We are a praying people and a praying church. We believe in the power of prayer, which means we be-lieve that God hears us and unleashes His power to change lives in response to our prayers. It takes faith to be-lieve this, but God has told us that prayer makes a difference in His world and among His people.
We pray for our families and our friends. We pray for our church. We pray for our community and our nation. We pray when we hear about people in need, even if we don’t know them personally.
The Bible is full of encouragement to pray, including Philippians 4:6, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
So, with faith in our hearts that God hears and answers our prayers, let me invite you to join with me in praying for some big needs in our church and world:
Pray for God’s continued blessing over our church as we seek to share Jesus’ love and message with people in need. This is a two-part prayer. First, ask God to be good to Broadway, just as He has always been, holding us together in unity, sending new people into our fellowship and meeting our financial needs. Second, ask God to help us remain focused on the mission Jesus gave us. Pray that we would not be distracted by selfish or worldly ideas and that we would not become discouraged by hardship or envy.
Pray for God’s protection and guidance for our larger Covenant family. Our church isn’t alone. We share ministry with sister churches in the Rockford area and with many more Covenant congregations throughout North America. The past few years have been hard, with slowing growth, leadership changes and conflict over social and moral issues. The Covenant needs God’s wisdom and protection in the year ahead.
Pray for peace in our city. We know the troubles Rockford faces, from gun violence and drug abuse on our streets to high rates of domestic violence in our homes. There is a spirit of despair and anger that af-flicts many lives, homes, schools and neighborhoods. Pray for city leaders and police officers. Pray for teach-ers and business leaders. Pray for kids and families. Ask God to quiet the guns and drive out the drugs. Ask God for hope and peace in our community.
Pray for civility in our nation. 2023 is not an election year, but maybe it can be a year of healing in preparation for the next cycle of political drama. America has been divided before and has found ways of re-storing unity and common decency. Pray that God would raise up political and cultural leaders of wisdom and compassion. Pray that Biblical values would be respected in the public square. Pray that people of differing opinions would learn to treat each other with kindness.
Pray for peace in Ukraine and throughout the world. What is happening in eastern Europe may feel far away and disconnected from our lives, but war anywhere diminishes humanity everywhere. Pray for an end to the conflict in Ukraine and for healing for those who have been injured and displaced. Ask God to give His church strength and compassion to bring the hope of Christ into the dark places of this world.
Pray for economic stability and God’s blessing over those in need. The year ahead may be marked by economic hardship, but we believe in God’s common grace that causes the sun to rise each morning, sends rain on the earth and allows people everywhere to thrive. Pray that God will spare His world from hunger and hardship. Ask Him to fill His people with compassion for those in need.