There is much about which to pray with all that is going on in the world and much for which to be thankful in how God has blessed and provided.
I want to start by reading some verses from Psalm 59, which were recently shared with me by some Ukrainian missionaries whom I have known for many years. They work with church planting in the city of Kyiv. They have stayed there during the war, in and out of bomb shelters, to support fellow believers and care for those in need. There are many believers in Ukraine who are trusting the Lord for deliverance and are taking comfort in these words from Psalm 59:
1 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me;
2 deliver me from those who work evil,
and save me from bloodthirsty men.
3 For behold, they lie in wait for my life;
fierce men stir up strife against me.
For no transgression or sin of mine, O LORD,
4 for no fault of mine, they run and make ready.
Awake, come to meet me, and see!
9 O my Strength, I will watch for you,
for you, O God, are my fortress.
10 My God in his steadfast love[c] will meet me;
God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
11 Kill them not, lest my people forget;
make them totter[d] by your power and bring them down,
O Lord, our shield!
16 [But] I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
and a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
for you, O God, are my fortress,
the God who shows me steadfast love.
Father, we come to You this morning, thanking You for Your presence today. We know that everything that happens in our lives and in this world is not a surprise to You. And we know that everything that happens passes through Your will, and we know that You will be victorious over the Enemy in the end.
And as many of us go about our regular daily lives without life-threatening challenges, there are many hurting people around us and in this world. We see and hear what is happening in Ukraine and our hearts go out to the people there. We thank You for the faith of believers who are looking to You for deliverance and strength. We pray for them and for their country that You would bring about a miraculous peace quickly and spare the lives of innocent people.
We also lift up to You our brothers and sisters in Lebanon who have also suffered much through many crises. We pray for Pastor Joseph and the believers at Amchit church. We are thankful the team here from Grace Point was able to meet with them in person recently and have returned safely. We are thankful for the opportunity that they had to encourage and support those who serve on the front lines in Lebanon in caring for those in need. We are also thankful for the lessons that our team learned from those in Lebanon in how they have demonstrated faith and trust in You in an unbelievably challenging environment.
And we pray for our missionaries supported by Grace Point that are serving around the world. Lord, You know their needs, and I pray that You would protect them and provide encouragement for them as they do the work you have called them to do.
And Lord, we also lift up those who are a part of the Grace Point family who are hurting and suffering, whether it be sickness, financial, family, or emotional issues, we pray that You would encourage and comfort them. For as your Word says:
“You are the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
We praise you Father, for Your gracious provision and faithfulness over many generations here at Grace Point. We are thankful for our committed staff and volunteers who serve faithfully on a regular basis and for the way that you have blessed us financially this year! We are thankful for the gutsy generosity of so many here that have chosen to give of their time, talents, and treasures regularly and sacrificially to support the ministry of this church.
So we pray for the services here today that You will be praised and honored as we worship You. Be with Dave as he shares with us what You have laid on his heart and that Your Spirit would speak through him. May we be attentive hearers and obedient doers of Your Word that is shared today.
We pray these things in the name of Jesus our Savior, Amen.
(Ken Kovalik, Elder Chairman)