Elder Prayer (6/20/21)

Our Father, we praise You for being El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty), El Elyon (The Most High God), and our Adonai (Lord and Master)! We worship the one true God, and You have many names that show how awesome and holy You are!

We are so very thankful to You for accepting us into Your family by the most amazing exchange—the blood of Your true Son given on the cross to make all of us helpless orphans into Your adopted children. As we celebrate the fathers in our lives, we give You praise for being the Father who never gives up. You’re always looking for Your prodigal sons and daughters to come home and to bask in the light and warmth of Your consistent faithful love.

And You call us to love like that as well: to lay down our pride, jealousy, competition and strivings, and to care deeply for the well-being of our brothers and sisters. We confess that we have at times chosen to compare ourselves with others, to pre-judge their motives simply because of the color of their skin, their political party, or the size of their bank account. In James 2, You command us not to show partiality or to divide based upon externals. Please forgive us for sinning by trying to do something that only You are qualified to do: to judge the hearts of other fallen people. Spirit, please show us how to rein in our self-reigning hearts. Challenge us through the faithful preaching of Your word today, we pray. Establish Your Kingdom in us as we surrender our lives to You.

We ask You to minister to our brother Khalil and his wife, our partners with Horizons International in Lebanon, who are both suffering from COVID, Khalil in the hospital and his wife unable to be with him. Care for them both, heal them we pray, and help them to know that Your Spirit is right there with them.

Jesus, You have called us to abide in You, and this promise is wonderful to cling to:  If we abide in You, and Your words abide in us, we are invited to ask whatever we wish, and it will be done for us.

So we are asking, Father, that You would pour out Your wisdom that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere, and as we sow in peace please show us a huge harvest of righteousness.

Enable us to follow Your commandment that we fully and courageously love one another as You have loved us.

We worship You, the God who was, and is, and is FOREVER.  You outlast everything and You are the firm foundation on which we build our faith, our identity, our families, and this body of imperfect but surrendering believers—and we trust You as we place our hope in You.

Despite all that the enemy may say, Your truth is still true…and Your Kingdom is FOREVER! We take joy in rejoicing in You.

In the name of Jesus we pray, AMEN!

(Keith Brown, Elder)

STUDENT MINISTRY – SUMMER 2021 (by Jeremy Davis, Director of Student Ministry)

Hey Grace Point Family, 

I count it a blessing to share my heart and passion for ministry with you. It is hard to believe that it will be a year of serving at Grace Point in July for me. It has been a joy to serve alongside of you all. I wanted to share an update on the great things God is doing in the Student Ministry. 

The Student Ministry will have a fresh look for the summer!

First, we will have combined meetings for the summer with high school and middle school students from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Grace Point on Sunday nights.

Second, the school year curriculum (New City Catechism) will pause for the summer, and we will be looking at an elder provided resource called “A.S.K., Real World Questions/Real Word Answers” by David Robertson. This book investigates 52 student-submitted questions for which Pastor Robertson provides the biblical response. I asked our students to review the 52 questions and submit the ones they would like to study. The results were tabulated and created the topics throughout the summer.

Third, we understand that many students will be away throughout the summer, therefore, we are providing a video teaching of each question for students who missed and for parents to know what is being taught. You can access this HERE.  

Our young people are asking a lot of questions, and the wonderful truth is God’s Word answers them! Pray that God gives our young people a longing for His Word. Pray that this resource blesses the students and parents. Pray that youth group encourages students to ask questions they may have on their minds. Pray for the parents and guardians of our students as they have a big task of discipling their children in Christ. 

As always, you can reach out to me if you have any questions. My email address is jdavis@gracepointpa.org 

Your brother in Christ, 

Jeremy Davis 

Elder Prayer (5/30/21)

Behold how good and pleasant it is when God’s people dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

Father in Heaven,

We gather together this day, sanctified and set apart for a holy purpose, in Christ Jesus, along with believers of every different tribe and tongue around the world who call Jesus Lord as we do.

It’s all about Your grace Father, in Jesus.

Yet, we often allow it to be about so much more that divides us. Forgive us.

You have been so faithful to us, and You’ve called us into the fellowship of Your Son, Jesus our Lord.

Baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit.

In this fellowship, there is no division.

You, the Son and the Spirit have enjoyed a divine dance of love for all eternity, showering each other with joy, praise, love and glory, endlessly. A divine dance that You call us to join.

