We are involved in a major capital stewardship campaign at St. John. “Abundantly More” – the title of the campaign effort – is based on Ephesians 3:20-21: Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
One vital component of this campaign is the prayer vigil in which I am currently participating. Various people from St. John are taking time to pray for God’s blessing, guidance, favor, and power to be manifest through the campaign. Here are the prayer suggestions we are inviting people to use, and some thoughts about them. Having spent the last 30 minutes praying through this list, I want to share not only the list, but some thoughts. This is my way of praying through these items:
- Thank God for all the blessings He has showered upon you. Be specific. Ask God to guide you in your Luke of these blessings – your time, your talents, and your treasure.
Thank you, dear Father for the blessings you have showered upon me: my family, my wife and children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, sisters, and brothers-in-law. Thank you for the home in which we live. Thank you for the technology you make available to us. Thank you for my photography gear. Thank you for our cars, our abundance of food and drink. Thank you for our friends. Thank you for the privilege of serving as pastor at St. John. Thank you for this time of prayer, for the talents you have given me, and the ways in which you allow me to serve in your kingdom.
- Thank God for the great opportunities that He has presented to our congregation during this capital campaign.
Praise be to you, O God, for the opportunities before us. For the opportunities to visit in the homes of our members, for the opportunities to dream and plan for the future. For the manner in which you have also forced us to think differently about the use of our campus buildings, and now for the opportunity to renovate and remodel some of the older facilities so that they serve us more effectively and efficiently. Thank you for the opportunity to step out in faith, trusting your promises as we and other smake our pledges and entrust ourselves to you for your abundant provision now and into the future.
- Pray for forgiveness and ask for the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
- Offer a prayer of thanks that God loves you, forgives you, and redeems you.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
- Ask God to work in you through the Holy Spirit to deepen your trust and reliance on His guidance.
Almighty God, I will trust in you – though sometimes that is so very difficult. It calls for me to wait for you. It calls for me to hope in your goodness, love, and presence. I trust you, but I don’t always trust you as I should. Help me O God. Send me your Holy Spirit so that I grow deeper in trust in you and willingness to believe and obey your word.
- Ask for the calming power of God’s presence, and for God’s guidance to lead us to His will for St. John Lutheran Church.
Calm my heart, O God, so that I am at peace in my soul – for you are at the helm, and you are working things together for the cause of your kingdom – your rule and reign in the hearts of all people through faith in Jesus Christ. Guide us all, and help us to follow where you lead us, doing your will in this and all things of our church.
- Pray that people will open their homes and hearts to receive a visit to learn about, and share ideas, joys, and hopes for St. John.
What a joy it has been for us to visit in several people’s homes, O God. Open others to this process so that we may all hear first-hand of your calling, our challenges, needs, and opportunities, and be able to make an informed decision about how to participate in this important appeal.
My time is up now, so here are the rest of the prayer suggestions without further comment…
- Pray that those who have been visited and made pledges will choose others to visit and share.
- Pray that God will grant you a heart that trusts Him, a soul that steps out in obedience, and a mind that leaves success or failure to Him.
- Pray that St. John will continue to be a strong presence for
God in theCypress community.
- Pray that others may come to know of God’s love, mercy and grace by our actions.
- Pray for unity among members of our congregation.
- Ask God to strengthen the ministries of our congregation, that we might more effectively proclaim God’s love to our members, our community, and our world.
- Pray that these efforts might contribute to our youth’s development as disciples of Jesus.
- That our renewed campus may be used to strengthen and unify families.
- Acknowledge before God that everything we have belongs to Him. Ask God to move us to generosity as we dedicate our time, talent and resources to His will.
- Pray that God’s name will be exalted in every aspect of the capital campaign. • Thank God that He can do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or think.
- After you pray, ask God to be with the other people committed to praying for the Abundantly More Capital Campaign.
Amen…in the name of the One who can do far more abundantly than all we ask or imagine…to him be glory now and forever! Amen.