Prayer Cards for the Winter Retreat

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

We had a great time of prayer at our church-wide prayer gathering yesterday. It was the first time we implemented the corporate prayer cards that many of our members have filled out in their small groups. At first, it was exciting to see all the prayer cards with various prayer requests. It was also encouraging to see so many of you lifting up prayers for your fellow members.

Today, during our staff meeting, we spent some time praying for the cards as well. But, for some reason as I was looking over the prayer cards, I felt overwhelmed. It was a bit humbling to realize that there are so many needs in our church.

The needs that were shared reminded me of the fact that we have people from all walks of life and things affect them in different ways. This puts a greater burden in my heart for prayer – only God’s power can touch them and transformed them. I have been praying for greater faith.

For the next six days we are going to blanket the retreat in prayers. I can’t wait to see all the ways in which God is going to work and answer the prayer request.

I am hoping that this process is going to not only prepare us for the winter retreat but increase our level of faith. As we pray for people and as we receive prayer, there will be an increase of expectation.

The Unexplainable Witness

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

I first heard the news of the December 9th shooting at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs on the internet when I was in Malaysia. It was pretty shocking to hear that a gunman walked in to the church after one of the services and starting shooting.

But over the years, I have learned that God always turns tragedy into a triumph. We know that this is His track record when we read the Bible and even when we look at the cross.

This is why I was so encourage to read that the parents of the gunman and the parents of the two teenaged girls who were killed “met and hugged and cried.”

On January 3rd the parents met together. The lead pastor of New Life Church, Brady Boyd invited the Murrays (the gunman’s parents) to come to visit the church. The Murrays readily accepted the invitation and was given a tour of where the rampage happened.

First of all, I was a bit surprised that this kind of story was on CNN. But then again, it made sense because it is big news. How in the world can anyone forgive when they have gone through a tragedy? It must be a love of another kind. This is what draws people to find out, especially news reporters.

I am wondering what would happen if the people in the Church really lived out the Gospel message of forgiveness. It will definitely be an unexplainable witness that will cause people to find out more. Maybe our greatest avenue of witness is not the big programs and events but simply by forgiveness and reconciliation. How is our witness?

Pastor Brady Boyd said, “[It was the] highlight of my ministry. It made me evaluate my own life and think, ‘Is there anyone I’m not forgiving?’ I’ve never seen repentance and forgiveness as profound as I did that day.”

The Murrays in a written statement said, “The depth of our sorrow and our grief is greater than we could possibly describe. But with thanks to God, these remarkable families and their pastors and churches, healing and reconciliation have begun.”

You can read the whole CNN story here.