In this divine dance we find true happiness, true joy, a true satisfaction not based on our circumstances. Our true identity and true relationship.

Father, we face a tough and determined enemy. An enemy that seeks to devour and destroy through discouragement and division.

Yet Lord Jesus, on the night You were betrayed by those closest to You, You prayed to the Father that we would not only be protected from the enemy, but that we would be One, just as You and the Father are One. That we would be in You.

No division.

United, though different. Dependent on each other and on each other’s differences.

We are different Father. We are fans of different teams. We come from different places. We like different foods. We ascribe to different political beliefs. We see problems in different ways. We look different, act differently, talk differently and think differently.

Yet in You, we are One.

United not in policies, programs, plans or purposes. But united in a Person, The Person of Jesus Christ.

So that the world might know that He, Jesus, was sent in the love of the Father, to save the lost.

Our unity, our oneness in Christ, is a testimony. Probably the strongest testimony we have against the onslaught of discord, division and destruction we see playing out all around us, here, near and far.

In this season where differences are elevated to existential threats, help us, Your Bride Lord Jesus, look different than the world around us, and be united.

Although unity does not mean conformity, differences don’t have to mean division.

Help us, Your Body Lord Jesus, to be visibly united to a world hurtling out of control into a Christ-less eternity. Help us make every effort to maintain this unity in You through Your Spirit, binding ourselves together in peace.

Help us be united in our care for those hurting in our midst, those recovering from significant health issues, or facing challenging financial issues, or losing hope in the face of endless disappointment. Help us be united as we navigate through a season of change, with staff departures, new additions, and new ways of doing things. Help us be united as we pursue healthy, open, transparent, other-centered discussion on a variety of topics. Help us be united as we honestly face and address the downward trend of giving, and its implications. Help us be united as we serve the needs of the neediest in our region. Help us be united as we partner, and unite, with our brothers and sisters in Lebanon. Help us be united as we show and tell the world who You are Jesus.

As Your Church, Your Bride, Your Body.

One Body, bound by One Spirit, all called to the same One Hope in Christ.

Christ in us, the Hope of Glory.

Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, providing us peace with God through His shed blood on that cross, and reconciling us and all things, all different things, to Himself. So that we can be One.

It’s in His name we pray, together as one. Amen.

(David Kneller, Elder)

Elder Prayer (2/14/21)

Father in Heaven, You are great and awesome. 

You are holy, righteous and just, yet compassionate, full of grace and merciful. You’re always active and moving, yet patient, imperceptible and slow to anger. You are sovereign over the movement of stars and planets, yet You know our words before we speak them.

We gather together this morning to speak words to You in worship through prayer. 

The world has gone daft around us Father. Wrong has become right. Comfort and security have replaced service and sacrifice. Being right is more important than being truthful. Anger and violence solve our disagreements, rather than patience, understanding and grace.

We ask that You renew in us a right spirit. So that following You would be more important than any agendas, creeds or causes. That laying down our lives for those who hate us would be more important than being right. That knowing You deeply through Your Word, would be important to us than posts, feeds or blogs.

Help us to see that there is a world around us hurtling towards a Christ-less eternity. Stir our hearts to reach them and not stay asleep in the light.

We bring our needs to You Father, remembering that it’s not so that You can be reminded about them, but so that we remember that You have sovereignly allowed them into our lives so You would be glorified.

Our brothers and sisters in Lebanon are undergoing severe trials. COVID is rampant, lockdowns are prevalent, jobs are scarce and basic necessities are in short supply. This is breeding hopelessness, so much so that young people, even in the church, feel there is no other way but to leave the country. Yet in the face of all of these deep needs, our brothers and sisters are asking for provision and wisdom to reach their world for You Jesus. Provide and guide, and use us in that process Father.

Our missionary partners around the world serving You need protection, resources and encouragement. Help us hold them to You in Prayer for all they need.

Father, as a church, we desire to reach our world too, yet we find ourselves in need of financial resources. Move on our hearts Father to be conduits of all the tremendous resources You have provided us so that the lost might be saved.

We come now to hear Your Word to us, delivered through Your servant Dave. We admit that we come to Your Word with our own questions, problems, agendas and conceptions. Help us instead come to Your Word now with softened hearts to clear up any misconceptions we have about You, so that we know You for who You truly are, and not how we want You to be.

