Convocation of Prayer
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As I shared with you on Sunday, August 26, 2012, we have recognized an important shift in emphasis in the direction that God is taking this Church. In short, we have heard the call to local mission and we are responding. God has called us to reach those who many others have neglected. A large part of that is in working with the residents of the homeless and rehab shelters in our area. This church has been increasingly embracing that ministry over the last several years. It is not that we are doing something all that new. It has become an increasing part of who and what we are over time. While it has always been a part of the mission and vision that I have presented to this church, it is clear that God has moved it up near the top of our priority list.
On that Sunday morning, August 26, I encouraged you to catch the vision of what God, is birthing in us. Your response was better than I could have hoped, both in the invitation time and after the service. I believe with all of my heart that you "get it". You have welcomed and embraced the regular attendance of those who are working to get their lives back together. You have experienced the joys of progress and the heartbreak of regress. This ministry is straight out of the Matthew 25 imperative. (If you don't know what that is, I challenge you to read Matthew 25 again.) You have also made it clear that those who are ready to move on from the shelters are welcomed here with open arms. You are to be commended. I believe this is the heart of God. It is far more important than building big fancy buildings (though they are nice) or learning how we can make ourselves rich, happy and "self-fulfilled".
There is a problem with this kind of ministry. It is too close to what God desires. Yes you heard me correctly. It is too close. Oh, it pleases God, but it also catches the attention of the enemy. Satan is a ravening, roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. I have no doubt that he is on the attack against us. It is imperative that we engage in this battle in the Name and Power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Update August 10, 2015
I have been in need of updating this page for a while. Since I first wrote this letter to you in 2012, much has changed and that for the best. We have established LightHouse Family Restoration Ministries as an arm of this church. We have been blessed with a property that we call "Pat's House". We are now able to house up to three men and encourage them in intense discipleship. The House opened early this year with a brother in the Lord coming to Pat's House. We believe much of what a church can offer has to do with people being plugged in to the church and learning and growing as they become part of the "family". To find out more, please visit www.lfrm.org
Update September, 2015
The call to prayer is still as current and vital as ever. God is doing great things in this congregation. Please, continue to pursue prayer with all your might. Through prayer we call upon God, asking Him to do everything He wants us to do. Every 2nd Monday of every month, join us in a dedicated time of corporate prayer.
Update February 2016
As we have faithfully gathered together on the second Monday of each month, we have seen the hand of our Heavenly Father moving more and more powerfully in this congregation. God is soveriegn and He can do what He wills. However, He has revealed in scripture that He desires to move in response to our prayers. As we pray, God moves. As we pray mightily, God moves mightily! All of what I told you in the initial posting of this article is still true. God has given us direction and we are doing our best to faithfully follow Him. We are currently ministering to a family in Pat's House and, should the Lord provide us with another house, are ready to expand this minsitry. Our brothers and sisters in various parts of the world are still under tremendous persecution. Persecution of Christians and Jews around the world shows now signs of abating. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Yes, and the signs of the times point more and more clearly to the return of Jesus. According to scriptures, it will become more and more difficult to stand for Jesus in the last days before His return. All of these things and more point to the need for dedicated, consecrated prayer. Please join with us and pray!
A Holy Convocation of Prayer
In the Old Testament, there were various days set aside as Qodesh Miqra' - a Holy Convocation. A convocation is a time when people are called away from what they normally do and to meet together for a special purpose. There were a few Qodesh Miqra' that were ordained for the Israelites. Though we won't go into it here, they were solemn occasions, calling God's people away from their normal routines and grieve their sins, offer sacrifices, pray and honor God. These Qodesh Miqra' were established throughout the year. It was a time where one's full attention was to be turned to God.
Now, it's our turn. It is time to turn our full attention to God in consecrated prayer. I am calling on all of those who consider First Assembly their Church Home to meet here at 7:00 pm on the second Monday of every month for a season of prayer. I actually believe this is God's call, not mine. This will not be a time of music or teaching. It will be a time of crying out to God, for ourselves, for our church, for the Church around the world, and for our nation. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT TIME. There is no way to schedule this so that it does not interfere with anyone. Perhaps it is very important that we are able to be interfered with by God. Please cancel your other plans and meet here with me as we seek the face of God together.