it from Him as a gift he wants to give. God has equipped the church (again, that’s you and I), with power beyond what we can imagine, and “That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come…” Power for the church to transform the world for Christ. If we only knew, truly knew and exercised the power available to us in Christ through the Spirit.
If you did not have the chance to join us at the church or from your homes last week, I want to again invite your participation each Sunday evening from 6:30 on for a season of prayer leading up to Easter. Consider joining us!
Here are a few things you can be praying for:
- One another. That we may know God better, and exercise his life-transforming power through prayer. Consider taking our church directory and start praying through it by name.
- Our youth and children, especially on Sunday nights during the youth meeting. They are in great need of intervening prayers at this time.
- For Alan and Dan as they work with our youth, and for others willing to come alongside as helpers and leaders on Sunday nights. When 3 youth who do not attend the church are coming to our youth group on Sunday nights, you can bet the Spirit of Christ is working in our midst.
- Easter planning and outreach
- The 10,000 homes within 3 miles of the church. That they may know the One who saves; that we may discern the Lord’s leading on best to reach them; that they may begin to think of Hope as their neighborhood church
- The 80 or 90 children in Kids Day Out preschool, their parents and the teachers that come through our doors each day, many of whom do not have a church home. Same prayer as above. I have been invited to do a weekly chapel service which I am most willing. Pray for others to come alongside who can help me in this wonderful, truly international outreach opportunity within our walls.
- All the preschools, elementary, middle and high schools in this immediate area, their teachers and leaders, the students, etc. Brushy Creek Elementary is the school directly across the street.
- All in our church who are in leadership positions and their families: elders, pastors, deacons, trustees, teachers, volunteers…for their passionate pursuit of the Lord, and that we will live Christ-like lives that are an example for all
- Our national and local leaders
- Those who are ill or have special needs
Praying for you all this week,
Hey Trish, I caught up on your posts. I join you and Todd in praying for more people in your immediate vicinity to find their way to Hope Bible Fellowship during this Lenten season.
My first thought was..how do we get this blog to Fr. Keith Walder at St. Anne’s in East Mioline and all the other young ministers who are struggling to build Christian communities all over the world? It makes a great blueprint by stressing the value of prayer….