We lift up these words to You, Father, and we are only able to because You sent Your one and only Son, the spotless lamb of God that takes away our sin, Jesus, to step into our mess and lay down His life for us while we were still rebellious, so that we could be adopted as Your children and spend eternity with You, our true and only home. Such amazing love. It’s because of this, that we pray. Thank You, Father.

Amen.

(David Kneller, Elder)

Elder Prayer (01/17/21)

Loving Father,

We praise You, the Creator of the whole universe. There is no one like You! You brought this world into being, and You graciously allowed our nation to be founded so that people could live in freedom and experience prosperity. But we confess that we have made the quest for prosperity and even living in freedom into gods that we worship sometimes even more than we worship You. We are so prone to look to this world for meaning and purpose, to try to find substitutes for Jesus. And these fake saviors lure us into sin, darkness and enslavement. Forgive us, we pray, and wash us clean. Free us to be all that You have called us to in Christ.

Jesus, we are in awe of You, our Savior and Redeemer. You laid down Your power before broken, hateful men and women so that, as Your children, each one of us could live in relationship with You and to be reconciled to one another. It’s in Your name and by the power of Your Spirit that we can experience hope for today and for the future.

Help us to see clearly more of who You are, and calm our anxious hearts. Give us grace to see beyond this moment and to believe that there is nothing to fear in light of Your greatness!

We pray that Grace Point and each of the Bible believing churches in our community would effectively reach out in love to others who we perhaps don’t understand. Help us to build bridges that would lead to life transformation. Help us to give up our hateful speech and prideful devotion to agendas (political and otherwise) in favor of a deeper devotion to You and a stronger love for others who are different, or who dislike us.

Our great God, we ask You to accomplish amazing things in this world through Your willing servants, each of our missionaries, as well as each one of us, graciously taking Your truth into societies that deny the truth and even deny the ability to know truth.

We ask that You would equip Amchit Baptist Church in Lebanon to share Your love despite the pandemic lockdowns. Please give the younger generation leaders a vision for staying and trusting in You. And continue to heal and strengthen Pastor Joseph, that he and his church can be strengthened to show Your love to their community.

Break down walls and open hearts so that Your kingdom may be established in this world more and more for Your honor and glory… we pray in the unparalleled name of our King Jesus —AMEN.

(Keith Brown, Elder)

Missionary Updates in Light of COVID-19

At Grace Point, we are passionate about fulfilling the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). We believe that we are called to share the Gospel through words and actions in our community, in our region, in our country and beyond our borders. We are committed to giving our Grace Point family opportunities to participate in what God is doing by partnering with ministries and organizations in outreach endeavors as well as sending teams on short term mission trips.

Another way our Grace Point family remains “on mission” is by supporting our 21 missionary families around the globe through prayer, encouragement and finances. We are so grateful for the obedience and faithfulness in which our missionaries serve within the United States and beyond our country’s borders. They provide us with such inspiration and cause us to reflect on how we’re fulfilling the Great Commission in our spheres of influence. The work they do, in the name of Jesus Christ, is filled with extreme challenges when life is “normal.”

Nate & Jendi Korpi serving as church planters in Panama City, Panama have also been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Can you even imagine how much MORE challenging it must be to be on the mission field within the United States and outside of our country in these unprecedented times? Consider the adjustments we have had to make in our daily routines. Consider the fears we’ve had as people are becoming infected and dying around us. Consider the despair and deep sadness we’ve faced as we’ve experienced loss of people, loss of income, loss of milestone moments and loss of purpose. I’ve always viewed missionaries as extraordinary people who challenge me to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” (Ephesians 4:1) During these difficult times, especially, they serve as my heroes. I bet they do you as well.

We have heard from several of our missionaries and they’ve shared how this pandemic is affecting them and their ministry. As you would expect, they briefly shared some of their personal challenges, but they were more focused on how they were seeing God amid it all. Again, they are my heroes.

