DECEMBER 3, 2017
Dr. Gary Nelson’s message last Sunday titled “Shattering the Silence” has remarkably rekindled the wonder of Christmas. For many Christians, Christmas season has become a stressful time rather than a time of celebratory worship. Many are caught up with the hustle and bustle of gifting and feasting that they lose sight of the reason for the season. This Christmas, I resolve to focus on the ‘wonder’; God’s gift of love in a wondrous babe, born in a manger on a silent night, while shepherd keep watch over their sheep and angles in heaven sing. Meditating on John 1:1 and John 1:14 during advent would magnify this miraculous event. As Dr. Nelson puts it and to paraphrase, God shattered the silence with the cry of a baby. The long awaited one whom the prophets of old foretold. In God’s perfect time, the Light pierced through the darkness and changed the history of humanity forever. The majestic King became a servant King. The omnipotent became meek. The eternal became finite. The wonder of it all.
John 1:1 (NASB)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 (NASB)
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Please be in prayer for the following:
- Sympathy – For members of our church family who have loss a loved one, we continue to commit them to the Lord in prayer. We pray Shalom, the peace of God to fill their minds and hearts. Pray that as they grieve and lament, they would turn their eyes toward God and give over to Him their heart wrenching pain. Pray the Holy Spirit would occupy the void in their hearts. Pray they would rest on the grace of God as He supplies strength and courage to press forward day by day. Pray against the schemes of the evil one; that in their weakness, doubt and deception would not take root. Pray they would hold fast to the attributes of God. He is absolutely good and faithful. He has absolute authority in Heaven and Earth. His sovereign plan is absolutely perfect, though it escapes our human understanding. He is unchanging, circumstances of life do not change who God is. Thus, we can anchor our lives on Him so we are not swept away by the storms of life. Above all, He is love. He loves us to the point of death on a cross.
- Eagles’ Wings & Village Eulogia – We pray Isaiah 40:31 over these two ministries. May the Lord renew their strength. May they soar on wings like eagles. May they run and not grow weary. May they walk and not be faint. We give thanks for SCBC Mental Health Support Group, Eagles’ Wings. Thank you for promoting a greater understanding of mental health issues in our community. We give thanks for the opportunity to learn to support friends and family with mental health challenges. Village Eulogia – We give thanks for a community where families with special needs children are loved and embraced. We give thanks for men and women of God gifted to nurture and support special needs children and their families in a safe environment. We give thanks for a place where special needs children are affirmed in their abilities and valued in their personhood. May this ministry flourish with the blessings of the Lord.
- The Big Give – We give thanks for the opportunity for SCBC to be a blessing to all peoples through the Big Give this Christmas. We pray Lahu Village in Myanmar, Rahab Ministries, and Village Eulogia would experience freedom to worship, freedom from bondage, and freedom to learn & grow through SCBC generosity. May the Lord bless you as He enables you to bless others in this season of giving.
NOVEMBER 5, 2017
Earlier this week, I had an opportunity to spend time with someone who truly inspires me to immerse myself in God’s Word. She has diligently studied God’s word for over two decades and have committed to memory many chapters of scripture. Every time I connect with her, I am refreshed in my spirit as she never cease to point me back to Christ and His Word, thus I am encouraged, energized and uplifted in my faith journey. I am so thankful for and blessed by mature Christians whom God has placed in my life to mentor, encourage and counsel me in the ways of the Lord. They are quick to listen but slow to judge. They not only admonish me with God’s Word, but they exemplify it in their lives. The fruit of the Spirit is evident in their lives, and this motivates me to live for Christ! Likewise, God has placed in my life a few who are younger in the faith. Am I my brother’s keeper? Absolutely! I am to walk along side those who are younger in the faith and do the same…point them to Christ and His Word so that they will become mature in Christ and will be equip for every good work. May I encourage you to reflect upon your faith journey? Are there mature believers whom God has placed in your life? Would you ask God to bring to mind someone whom you can encourage and walk along side?
Please be in prayer for the following:
- Community Groups – We give thanks for all SCBC Community Groups. We pray especially for new groups that have been initiated this year. We commit all group leaders, facilitators, and members to the Lord. Pray for good group dynamics. Pray trust and accountability would be strengthened and established through honest sharing. Pray relationships would continue to flourish and deepen among group members. Above all, pray group members would grow in their appetite for God’s Word and counsel.
- SCBC Ministries & Partnership – We give thanks to God for enabling us to minister to so many people in so many ways. We commit to the Lord all SCBC ministries as well as our partnership with Blythwood Road Baptist Church with “Out of the Cold” ministry. Pray for all who are involved and serving to be strengthened and encouraged as they faithfully persevere to do Kingdom work and advance the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Remembrance Day – November 11 marks a day of remembrance of Veterans who have served and fought for the freedoms we are privileged to have as residents of Canada. Though we may not have family members who are veterans of WWI or WWII, may we remember and bless those who have courageously fought to give us a legacy of freedom in this country. When we purchase and wear a poppy this Remembrance Day, we are honouring Veterans and their families. All donations collected through the poppy drive goes toward Veteran services such as meals on wheels. Lest we forget, let us reflect and give thanks for the freedom we enjoy because of the sacrificial service of many. May God keep this nation glorious and free!
