The Prayer Focus is a weekly call to prayer. Read and pray through requests affecting our congregations, leaders, missions efforts, and the global Church.

December 12, 2018

“Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask. I will not put the Lord to the test.” Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:11-14

Regional Conference Development

Praise God for the good meeting of the Great Lakes Conference Board of Directors earlier this month. Bishop Lynn Thrush asks prayer for the “Model for Discernment and Approval for New Initiatives” they are developing. Pray that the model will encourage those who come forward with dreams and visions that accommodate the conference vision and will provide appropriate accountability and timely authorization.

Women in Ministry

Pray for Pauline Peifer and the leadership team of Awaken as they continue to encourage women in ministry. Pray for those churches considering the possibility of bringing women on staff. Ask that women sensing the call of God to ministry and leadership will seek God humbly and obediently, trusting him to open doors.

Compassion

Bishop Bryan Hoke asks prayer for a pastor in the Atlantic Conference who is dealing with the effects of cancer. Pray for complete healing and that God will give him strength to continue serving his church as he depends on the Holy Spirit. Pray for the congregation that they will support him and his wife in every way they can and will learn to trust God in new ways as they follow the example of their pastor during this stressful time.

Global Church

Pray for Weston and Jess Martin as they help their needy neighborhood in Minneapolis understand what Christmas is about. Ask that their incarnational ministry demonstrate that of Jesus who “became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” Pray for relationships that are deep and close enough for others to catch glimpses of God’s glory and love. Praise God for those who share their lives in baking bread together, caring for the chickens, lending a hand with repairs, introducing a new baby, or cranking ice cream. Pray that the Martins will be attentive to God’s Spirit.

World Missions

Praise God with Tony and Veronica Beers in Zambia that they were able to get good medical care in Lusaka after Vee’s seizure, including an MRI. She is doing well on new medicines. Pray for the family’s many adjustments to the culture and circumstances. Praise God that the new chicken raising project is up and running with 48 Australorp chickens donated by BIC church members, and they are starting to lay eggs. Pray that this will help to fund ministry projects for the church and help local farmers as well.

Pray for P. & H.R. as they continue to make good contacts and find ways to serve the international community in Lexington. Ask for success in their efforts to promote homestays and develop better ways to prepare host families for the challenges of hosting international students. Pray for the Plowshares church plant emphasis on reaching internationals. Ask that seeds planted during the Christmas season will result in increased interest in and openness to learning about Jesus.

Praise God for his direction to Estol and Kristen Bathurst of Zion BIC, Abilene, Kans., as they work to finish the Missionary Development Program with the goal of moving to Africa. They ask prayer that they will walk daily with the Lord in order to make wise decisions that glorify God. Pray for homeschooling progress for their children. Pray for Estol’s upcoming surgery on his sinuses and to have his tonsils removed.

Pray for Glenn and Glenda Moyer as they continue to coach teachers and counsel students at El Camino Academy in Bogotá, Colombia. Pray that teachers will consistently practice the training they have received. Pray that students will learn the benefits of following directions. Pray for wisdom and direction for Zach Dalton in ways to serve at both ECA and the Tierra Linda BIC Church without being stretched too thin. Pray for health and rest in the busy times.

Pray for Gabrielle Sanfilippo as she marries Daniel McKee, whom she met at the church she has attended while serving at Bethesda Ministries. He is South African English and is a mechanical engineer who grew up as a pastor’s son. The wedding will be this Friday in South Africa with both families attending, and the honeymoon will be in North America to visit friends and family unable to attend the wedding. Then Gabby will return to her teaching.

Pray for D. &. M.G. in a sensitive location as they work to create a child protection curriculum in Arabic/English and present aspects of this teaching to prevent sexual abuse. Ask that people will receive God’s healing as they share their stories. Pray for Z. who has reached rock bottom and is searching for answers. Pray that D. will have wisdom in sharing, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Christ to him. Pray for a job for this middle-aged man with four children who hasn’t had a job in two years. Pray for healing for the G.’s son Josiah who broke his arm again in the same place.

Praise God with Larry and Cindy Williams, BIC U.S. associates with Wycliffe, for the good contacts they are having in various places in Latin America and Africa with people desiring Bible translation. Thank God for the cooperation of the churches where they have visited. Pray that the various translation agencies will continue to work together and that God will guide the Williams in helping to set up translation projects wherever they are needed and desired.

Praise God with Ralph and Bonnie Yoder and Ken and Anita Abell that all five graduates of the fall Overcomers Program in New Mexico experienced breakthroughs. Pray for strength as they move forward with God, and three go on for further education. Praise God that some grants for the program are coming through. Pray for Joan as she pursues many avenues of financial assistance. Praise God that Broken Walls Fellowship, started almost two years ago to retain relationships with graduates, is going well. Pray that the current great average attendance of 40 will continue to grow.

Jona and Jen Códova, BIC U.S. Wycliffe associates in Mexico ask prayer for three Zapotecs, Luiz, José and Jesús who are attending a workshop on the book of Nehemiah and how best to translate parts of it. Pray for discernment for Jesús and the team as they consider whether he would be a good fit to work with them in a more formal way in the future.

To submit prayer requests for upcoming editions of the Prayer Focus, please email Grace Holland.