First, let me say thank you for the compliments so many of you shared with me concerning the letter Rachel wrote the congregation.
If you weren’t here on Sunday, one of Rachel’s Bible assignments while she was in Italy this semester was to write several letters to different people who have influenced her, including her home congregation. These letters had to be written in the style of a first century letter (like the letters in the New Testament).
So, in keeping with the assignment, I asked the elders here to read her letter to the church...like say the letter to the church in Rome or Corinth would have been.
I have a copy of the letter in my office. If you would like to read it, just ask!
Now for the matters I wish to write about...
Intercessory prayer in a nut shell is praying for other people. We can pray for our friends, our neighbors, our family, our coworkers...even for our enemies.
Perhaps the most prominent example of intercessory prayer for enemies is given by Jesus when He prayed for God to forgive those who were crucifying Him (Luke 23:34). In Acts 7:60 we are told that Stephen prayed the same prayer for those stoning him.
We are even told to confess our sins and pray for each other (James 5:16). In this verse, James also tells us about the incredible, awesome power that prayer has.
I bring this up to remind you of the prayer request cards that are now in the pews. I want to encourage you to use these to request prayers for whatever is on your heart: it can be a burden you’d like us to help you bear or it can be a joy you’d like to share.
Each Sunday morning, the “closing prayer” of our worship assembly will be led by one of our Shepherds. During this “Shepherd’s prayer” your request will be mentioned (unless you ask that it be kept confidential, in which case the elders will share it with each other).
So, if you would like for us to pray for you or a friend or family member or a situation you or someone you know is facing, you now have a simple and easy way to make that request known.
And if you wish to make a prayer request on Sunday night or Wednesday night, just give your completed card to me or one of the elders and we will see to it that your request is fulfilled.
The bottom line is that we are a body. When one part of a body hurts, the whole body hurts. When one part of a body feels joy, the whole body shares that joy. When one part of the body has a need, the whole body helps to meet that need (see 1 Corinthians 12:26).