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Vision 2024 Prayer Letter - 02/24/21

February 24, 2021

Dear Brother or Sister in Christ,

Thank you for your continued faithful prayers for our church as we inch ever closer to our 100-year anniversary in 2024. Let’s begin by praising the Lord for so many great praise reports at our Annual Celebration and Vision meeting. God has been so good and faithful to our church over the past year. Let’s pray that we can continue walking by His Spirit in the year ahead. Pray that Galatians 5:22-25 will be true of our local church, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Let’s also praise the Lord for his faithfulness in bringing us through the recent cold weather snap. Thankfully, even though many of our vehicles were put to the test and our heating bills probably ticked up a bit, most of us came through fairly unscathed. Please remember to pray for those in the southern U.S. who were hit by major power outages and frozen pipes bursting in their homes. As we say in Minnesota, “uffdah!”

Please pray for our Lake Charles Team as they head down south to help with last year’s storm damage which has only been exacerbated by this cold weather snap. Please pray for the members of our team by name: Chris Eastling, Stephen Helweg, Eric Nygren, Anna Nygren, Christy Oelslager, and Kate Toriseva. May God be honored by their service. Pray that they will be kept safe during travel and throughout their time of serving, March 7-12. Pray for effective ministry in Jesus’ name.

Please continue to remember to pray for those who are struggling with loneliness and isolation either due to the winter weather, COVID-19, or whatever else. Pray that they will know God’s real and loving presence. Pray also that our church family will find creative and meaningful ways to reach out and connect with them. Pray for those who are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness. Pray for helpful counseling and/or medication, and for spiritual uplifting. Pray also for the various needs on our church’s prayer chain.

Praise God that our livestream continues to reach out and bless so many. Pray that we will continue to enhance how we communicate our Sunday services as well as occasional special events like our Good Friday service. May people be encouraged and built up in their faith even if they need to stay in their homes due to health concerns or whatever else it may be. Please also pray that those who are healthy and able to come to the church building will come and will join our in-person fellowship onsite. Pray that we have meaningful contact with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ so that we can practice genuine encouragement, correction, and sharpening one another in the faith.

Pray that each and every person who makes E-Free their church home will find a small group of people that they can connect with, grow with, and serve with. Lift up in prayer all of our various Life Groups, Bible Studies, musical teams, serving groups, and so on. Pray that these groups will draw near to God together and bless one another in meaningful ways as they develop deep and meaningful personal relationships with each other. Pray that no one “falls through the cracks” at E-Free but that each person has an invitation and an in-road into meaningful Christian fellowship and friendship.

Pray for our children, youth, and young adult ministries. Pray for the various staff and volunteers who work so hard week after week to disciple our younger generations. Ask God to give them energy and resourcefulness to keep things fresh, energized, and relevant to today’s needs and questions. Pray for the salvation of those who do not yet know Jesus personally. Pray that those who have put their faith in Christ will be growing in spiritual maturity and godliness. May His Word and His Spirit be building them up into the godly men and women who can reach their world and who can lead our churches and ministries in the years to come.

Pray for our Global Partners listed in the prayer flipbook. Pray for those in closed countries to be kept safe and to be able to keep their visas and access to challenging places that are closed to the gospel. Pray for those who are leading camps, translating Scripture, and mobilizing others to send out into the field. Pray for intellectual prowess where it’s needed, for daily grit to keep pressing on, and for physical strength and health. Pray that those who’ve been pulled away from their ministry location will be able to return soon and resume a more normal schedule of ministry. Pray for those crossing cultural and racial barriers. Pray for the technology that many of our Global Partners depend on for effective outreach. Pray for the current opening for the Beltrami County Jail chaplaincy. May God provide the right person for this important ministry in our local community. Pray for any global partners who are moving into retirement, that their financial, housing, and health care needs will be met abundantly.

Please continue to pray for the vaccine roll out. Pray for our church as we continue to navigate decisions about face masks, serving food, and trying to get things “back to normal” in a safe and timely manner. Pray for wisdom and discernment for our Reopening Strategy Task Force as they continue to work hard and bring recommendations to our Elder Board. May all of us, whether in official positions of leadership or not, remain unified and striving to work together even in the midst of not always agreeing on everything. And in this, may the Lord be pleased and continue to bless us and work among us. May we all respond diligently to the urging in Ephesians 4:1-3, living lives worthy of the calling we have received. Being completely humble and gentle; being patient, bearing with one another in love. Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

As we continue praying for Vision 2024, let’s  keep asking God to show us His vision for how He wants our church to be. May we be in step with His Spirit, bringing Him the honor and glory that He is due. 

Together for Christ,

Pastor Jerry

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