2004 Monthly Letter
Partner In Ministry:
know God answers prayer in mysterious ways, BUT how about
the mysterious ways He leads us to pray?
each UpBuilding Weekend I gather with the leaders (elders,
deacons, trustees, and Sunday School teachers) early Sunday
morning for a time of creative prayer.
One portion of time is devoted to pray for all the church
membership, using the church's pictorial directory.
In a small-sized membership Methodist Church in Oregon, Ohio,
I divided the 18 leaders into 6 groups of 3. One group included
the pastor and an elder who had married a woman whose husband
had left her 6 years ago.
The church directory we were using was antiquated, printed
9 years ago and contained a picture of this woman, her former
husband, and 5 children.
I randomly assigned 2 pages in the 12 page directory
to each group, letting each decide how it desires to pray
for every family.
Without looking at the particular people on the pages
assigned to them, those in the pastor's group chose to
pray out loud for the 18 people per page (3 across and
6 down) in alternating fashion.They
numbered off "1-2-3" and begin to pray in turn for the families.
Well, maybe you have intuitively guessed what was
about to happen!
a few rounds, the elder's turn came to pray for the next family.
It was his wife's family including her former husband!!!
the situation and knowing the pain and turmoil caused by the
marriage dissolution, the pastor quickly volunteered to be
the one to pray for the family and especially for the former
"No, I'll pray." the elder replied. "God is speaking
to me. I don't believe it's by coincidence that this picture
came up next in the rotation. God knows how I feel about this
man in my heart. His Word says 'to forgive and to pray for
our enemies'. I take this as His prompting me to obey Him."
He took a deep breath and in faith spoke a prayer of confession
our time of feedback, the elder revealed this to us all. We
realized that God had visited us in a marvelous and mysterious
It's no mystery to me why God continues to upbuild His people
through UpBuilding Ministries. It's because of your prayers
and financial support. Thank you. Mysteriously yours!