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Vision 2024

Vision 2024 Prayer Letter - 02/24/22

February 24, 2022

Dear Brother or Sister in Christ,

Praise God for His faithfulness in hearing and answering our prayers! Romans 12:12 cheers us on, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Let’s continue to be faithful in prayer as our little local church in northern Minnesota approaches its 100-year anniversary in the year 2024.

Let’s begin by praying for one another, that God would give us endurance to keep up our spirits through this long cold winter. Pray that God helps us to keep a good attitude, despite the cold and snow. And let’s praise God for giving us four seasons, and not just one! May this snow be a helpful reminder of Isaiah 55:10-11 “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Pray that E-Free Bemidji will be a church that is “well-watered” by God’s Word and that His Word accomplishes His purpose in each one of us.

Pray for our various global partners. Even though our prayer flipbooks are getting a little outdated, let’s continue to use it as a tool to help us keep faithfully praying for each one of them. Pray for effective gospel ministry both domestically and around the world. Pray for favor with foreign governments, residency documents, and travel needs. May those partners who’ve been displaced by this pandemic find their way back to the field soon. Pray for wisdom in navigating ongoing covid concerns. Pray for blessings on our global partners who are on furlough. Pray for good rest and spiritual renewal. Pray also for wisdom and insight for our Global Connections Team as they connect our global partners with a helpful and supportive Barnabas Team. Pray for God-honoring stewardship of our global partners budget, and that each global partner would be fully funded.

Praise God for our ongoing events like the Senior Connection Potlucks, Women’s Overflow Saturday events, Men’s groups, Wednesday kids and youth ministry, Bible studies, Monday night mental health study, handbells, choir, worship team rehearsals, Life Groups, Sunday School classes, Second Sunday Prayer, Thursday night volleyball, staff meetings, board meetings, and more! Pray that each of these will bring God glory and help us to grow in deeper spiritual maturity and discipleship. May our fellowship be sweet as we learn to love one another deeply. May our worship be heartfelt, and may it represent a love for God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. May we be a church that loves God well and understands how well we are loved by Him. Pray the words of Ephesians 3:16-19 for our church: “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Praise God for our new lighting in the Connection Café. Let’s pray that each person in our church will feel welcomed and connected, whether they are new to our church or whether they’ve been coming for a long time. Pray that we’ll be a friendly church in Jesus’ name. Pray for the success of our mortgage fundraiser. May all $100k be raised so that we can pay off a substantial portion of our remaining debt. Pray that we’ll not only be able to save on interest but also be able to move closer to reallocating those dollars for future ministry opportunities. Please keep our General Ministry Fund in prayer as well. Pray that we’ll be able to meet our budget and keep our ministries well-resourced. Praise God for our new Visitation Caregiver, Patti Lofgren, who is off to a great start! Pray that she will get up to speed quickly and that God’s Spirit will empower her for effective ministry. Pray for our search for a 10:45 Music Director and a Kids Ministry Director. May God provide just the right people for these positions according to His perfect timing.

Pray for those from our church who preach or teach, whether it’s from the pulpit, in a classroom, in someone’s home, or elsewhere. James 3:1 reminds us that “…we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Pray that we will be careful in what we teach. May it be in line with right doctrine and may it lead to God-honoring application in our lives. Pray 2 Timothy 2:15 for each one of us, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Pray for our staff as we press on day by day. May each of us have insight into our particular ministry areas. Pray that we’ll have all the wisdom, love, and joy that we need to serve God fervently and effectively. Pray for unity and alignment around our Great Commission mandate. May genuine discipleship be hardwired into the DNA of each ministry in our church. Pray for wisdom in how to steward our limited time and resources. Pray that we’ll know what to say “yes” and “no” to, day in and day out. Pray for wisdom in navigating tough decisions and, occasionally, challenging situations. May compassion, kindness, and gentleness be evident to all.

Pray for the hurts and needs submitted to our church’s Prayer Chain. If you are not part of this group email list, contact Kate in the church office and she’d be glad to add you. Let’s not fail to pray for one another. Also, please pray that we will be the kind of church that is often thinking of one another throughout the week and checking in on each other. Despite our busy schedules, pray that we will find ways to care for one another and prioritize sharing life together. Pray that ministries like the Meal Train, Benevolence Fund, and Servant Team will effectively meet the tangible needs in our church family. Pray also for God’s Spirit to prompt us toward the unseen needs. Pray that no one will “fall through the cracks,” but that we’ll identify needs quickly and address them as best we can.

Pray for clear direction for our church as the elders lead a listening Q & A on February 27. May God be honored as we prayerfully consider the topic of our church’s name. May we have an open and honest dialogue that is pleasing to the Lord. May we follow the instruction of James 1:19 and “be quick to listen” and “slow to speak.” Pray that whenever our church has discussions like this, we will always be able to move forward together in loving unity, regardless of whether the decision goes the way we would like it to or not. Pray that we will place a high value on our love for one another and our unity with one another. Psalm 133:1 reminds us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”

Pray for this upcoming season of Lent as we head toward Easter. May we continue becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus together as we set aside time for personal reflection and prayer. May we take sin seriously and pursue genuine holiness. Pray the words of 1 Peter 1:14-19 for yourself and then for your fellow believers at E-Free Bemidji: “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

Pray that we will become more and more the church that God would have us be. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, thanks for praying!

Together for Christ,  Pastor Jerry

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