Thursday, January 31, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 31

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 31: For China

We are in our last ten days of kicking of 2019 with special united prayer for our congregation. We are hoping God gives us unity of vision, purpose, and spirit, that we can move as one body to give God glory through our lives and our corporate life together.

And our hearts turn to those suffering for this Gospel that God has given to us. We prayed for the Early Rain Covenant Church in China. There is still much pressure from authorities calling for them to suspend their corporate activities and to disband. Some are still in prison, including the pastor and his wife (update here). We know that their future is secure in God's hands, but let us pray for freedom, safety, and health, and for the transformation of their oppressors by God's grace.

Pray for those suffering all around the world for their faith in Jesus Christ, but let us today especially pray for the Gospel to go forth with power in the largest country in Asia.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." - John 14:27 ESV

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." - 1 Peter 1:6–7 ESV

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 30

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 30: For Cambodia

The history of Cambodia is sad. But God does love these people and is calling them to know and to follow Him. Pastor Ronald and his wife are from elsewhere in SE Asia but God is using them to plant a church and to reach out to people in the villages. Pray for God to continue to give them peace and favor.

"Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols." - Acts 17:16 ESV

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness." - Romans 10:1–3 ESV

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 29

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 29: For Thailand

The nation is technically open to a variety of religions but there are also pictures of the royalty and statutes of the main god everywhere. Fealty to the royals and to the common religion are expected. 95% of the nation is Buddhist. There are unreached groups. Pray for Pastor Ed and his family, for their work in the community and to surrounding nations. Pray for his health and for safety as he travels around. Pray for his prison ministry and discipleship programs.

"Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols." - Acts 17:16 ESV

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness." - Romans 10:1–3 ESV

Monday, January 28, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 28

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 28: For Asia

We need to pray for our friends in Asia, particularly in the largest countries where it is hard to follow and believe. Pray for Daniel and his family. Pray for Ty and his family. Pray for anyone you know who is under persecution or in areas where it is difficult to live for the Savior and to follow Him. Pray for also for justice, for human rights and flourishing, and for safety, particularly for women and children.

"Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols." - Acts 17:16 ESV

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness." - Romans 10:1–3 ESV

Sunday, January 27, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 27

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 27: For Indonesia

This week we begin praying for partners around the world, starting with our friends in Indonesia. Please pray for our friends Andrias and Carol, for their health and safety, and for their children. Pray for their network of friends throughout the nation as they build relationships with people who need to learn about grace.

"Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols." - Acts 17:16 ESV

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness." - Romans 10:1–3 ESV

Saturday, January 26, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 26

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 26: Love for the World

The Bible tells us "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15), and "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?" (James 4:4). But we also know that Jesus was sent because God loved the world, not in a way that accepts its sin but in a way that calls us to something higher, better, and purer. We pray to have that kind of love for the world, to love as God loves and hate as God hates. Pray to love the world with a Gospel heart, longing for the salvation of all those around us. Pray for a heart that cares for the people all over the world, that grieves the injustices around the world, and that hopes for a restoration of goodness and peace with God.

"'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.'" - John 3:16–17 ESV

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:6–8 ESV

Friday, January 25, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 25

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 25: For Other Churches

Two Sundays ago Perimeter Church, a large Presbyterian (PCA) church prayed for EACF. I've known some of the leaders and members there for many years and I appreciate what they do and how they support other churches. Let's return the favor and pray for other churches in our community as well, because God is working through many groups in many different ways and we need to support all who are doing Gospel ministry. What other churches you know of in your community, churches that your friends or family or co-workers may attend, pray for spiritual vitality, for growth in discipleship, for healthy community, and for effective outreach.

"Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth." - 3 John 5–8 ESV

"The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss." - 1 Corinthians 16:19–20 ESV

Thursday, January 24, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 24

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 24: For Campus Ministries

Today let's pray for our campus ministry partners. Clement Lin serves with InterVarsity, mostly with their Asian Christian Fellowship chapter at Emory. Lee Lo serves in an administrative capacity with the Georgia units. Brian and Jennifer Chang (whose parents attend ACCC) serve with InterVarsity administration and leadership. Pray for other campus ministries as well, such as RUF, Cru, and C2M. Pray for God to bless them all with effectiveness in sharing the Gospel with sensitivity and courage, to convey God's goodness, holiness, and mercy.

"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." - 2 Timothy 2:22 ESV

"For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
 guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints." - Proverbs 2:6–8 ESV

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 23

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 23: For Ethne Health Clinic

Let's pray for another community partner, Ethne Health Clinic in Clarkston. Drs. Andrew and Esther Kim and their partners provide "comprehensive, high value healthcare through a culturally sensitive, neighbor-centered medical home that advances Jesus’ love and justice in our vibrant community" (ethnehealth.org). Their mission includes their living in the community they serve. While the doctors also work elsewhere to earn income for their families, they build relationships with patients as neighbors and pray to show Christ's love to all. Pray for their work, for financial and material resources, and for deep and broad relationships throughout their community. Pray for EACF as we consider supporting them further.

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." - James 2:14-17 ESV

"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’" - Matthew 25:24-40 ESV

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 22

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 22: For CCM

Today we begin a few days of praying for our partners in the ministry to our Atlanta community. Let's pray for Cross-Cultural Ministries, particularly their Chamblee location and Ms. Virginia Cosgrove, its director. Pray for Virginia's health and for her to be able to manage her health needs and the ministry. Pray for the children, youth, and families who participate in the programs there. Our members are involved with after-school tutoring and Sunday afternoon tutoring for Chinese-speakers. It's quite a community there with many needs. God cares about them all, so let's pray for the health, welfare, and spiritual development of children, youth, and adults.

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." - James 2:14-17 ESV

"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’" - Matthew 25:24-40 ESV

Monday, January 21, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 21

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 21: For Atlanta

Yesterday we prayed for healing in relationships. Today is MLK Day - how appropriate! I do not celebrate the man as much as the movement. MLK's dream was a Gospel dream, where sin no longer characterizes our relationships but where the peace and love from God are what cements our bonds. Pray because God loves Atlanta. Pray for people to know Jesus. Pray for we are a city with many megachurches but we do not love one another as we ought to. Pray for spiritual revival, for the well-being of all, and for governments be transformed to do their part well. Pray for the upcoming Super Bowl and against the illicit activities that accompany such events (e.g., sex trafficking). Pray for the many homeless during these cold nights and days. Pray for the part of town in which you live - do you know what to pray for? Ask God to help you to love your city.

"And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it" - Luke 19:41 ESV

"Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ." - Acts 8:5 ESV

Sunday, January 20, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 20

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 20: For healing in relationships

This is the halfway mark of our 40 days of prayer! Good job! There is always more to bring before the Lord in prayer!

Today we will pray for healing in relationships. No one is perfect and we hurt one another, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. God's grace in Jesus Christ ought to turn our hearts toward one another - we forgive as God has forgiven us. When our goal is unity in the Spirit and love amongst believers, we will do the hard work of pursuing reconciliation and healing in our relationships. Pray for specific cases you know where unity has been compromised and pray for a depth of unity and care for one another that promotes healing amongst us. Pray for God's grace and love to be what characterizes all our relationships.

"Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you." - 2 Corinthians 13:11 ESV

"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." - 1 Peter 4:8 ESV

Saturday, January 19, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 19

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 19: For emotional health

Yesterday, I attended a funeral for one of our member's mother. We experienced sorry. Some of us are not wired to be emotive; some of us are influenced by our cultural heritage to be restrained in our emotions; some of us are out-of-touch with our emotions and low in emotional intelligence. Have you ever been sad? Have you ever felt elated? These are God-given emotions, but they too can get unbalanced. Pray for emotional health. Pray that we would find our ultimate joy in the Lord, and thereafter, every joy would be see in light of the joy of our salvation and every sorrow would be seen in light of His grace covering and sitting with us. It's okay to hurt, emotionally and spiritually, because we live in a broken world. Pray for yourself, for others at church, and for those outside of knowledge of God, that we would all find hope, joy, peace, and sympathy in God's grace to us.

