In his classic work Prayer, Puritan pastor John Bunyan writes, “Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God has promised, or according to his Word, for the good of the Church, with submission in faith to the will of God.”
Last week in the newsletter I announced a call to mid-year prayer, for Sunday, July 29, at 7pm, in the church sanctuary.
There are several reasons for this prayer meeting, and the first is obvious: we don’t pray enough. I’m not sure most Christians pray sufficiently, but corporately, as a congregation, we could stand to engage in more prayer. Prayer is not our “go to,” regardless of whether we are facing difficult challenges or regular ministry issues. For this to change, we must value prayer more than we do. The prayer meeting on the 29th is start.
Another reason we need to be intentional about prayer is the Save the Steeple campaign. We have only pledged about two thirds of what is needed to fund this project.
Right now, we are also facing a staff transition with the search for a new music director. Whenever a church faces staffing changes, prayer is critical. Add to all of this that we need to bring some long-term concerns before the Lord. Other than the steeple project, which will be finished by the end of the summer, we have very few long-term ministry goals. Before we decide what those long-term goals should be, our short-term focus must be prayer.
Whether you are a seasoned “prayer warrior” or you find prayer to be something of challenge, I encourage you to come. By humbling ourselves before the Lord, we open ourselves up to God’s leading. I close with these words from the Apostle Paul, from Philippians 4:6-7:
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Edited for production – please contact the office for the full CTPress newsletter).