"…to the praise of the glory of His grace…" Ephesians 1:6

May 15th – Prayer & Fasting for Summer Ministry

Dear Springs of Grace Family and Friends,

Would you consider joining me on Tuesday, May 15th for a time of prayer and fasting directed towards the Summer Ministry at Springs of Grace and One Hope? We believe that we are powerless to accomplish anything of eternal significance – anything that truly matters – apart from the power of God. We believe that our God is in a category all by Himself (peerless) and He asks us to join with Him by faith. Prayer is one of the main ways we express our powerlessness and our confidence in His power.

We know these truths and believe them, at least theoretically. We know nothing that really matters can happen apart from Jesus’ help (John 15:5); BUT – too often life is comfortable enough for us to forget. If we lived in a country where it was against the law to be a Christian we probably wouldn’t forget. If we were a missionary among an unreached people group we probably wouldn’t forget. If we recognized that the people we love were in immediate peril we wouldn’t forget.

One lady described Springs of Grace recently as being “like a Missions Conference that doesn’t end.” There is an inability to forget about people of different backgrounds or different social levels; children with Down Syndrome and handicaps; people who struggle with addiction or homelessness; children with little or no parental influence; the poor and sick; – there is an inability to forget IF you see them and talk with them regularly.

God is honored when we recognize we need Him. Is it any wonder that often He places obstacles before those He loves that make this need obvious? Sometimes we miss the expression of God’s love. We think that because we have a need that compels us to pray we must be doing something wrong or God must be against us. Often, God is loving us by drawing us near to Himself so He can show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are completely His (2 Chronicles 16:9).

The odds in the ministry at Springs of Grace and the people God has given us to love seem too stacked against us. The needs really are enormous. The time commitment alone necessary to walk people out of darkness into the light is incredible. The need for laborers to make any real difference in tutoring, sex trafficking, foster care, addictions, etc., is so great.

We have learned how to do things that are making small impacts in individual lives. We are learning to love. God is helping us but we want to see real good – real spiritual awakening happen in the lives of the families God has given us to love across this city. There is no magic formula but the Bible makes clear God does want us to need Him. Please skip a meal or all your meals for the day and spend that extra time in prayer. Let’s express together our need for Him. Pray for at least these things.

1. Pray that our interns and staff would know how to and be able to take their love to a higher level. Perhaps you could pray Philippians 1:9 for them. Pray for God to bring new situations that require more love and different love and for the real knowledge and discernment to love best. We want the people of our church family and the people in the neighborhood and the city to see more of the love of Jesus that is such a joy to our hearts. Jesus’ strategy is for them to see it through His bride – the church. That’s us. So let’s ask Him to help us take our love to a higher level.

2. Pray for financial provision. One Hope’s school year budget is currently short of raising the money to finish the school year (September 2011-August 2012) by $36,000. The money needed to run our summer ministry intern program is $30,000 and we are still $11,000 short of what is needed there. That is an unbelievable amount of money that I’d ask you to join me in seeking the Lord to provide. Perhaps you could pray 2 Chronicles 14:11 as a part of your petition. Pray that God would provide without anyone giving out of compulsion but that all the provision would come from willing hearts. Or pray that God would show us what things or staff to cut out if He so desires or how to do what we need to do with less. It is not a bad thing to go through needy times. Paul said, “I know how to brought low (to be without), and I know how to abound (to have all we need plus some). In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty (to have all we need plus some) and hunger (to be without), abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:11-13. One former intern shared with me what an encouragement it had been to his faith over the years to watch God take our ministry through financial struggles and see Him provide amazingly what we asked Him for or give us the ability and the wisdom to do what needed done with less than we thought we needed. Let’s ask the LORD and trust Him again to “strengthen us.”

3. Pray for God to awaken spiritual need in those God gives us to love. Pray that the distresses of life might awaken the longing in their hearts for the Savior, Jesus Christ. Pray for God to use our entire church family in strategic ways this summer to accomplish real awakening. Perhaps you could pray for God to move like He did in Manasseh’s heart in 2 Chronicles 33:12-13 or pray Ephesians 3:14-21. Could this be the summer that God comes down on this city in a way that people see the beauty and glory of Jesus and fall in love with Him? Perhaps or maybe it’s a summer where a few fall massively in love with who Jesus is for them beyond this life. Please join me in praying. We are powerless but our God is peerless. Let’s leverage our influence as children of a peerless heavenly Father who delights in glorifying His Son by helping those who trust Him.

Pastor Joe