Every congregation, member and pastor is being invited to set aside some time each day of January 1, 2 and 3, 2019 for prayer.
Our attitude toward prayer has often been characterized by saying, “well, all we can do now is pray!”. Prayer is not the hopeless act of desperation. Prayer is a gift that God has given to us as a means to approach the throne of grace with confidence—like that of a child coming to her parents sharing concerns, victories, defeats and every part of life. It is an opportunity to express the deepest heartache and the greatest joy. Prayer is a conversation between the Creator and the created…and the conversation began with God, for us, in Christ Jesus.
The youth group, Believers For Christ, from St. John Lutheran Church, Athol, are planning to sponsor this event in a contemporary way with “Text-Tag”. Each member will start each day by texting a friend, neighbor, teacher, or anyone they know from another congregation reminding them to pray and asking them to text someone else to keep the prayer going.
Each day emphasizes a specific theme. January 1 is focused on confession. January 2 is a day for petition. January 3 concentrates on vision. So if you receive an unexpected text on one of those days you will know why. There is no right or wrong way to pray so you may choose what is best for you.
Day One: January 1 - This is a day focused on confession. We confess that the church belongs to Jesus and not to us. We gather to lay down our pride, our sin and our agenda and ask the Lord of the church for forgiveness, which He gives freely and with mercy.
Day Two: January 2 - This is a day of petition. Pray for your congregation, for the pastor, for the leaders, for those who carry out ministries, for the Sunday School teachers, for the Confirmation leaders, for those leading adult Bible studies and for those leading small groups. Pray for those in hospital and nursing home ministries. Pray for all those connected to your church that they might know God’s redeeming love for all in Christ.
Day Three: January 3 - This is a day for vision. Pray that the Holy Spirit will again move through the hearts and minds of leaders and pastors that God’s vision for His church might be revealed and fulfilled. This is a time of prayer for renewal, revival and encouragement. Pray for God’s vision.
No matter how you structure this time of prayer, let’s come together as an association of congregations across the U.S. and around the world to pray! I believe that the church will never rise up until we first get down on our knees!