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Vision 2024 Prayer Letter - 4/24/2020

April 24, 2020

Dear Sister or Brother in Christ,

During this time of sheltering in place and keeping our social distance, praise God that we can always draw near to God, and one another, through prayer. Romans 12:12 reminds us to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Thank you for continuing to faithfully pray for our Church Family and our ministry in Bemidji and beyond. 

Praise God for wonderful Good Friday and Easter Sunday services via live stream. Praise Him for ongoing spiritual growth and discipleship through things like YouTube, Zoom, and Facebook. Pray that our Christianity Explored and Discipleship online Bible studies will bless many people. Pray for our Kids Ministry and Youth Ministry as they teach God’s Truth using modern technologies. Pray for effective ministry to our elderly saints as personal contact is not currently allowed. May our phone calls, notes, and personal letters be a genuine source of encouragement to each one.

Please pray for our local community and our world during this COVID-19 Pandemic. May God help us to not panic or surrender to fear. Pray that we will have wisdom and discernment in our decision-making. Pray that each one of us will wisely and respectfully make the appropriate behavior changes. Pray for wisdom and unity among our leaders here in our church as well as in our local community, nation, and the world at large.

Just like last month, let’s keep praying for our medical workers to stay healthy. Many people in our own Church Family work in the medical field; please lift them up by name if you know them. Pray that our medical facilities will be able to adapt and withstand the extra strain of increasing demands today and in the days to come. Pray that enough of the right supplies will get to the right places in a timely fashion.

Please pray for those who are losing their jobs or encountering reduced hours or benefits. May each one of us do what we can to help our neighbors and our fellow believers. Pray for insight in how to get help to the people who need it in a timely way. Pray that our community will practice self-control and will avoid hoarding and other selfish and unhelpful behaviors. Pray that resource supply chains and infrastructures will remain in place and will be able to adjust as this pandemic continues to progress.

There has been a noticeable peak in mental health issues for individuals within our Church Family this week. Please continue to pray for God’s provision and for creative solutions to serve those who are suffering from situations of isolation and loneliness. Pray that mental health workers, pastors, etc. will find ways to serve people effectively even with the 6-foot separation rules in place. Pray that all of us will take regular breaks from the steady stream of news coverage and social media buzz. Pray that we will be able to go about our daily business and responsibilities to take care of our homes, do our schoolwork, and get our jobs done either remotely or onsite as needed. Pray for unemployment, paid time off, and other compensation arrangements to meet people’s needs for food, shelter, and other resources. Pray that sick people will stay home, get rest, and get better. Pray that scammers and those preying on the vulnerable will be brought to justice and stopped before they hurt others.

Pray for our Global Partners who are scattered all around the world and are encountering varying levels of challenge. Pray in particular for those who are in areas with incredibly limited medical supplies and hospitals. May God’s workers in each of these areas have wisdom and boldness for how to navigate this epidemic as the hands and feet of Christ. Pray that those who need to come home from the field will find transport in order to be able to do that. Let’s continue to pray for each of our Global Partners as listed in our recently released Prayer Flipbook. Let’s keep flipping those pages each day and pray, pray, pray! And remember to pray for those in summer camp ministry as they must make key decisions soon and as they need to recruit summer workers under unprecedented circumstances.

Pray that each and every believer will have a powerful witness for Christ. May we make an impact as salt and light as we demonstrate what life looks like during storms with the firm foundation of Christ to anchor us. Pray that unbelievers would recognize their need for God. Pray that we may have the heart of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:19-20, “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ask God to give us creative and meaningful ways to love our neighbors. May our witness be lived out in clear ways and may we have boldness to make the most of opportunities for spiritual conversations. May many come to salvation as they realize their need for God. Pray that our faith will be attractive to a watching world.

Pray that each believer will grow in spiritual maturity and devotion to Christ. May these times stretch us but not break us. May we embrace opportunities for extended time in God’s Word and prayer. May our heart response be one of fearlessness, courage, and spiritual fervor. Please pray for ministry and sermon planning for the month ahead. May we know what to teach and preach and how to be an encouragement and help to people’s discipleship growth and development. Pray for direction in how to celebrate and honor upcoming events like Mother’s Day, graduations, and Pastor Fred and Berta’s farewell.

Pray for our staff and volunteers as we continue to run various live stream services. Pray for mental sharpness as we study and learn new technologies, software, and social media platforms. May all of these capabilities be maximized to bring God glory, to build up His Church, and to expand His Kingdom. Pray for creative and effective ministry strategies for each generation. Pray that our church finances will remain strong, that people will be able to remain generous during this economic downturn. And, pray that those who have a temporary reduction in their income won’t feel badly if their giving needs to decrease for a while. Pray also that we can effectively get benevolence help to anyone in financial need.

Praise God for the way that He takes care of us. None of this catches Him by surprise. Let’s embrace the simple but powerful truth of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Praise God for our children who are learning their Bible memory verses through the Marco Polo app. May all of us let God’s Word mold and shape our hearts and minds. May His Truth be the Truth by which we live our lives.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, thank you for your faithful prayers!

Together in Christ,

Pastor Jerry

Becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus together

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