I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone. (1 Timothy 2:1)
As 2016 begins, I am offering a special call to prayer for the coming year. We always need to be people of prayer, but I feel a special sense of urgency for us to bind ourselves in a covenant of prayer this year. As a principled alternative to the way so many of our culture’s politicians, religious leaders, and commentators demonize people with whom they disagree, or whom they declare dangerous, can we be a people known for how we pray rather than for what we pillory? Scripture calls us to pray and give thanks “for everyone” – imagine!
In this spirit, I invite us to make 2016 a year of intentional prayer. As we do, would you be willing to join our staff in following the 2016 “praysbytery” calendar below? We will add this to our regular rotation of praying for all of you over the coming year. After all, the word Presbyterian is an anagram for best in prayer!
This month includes a week of prayer for Christian unity. Let us pray for all churches, that our love and respect for each other would grow in strength and visibility, so that we can more credibly and authentically proclaim the reconciling work of God in Christ Jesus.
We observe Black History month as a presbytery. Let us pray for Godly conviction of the sin of racism and healing from its scars in our church, community, and nation.
Our annual Executive Committee retreat takes place March 6-7. Let us pray for all who lead our presbytery – staff, officers, and elected committee members.
The season of Easter encompasses the month of April. Let us pray for all who teach faith in our risen Savior – in our congregations, colleges, and seminaries – to be empowered to raise up bold disciples and ambassadors for him.
Each May I participate in a week of “Presbytery Leader Formation” for presbytery executives. Let us pray for spiritual vitality for presbytery leaders across our denomination.
General Assembly convenes in Portland June 18-26. Let us pray for all GA delegates who are called to make decisions for our denomination’s life and mission, especially our own twelve delegates.
New Wilmington Missionary Conference meets July 23-30. Let us pray for world mission – especially for mission workers, and for our mission partner churches in Malawi and South Sudan.
The camp season draws to a close for another year. Let us pray for the ministry of Crestfield, that all its staff and event participants may be strengthened in faith, service, and love of our Lord Jesus.
Our September presbytery meeting is when we adopt a budget and elect officers and committee members for the coming year. Let us pray for the future of our life together as a presbytery, that it will be shaped by the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and guidance.
Pastor Appreciation is a month-long theme in October. Let us pray for all who serve as pastors in our congregations, as well as for our retired pastors and our specialized ministers.
National elections include the election of our next President. Let us pray for political leaders locally, regionally, and nationally, that they may serve and govern with humility, wisdom, and courage.
In this month we seek especially to nurture Advent hope for the coming of the Prince of Peace. Let us pray especially for those who are persecuted for their faith, that “peace on earth” will be granted them speedily and fully.
Praying for you and with you,
The Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge, General Minister