August 31, 2022
Have you listened to public officials or other public personalities describe how they are responding to challenging situations experienced by friends or colleagues? Often they will say, “our thoughts are with you” or “our thoughts and well-wishes are with you” or stuff like, “sending happy vibes your way.” Compare that to this.
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)
If you are facing a challenging diagnosis and treatment, the loss of your spouse, family member, or job, or a divorce, what do you need? Happy vibes coming your way? You need God. You need the grace, wisdom, strength, peace, comfort, presence, protection, and promises of God. As followers of Christ, we have access to God through Christ. We are invited to come boldly (oh how I love that invitation) before God and present our petitions. We have a God who LOVES to act on behalf of his children and prayer is the means that he has given us to care deeply and provide well for others. We value prayer.
Tonight at 7 PM, in the Worship Center, we are gathering for one of our regular church-wide prayer meetings for our missionaries. Of all the things that we do outside of the regular Sunday gatherings, this has got to be one of the most important. We could have the greatest concert series, most amazing Big Buck Dinner, most sought after Women’s Tea, be voted #1 VBS in the state on Yelp (not sure there is such a vote), and break our arms patting ourselves on the back all for naught. Our creativity and organization is not capable of changing hearts, but God is and God does and God uses the prayers of his people as part of that. We value prayer.
The church was born in a prayer meeting. The early church expanded in Jerusalem and Judea from prayer gatherings. The church in Antioch birthed churches throughout Asia Minor from prayer. We value prayer. We value the gospel. We value our missionaries. We value the salvation of people from all over the world. Want to love our missionaries well? Want to contribute directly to the spread of the gospel throughout the world? Want to see the forces of evil pushed back in this world and the church spread? Pray. Pray together with the saints. Let’s pray.
Grace and peace,