"So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” - John 16:22 ESV

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." - Romans 12:15 ESV

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” - James 5:13–15 ESV

Friday, January 18, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 18

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 18: For physical health

Pray for physical health. It was beautiful how Jesus healed people - He didn't just teach and ignore the physical needs of people, but He addressed those needs. There's no spiritual-physical dichotomy - God created our bodies and cares for them. Pray for those who are sick. Pray for those in our community who are facing chronic health issues. Pray for those who are dealing with severe illnesses. Pray for our children who are facing health ills. And pray for safety during this winter season. Pray that we would be physically strong so we can serve God. And when God allows us to be sick, pray that we would call upon God for help. We count on God even for medical treatments to be effective. We need to acknowledge God's hand upon all these needs.

"When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” - Matthew 14:14 ESV

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” - James 5:13–15 ESV

Thursday, January 17, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 17

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 17: For parents

Parents need our prayer. We have a lot of new/young parents in our church. Pray for them to get rest, have strength, and to grasp joy in the journey of watching a young life develop. Pray for parents to grasp the call to disciple their children, showing their children Jesus and explaining the Gospel to their own children. Pray for grace to rule their relationships and love to power them. Pray for parents to grow in their own relationships with the Father so that they can parent with His love.

"O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
        my eyes are not raised too high;
  I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
  But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
 O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore.” - Psalm 131 ESV

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother' (this is the first commandment with a promise), 'that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.' Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” - Ephesians 6:1-4 ESV

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 16

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 16: For marriages

Marriage is not the goal for life: giving glory to God and enjoying Him are the real goals of life. Marriage is something that God has given to some people for enjoyment and edification and procreation for the sustaining of mankind. We should pray for those who are married, to grow in their grasp of God's love, to share that love within the marriage and within the family, that the children and community would be blessed. Pray for those who are married to grow in grace, in faith, and in faithfulness. Society suffers when marriages are not strong and when they fall apart. Children suffer, but also friends and family members. Pray for God-centered marriages and households. Pray for specific people in EACF.

"Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” - Hebrews 13:4 ESV

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
   "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” - Ephesians 5:22-33 ESV

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 15

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 15: For our college/young adults

It was maybe fifteen years ago that I first heard the term "quarter-life crisis." College students and young adults in their 20's-40's are being launched into a world filled with uncertainty in societal institutions and career paths. Can they trust their professors? Can they trust their company chiefs? Will they find work that is more about fulfilling their idea of self than it is about just earning a paycheck? Who am I anyway? Jesus offers us a different perspective on what life is about, and how to find meaning in that life. Pray for our college students and for our young adults, that they would find identity, purpose, faith, and fulfillment in their relationships with God. Pray for vision and character development, and pray for deep friendships and relationships with older and younger friends who can encourage them along the way.

"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” - 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV

"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” - 2 Timothy 2:22 ESV

Monday, January 14, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 14

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 14: For our youth

We have about 40 youth (7th-12th graders) that we partner with ACCC to raise up. Only one has parents in EACF (that's my, PD's, daughter); all the others are children of ACCC parents. Most of those are in bi-cultural homes and the health of those relationships can run the gamut from nurturing to strained by misunderstanding to absentee parents. The Bible calls us to raise our children through their youth toward maturity, to help them learn to walk with Jesus and to count on His grace. It's hard being a teenager nowadays, with sexual sin and pornography rampant among boys and girls, with peer pressure compounded by social media, with less mentoring and less soft social skills being caught or taught. And the weight of the world's problems are often kicked down the road to the waiting youth. Pray for our youth to know Jesus, to learn that He is present in their lives and full of grace, strength, and love, and that nothing in this world can satisfy their longings like Jesus.