I want to share a small sampling of how they have seen the fingerprints of God:

  • The gratefulness for the gift of technology was voiced from all our missionaries! Due to the relational aspect of ministry, WhatsApp, email, Zoom, texting, etc. has kept them connected not only to their families and friends, but also to those they’ve been cultivating relationships with as they serve. Technology provides the means to connect, but it is also proving to encourage more authentic and real dialogue as sometimes it’s easier to share vulnerabilities through a device as opposed to an in-person small or large group gathering.
  • Out of Bolivia, the day that the Bolivian Minister of Health declared all classes NATIONALLY would be suspended, they were in session which allowed the teachers to send their students home with all their books and materials needed for online schooling. This has made online schooling more successful.
  • Out of Central Asia it was mentioned that the fear of COVID-19 and the “cultural fear of death” has opened many doors to share about the saving grace of Jesus. They have reported that there is an openness to hearing about God and there is more opportunity to correct false thinking and share the Truth.
  • Out of the Middle East, it was shared that there is a sense of a “prayer movement” happening. There is some exciting activity stemming from a group of new believers (less than 6 months) connecting weekly and praying together!
  • From the United States, it is exciting to see that people are continuing to inquire and fill out applications to go overseas and join in transformational education around the world especially with so much up in the air right now!

I suspect you are encouraged and inspired, as am I, seeing even more evidence that a worldwide pandemic is no match for our great God! It is a blessing to hear from our missionaries and partnering with them through prayer by supporting the work that God is doing through them and beyond them.

Speaking of prayer! If you would like to sign up for our Daily Focus prayer list, where prayer requests of our missionaries are shared, please do so by emailing go@gracepointpa.org with your name and we will add you to the list.

Enjoy this video, sent by Katie Beth Wilke, our missionary in Santa Cruz, Bolivia as she shares how her day to day life has been affected by COVID-19. However, as you’ll see, her joy in serving the Lord hasn’t been affected one bit!!

April 2020 Update from Katie Beth Wilcke, serving in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Elder Prayer (4/19/20)

Before we pray, let us read a few words from the apostle Paul written to the church at Corinth –

“For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” 2 Corinthians 1:8b-10

Let us take the opportunity now in coming before the Lord in prayer.

Most gracious and loving heavenly Father, we want to come, and we want to worship You in spirit and in truth. We want to lift-up our hearts, and souls, and our voices in the praise of our God, for You alone are worthy to receive the honor and the glory and all that is within us.

But Lord we know at this particular time, Lord there are times when we can look back and see that You have delivered us and that You will deliver us again, but there are those within our family that are hurting. There are those that feel they are despairing, that they are feeling they are destitute and even as the apostle Paul sensed that all of his strength had gone from within him and that he was almost despairing of life itself, I’m sure that there are those within our church family that are sensing almost that same feeling that Paul did. I pray Lord that You will come to them. For those that are battling the corona virus itself, would You grant a healing touch, for those Lord that are wondering where the next paycheck will come, will You provide for their every need, Lord we think of those parents whose children seem to be under their feet all of the time because they are locked-up because of this situation, we pray Lord that You would cause the sun to shine that would allow them to be placed out in the backyard that they could run about and to have fun. Lord we know there are many other situations, those that are dealing with loneliness, those that are dealing with mental health challenges, Lord those that are dealing with financial burdens, we pray Lord that You would cause them  to realize that will not get through it on their own strength but on the strength of the Lord.

We trust in you God, for You are the one that specializes in turning crucifixions into resurrections. This world would cause us to despair but Lord remind us we can sing with a certainty, even as we considered last weekend … up from the grave Christ arose with a mighty triumph o’er His foes, Christ arose a victor from the dark domain and He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose, He arose, hallelujah, Christ arose.

Oh, gracious Lord, give us a sight of the risen, ascended and reigning Christ.

Lord we know we may not have the faith to move mountains, but we can pray as one did of old, ‘Lord I believe help my unbelief’. Lord we can make a difference, I pray Lord that You would help us to see the needs of others, not constantly looking to ourselves but looking out, to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Lord we can make a difference, we pray that You would help us to do what we can that Your name might be glorified.

Lord we worship You this morning, it is our choice to rejoice in the God of our Savior. Lord we pray that You would help us to trust in Jesus, who is our hope in this life and in the life to come. We pray Lord that You would deliver us in the coming days, we look to You Lord, not despairing, not being in a place of destitution but Lord being in the arms of our God, who watch over us, protect us and meet our needs.

We thank You Lord that we can ask all of these things, for You have given us the name of Jesus, in whom You have given authority in heaven and in earth and we look to the one who is able even to silence and to quell the sea and the storm. We believe Lord that even through this storm that we are going through that He will give us peace for it is in His name we ask and pray all of these things, for His honor and for His glory amen.   

