Dear North Shore Community Baptist Church Family,
Do you ever find that sometimes you are reluctant to pray that someone’s faith (or your own faith) will be deepened? Surely this is because you know that often the way the Spirit answers this kind of prayer is by bringing trials and challenges that bring us to our knees. Hopefully you continue to pray because you know that the object of deepened faith in God is of utmost importance and is worth what it will cost. Perhaps at other times you may be praying for someone who is going through a difficult, trying time, and you find that you pray both that they may have relief from their trials but also that their faith would grow and be renewed through the experience. Still other times your prayers may be filled with thanksgiving for the wise, godly individuals the Lord has brought into your life. Truly, prayer is a wonderful, awesome gift that we have been given.
At least once a month the Elders gather, as we did Monday evening, to pray for people in our church family. Sometimes we do this early in the morning, while other times we go fairly late into the evening. Typically, we use a prayer sheet with the names and pictures of twelve to sixteen families. We first take some time to talk about each family or person, sharing things we appreciate about them as well as things we can pray for, and then enter into a time of thirty minutes or so during which we pray for each one. Our prayers celebrate the unique gifts each person brings to NSCBC and ask that their general or specific needs would be met and that their faith be deepened. These times of prayer are rich and wonderful, and I always come away from them feeling like we’ve just accomplished more than we do during any Elder “business” meeting. The best part is that they stick with me; they cause me to greet each of you more warmly when our paths cross and I often find the things we’ve prayed for returning to my mind for days and weeks after, and this reminds me to pray once again.
We also had other things to do at our meeting on Monday night, but I am so thankful that we ended our time together with prayer for many of you, and for our church as a whole. We are filled with anticipation about what the Lord is doing in our midst, and full of great joy that we are all participating in it together. Please continue to look for and celebrate the exciting things happening around you in the life of our church, and be encouraged (and warned): your Elders love you and we’re praying for you.
Your brother in Christ,