- All Believers in Christ – We remember members of God’s family in all the world. We commit our global brothers and sisters to the Lord. For those facing persecution, may the Holy Spirit keep them steadfast in Christ. May those who must leave fathers and mothers to follow Jesus find family and community in the church of God. For those whom God has called to minister in spiritually dark lands, may they continue to hope in Christ for He is the hope of nations and the light of the world. Pray the presence of the God, the grace of the Lord Jesus, and the peace of the Holy Spirit be with all believers.
OCTOBER 1, 2017
As we prepare to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends next weekend, we remember the grace of God so generously poured out for us. May we count all our blessings with a sincere and grateful heart. I have many blessings to count, some blessings are miracles…so I count them twice! I’m most certain you have also witnessed miraculous answered prayers in your faith journey and can testify that our God is able to do the impossible. God says if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains! Therefore, let us continue to pray with absolute faith, with full assurance that our God is able to do all things according to His good and perfect will. May the Lord bless you and keep you always. Happy Thanksgiving!
Matthew 17:19-21 (NIV)
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Please be in prayer for the following:
- SCBC Germany STM Sept 29 – Oct 15 – Pray for travelling grace and safe journey as team departs tomorrow. Pray for unity and effectiveness for the duration of their stay. Pray wisdom and discernment for outreach initiatives as well as nurturing existing relationships. Pray for physical, emotional, and spiritual protection for team members.
- SCBC 30th Anniversary Celebration Oct 14 & 15 – We give thanks for SCBC, for all the blessings in the past 30 years! We give thanks for faithful, steadfast leadership teams. As we move forward together, pray the Lord would bind us with His Holy Spirit. Pray for celebration seminars and banquet on Oct 14 & 15, that all of SCBC would be encouraged and built up. Pray the Lord would lead us step by step to be a blessing to all peoples.
- Community Groups – We give thanks for all SCBC Community Groups. Please continue to pray for growth and spiritual development of each group. Pray for deepening of friendships among group members – that friendships would extend beyond the confines of the group. Pray for discipleship and mentorship to develop as a result of sharing life and growing faith together.
- Disaster Relief – We remember and continue to pray for victims of hurricanes and earthquake. Pray for global community to lend a helping hand in relief efforts. Pray for front line relief workers to dispense basic necessities effectively and efficiently. Pray for emotional resilience for all involved. Pray for rebuilding plans and efforts. Pray for local authorities to use relief resources wisely. Pray the Lord would be merciful.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2017
I hope you have had a wonderful summer! Although this summer has not been typical in terms of weather, I trust you have had an opportunity to relax, to build family relationships, to connect with friends over meals and outings, and to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of God’s creation. Every day is a gift from the Lord. May we not take it for granted, but live each day fully for Him. I hope you are refreshed and rejuvenated for the season ahead, and I look forward with joyful anticipation for what the Lord has in store for us corporately as a family of God.
Please be in prayer for the following:
- Children, Youth & Young Adults – As September draws near, we remember our children as they prepare to return to school. For our School aged children, we pray for return to routine and bedtime curfews with little resistance and grumblings. We pray for a year of growth in academic learning and healthy friendships. We pray for safety in their commutes, in classrooms and playgrounds. We pray the Lord would guard their minds and hearts in Christ Jesus. For those who are entering Senior School and Post Secondary, we pray for smooth transitions emotionally and psychologically. We pray for wisdom and discernment for those who are studying away from home, may they make wise decisions on campus. We pray the peace of God to be with them in times of stress and anxiety. Regardless of their academic achievements, we pray they would secure their identity and self-worth in Christ alone. May the Lord bless them and keep them in the palm of His mighty hands.
- SCBC Community – When I think of SCBC, my heart well up with affection and thanksgivings. I give thanks for sisters and brothers in Christ who have opened their hearts in friendship and hospitality. I give thanks for the opportunity to journey in faith together, to share life experiences, support and encourage each other in the Lord. I give thanks for faithful, steadfast and passionate Christ centered leadership. I give thanks for SCBC Vision (Be a Blessing to All Peoples) shared by our deacons at the SCBC Retreat this July. I give thanks for Unity in the Spirit and every effort to preserve the bond of peace. Pray for upcoming SCBC 30th Anniversary Celebration program and workshops! Pray we would continue to submit to one another out of love for Christ. Pray we would continue to serve with a humble heart. May the blessing and favor of the Lord be upon us as we commit to build up the body of Christ – SCBC.
