“I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.” (Ephesians 1:15-16, NRSV)
Whew! We’ve made it through moving – though the unpacking isn’t quite finished yet. We’ve enjoyed two wonderful Sundays in worship with you and are beginning to settle in a bit. It’s been great to begin to get to know you and learn more and more about our church in Sand Springs. You have made us feel so welcome and I am really excited about what lies ahead for us as we journey forward in ministry together. This journey began with much prayer and continues to rely on all our prayers.
In his letter to the Ephesians Paul reminds us of how important prayer is and it highlights one of the foundational concepts of our Wesleyan tradition. Prayer is used to give thanks to God and to lift one another up into God’s care. Prayer helps us to grow spiritually and it strengthens our mission to the world around us. The depth and strength of our prayer life is a direct indication of the health of our congregation. I believe that our prayers are the fuel that fires the church’s engines and allows us to continue to do ministry. If we do not have a strong prayer life as a church it will not matter how much money we have or how many buildings we build, the church will die without prayer. The good news is that this church is already doing some really great things in the prayer arena.
As we are looking to the future I am asking you to redouble your prayer efforts on behalf of our church. Firstly, we should pray that everything we do, every decision we make is focused on God’s will for the church and on what God has planned for us. Nothing we do will succeed if it is not within God’s will and done for God’s glory. Secondly, we should pray for discernment in knowing what God has planned for each one of us as members of this congregation. Everyone in this church has something wonderful to contribute to our mission and ministry. Finances, creativity, talent, time, and your presence here are just a few of the ways that you contribute to the life of our church. Let God lead you into the fulfillment of your whole potential as a follower of Jesus Christ. Finally, pray that your pastor will be led by the Holy Spirit to guide our church forward. I covet your prayers every day and I draw strength from knowing that you are lifting me up into God’s care.
Over the next few weeks you will continue to hear more about our prayer ministry and how we are working to involve more people in this important mission. Prayerfully consider how you might get involved. Keep us all in prayer as we look to new ways to develop our prayer life.
Listen as Paul continues his letter to the Ephesians: “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.” (Ephesians 1:17-19, NRSV)