Prayer during the Christmas Season

Good morning!

In this week’s email I wanted to ask you to please pray for the staff and all of the volunteers at Harvest. In this busy month of December we have many people being pulled in many directions, so lets be sure to keep our people lifted up in prayer.

I also wanted to pass along a great blog post by Chuck Lawless that I found really good and worth the read:

The Christmas season is one of the busiest seasons of the year for church leaders. In fact, it can be exhausting. On the other hand, the truths of Christmas are some of the most encouraging truths a Christian leader can hear.  

Let these truths give you strength even if you’re struggling through this season:

1.   God always has a plan. The birth of Jesus was not God’s alternative plan when the rest of His plan didn’t work out. God foretold of Christ’s coming as far back as the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15). You can trust today that God has a plan for your life.

2.   God keeps His Word. God announced Jesus’ victory in the Garden. The Law foreshadowed His coming. The prophets knew He would appear, including knowing the place of His birth. As God always does, He kept His Word in sending Jesus. Today, you can know that God will keep His Word in your life.

3.   God works according to His time schedule. God sent Jesus “in the fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4), at just the right time according to God’s plan. His waiting centuries to send Jesus may seem a long time to us, but God’s calendar is always right. Be patient today if you’re waiting for God to answer your prayers.

4.   God works in unexpected ways. Who would have thought that the Messiah would be born as a baby in a manger in a place called Bethlehem? The method of His coming was so unexpected that even the religious leaders of the day stumbled over Him. Don’t be surprised today if God does something in your life in a way that surprises you!

5.   God sometimes works in quiet ways. Other than a brief moment in the Temple when Jesus was 12, we know little about His life prior to the beginning of His ministry. That’s not to say, though, that God wasn’t working during those intervening years. Sometimes we leaders must trust that God is up to something even when we don’t see what He’s doing during the “quiet years.”

6.   God works through nobodies. The Christmas story is filled with them. Bethlehem rather than Jerusalem. Joseph and Mary – a carpenter and his betrothed one rather than religious or political leaders. Shepherds rather than rabbis that announce His birth. The Christmas story is a reminder that God can use all of us, including you.

7.   God is a present tense, intimate God. Bethlehem’s baby was God in the flesh. God Himself stepped into the story of a world disrupted by sin so that He might bring restoration and healing. Regardless of how chaotic your world might be today, God is there. Trust Him.

8.   God’s plan is not yet over. The first Christmas was history-changing, but it wasn’t the end of the story. We’re still pressing toward that day when the baby-King will be the reigning King. That means that no matter what difficulties you may face in life today, the best is yet to come. You can lead, then, with hope.

Thanks again for partnering with me in prayer!

Onward,

Pastor Wes

Prayer for December Services

Good morning!

 

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! We had a great time with family and had the opportunity to slow down and reflect on all the blessings that God has given us. In this Partners in Prayer, I would like you to prayerfully consider two things as we begin our journey towards Christmas:

  1. Join me in prayer for all our services in December. We are going to do our very best to enlarge people’s understanding and view of Jesus. Pray that this December would be a great time of growth and discovery for the H.C. family and our community.

  2. Would you do your best to be a ‘bringer’ this month? Invite someone to join you for one of our services or one of our four Christmas services. If your friends or neighbors aren’t ready to come to church, encourage them to be a part of our online experiences.

  3. Lastly, be praying with me that many people in our community come face to face with the reality of how much God loves them this Christmas season.

 

Know your prayers are appreciated!

Have a great week, 

Pastor Wes

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey everyone!
 
I hope this message finds you doing well! As Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, I want to challenge you to slow down and make a list of things you are most thankful for. After you make the list, take some time and thank God for them. One by one, go through the list and just express your gratitude for God’s many blessings in your life.
 
I do want you to know that I am grateful for you. I am grateful for your encouragement and willingness to keep Harvest in your prayers. I know that your prayers are working and that God is doing some pretty incredible things in us and through us.
 
Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!
 
Pastor Wes

Our Prayer Life

Good morning friends!

I hope all is well with you and yours.  

In this Partners in Prayer, I just want to share one simple and short quote with you this week. It’s a great quote by Martin Luther, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing...As it is the business of tailors to make clothes, and the business of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray!”

Don’t give up or grow weary in your prayer life. He hears you. He cares. He’s big enough. He is listening. You need Him and He has you covered! Remember you are closer to your breakthrough than you think! 

Have a great week.

Pastor Wes

SIX WAYS TO PRAY FOR THE 2018 ELECTION

Hey friends,

You are getting the Partners in Prayer a day early, so we can carve out time and pray for the elections. To give us some help on how to pray, I have included a great article by my friend and the Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Doug Clay. I hope you find it helpful.

SIX WAYS TO PRAY FOR THE 2018 ELECTION by DOUG CLAY 

Prayer has power, not because of our words, but because God hears and responds. We as the people of the Assemblies of God, have a strong legacy of prayer. This legacy extends even to the civic realm.

In the Weekly Evangel (later Pentecostal Evangel) in 1916, leaders of the young Movement took the front page of the Nov. 11 issue to request two days of fervent prayer for whomever the nation would elect as president.

Throughout my life, I’ve seen time and time again the power of prayer. As we approach the 2018 midterm elections, just think of the powerful impact that 3 million believers in 13,000 churches could have as we collectively ask God for His help.

Join me in praying for these specific areas:

Pray that believers will take their civic duty as U.S. citizens to heart and vote. It is a privileged opportunity to vote. So, rather than passively complaining about outcomes, let’s exercise our right to vote.

Pray that God will grant wisdom to voters who are facing difficult choices on multiple local, state, and federal issues. Significant elections will include all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, one-third of all seats in the Senate, 36 state governors, and three U.S. territory governors. Also, many issues of consequence will be decided on local and state levels. According to James 1:5, a prayer for wisdom is one God will respond to generously.

Pray that the elections will go peacefully and that divisions will be minimized. Pray for the safety of poll workers and voters. Pray that any plans for evil would be halted by God. Pray for the integrity of our democratic process.

Pray that Christ-followers will represent Christ’s character in their conversations and on social media. We live in a polarized society. Passions run high in a political season. Things get said and posted that are not Christ-like. Let everything that you say, or post, be under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Pray that the candidates who are elected will uphold the foundational values of the gospel. Pray that those who profess faith in Christ will live, act, and vote accordingly. Pray that those who are hostile toward Christianity will be moved toward genuine faith in Christ.

Pray for the newly elected leaders to rely on God’s wisdom for the decisions they will make. Robert Cunningham once encouraged readers of the Pentecostal Evangel, “Pray, and vote — then continue to pray for those who are elected. This is the Christian’s patriotic duty.” A half-century later, his advice rings true. Pray, vote, pray again.

Over the next couple of days, the rhetoric is going to be loud and the tensions high. During all the emotional chemistry of this election season, I pray that “the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous would avail much.”

Thanks again for partnering with me in prayer!

Onward,
Pastor Wes