(David Holmes)                         

Exploring the Resurrection of Jesus

Colossians Series-title2“Come, see the place where He lay,” the angel said (Matthew 28:6). He’s not there any longer! You too can examine the evidence for the historicity of the Resurrection.

The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel

Also a movie, included with Netflix and available to rent on Amazon Prime.

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona

Scholarly:

The Resurrection of the Son of God, by N.T. Wright

The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, by Michael Licona

Devotional:

He Chose the Nails, by Max Lucado

What Jesus did for you:

Prayer for New Year and New Decade

Hello GP Family,

As we enter a new year and a new decade, I encourage you to join with me in prayer over the ministries of Grace Point – it is only by God’s grace that we will see Him do exceedingly abundantly more than we ask or think! Consider devoting a day this next week to fasting and concentrated prayer.

Pray for Grace Point Staff and Elders

  1. Pray for unity in decisions about our church’s ministry in 2020.
  2. Pray for clarity and smooth transitions for staff who are moving to new roles.
  3. Pray for effectiveness in meeting ministry goals of 2019-20, and for God-honoring goals for 2020-21.

Pray for Small Groups and Hospitality

  1. Pray for an enthusiastic, united, faithful team to welcome our GP family and new guests into our church each week.
  2. Pray for our GP family to embrace and know that we are ALL part of the Hospitality Ministry as we ALL have a part in creating a welcoming atmosphere.
  3. Pray that our Hospitality Ministry team provides an easy, yet essential place for those new-er to GP to serve.
  4. Pray that our strategy for a “one-stop shop” WELCOME CENTER is effective and served by appropriately-gifted volunteers.
  5. Pray for God’s Word, truth, love and grace to do His beautiful work within our small groups and that they would bear fruit for His glory and purposes.

Pray for Missions

  1. Please continue to pray for Tony Martin and his daughters as they continue to grieve the loss of Gwen.
  2. Please pray for each of our missionaries as they have added responsibilities this time of year. Pray for those who are serving in security-sensitive areas, considering the seeming unrest in many countries.
  3. Please pray for the launch of our FOCUS and that our entire church family would engage in meaningful ways in missions.

Pray for Care Ministries

  1. Please pray for our all of our Care Ministries and for the leaders of each.
  2. Please pray for Barnabas Care Ministry as they provide personal support to individuals.
  3. Please pray for those in need of specialized counseling.

Pray for GP Finances & Operations

  1. Please pray for us to be excellent stewards of all God has given to us at Grace Point.
  2. Please pray that God would be honored in our building, on our property, in our hearts and in our lives.
  3. Please pray that He would bring fruit for His purposes and glory through all the Bible studies, fellowship events, outreaches, retreats, etc., through the year.
  4. Please pray for His continual wisdom, discernment and discretion as we make decisions
    regarding finances and operations.
  5. Please pray for humility, unity, devotion to God, good health and God’s love throughout our staff team and their families.

Pray for Children’s Ministry

  1. Please pray for team building and training happening for the Rainbow Class. Pray specifically for the families ministered to by the Rainbow Class who have great need. Pray they will find respite with us at Grace Point.
  2. Please pray for continued efforts to mentor and grow our 5th – 6th grade boy ministry.
  3. Please pray for evaluation of Children’s Ministry transitions and how we can further support families through mentorship/small groups and healthy transitions from age group to age group.
  4. Please pray that parents and new parents continue to become fully engaged in Children’s Ministry. Pray for ways we can partner to disciple families.

Pray for Student Ministries

  1. That our teens would seek to abide in Jesus so that they may bear fruit that honors Him.
  2. For wisdom and direction for our seniors as they are sending out college applications and making decisions regarding their future.
  3. That our students will have the privilege of seeing their friends come to know Jesus as Savior.
  4. For God to strengthen our adult leadership team.
  5. Praise God for new volunteers with the Student Ministry.
  6. For the parents of students as they seek to model for our students a Christ-centered lifestyle.
  7. For Tony as he seeks to keep a healthy balance between his work schedule and his ministry.
  8. For God to lead the Student Ministry Director/Pastor search process and strengthen all
    aspects of ministry to our teens.
  9. For the winter retreats overall. (7th-8th grade retreat is January 17-19, 9th-12th grade retreat is February 14-16.)

