Sunday, 7 February 2016

Pray for the Eastern Baptist Association

EBA Regional Minister, Nick Lear, recently sent us a letter asking for our prayers for the association at the beginning of the new year.

God is a generous God and he gives his churches all that is needed to fulfil his mission. But we have finite resources of time, energy and money so from time to time it is important for us to seek God’s priorities for us and ensure that we are using what he has given us in the ways that he wants us to. So the EBA Council is currently exploring what God’s strategic priorities might be for us as an Association (of which your church is a part). As a significant part of that process we would be overjoyed if you and your church would join us in that process of prayerful discernment.    It would be wonderful if we could all use the same prayer at different times over the next month so that we can be persistent in our praying to our gracious and wonderful Saviour. We suggest the following prayer could be used, but of course please pray your own prayers in addition:

Lord Jesus, our Savour.
We have recently celebrated your birth in this world and  rejoiced that you are Immanuel, God with us. You have shown us our Heavenly Father’s love – supremely in your death on the cross. Thank you that after your resurrection you gave your people, the Church, the task of being Immanuel among the people who do not yet know you. You call us to go into your world, to make disciples, to baptise them and teach about you. Thank you that by your Spirit you are with us to help us in this task.

Thank you too that our local church is part of a wider family of churches, particularly Baptist churches, and as part of that family we are seeking your guidance today.

Inspire us in our thinking. Encourage us our imagining. Help us to see with the eyes of faith what you would have us do and broaden our vision beyond our human limitations. Speak to us and through us so that we might discern what you are saying to us as a church and to our wider family in the Eastern Baptist Association.

Speak, Lord, your servants are listening.

Just to clarify what we mean by strategic priorities, the EBA’s vision is to grow healthy churches that are wholesome communities engaged in relevant mission. We are seeking to discern together what God wants us to do together to continue Jesus’ mission commission (Matthew 28:19)? How does God want to use the EBA to support the making of and growth of disciples in and through local churches? How can the EBA help you and your church to fulfil this commission? You might have specific ideas about what we should be doing (for example, providing training for local church members in how to share their faith with others or regional prayer events) or they could be more general (for example, sharing inspiring stories of what God is doing across the EBA).

If you have any word from the Lord or any feedback for the EBA Council, please let Mark know as he has some postcards to send comments back to the EBA.