- Alpha & Fall Sunday School – I give thanks that SCBC love the Word and diligently teach God’s Word. I give thanks for gifted Sunday School teachers and facilitators who teach with clarity and passion for Christ. Pray for Alpha course and Fall Sunday School classes, that all participants would grow in the knowledge of Christ. Pray the Holy Spirit would minister to the minds and hearts of those in attendance. Pray that through faithful teaching of God’s Word, SCBC would be built up and equipped to make Christ known among the nations.
- Women’s Retreat – September 29-30 at Kempenfelt Conference Centre. I give thanks for the opportunity for the ladies to spend time away together. A gigantic “Thank You!” to the retreat team for organizing this event. Pray for refreshing time of fellowship together as well as time of solitude with the Lord. Pray the Holy Spirit would minister to each one of us through the teaching of the Word and seminar. Pray for the keynote speaker, that the Lord would accomplish His purpose through her.
- Short Term Missions Team – We remember brothers and sisters ministering abroad on Short Term Missions. Pray for smooth transition into their respective environment and culture. Pray for physical, emotional and spiritual resilience for the work ahead. Pray they would abide in Christ and trust in His promises regardless of what may come their way. Pray for unity and the bond of peace among team members. Pray that if/when conflicts arise, it would be resolved quickly with wisdom and grace from the Lord. Pray for spiritual protection and discernment in all situations. May the Lord sustain them and uphold them with His all sufficient grace.
- Disaster Relief Efforts – British Columbia fires and Houston Hurricane Harvey. Pray for victims and their families who have lost their homes and belongings, hopefully not loved ones. Pray for communities that are pending evacuation. Pray for authorities to make wise decisions and logistical evacuation plans to go smoothly. Pray for rescue and fire fighters, for protection, strength, and courage to carry out their tasks. Pray the Lord would have mercy upon the land its people.
AUGUST 6, 2017
In 1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”, we have assurance that God hears our prayers and petitions. When we pray with faith and trust in His sovereignty, we witness His good and perfect will. Allow me to share a recent story that testifies to this truth.
Please be in prayer for the following:
- SCBC Women’s Retreat – We give thanks for the Women’s retreat team for their effort in organizing another fantastic retreat for SCBC ladies. Pray for a refreshing time together in deepening friendships and growing in the Lord. Pray for the key note speaker as she prepares to teach at the retreat, may the Holy Spirit guide her and give her wisdom. Pray the Lord would prepare the hearts of all the ladies to receive His message.
- Family & Friends – We continue to remember friends and family members who are battling illness. Pray for daily grace to endure treatment regiment. Pray for strength and hope to overcome. Pray for rest for those who are journeying along side. Pray for peace in knowing that God is sovereign and His will is perfect.
- Syrian Family – We continue to remember our Syrian family. Pray for the oldest son who recently had surgery for his legs. Pray for patience as recovery time is about 3 months. Pray for family members to support him and find creative ways to keep him engaged. Pray the Lord would open doors of employment opportunities for the father. Pray that our relationship with this family would continue to grow.
- Partners in Missions – We remember our partners in missions at home and abroad. Pray for upcoming Urban Promise Short Term Mission Trip, may our team be a blessing to the Urban Promise community. We pray for our missionaries across the globe. May the Lord continue to sustain them by His grace, and may they find Him faithful to supply all their needs. May the Lord uphold them and keep them in the palm of His mighty hands.
JULY 2, 2017
On Saturday, June 24th, I had the privilege to attend an inspiring interdenominational prayer gathering organized by a dear friend whose passion and burden is to pray for Canada. In light of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the over arching theme was to commit our nation to the Lord, to call out to Him with one voice for healing of our land so Canada would be a blessing to all nations.
Our prayers were focused in three specific areas: Prayers for Christian Families (facilitated by my friend who is a physician by trade), Prayers for Pastors and Churches (facilitated by Director of Relational and Spiritual Vitality of Eastern Canadian District of Christian & Missionary Alliance), Prayers for Politicians (facilitated by national Directors of Nation At Prayer, a ministry that engages believers to pray for elected representatives at every level of government).
Representatives from over twenty Churches and six denominations, in the GTA and as far east as Montreal, were gathered with humble hearts and bended knees. Our only agenda was to turn our eyes to the Lord and call out to Him on behalf of our nation. What transpired in my prayer group was incredible, and I was blessed with a glimpse of what God intended us (His people, His Church) to be. Although there were ten culturally diverse individuals in my group from all walks of life, we prayed as though we were one – with one Spirit and one voice, in spite of our differences. This experience is an affirmation that when we submit ourselves to the Lord and abide in Him, He unites us in His Spirit and we become one in the body of Christ. Powerful indeed!
