It has been a long year since the fateful Sunday in 2017 that rocked Edgewood to its core. This has been a hard year, but God has been faithful. It has been discouraging, but God in His faithfulness has sent encouragement regularly. Sometimes encouragement has been in a big way and at other times it has been in tiny slivers and light whispers. If we are all honest, there are times when we still hurt, grieve and become angry. We have felt abused, battered, and broken. At times weariness is so heavy we wonder if we can continue. It seems we take one step forward and two backward. However, through all of this we have had the assurance our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is still holding us in the palm of His protective hand, a hand in which we can never be torn from no matter how violent and destructive the raging storm becomes. Most of us have been through something akin to this before, so we probably figured by this time we would have started a mighty come back. However, for whatever reason, the comeback has been slow and painful and at times it appears we are still losing ground. Sometimes it seems we are stagnated. All of these feelings and emotions are natural when going through the grieving process. However, we MUST move on – for to remain where we are will surely mean death to Edgewood Baptist Church.
Daniel 10 describes spiritual warfare. Daniel prayed and God dispensed the answer immediately. The answer did not arrive for three weeks because it was waylaid by demons seeking to discourage and destroy Daniel. However, the breakthrough came when God sent the Archangel Michael to help fight the enemy and the answer was delivered. The angel told Daniel to not be afraid.
EDGEWOOD has been through an attack by the enemy. Edgewood needs a breakthrough, just as Daniel did. Daniel’s breakthrough came not by giving into fear or giving up and saying, ”Oh, me, what are we to do?” but through continuing to fast and pray. A born-again believer’s prayers literally move heaven and earth.
Edgewood has prayed individually and sometimes collectively throughout the past year for God’s intervention in our church’s healing and regrowth. However, it’s time to get down to some very serious focused prayer. EBC needs to bind together and lay our petitions at the feet of Jesus. Matthew 18:19-20 says, “Again, I truly tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven (20) For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” tells us that when two or three agree then it will be done.
So, the challenge is for us to pray each day about the same needs, desires and direction for the future of Edgewood. For this to be effective we must get real with God. He knows our hearts anyway. He knows just how great a sacrifice we are willing to make to do things His way. Chris Schofield said we must come broken before the Lord with clean hearts and without any preconceived ideas with our petitions. In the attached prayer guide are areas for us to focus on, pray about and petition God for each day for the next 31 days. Psalm 127: 1a says, “Unless the Lord build the house, the builders labor in vain.” We need for God to rebuild Edgewood Baptist Church. Unless God reconstructs EBC, we are no more than a group of people meeting. The next 31 days is about totally surrendering to and being open to God’s will. Please do not enter into this lightly, prayer is serious business. When God’s people come together petitioning Him, as a unified group of believers in Jesus Christ – Great things will be done, but also beware as we pray and petition God we will be making the enemy angry. Let the congregation of EBC storm the gates of hell by coming boldly to the throne of grace and making our petitions known for Edgewood Baptist Church. If we do this “the gates of hell shall not prevail.”
Pray for a forgiving heart. Having a clean heart before God is a prerequisite to serious prayer. Let us ask Him diligently to search our hearts for anything that may obstruct or hinder our petitions to him. Often as Christians, we say “Oh I’ve forgiven _______.” However, we may still carry a grudge. Often, we may not even be aware the grudge is buried deep within our hearts until we get real with Christ and He reveals it. As we come to the Lord let us ask Him to reveal to us anything hidden in the deep recesses of our hearts that keep our prayers from being effective, so we may come pure, holy and acceptable to Him.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Search me, God, and know my heart.
Praise the Lord and give thanks for how He has carried EBC throughout the last year, and how He will use EBC in the future to further His kingdom. Psalm 145:4 One generation will proclaim your works to the next and will proclaim your might acts.
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, that the god of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and the revelation in the knowledge of Him.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Pray for protection of EBC from spiritual, physical, mental attacks from the enemy. It is important for EBC to take spiritual attacks from satan seriously. The more we seek the face of Christ and call upon His name, the greater threat EBC becomes to the enemy’s plan. Anytime God is on the move, the enemy is planning defensive strategies for attack.
Psalm 91: 4-7
(4) He shall cover thee [Edgewood] with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (5) – Thou (Edgewood) shalt not be afraid of the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flight by day; (6) Nor the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor of the destruction that cometh at noonday. (7) – A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”
Pray for determination and perseverance to make time to meet with God. Petition and listen. Ask God to give you the strength and fortitude to meet with Him daily, to make this time of prayer a priority. During your time of prayer pour out your heart to Him, then have a time when you just listen to what God has to say. It’s during the listening when God will reveal His heart. Seek God’s face and His will, then watch great things happen.
Pray for Unity. A house divided will not stand, even the slightest division among EBC will be used by the enemy to divide God’s family and defeat His purpose. Christians forget the enemy even uses “good things and good ideas” to try to create chaos. Our God is a God of order and not chaos. It is imperative for EBC to focus on Christ and lift Him up.
If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Pray for God’s will. “Thy will be done” for EBC. Ask the Lord to deliver us from our will and for Him to reveal His vision for EBC and how to go about implementing His plan for rebuilding.
Jeremiah 29:11 – 13
(11) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. (12) – Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. (13) – You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Pray for wisdom. Man’s ways and thoughts are foolishness compared to God’s. As God reveals his plan for EBC and it begins to take shape, our leadership will need godly wisdom as to how to implement God’s desires.
(1) My Son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you (2) So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; (3) Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your heart to understanding, (4) If you seek her (widsom) as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; (5) Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God (6) For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask from God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Pray for love. Love one another. The scriptures tell us loving one another is the second greatest commandment. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it can only be done with God’s help and through God’s eyes.
