Nine More Days!
There’s one thing above all the other things going on around here that I am super excited about, and it’s only nine days away. I’m confident you have exciting plans and events you’re anticipating. As birthdays or holidays draw near, people inquire “what would you like for a gift?” I am far more interested in experiences than gifts. How about you? Rachel has gifted me experiences such as going to musical theater productions, and a group of friends, just before we moved, took me on my first pheasant hunt. The experiences tend to draw out often hidden and unknown emotions or feelings. The emotion may be excitement, the adrenaline pumping or it could be tenderness and a new hope for the future. In nine days, I am hoping for an experience that will trigger new adrenaline, new tenderness and new hopes.
Family on Mission
Just as I absolutely love when my daughters come to me asking for my help to fill out scholarship applications for college, or help with homework for topics I have long forgotten or creative art project ideas, my heavenly Father loves when I draw near to him in prayerful moments. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 50 to call upon your heavenly Father in the times of trouble and he will rescue you. I love meditating on the Almighty Creator of the galaxies and the designer of me faithfully promises to be ever-present to be called upon to deliver me from my foes and spiritual attack. Personal times of prayer are not merely important to our walk with Jesus, but they are mission critical, essential. And, the Bible calls for even more than personal prayer; the Bible calls for gathered prayer. Whether it is gathering with one, ten or five hundred people, God calls His people to gather for prayer.
In just nine days, the people of Good Shepherd will be gathering for a time of relationship building, a time of worship singing and a time for gathered prayer on Sunday, March 10th from 5-7pm.
What to Expect
As we arrive, we will enjoy drinks and snacks at the tables in the Worship Center (“South.”) This is a time to choose who to sit with – new people or people you’ve known forever – and enjoy their company, build relationship and find out what’s going on in their lives. We will shift from the horizontal relationships of friends to join in the vertical relationship with our Lord as we move into a time of a worship experience that will bless all musical tastes and preferences. We will transition from strengthening community to worship in song and then finally to gathered prayer.
How to Prepare
We will have three topics for prayer: first, we will “bless the Lord” by declaring true, wonderful and magnificent things about the Father, Son and Spirit. Begin to prepare for this time by inviting the Spirit to reveal these magnificent realities of God to you. Take time to mediate on what the Lord brings to heart and mind, and allow Him to fill you with words.
Second, we will pray that “the word of the Lord speeds ahead of us” as the apostle Paul asked for prayer from the Thessalonians. As I write this blog just before our Sportsmen’s dinner, I am praying that the Word of the Lord would speed ahead and allow many people to hear the clear gospel presentation. I’d invite you to prepare for this time by knowing that for March and April our sermon series will be sharing eight weeks on the gospel – creation, fall, rescue and restore. Pray that many would hear the gospel with clarity and conviction, pray that all of us would learn to share the gospel even more effectively, and join me in praying that some may be led to donate toward an evangelistic opportunity that could possibly equip 2,000 people to powerfully share the good news of Jesus. Our prayer goal is $10,000 for this opportunity. Of course, ask the Spirit to lay on your heart names of people you know and love that you desire to hear about the hope that Jesus offers. Bring those names with you in nine days, and let’s lift them up to the Lord in gathered prayer.
Third, we will pray for global outreach staff who are sharing the gospel and discipling people from all around the world to imitate Jesus’ words, works and ways.
I am praying for YOU! Join me in praying that God would gather more than 500 of Good Shepherd Jesus lovers to gather for community, worship and prayer. This may be the game changer.