Since 2018, we’ve set aside 21 days in November for prayer and praise. Each year, we host special gatherings, offer daily encouragement, and provide resources for you to pray. This year, we plan to connect online and in person to pray for God to move among us. Here’s how you can join in:
Since we are walking through a season of transition, each week-day on our social media platforms, a church member will pray through a Psalm of Ascent (Psalms120-134). Scholars believe that these psalms were sung by worshippers as they ascended the road to Jerusalem to attend the three pilgrim festivals. We’ll pray them as we journey together, following God into the future.
Secondly, you are encouraged to spend time in the morning, afternoon, and evening in prayer. You’ll find below prayer prompts and Scriptures designed to focus our attention during your daily prayers:
Please join us for a meaningful and memorable weekend of worship. On Friday, 4/2 at 6:30 pm, we’ll reflect on the cross of Jesus Christ through communion, songs, and Scripture. Childcare will be provided for ages four and younger. Then, on Sunday 4/4, join us for a celebration designed for the whole family! At 7:00 am, you’re invited to join the First Baptist Church of Safety Harbor and other believers at the Safety Harbor Marina for a sunrise worship service. Pastor Keith Bonner and David Hicks from First Baptist will be leading the sunrise gathering. Then, at 9:00 am, we will begin our morning worship. Following our worship, we will offer a continental breakfast beginning at 10:30 am. Childcare is included along with a separate, worship experience designed for elementary students. Make your plans to attend this memorable Sunday and please RSVP at bit.ly/bcfeaster2021.
12 Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. 13 Lord — how long? Turn and have compassion on your servants. 14 Satisfy us in the morning with your faithful love
Psalms 90:12-14 (CSB)
This section of Psalms 90, penned by Moses, sandwiches an authentic question, “Lord, how long?” between two requests for God to “teach” us patience and “turn” His love towards us. Moses asks the Lord, in verse 12, for heavenly sobriety and wisdom. The wisdom Moses longs for and God provides will help us to “pay careful attention, then, to how we walk — not as unwise people but as wise — making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). Then, in verse 14, Moses asks for a real delight that comes from experiencing God’s loyal love. From leading Israel out of Egypt, Moses knows all that could tempt appetites, so he pleads with God for a daily dose of contentment. Yet, as powerful as these requests are, I want us to focus on the honest question of verse 14: “Lord — how long?”
Since March 15, 2020, we’ve wrestled as individuals, families, and a church through a generationally unique and challenging experience. Even though many of us have not suffered significantly, the pandemic continues to challenge our core desires. We crave community, yet wrestle with social distancing. We crave consistency, yet experience inconveniences where we live, work, and play. Ultimately, the sustained uncertainty in almost every aspect of our lives causes us to say, “Lord — how long?” This dilemma causes us, like Moses, to beg God for his attention and compassion, as if we’ve been without it.
Truly the question of Moses in verse 13 comes out of the challenge of waiting. No one likes waiting, even the most patient among us. However, what if our waiting could be redeemed? Instead of viewing waiting as passive, what if our waiting became active? King David concludes Psalm 33 with an invitation to wait actively. He says “We wait for the Lord; he is our help and shield. For our hearts rejoice in him because we trust in his holy name. May your faithful love rest on us, Lord, for we put our hope in you” (Psalms 33:20-22). Waiting, according to David, occurs as we actively trust in the Lord and decisively put our hope in Him. I believe prayer demonstrates the most obvious and yet most glorious way we can actively wait.
At our Family Meeting on February 7, 2021, I mentioned that a unique circumstance gave us reason to pause our conversation with the First Baptist Church of Safety Harbor. Based on what I knew, I truly believed that we would receive more clarity by the middle of February regarding our next steps. Unfortunately, we will need to continue waiting for a definitive answer in this particular circumstance. So, in moments of uncertainty and waiting, God invites us to come together in prayer.
Here’s what we have in store as we wait on the Lord this March:
Prayer Gatherings at 7 pm on 3/10 & 3/24 at the First Baptist Church of Safety Harbor
A helpful resource by Michael Reeves called “Enjoy Your Prayer Life”
Special time devoted for prayer in our Sunday gatherings
Weekly prayer prompts and devotional thoughts through social media
So, will you join me for a brief but important season of prayer this March?
If you are a Christian, you have been called to pray (Colossians 4:2, Ephesians 6:18). Over and over again, we read in the Bible about Jesus praying to his Father in Heaven. Just as he communicated with his Father through prayer, so can you. And as prayer becomes a larger part of your life:
You will find yourself less focused on yourself, and more focused on Jesus.
Your temptations and fear will give way to dependence on God and confidence in him.
You will begin to discern God’s will and calling in your life.
It will be your weapon when you are drawn into spiritual battles.
Our power to affect change in this world begins with prayer. Beyond yourself, when you pray, you build and strengthen bonds with other believers. Therefore, from 11/1– 11/21, we will come together for 21 days of prayer and praise. I hope God will meet you in a meaningful and memorable way. As a result, we pray that our church and where we live, work, and play will be transformed.
After your reading, take the time to answer three, simple questions about the text. You’ll find these questions in the PDF and online as well.
Share what you’ve learned and how God has spoken to you with someone in person or online.
Feel free to use any other reading or listening preference to dive deeper into Matthew. Just make sure to share with others how God speaks to you through His Word during your reading. We are better together, especially in community around the Word of God.
As we enter into our third year as a church, our vision to see the gospel reach every street where we live, work, and play still compels us. This vision calls us to delight in, display, and declare the good news of Jesus Christ where we live, work, and play.
In Titus 3:4-5, Paul calls us to remember not only our past “foolish,” and “disobedient” ways but also how God “saved us…according to his own mercy.” Paul then urges us to “insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are “excellent and profitable” for people inside and outside the church. Paul longs for a church gripped, filled, and transformed by Jesus Christ, so that they can participate in the transformation of others.
In this document, you’ll see an overview of our plan to to produce a people devoted to these “good works.” We want to be a church with full hearts and open hands equipped to change lives. Even though our Ministry Plan is far from comprehensive, we hope that as you look though these materials, you’ll possess a greater understanding of the steps you can take to be “profitable” this year.
Here’s what you can expect:
Our objectives for 2020 and their expected returns
The financial plan for 2020 An overview and summary of the 2020 financial plan
As you interact with this resource, please make time for prayer to consider God’s calling on you for 2020. Your obedience may lead to eternal change in the lives of those where you live, work, and play. Please call me at 813.551.2735 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns about your role in fulfilling our 2020 Ministry Plan.