January 2024 Message From Pastor Mike: “First of All, Prayer”
In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he encouraged his friend to engage in what we might consider a New Year’s resolution: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1). As we begin this new year, let us, first of all, join in this commitment to prayer.
The needs of our world can feel overwhelming, as we watch wars rage overseas and political dramas unfold close to home. There are, of course, more personal needs too, like illness and financial worries, failing marriages and people mired in loneliness. We all have needs, and we know people who struggle through the sorrows and worries of life.
So, let’s put prayer in its proper place as we begin 2024, let’s put prayer “first of all.” Here are some needs we should lift up in faith to our gracious and powerful God.
Pray for peace in our world, especially in places torn apart by war, hate and violence. Pray for the people of Ukraine who have endured nearly two years of warfare. May God end the violence and protect them from further suffering. Pray also for Israelis and Palestinians who suffer under the threat of terrorism and war. May God bring lasting peace to the Holy Land.
Pray for civility in our nation as we move through this election year. Ask God to quiet voices of divi-sion, strife and anger. Pray for leaders who respect others and who are committed to governing under God’s authority. May God preserve the freedoms we enjoy and help our nation to do what is good in His sight.
Pray for our sister churches, including Vida Eterna and other Covenant churches in the Rockford
area. Pray that God would protect and strengthen His church, providing needed resources, wise leadership and Spirit-led ministry. May each church keep Jesus at the center of their fellowship, worship and outreach, and may the word of God be preached faithfully.
Pray for the ministry of Broadway. Ask God to hold us together in love and give us opportunities to reach people who long for a relationship with Jesus. Pray for our times of worship, that we may praise God joyfully through the Spirit’s leading. May God bless our church and use us to share Jesus’ love and message with our community.
Pray for God’s blessing over your family. Pray that God would meet your needs and hold you close through whatever this year may bring. Invite the Spirit to be alive in your home and to touch each one who comes near. May God fill your family with love for one another and give you generous hearts to care for your neighbors.
Pray that God would give you strength to serve Him. As you lift up the needs of our church, com-munity and world, ask God to show you how you can be salt and light. May God do mighty work through each of us in 2024 as we commit our hearts to following Jesus, serving the mission of the church, loving our neigh-bors and honoring God in all we do.
Pray for Jesus to return. With Christians down through the generations, we ask God to send Jesus and bring to final completion all He has begun in this world. We believe that one day Jesus will return and lead us into the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1). May that day be soon, even this year. Come, Lord Jesus!