"For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.” - Psalm 71:5, 17 ESV

"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” - 2 Timothy 2:22 ESV

Sunday, January 13, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 13

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 13: For our children

At EACF we have about 32 children in our congregation, from 13YO down to infants. With no child over middle school age, we have a congregation with many young families. Still, the world is very different than it was even 20 years ago - school shootings, terrorism, the internet and social media, etc. How do we pray for our children when they're facing all this and more? Pray for them to know God is real, God is near, and God is loving and gracious. Pray for them to hear the Gospel, grow in knowledge of His Word, and experience grace through their parents (primary) and church community (partnered with parents). Pray for their parents as well, that we would grasp our role in discipling our children and showing them Jesus.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” - Deuteronomy 6:4-7 ESV

"but Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'” - Matthew 19:14 ESV

Saturday, January 12, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 12

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 12: For teachers/counselors

At EACF we share youth ministry and children's ministry with the Chinese church, ACCC. We have volunteers from both churches addressing the needs of our children and our youth. Pray for the counselors and teachers, whether in the Sunday School context or through community and discipleship groups. Pray for love, patience, energy, rest, and grace to show these students the love of Jesus.

"And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.” - 1 Corinthians 12:28 ESV

"Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” - James 3:1 ESV

Friday, January 11, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 11

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 11: For deacons

We have six deacons now: Derek, Joy, Sharon, Leo, Clarisse, and Jessica. Please pray for the servant leaders who help administrate and carry out the ministry of the church, particularly in building up the body and serving the needs of our community. Pray for joy in serving, for strength of Spirit, and for growth in faith and grace. Pray for their protection and pray for wisdom. Pray for the leadership retreat with staff, elders, and deacons this Friday night and Saturday morning.

"Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.” - Acts 6:3 ESV

"Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. [9] They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. [10] And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. [11] Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. [12] Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. [13] For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” - 1 Timothy 3:8–13 ESV

Thursday, January 10, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 10

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 10: For elders

Today let's pray for our elders: Justin, Joey, and Tony. These brothers have hearts to serve, an understanding of the Gospel and of Scripture, and love for others. Pray for them to have joy in the Lord. Pray for deepening in their awareness of grace, growth in their knowledge of God and His Word, and strengthening in their character and capacities. Pray for their marriages and households. Pray for God to bless them in their other work outside of church and for God's protection over them. Pray for unity and wisdom.

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things." - Hebrews 13:17-18 ESV

"Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” - 1 Timothy 5:17 ESV

"So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: [2] shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; [3] not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. [4] And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. [5] Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” - 1 Peter 5:1–5 ESV

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 9

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 9: For pastoral staff

Today we start to pray for different groups of people in our church, beginning with prayer for our pastoral staff. Please pray for me (Pastor David) and for Job, youth director for ACCC/EACF, and for Selma, children's ministry director for ACCC/EACF, and for Claudia, children's ministry assistant. Please pray for God to keep us humble, but strong in the Spirit, growing in our faith and knowledge of Scripture, and for wisdom in leading the ministries. Pray for good teamwork amongst staff and also with lay leaders. Pray for protection from spiritual warfare. Please also pray for our families.

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things." - Hebrews 13:17-18 ESV

"praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel” - Ephesians 6:18-19 ESV

"Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one." - 2 Thessalonians 3:1–3 ESV

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 8

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 8: For a heart to serve others

Today we pray for servants' hearts. In our world servants are considered to be beneath those whom they serve. Jesus Christ was born into a carpenter's household, not a king's palace. His social status was poor, but because of His love, His power, and His message, He transformed the world. Following Jesus in this call to serve the Lord and serve others is not popular, but it is where we encounter Jesus. But beware: it's not about how good we are at serving but rather how we are experiencing and expressing Christ through serving. Pray for a servant's heart, pray to see the needs of others, and pray that God would use you to help all those around you, freely, excellently, selflessly, and joyfully.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." - Galatians 5:13 ESV