Matthew 22: 37-39
(37) Jesus replied. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (39) And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Pray for encouragement. Pray for EBC to be encouragers to one another during this process of rebuilding.
(24) – And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, (25) – not giving up meeting together, . . , but encouraging one another . .
(21b) – Then they returned to Lystra, Iconic and Antioch, (22) – strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said
Pray we see the unsaved world through God’s eyes. EBC needs the wisdom and courage as to how to minister to the people moving into our community. International missions are no longer just across the oceans, but God has brought them to us.
I John 4: 20 -21
(20) Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. (21) And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
James 1: 27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world
Pray for commitment. Pray for God to bring in people who are committed to following and serving the Lord. In today’s society commitment is almost a “four” letter word. People seem to have a difficult time letting their “yes” be yes and their “no” be no. It’s like they are always waiting for something better to come along. What could be better than serving our Lord and Savior. He made a 100% commitment when He died on the cross.
Galatians 6:9 -10
(9) Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (10) Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people. especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Pray for God to bring in the unsaved. Pray for those who thirst and hunger after Christ’s righteousness – the lost.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Pray for the skill of listening. Take time to listen to God.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
Pray for opportunities to share the gospel as well as the boldness to do so.
(18) Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Pray for the finances of EBC. The scriptures command us to tithe and give offerings. It’s not an option. When we do not tithe we rob God, as well as, ourselves of bountiful blessings. Christians often forget God owns everything in the universe and has only loaned us everything we have. God even issues a challenge in Malachi 3 for us to put him to the test. If need be, God can easily sell some of His cattle on a thousand hills to help meet our needs.
Malachi 3: 8-10
(8) “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me? “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. (9) You are under a curse – your whole nation because you are robbing me. (10) Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this” says the Lord Almighty and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Proverbs 3: 9-10
(9) Honor the LORD with your possessions and with the first fruits of all your increase; (10) So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vat will overflow with new wine.
Pray for focus on God’s mission for EBC. Allow Him to craft EBC into His unique church with His unique ministries. For EBC to understand the changes in society and how we are to minister unto society, but yet remain faithful to God’s precepts. This may mean getting rid of what does not work, tweaking old ideas, and being open to new ministries while abiding in the truth of the scriptures.
Isaiah 55: 8-9
(8) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord, (9) “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Pray against comparison with other churches and ministries. In our humanness, it’s easy to look at others and crave what they have. At times, our desires border on envy. Just as there are no two snowflakes alike – there are no two churches alike. God crafts each church and ministry with its unique purpose, leaders, and members. We often forget imperfections are not seen at a distance. There are NO perfect churches just as there are no perfect humans. Only Christ Jesus was perfect.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
Pray that everything is done for God’s glory and not self. Pray for God to do something within and through EBC that it’s impossible to give anyone the credit except GOD.
Pray for your ministry through EBC. Ask not what EBC can do for you, but how you can minister through EBC. Pray EBC will always have integrity and its teachings ALWAYS line up with the BIBLE.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works.
Pray for God to help you remember all the ways He has blessed and been FAITHFUL in your personal life and at EBC.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.
Pray for God to give Edgewood a giving heart individually, collectively and the understanding why it is important to have a giving spirit and be a giving church. Christ set the example for us. How can we not give whether it’s time, energy, or possession/money when Christ willingly and freely gave his life so we can have eternal life.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
(6) Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (7) Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver. (8) And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all time, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
I Timothy 6: 18
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
Pray for God to show EBC how to be prepared for His calling.
His march is from generation to generation on those who fear him.
Pray for each member of EBC to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Pray for EBC to see our community and it’s needs through God’s eyes. Thank God for showing EBC how to be Jesus’ hands and feet as we minister unto our community.
Matthew 25: 35-36
(35) For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, (36) I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Even while I am old and gray, God, do not forsake me. while I proclaim your power to another generation, your strength to all who are to come.
Pray for God to send EBC a shepherd (a pastor) after God’s own heart and for EBC to settle for nothing less than God’s best.
Then I will give you (Edgewood) shepherds after my own heart who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
For EBC to be courageous. God does not give us a spirt of fear.
Isaiah 41: 10
So, do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I John 4:18
There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Pray for FAITH. Without faith nothing will happen.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.
(22) “Have faith in God”, Jesus answered. (23) Truly I tell you if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea and does not doubt in their heart, but believes that whatever they say will happen, it will be done for them. (24) There I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (25) And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Pray EBC understands hurtful criticism is a tool of the enemy. There has never been an organization nor a person who has not been criticized. Christ was perfect and society crucified Him.
(14) I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. (15) My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
Do not gloat over me (Edgewood), my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness the Lord will be my light.
Pray EBC waits upon the Lord. The old saying “Haste makes waste” has great truth in it. Any time we rush headlong into something, there are usually many wrong decisions and wasted resources. However, to wait past the optimum time also causes wrong decisions and wasted resources.
Isaiah 40: 28-31
(28) Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom (29) He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (30) Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. (31) They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Pray for EBC members to be committed. Without commitment there are no ministries or church. Christ is the example of perfect commitment. He is committed to love us and give us grace fresh and anew every day. He loves us unconditional. Without any reservations. He loves us every second of every day. Think of how tragic it would be if Christ decided to be committed to us only one hour per week or two hours per month. How many of our prayers would go unheard, unanswered. How much more hurt and chaos would reign in our lives if Christ was not totally sold out and committed to us. Christ set a very high bar. Let’s strive to make the mark.
(5) “Cursed is the one who trusts man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. (7) But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. (8) They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green, it has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Pray for Edgewood to be prepared and stand for Jesus Christ and His precepts forever, without fail.
2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.