Pray for Worship & Preaching Ministries

  1. Please pray that JESUS ONLY is seen and lifted up. Pray the worship team is behind the
    cross and that God alone is glorified.
  2. Praise the Lord for the addition of Paula Sharik (violin)!
  3. Please pray for the physical strength and health of our team and their families.
  4. Please pray for Shelley as she retires and is planning to move to Florida in the spring/summer. Praise God for her service to Him and to the Grace Point family on the worship team. Please pray the Lord provides for this loss on the worship team of a vocalist and keyboard player.
  5. Please pray for a worship intern over the summer weeks while Darrell is away.

Looking forwarding to what God will do among us in 2020!

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Praying with you and for you,
Dave Wolf
Lead Pastor

Elder Prayer (Sunday 12/8/19)

Heavenly Father,

At this time of the year when we remember the first coming of Jesus into the world, we lift up our hearts and voices in praise to You, for sending Your Son to us to be our Savior– so that through Him we can be brought back into right relationship with You and receive Your gift of an eternity with You – by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

Heavenly Father, we rejoice when we call to mind the glorious truth that the eternal Light of the world came to earth to become our Redeemer – to give His life for a lost world and to pour peace and hope into the hearts of a people who were estranged from their God. We stand in awe when we recall that He set aside His glory and majesty and closeness with You to take on the form of a man and be born into this world as a tiny, helpless baby, in such humble circumstances. He humbled Himself in obedience to You, and suffered and died a death He did not deserve, so that we can be saved.

Father, may our lives reflect Jesus’ obedience and love as we look back to the first Advent – but help us not forget that there is a future Advent – a second coming when the earth will be filled with Your glory. Lord Jesus, You are returning not as a tiny baby lying in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes, but as a conquering King, with power and great glory, to fulfill all promises, to judge with justice, to rule in righteousness.

Lord, I pray that You will find us, Your Church, ready and working, prepared for Your return. And, as much as we pine for the sentimentality of this season, help us to remain mindful that we have a job to do. Purify our hearts and sanctify our lives so that we may serve You in newness of life not only in this special season but every day of our lives.

We come to You this morning with many needs Father. And You already know each and every one. In fact, You have allowed each one into our lives to help us mature and become more like Jesus, and to drive us to dependence on You.

We lift up to You the hurting this season. The grieved, the discouraged, the depressed, the suicidal. Help them know that You not only came near through Jesus so many years ago, but You are near, with them, now. Help this to comfort them.

We lift up to You those with physical ailments of many kinds. Some are irritating, some are life threatening, all are not what we planned for. Help them know that You are able to heal, but that even if You don’t, You are Sovereign and worthy of our praise, and even in sickness, we can be witnesses of Your love, mercy and grace.

We lift up to You financial difficulties of all kinds. Help us not be fearful of or mastered by money, but to place our treasure in Heaven, remembering that You will provide all that we really need when we need it, and if we don’t have it, then it’s a safe bet we probably don’t need it. Our church has a significant budget shortfall Father, move on hearts and provide what we need to do the ministry You have called us to do.

We lift up to You the many events this season. We are thankful for a wonderful turnout and time together for the Women’s Christmas Tea this past week. We humbly lay before You our desire to serve this community this coming Friday night through One Winter Night. So many hours of preparation, so many hands sacrificing time and energy. Use it all Lord, including the parades, to help those who need You to feel Your love, to draw our community to You, and for You to be glorified. Regardless of the weather, regardless of the numbers, regardless of the last-minute glitches, take this our humble offering, be in it, and make much through it.

We are hopeful this season Father. Hopeful that wrongs will be righted, hopeful that hurts will be healed, hopeful that relationships will be restored, hopeful that lives will be changed. You are the God of hope. You have planted hope deep within our souls. By the power of Your Spirit, help us abound in hope. We watch, we wait. Knowing that You are Faithful to complete all that You have purposed. Just as You were Faithful to send Jesus to us that first Christmas, even though the world waited so long. Remind us this season that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by letting us have our own way and getting all that we want, but by allowing us to wait, bearing in love and patience, carrying many unanswered questions, so that we can come to the place where we truly can pray, ‘Thy will be done’.

Thank You, Father, for the Living Hope that we have through the resurrection from the dead of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. It’s in His name we pray all this, Amen.

(David Kneller)