and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.
Today I am setting aside time for two very important things: ministry planning and prayer. I see Paul's prayer in this passage and it informs my efforts for today. I can come up with objectives or strategies or goals. That is not so hard. But in ministry, every one of those centers on the spiritual needs of people. So I must pray.
I will be praying for myself, that God will make my efforts effective and that I will be submissive to what He wants of me. I want to see God bring good things into the lives of people at Mill Creek. Some of them are really hurting (they may not even admit it yet) and will need the counseling ministry to step in and help them. Some will need to be discipled and the mentoring ministry will provide a relationship of new spiritual growth for them. Some will need to serve, and they will need to stop holding back, before God will give them such enormous blessings. I think there are some who will need to learn to live without some things. One of them is me. I believe the economic uncertainty will shake comfortable suburbanites to the core, and perhaps bring real need to us, which is exactly the culture the gospel will thrive in!
I will pray for those who need to grasp important biblical truths in the Discipleship Institute. Some people this coming year will finally understand and appreciate the need for a strong theology with a firm faith and a life that gives of itself exclusively to God for others. And they will find that in a classroom among humble servants and brothers and sisters.
Others will need the fellowship that only comes in a small group setting to help them be the followers of Jesus that He calls them to be. 2009 will be a year of change and the knowledge of every good thing that God has for us in Christ Jesus. I understand that is what God wants to show me. I know that is what He will give to me. I will pray the prayer of Paul and plan in ways that submits to its understanding.