Dear New Life in Christ Church Family,
Things continue to change for our nation, state and community. Our own state government is putting forward a plan to reopen a number of businesses. Churches are ready to open and many will begin meeting this week. We are putting together plans for our own possible worship services this week.
And yet, there is a lot of nervousness and still a lot of difficulty. People are still getting sick, joblessness continues to grow, people feel anxious, angry, alone and isolated. For these reasons, I am asking New Life in Christ Church to take Monday, May 11, 2020 as a day for prayer and fasting.
Would you be willing to join together in prayer? I will meet at 5 PM in a Zoom Prayer Room. If you would like to join and pray at 5, follow this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/770719915
Monday’s guide has been adapted from the PCA’s call to 30 days of prayer. I broke it up into 5 sections, and suggest taking 5 different times through the day to pray for each one. If you have more opportunities, just repeat!
In this prayer guide, we turn to the attributes of God as listed in the Westminster Larger Catechism, The Psalms, and Galatians 5:22-23 (the Fruit of the Spirit) to guide our prayer and focus our hearts and mind on the attributes of God:
Prayer Time #1 – Focus: God Our Comforter
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
2 Corinthians 1:3
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”
We confess that we seek comfort in response to this crisis. We turn to food and drink, entertainment, physical comforts, or we make demands that others can never fulfill, but none of those bring the comfort we seek.
- In these times of suffering, we need Your comfort.
- Give us Your presence, Your peace, Your eternal perspective.
- Fill our minds with Your truth and fill our hearts with Your courage.
- Comfort us, so we may be a comfort to others.
- Use Your people to bring comfort to . . .
- The many who have suffered loss, whether family members, friends, or jobs.
- The hungry and homeless. Help the Church to minister to them in a substantial and safe way.
- The lonely, who must endure this quarantine without companionship. Help Christians to know how to reach out to them safely and to make Your presence with them known.
Prayer Time #2 – Focus: God Our Protector
“Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me.”
“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.”
“He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”
- Masks and social distancing are wise practices, but help us to remember that You are our Protector.
- We can be brave and courageous and live without fear because our trust is not in our wise practices but in You. May that knowledge not make us foolish, but faithful.
- We also ask for Your miraculous protection for . . .
- Our healthcare workers. They are on the front lines of this pandemic. Protect them—physically, mentally, and emotionally—as they respond to the needs of their patients.
- Those in emergency services who risk exposure and/or bringing it back to their families because of their jobs. Protect them, Lord. Sustain them and help them to continue to care for those in their communities.
- Our friends and families and those people You bring to our minds— that they will miraculously be kept safe.
Prayer Time #3 – Focus: God Our Defender
“The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
“The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you,
just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes.”
- Fear can make us angry or selfish. Lord, help us to remember You are our Defender.
- We mustn’t fight each other—those in our families, in our communities or churches, or those with different political opinions—because those fights distract from the real enemy.
- The evil one would use Covid-19 to divide us, to fill us with fear. In the heavenly realm, Lord, will You fight for us?
- Where there is conflict, will You bring peace? Where there is confusion, will You bring understanding? Where there is anger, will You bring mercy? And where there is division, will You bring unity? Help us to not give the devil a foothold in our homes, our churches, or our nation.
Prayer Time #4 – Focus: God is Love
“I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD,
according to all that the LORD has granted us,
and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion,
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.”
1 John 4:7-8
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
- You tell us that the world will know we are Your followers because of our love for one another because You are love. Help us to be agents of Your love.
- Help us to love . . . – Our families. Being together can be hard; may Your love abound in our homes.
- Our communities, especially our churches. May You bring to our minds the weak and needy in our communities and equip Your people to be the hands and feet of Your love.
- Our nation. So much divides us right now. May Your people be agents of Your love as we seek to be encouragers and faithful stewards of all that You have given us. Help us to be a part of Your solution and redemption of this crisis.
Prayer Time #5 – Focus: God is Joy
“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
- We confess, sometimes our joy is dependent on our circumstance, not our faith.
- May we find our joy overflowing because of Your presence in our lives and the eternal hope we have in Christ Jesus.
- Turn our grief into dancing and teach us to share our reason for joy with those around us in a loving and winsome way.
If you have specific needs, please let us know (email@example.com || 540-786-4848) so that we can pray for you and offer any practical help. Our elders are available as are our deacons (https://goo.gl/forms/wZ8miuU2BptSmOtG3). Please be aware of your neighbors needs, especially the elderly and vulnerable. Please let us know if any have needs.
- PASTORAL LETTER (5/8/20) NEW SERMON SERIES; REOPENING UPDATE
- A TIME TO UPROOT FROM PASTOR SAM ON 5/6/2020
- DEALING WITH THE SOURCE OF ANXIETY from Pastor Sean
- A TIME TO BUILD FROM PASTOR SAM ON 4/28/2020
- DEALING WITH FEAR OF CHANGE (PASTORAL LETTER AND WORSHIP PLAN – APRIL 25, 2020)
- A TIME TO SHUN EMBRACING FROM PASTOR SAM ON 4/21/2020
- “HOW CAN I HELP?” SOME WAYS NLIC HELPS PEOPLE IN NEED – FROM PASTOR SEAN (4/17/20)
- “IT’S FRIDAY, SUNDAY’S A-COMIN” … BUT WHAT ABOUT SATURDAY? (SUNDAY WORSHIP INFO FROM PASTOR SEAN) – 4/10/2020
- A TIME TO MOURN – FROM PASTOR SAM ON 4/8/2020
- WHAT IS GOD DOING? MORE THAN YOU KNOW! (SUNDAY WORSHIP INFO FROM PASTOR SEAN) – 4/4/2020
- BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON – THE LORD’S SUPPER AND OUR HOME EXILE – FROM PASTOR SEAN ON 4/2/20
- FROM PASTOR SAM: HE IS NO FOOL (4/1/2020)
- Pastoral Newsletter- Resurrection: From Despair to Hope this Easter