Vision 2024

Vision 2024 Prayer Letter - 09/24/21

September 24, 2021

Dear Brother or Sister in Christ,

Thank you for your faithful prayers for our church as we press on together, day after day, for the worthy cause of the gospel! Should the Lord tarry, our church’s 100-year anniversary is really just barely around the corner in the year 2024.

Praise God for a great fall kick with over 450 people at church for kickoff Sunday and almost 200 for kickoff Wednesday! Pray that we will disciple each of these souls well. Please pray that our Sunday morning ministries will flourish, during our two primary church services but also before and after each service. Pray for Christian growth and maturity in the lives of our kids, youth, and adults. Pray that our worship will be heartfelt and passionate for the Lord. Pray that our instruction will be true to God’s Word and go beyond just milk to meaningful solid food (Hebrews 5:13-14 reminds us, “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.).

Pray for godly fellowship within our church family. May we be welcoming of newcomers as well as those who’ve attended for a long time. Pray Romans 12:10 for our church, that we’ll be devoted to one another in love and that we’ll honor one another above ourselves. May our love for one another increase Jesus’ reputation on our corner of Washington Ave and Carr Lake Road. Pray for God’s provision of a Visitation Caregiver for our church. Pray that our Hospitality Team will be able to arrange for good snacks and deeper connections between people who visit between our services. May our Connection Café truly enhance the opportunities for our church body to become a more connected church. Pray that we’ll be a healthy church that bears the fruit of Spirit in all we do together. Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control….” Pray these godly attributes for our local church.

Please ask God to help us find a new 10:45 Music Director who will be a good, timely fit for our church. Pray for our church worship music, musicians, and musical equipment. Pray for our choir, hand bells, worship teams, and any other musical groups. Pray that we’ll all work well together, like a fine-tuned engine that is firing on all cylinders. May our hearts and minds truly engage with God as we lift our voices and instruments to Him in praise. Pray for our 8:30 traditional music and our 10:45 contemporary music as well as our Youth Group worship band, Kids Ministry music, and any other worship music throughout the week. Pray for our Kids Christmas program practice which begins in October. May all of this music and singing bring God glory and fill our church with His praises. Pray Psalm 150 for our church, that we will praise God in His sanctuary, for His acts of power and for His surpassing greatness. That we’ll use an assortment of instruments and voices to unite in praising Him together. Pray that the direct result of our musical efforts and expressions will be that “everything that has breath” will praise the LORD!

Pray for our Global Partners. Pray through each page of our Global Partner flipbook. Praise God for our Golf fundraiser which raised $1,200 for Short Term Missions. Pray for those transitioning on and off of the field. Pray that those who are retiring will be able to find their encore ministry and pray that those whom God has been preparing will have good and effective launches as they head out onto the field as brand-new recruits. May His leading and provision be made abundantly clear. Pray for those who are translating Scripture, who are mobilizing individuals and teams, and those who are directly in the trenches. Pray for favor with foreign governments and necessary visas and other documents. Pray for safety and availability of travel needs. Pray for those still trying to get back on the field after needing to return to the U.S. Pray for wisdom and effective strategy as the pandemic continues. Pray for our adopted people group, or Native American ministries, and our camp ministries. Pray also for those ministering at the jail and that God will raise up a jail chaplain for our area. Pray that our church will love and serve and share Christ with all peoples.

Please pray for upcoming opportunities in October and the fall. Pray for our youth Shamineau retreats October 22-24 and 29-31. Pray for our Halloween outreach on Sunday afternoon, October 31, with Seth Maxwell. Pray that many will attend these events, that the lost will find salvation, and that believers will grow in deeper devotion to Jesus Christ.

Pray for the various weddings that are still to come as well as those that have happened earlier this year. Pray for all of the marriages within our church. May there be healthy love and respect between husbands and wives (Ephesians 5:33). May those who are struggling reach out and find help from fellow believers, from godly counselors, and from the Lord.

Pray for those who are mourning over the loss of a loved one. Pray that God will bring them great peace and comfort. Pray that our local church body will know how to mourn with those who mourn and how to come alongside with genuine empathy and care that makes a difference. Pray that our Meal Train ministry will be one of our effective ways of serving one another by dropping off a meal as a tangible expression of our love and concern. Praise God for Laurie Oakes who has agreed to head up this ministry!

Pray that more and more people will join our church’s email prayer chain and attend our Second Sunday Prayer meetings. Pray that we will recognize our desperate dependence on the Lord for our needs. May we be a praying church, and may we encounter the Lord in real and powerful ways as we submit to His will and then experience Him working among us. With this in mind, pray once again these words from Colossians 1:28-29 for all of our staff and volunteers, “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”

Pray for our Nominating Committee as they wrap up their work. And pray for our October 24 Congregational meeting. Pray that we’ll make God-honoring decisions with our 2022 budget, as well as our new church officers. Praise God for those who are currently serving and pray for those who are soon to be newly elected. May godly men and women continue to use their time, talents, and treasures for God’s purposes here at E-Free Bemidji.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, thanks for praying!

Together for Christ, Pastor Jerry

Becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus together

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