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Vision 2024 Prayer Letter - 03/24/21

March 24, 2021

Dear Brother or Sister in Christ,

As we continue in prayer for our church, as we approach our Vision 2024 100-year anniversary, this month I am particularly mindful of God’s heart for All Peoples. This past Sunday we dug into Acts 10-11 where God makes it clear to Peter and the Early Church, “…that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” (Acts 10:34-35) This was not an easy or immediate transition for the Early Church. It took some time to get their heads/hearts wrapped around this. Please pray that our church, E-Free Bemidji, will gain a deeper understanding of God’s heart for All Peoples. Pray that our hearts will deepen in our love for and unity with other people groups. May the gospel powerfully work within us and among us for racial harmony and unity. Pray that each and every part of our church body will, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

Pray also for effective ministry by our Global Partners. Each one of them faces unique cultural and racial barriers. Pray that they will be sensitive to these nuances and strategic in how to excel in a variety of ethnic settings. Pray also for those who are translating languages. Language is not just about words but also about a proper understanding of what those words mean in a particular culture. Pray for mental clarity and discernment as various men and women translate God’s Word for All Peoples. Pray that our Global Partners would be deeply in love with God and have a heart for the people they are serving. Whether they are overseas or in the U.S., pray that they’ll be fully funded, physically and emotionally healthy, and laser-focused on Jesus. Pray Ephesians 4:1 for them, that they will live lives worthy of the calling they have received. Let’s continue to faithfully pray through our Global Partner flipbooks.

Pray for our church staff. As we lead ministries to adults, youth, and children, pray that we will effectively disciple each one in a relevant and meaningful way. Pray for effectiveness with singles, married couples, and families alike. May we care enough about each individual person that we do what we can to lovingly cater to each person’s particular needs in a God-honoring way. Pray that our staff will be aligned with gospel priorities and with one another for a healthy, sustainable, ministry impact. Pray especially for Gerri Thorsgard, our Kids Ministry Director. Her husband Eric continues to battle brain cancer. Let’s continue to ask for God’s healing. Pray that Eric will not have side effects from his new chemo treatments. Please also pray for lots of good days together as a family. They are hoping to take a month-long road trip in April with their 3 youngest children. Pray for traveling mercies and happy trails. Pray for great times together making great memories. Also, please pray for Mandi Buchan and Amy Graf as they cover the bases in Kids Ministry for the next month or so. Please continue to pray for Pastor Albin and Annelise as she continues to work in Fargo, and they travel back and forth each and every week. Pray for safe travels and endurance during this unique life stage.

Please say a special prayer for our Good Friday and Easter services, including the messages that will be shared. Pray for our musicians, Scripture readers, technology team, and so on. Praise God we now have our 3rd livestream camera up and running! Pray that each component of our worship service will be easy to hear and see, so that we can grow in faith and rejoice in Jesus together! We are looking forward to our very first water baptism in our new baptismal tank on Easter morning. Please pray that this goes well and brings God glory as we rejoice in our new life in Christ! Pray for those who have not yet said “yes” to Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Pray that God is preparing their hearts even now.

Please continue to pray for those in our church who are fragile either physical or mentally. Pray for the various requests on our Prayer Chain. Pray for Kay Sue Eriksson, our Visitation Caregiver, as she continues to minister to folks one at a time. Pray also that each one of us will watch for opportunities to serve those who need some extra encouragement and care. May we love one another deeply as a Church Family and care for the youngest to the oldest. And may God be honored as we live in ways that would please Him. James 1:27 urges us, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Pray that our “religion” would be fully acceptable to God.

Praise God for the wonderful praise report we heard from our Lake Charles Team! Please continue to pray for the relief efforts of the Evangelical Free Church of America’s Crisis Response Team. May God be honored by this service and may the name of Jesus continue to be lifted high. Pray also for other churches and ministries in the Bemidji area. Praise God for good partnerships at ministries like Churches United, Ruby’s Pantry, and the food shelf, among others. Pray that our local churches and fellow believers in Christ would be united by our gospel mission and that we would sincerely lift one another up in prayer. Ask that God would protect us from competitiveness, old grudges, or jealousy, or any other strategy our enemy might employ against us. May our community see churches working together and cheering one another along. Pray for the various pastors, boards, committees, and other leaders of these churches and ministries, to lead with wisdom and grace.

Please pray for our Trustees as they oversee our budget and take care of our facilities. May they have wisdom in determining spending priorities. Pray that they will have the right combination of careful stewardship and godly vision for how our church’s ministries can reach out in faith for greater effectiveness. Pray that our building and grounds will be well maintained. Pray also that our ministry spaces will be inviting and attractive to newcomers. May each ministry will have the space and resources it needs to fully accomplish its ministry goals. Pray for our Elder Board as well. May they have godly wisdom and clarity of vision for where to lead our church this year, and beyond. Pray that they will take good care of the sheep in our church, as under-shepherds for the Lord. And pray for many other men and women in our church who lead in various Life Groups, small groups, musical groups, committees, and so on. Pray that each one will serve as unto the Lord.

For everyone one of us, pray the words that Pastor Eric recently preached on: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, thanks for praying!

Together for Christ,  Pastor Jerry

 

 

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