Please be in prayer for the following:
- SCBC Retreat – We look forward to a time of fellowship and learning together at Kempenfelt this weekend! We are thankful for our Retreat Team, for all their effort in planning and preparing for this event. We pray for safety in travels to and from the retreat. We pray the Lord would bless our time together, that we would deepen friendships with one another and we would build one another up in Christ. We pray for the Presence of the Lord to be with us, that He would be evident in our conversations and our activities. We pray for active and thoughtful participation in our discussion groups, that we would be inspired by the Holy Spirit. We pray that through our time together, the Lord would unify and strengthen His church.
- Summerfun – We give thanks for the privilege to host Summerfun! We give thanks for the opportunity to reach out and meet the needs of our community. We give thanks for each child registered. We give thanks for all Staff, Volunteers, Spiritual Action Leadership Team (SALT), Adult Mentors. Please commit to praying for our Summerfun program with “SCBC Summerfun 2017 Prayer Calendar” which outlines specific weekly prayer items.
- Healing and Peace – We remember family members and friends, who are walking through the valley, with illness and treatment regiments. We pray for God’s peace and grace to be with them. We pray they will experience God’s peace and comfort before, during, and after treatment procedures. We pray for recovery without complications. We pray the Lord would uphold them with His strength. We boldly pray for healing, but trust in His sovereignty, that His will is perfect.
- Canada Day Celebration – We give thanks for our nation, may God keep it strong and free! We pray for celebrations across Canada on July 1st, especially in our nation’s capitol, that it would be peaceful and a time of gratitude for all the blessings of Canada.
JUNE 4, 2017
Your hospitality and service to the Lord on May 27th at the Doors Open Toronto and HnM events was a great encouragement to me, and I was joyfully reminded of the following passage in Romans 12. Thank you for demonstrating the love of Christ by working together, each according to his/her gifts, to show hospitality to our neighbours in the GTA. May God bless you and keep you always!
Romans 12:4-13 (NIV)
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith;7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Please be in prayer for the following:
- SCBC Summer Events – Orchestra Starlight Serenade, SCBC English Retreat, Summer Fun, Community BBQ. We give thanks to God for enabling us to host these events to build up our families, church, and to reach out to our neighbours. We pray these events will foster a greater sense of connectedness within our church and within our communities . We pray blessings on the planning committees as they work to finalize logistical details. We pray for favourable weather, good health for volunteers and participants, safe travels, and an awesome and memorable time together. We commit these events to our Lord for His glory and honor.
- SCBC Short Term Missions – We give thanks for SCBC members whom God has called to minister abroad. We will uphold in prayer our young adults, who will be away on short term missions with Power To Change, as they represent Christ in Europe and South East Asia for the coming year. We pray for preparedness spiritually, emotionally, physically. We pray for team cohesiveness and continued grace to bear with one another. We trust their financial needs will be met through the generosity of God’s people. We pray for wisdom and discernment in sowing the gospel seed in the hearts of those whom God will send their way. We pray for travelling mercies in their comings and goings. We pray their time away will lead them to a deeper and intimate relationship with the Lord.
- Partners in Missions – We remember our partners in missions at home and abroad. We give thanks for their faithfulness in serving the Lord. We pray for continued strength and wisdom to minister where they are called. We pray for their families, for wisdom to balance family life and ministry work. We pray the Lord would grant them rest when they become weary. We pray the Holy Spirit would sustain and keep steadfast those who may be facing persecution. We pray the Holy Spirit would minister to them so that they know God is with them and they are not alone.
- Prayers for the Muslim World – If you have not done so, would you consider picking up a “30 Days Of Prayer for the Muslim World” guide or visit www.pray30days.com This international annual project challenges Christian communities to pray for the Muslim World during Ramadan. I hope participation in this prayer project would enable us to see the Muslim community the way Christ would see them. I hope that as we pray through this daily guide, the Holy Spirit would change our hearts, minds, and attitudes toward this people group. I pray we would be instruments of God’s peace and hope through prayer.
- Canada – Happy 150th Canada! As our nation prepares to celebrate this 1st of July, let us pray that the Lord would keep Canada glorious and free. We commit our Government (Federal, Provincial, Municipal), Education, Health Care, Social Services, Judicial, Immigration, National Defence, Foreign Affairs, and other branches of governance to the Lord. We pray God will raise up in public service men and women of honour and integrity. We pray for men and women of courage to uphold justice, to serve and protect. We give thanks for the cultural mosaic tapestry of Canada, that immigrants from many nations have made Canada their home. We give thanks that we are proudly Canadian apart from our cultural roots. We pray Canada would maintain our global reputation as peace keepers. Finally, we pray for the churches of Canada. As His people pray, may God rain down His Spirit and revive our land! May He renew the minds and set ablaze the hearts of His people to impact the world with the saving grace of Christ. May the prayers of the saints be a wall of light that holds back the darkness. May God take this nation back!