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Prayer Blog

January 7 Prayer Blog

Posted by Carol Gilbert on

Introduction to 2 Corinthians
In his introduction to 2 Corinthians, Pastor Dave stressed context. The context of the letter is the state of the church in Corinth, and we must dig deep in both of Paul’s preserved letters to the Corinthians to find clues about was going on. I took Dave’s emphasis on context as a call to do the hard work of investigating context whenever we study the Bible. We should ask, “What does the text mean, in context?” rather than leaping to the more subjective question, “What does this mean to me?” As we start a new sermon series and as small groups jump back into their Bible studies, pray that we all will approach God’s word with the humility, seriousness, and reverence it deserves.
From the distance of nearly 2000 years, it’s easy to romanticize the early church. In reality, the church in Corinth was a mess, plagued by division, unrepentant sexual immorality, judgmentalism, and more. Worse still, when Paul spoke truth to them and corrected them, some responded with hostile opposition, casting aspersions on his credentials as an apostle, his conduct, and his character. Paul had every reason to unleash an angry tirade on them and even wash his hands of them. But he did not. The greeting with which he opens his letter is warm and loving. Holy Spirit, grow in me the qualities that enable me to meet accusations and insults with love.
Dave noted that leadership is tough and shared this memorable quote: “If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader. Go sell ice cream!” We all need to think about that because we all play some sort of leadership role at some point. Are you a husband, a parent, or a boss? Are you a leader at church, in your neighborhood association, the PTA, a sports club? Pray for yourself as a leader. Ask God to give you ears to hear His voice and to give you the strength to obey Him, whether the people you lead respond well or not.
We all have a leadership role, but we all have a role as followers as well. Pray for those who lead you. Pray especially for our leaders at Calvary – pastors, elders, small group leaders, and ministry leaders. Pray that each one will care far more about pleasing God than pleasing people. Ask Him to fill each one with wisdom and sensitivity and also courage to do what’s right.
Calvary Family
I recently received a note from Rose and Bob Palfenier, our retired missionaries living in El Paso, TX, thanking us for Calvary’s Christmas gift and monthly support. They wrote, “Our prayer for you is that you will find a good youth pastor and that God will continue to bless you as you serve Him. We also pray for the completion of your building. Though we probably haven’t met most of you, we love you and look forward to seeing you one day in heaven.” As they faithfully pray for us, let us faithfully lift them up to the Lord.
Please continue to pray for Sawyer, grandson of Cindy and Mike Belleville. Sawyer finished his first round of chemo just before Christmas. Scans reveal that the tumors have not grown and there are no new ones, but the tumors have not shrunk as hoped. He begins a new round of chemo this week with a new drug. He will have a 2-hour infusion daily for 5 days with 2 weeks off in between. Please pray that the new drug will shrink the tumors with minimal side effects and that Sawyer will be protected from germs during this vulnerable time.
Jamie and Keith Gilbert, now licensed foster parents, took their first placement on Friday – twins born prematurely. The first-time mother is 30 years old, homeless, and an admitted drug user. Jamie reports that mom has spent significant time in the NICU and shows love and concern for her children. Please pray for this mother, asking the Lord to use her babies to inspire her to make positive and lasting changes in her life. Within the next week, the twins will be transferred to a great-aunt for longer-term foster care. Pray also for the extended family as they step up to help.
Ann Brucks updated me on her son Mark, who has been undergoing chemo and radiation treatment for recurrent mouth cancer. Mark is nearing the finish line, with one chemo treatment and about a week of radiation visits left. Given the cumulative nature of these treatments, the final stretch can be difficult. Lift up Mark and his family, asking the Lord to carry them.
Kathy Pecaro is thanking God that family friend Brian’s prostate cancer has not spread. He will have surgery to remove the prostate in the next week or so. Please continue to pray for Brian and his family and friends.

In Christ,
Carol Gilbert
Calvary Community Church of Brea