by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” (Ephesians 6:18, MSG)
Happy New Year! As we get into 2018, I want us to focus on the aspects of discipleship we vow to follow when we unite with God’s family, the church. The word, disciple — which also serves as the root word for, discipline — means pupil, or learner, and in Latin points to a follower and student of Jesus. As a disciple, we say that we commit to support the church with five important keys to discipleship: our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. We will look at a different part of that vow each day this week, and I hope it will serve as a sort of resolution for you and your family in the new year and beyond.
As we begin with prayer, we think about the ongoing line of communication that God gives us. Prayer is, therefore, a gift, but not our gift to God…God’s gift to us. When we pray, it centers our hearts, comforts our soul, and connects us to the eternal. We are called to pray for each other, and when we do, it binds us together. Consider our verse for today. Paul teaches to pray for each other, keeping our eyes open for others so no one falls behind or drops out. When you pray for your church, pray for your brothers and sisters in the faith. Pray for those you see every week, and for those you haven’t seen in a while that they will reconnect to the family. Also pray for your leaders so they will have wisdom, discernment, and clarity in following God’s will.
I hope you will resolve yourself to prayer this new year! Pray to God for your spiritual well-being. Pray to God for your brothers and sisters, encouraging them to stay close to you, the church, and God. Pray also for your leaders that they will be faithful to God’s will for the church. Prayer is an amazing gift! Will you resolve to give your prayers to the church in 2018?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of prayer. I lift my life and my church to you as I begin a new year. I want to experience more of your grace and strength this year, and I want the same for my brothers and sisters in the faith, as well as for those charged to provide leadership for your church. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.