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Dearly Beloved,

What are you asking for? What are your big wishes for this year?

People sometimes ponder what they would request if they were given the opportunity to ask for anything. The fact is, we may ask God for anything, anything, that is, in Jesus’ name, anything according to God’s will.

Therefore, we want to ask God for the things, the big things, He wants for us and our world. With that in mind, our church leaders have identified five prayer priorities for 2024. In the next five weeks, we will share them in the “Dearly Beloved.”

Please ask God to work powerfully this year. There are various ways you may do this: you could focus on one priority each day, Monday to Friday; you could pray all five every day; or maybe once a week you take an extended block of time to pray for these five needs. We are asking that you set aside some time that works for you and earnestly pray for God to do great things in these five areas this year.

The first prayer priority is, “for our relationships with Jesus to be meaningful and growing.” Our vision at CPC is Jesus. While we are astonished by Jesus, by who He is and what He has done, we want more than to see Jesus from a far distance. We want to know Jesus in deep and meaningful ways. We want the Holy Spirit to transform us to become more like Jesus.

Each of our prayer priorities has three subpoints: The first subpoint for this priority is, “Delight in Bible reading and prayer.” Our relationship with Jesus becomes meaningful and growing as we read God’s word and as we engage in prayer. Psalm 1:1-3, “Blessed is the one . . . whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” Pray that all in the church home will delight in Bible reading and prayer.

The second and third subpoints are connected. They are for “DNA relationships to spiritually mature with” “New steps of obedience and risk.” One of the things we are called to is DNA relationships. DNA stands for discipling, nurturing, and accountability. Pray for these DNA relationships and that we will spiritually mature in them.

How will this happen? This will happen as we take new steps of obedience and risk. We value risk. We take risks because we trust the Lord. I don’t know what God will ask of us this year, but I do know that whatever God asks, we will only spiritually mature as we say “yes,” as we obey. Obedience involves risk-taking.

As we look at the year ahead, our sincere hope is for our relationships with Jesus to be meaningful and growing. Please make this a prayer priority. God works when His people pray. Thank you for praying. I pray God will bless you as you pray for the prayer priorities of the Church.

Pastor Lorne Willms