"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” - Mark 10:45 ESV

"But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” - Luke 10:40 ESV

Monday, January 7, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 7

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 7: For the mind of Christ

Today we pray for the mind of Christ. What does that mean? It means to be like-minded with Christ. We pray to have enlightened minds that see the world and interpret current events, our relationships, actions of others, ourselves, the value of our material possessions and our work - to see all things as God sees them. We do not want to be swayed by the marketing tactics of the world or the subtle nudges of the desires of our own flesh. Pray for God to help us to grow in developing our minds to be like Christ's mind of wisdom, truth, and godliness.

“'For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?' [Isaiah 40:13] But we have the mind of Christ." - 1 Corinthians 2:16 ESV

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, [2] complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. [3] Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. [4] Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. [5] Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, [6] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, [7] but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. [8] And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." - Philippians 2:1-8 ESV (italics added)

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." - Romans 8:5-6 ESV

Sunday, January 6, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 6

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 6: For humility

Today is Sunday and it's a great day to pray for humility. C.S. Lewis said, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less." There are two primary ways in which we become humbled: we face our faults/sins or we encounter someone greater than us. When we worship God, these two go hand-in-hand. We encounter God in His glory and holiness, and we also are exposed in our sin in God's holy presence. But in this encounter we are also humbled to know God's gracious love toward us. And here we find ourselves thinking of ourselves less...because we love God more than we love ourselves. We love the concerns of God more than we love our own wants. This is a humbling thought: we ought to love God more than we love ourselves.

"And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." - Philippians 2:8 ESV

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you." - 1 Peter 5:6 ESV

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience" - Colossians 3:12 ESV


Saturday, January 5, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 5

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 5: For spiritual maturity

Today we pray for God to make us mature, and to give us a deep desire to grow up in our faith and godliness. We need to pray for hearts that are settled in His love for us and our love for Him. We need to pray for devotion and sanctification. Pray that we would no longer be childish or act like spiritual teenagers, but that we would become mature in our understanding of the new life God has given to us through Jesus. How would your life look different? Who else do you know who needs to grow up?

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." - 2 Peter 1:3-11 ESV

Friday, January 4, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 4

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 4: For love for non-Christians

Today we pray for everyone around us. Christians are sometimes seen as separatists and judgmental. Let's pray for God to give us His heart for all those around us, that we might see the spiritual needs of our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and others. Pray that we would grasp how the same grace that God has shown us is the same grace we relay to those around us, that Christ would be made known.

"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8 ESV

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." - 1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV

Thursday, January 3, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 3

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 3: For love for our church family

Today we thank God and praise God for giving us a church family. Pray for God to give us love for one another in our church family, that we would be willing to serve one another and show grace to one another, even when it is hard to do so. Pray for us to be real with one another, and to value transparency that we can really know one another and really love one another by God's grace.

"Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." - Romans 12:10 ESV

"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." - 1 Peter 4:8-10 ESV

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

40 Days of Prayer: Day 2

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 2: To be a people of prayer

Today we ask God to help us learn to rely upon Him through prayer, to become a people who pray throughout the day, having constant communication with God through His Spirit. We walk by faith, not by sight. May we walk in the Spirit.

"If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit." - Galatians 5:25 ESV

"In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints" - Ephesians 6:16-18 ESV

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

40 Days of Prayer 2019: Day 1

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2019
Day 1: To love God, put Him 1st

Today we pray for God to help us to love Him, to put Him first in our lives, and see everything else in our lives through our love for Him first. Pray a hard prayer: ask God to show you where you've compromised and let other interests compete for your love for God. Ask God to help you see, confess, repent, and love. May God bless us individually and as a church.

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary.  But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. - Revelation 2:2-4

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