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    603 S. Valencia Ave. Brea, CA 92823

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Prayer Blog

September 10 Prayer Blog

Posted by Carol Gilbert on

Colossians 1:3-14
Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer

Paul begins many of his letters, including Colossians, by thanking God for the body of believers to whom he is writing. Like any church, the Colossian church must have been a mixed bag of people with different levels of spiritual maturity, different personalities, various strengths and weaknesses. Paul thanks God for them all. How often do I thank God for the whole body at Calvary – those I don’t know, not just those I know; those who rub me the wrong way, not just those I like; those who have different viewpoints, not just those who agree with me? Do I spend more time judging my fellow believers than thanking God for them? Acknowledge before the Lord that every part of the body is essential. Purpose to thank God for each part, each person.

Pastor Dave challenged us to take an honest look at what we pray for. Dave admitted that, too often, he asks God to give him “things,” to make situations “go smoothly,” to take away hard circumstances, to make life comfortable and easy. Do I ask God to do my will instead of seeking His? Ask the Holy Spirit for healthy conviction concerning the priorities your prayer requests reveal. Ask Him to teach you (and all of us) how to pray in a deeper way, in a manner worthy of the Lord, like Paul.

Susan Eckels is undergoing surgery for breast cancer today. As we pray for her, we can practice adjusting our prayer requests to fit Paul’s model in this Colossians passage. Our first impulse is to pray for fully successful surgery, an easy and quick recovery, and follow-up radiation therapy in October that is effective and without any negative side effects. Those things are certainly our desire for Susan! But let’s also pray that Susan will be filled with spiritual wisdom during this trial, that she will understand that God has His purposes in hard circumstances, even if He doesn’t share them with her now. Pray that Susan will bear fruit, letting her faith in Christ shine to those around her, because she is a tree planted by streams of water. Pray that Susan will be strengthened with power that comes only from God so that she can patiently endure, with joy. Pray that Susan will be able to offer heartfelt thanks to the Father every day for what He has done and is doing.

Calvary Family

As we participated in communion on Sunday, Pastor Shannon led us in meditating on the goodness of God based on Titus 3:3-7. If you need evidence of the pure goodness of God, consider this: He saved us, even though we are “not worth saving,” as Shannon expressed it. I am like a lone sock, missing its mate and full of holes, or like a stub of a pencil, pockmarked by a dog’s teeth and with no eraser left. Instead of throwing me in the trash, He redeemed me; He counts me as precious and equips me for good works. Spend some time praising God for His goodness.

Please pray for our sister church in Pszczyna, Poland, as they process and absorb the sudden loss of one of their elders, Krzysztof. He died a week ago, just three weeks after a cancer diagnosis. Pastor Tomasz writes, “Please pray for us. We can see that our church has suffered greatly from the loss of such a valuable man, the elder of our church, who was with us almost from the beginning. It's difficult for me too. Another difficult lesson at God's school.”

Our Equippers – small group leaders and support leaders – are meeting tonight to finalize small group rosters and prepare for the new year. Ask the Lord to give them the wisdom and energy they will need to lead well.

Lift up the Men’s BBQ this Friday evening. Pray that, by means of godly fellowship, every man who attends will both encourage and be encouraged, challenge and be challenged.

Finally, here are two more individuals in the midst of a trial. As you pray for physical healing, remember to ask God to strengthen the “inner man” as well, as Paul models for us.
-- Tom Ungeheier, a former long-time member of Calvary, is hospitalized after falling and hitting his head. A scan revealed a mass in the lower right lobe of his brain.
-- Genie Ogilvie, the mother of Carrie Schultz, is undergoing open-heart surgery on Thursday for a valve repair or replacement and a single bypass.

In Christ,
Carol Gilbert
Calvary Community Church of Brea