Praying With Paul

January 5, 2003

PRAYING WITH PAUL by Ray Pritchard Our 2003 church theme is “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” If you wonder how we choose the themes each year, the answer is, “It varies.” Sometimes the pastors spend a long time discussing it and sometimes the answer comes very quickly. This year the theme came very early, during the summer, while I was thinking about where the Lord was leading our congregation. I am profoundly grateful for the wonderful response to the “Bible Bus” challenge this year. Hundreds of people have read far more of the Bible than they would have otherwise. This is a blessing that will pay rich dividends in the future. But where do we go from here? The answer came quite suddenly, almost as if the Lord said to me, “I want my people to learn to pray.” And just like that, the answer was clear: In 2003 we will focus on prayer. A year in the Word followed by a year focused on prayer. This is exactly where we need to be. To help us in that area, the first sermon series of the New Year is called “Praying With Paul.” The epistles of Paul contain excellent examples of how Paul prayed for his people. These brief prayers show us how to pray effectively for others. Two of the sermons deal with prayers that Paul asked others to pray for him. This series will challenge each us to grow deeper in the Lord as we “kick it up a notch” in the area of prayer. January 5 Helping Through Prayer II Corinthians 1:8-11 January 12 Open My Eyes, Lord Ephesians 1:15-23 January 26 Beyond Your Dreams Ephesians 3:14-21 February 2 Don’t Settle for Second-Best Philippians 1:9-11 February 9 How to Pray with Power Colossians 1:9-14 February 16 Wanted: Bold Believers! Colossians 4:2-4 March 2 Lucky to Love I Thessalonians 3:11-13 March 16 Hanging Tough for Jesus II Thessalonians 1:11-12 March 23 Strength for the Journey II Thessalonians 2:13-17 March 30 When in Trouble, Pray! II Thessalonians 3:1-5 April 6 Harambee! Romans 15:5-7 April 13 Emergency Prayers Romans 15:30-33 Our theme goes beyond the Sunday sermons. As the year unfolds, we are going to offer a rainbow of ideas to help you grow in your prayer life. Find an idea you like and run with it. This is a theme that could revolutionize our congregation. Lord Jesus, teach us to pray in 2003. Amen.

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