Go-deep-go-strong-abatley-1

© Alison Batley (photo copyright)

Today my congregation hosts a prayer vigil.  We’re in a transition phase, since our pastor of 22 years retired.  The United Church of Christ (UCC) recommends taking time to adjust to leaving the old and envisioning the next pastoral period.  With a lot of help from the internet (amazing what one can find with Google!), I developed a guide for our prayer vigil today.   Among the resources:  

Prayer Vigil Guide for Visioning with the most lovely graphic (above)

Those who wanted a resource for their 30 minutes of solitude in our sanctuary (or elsewhere) have been given the following.  I pray it helps us to think about where God wants to lead us.

Throughout our four-week all church study, we used this little graphical guy doing various things.  I was fortunate to find him praying; it appears he’s likely copyrighted by Leo Blanchette.

orange guy - prayer

I’m posting the resource here, because some may find it helpful in considering their personal or congregational journey ahead.

To God be the glory!

Transitional Ministry Visioning Prayer Vigil

Enter into prayer:  praising God for the many wonderful ways our congregation embodies God’s love.   Praise God if you have grown closer to Christ at our church. Praise God!

Scripture:  

We continually remember before our God your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

~ I Thessalonians 1:3

Focus:  on whom God is for you, the purpose God has given you and the purpose for our congregation.

Scripture:  

“But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?”  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by God in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of death will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven…”            ~ Matthew 16:15 – 19

Meditate:  on the times and ways in your life when God has guided you and the times God has led our church.

Scripture: 

But when the Spirit of truth comes, the Spirit will guide you into all truth.

~ John 16:13

Access the Holy of Holies in ways that work for you:  Listen to music, read, draw, do handiwork or your craft.  Enter into God’s Sacred Space.

Scripture:  

… beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.            ~ Phillipians 4:8

Ask:  for spiritual vision for our congregation and spend time listening to God.

Scripture: 

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

~ Proverbs 29:18

Pray:  that our church will be led by the Holy Spirit during the envisioning event and that each participant will come with a listening heart to be attentive to what others have  to say.  Pray that all will seek to align our personal desires with God’s vision, and work together to seek God’s direction.

Scripture:  

Call unto me, and I will answer, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.

~ Jeremiah 33:3

Ask:  God to guide the participants to discover key areas of ministry focus God would desire for us during the next five years.

Scripture: 

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak.

~ Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 7

Scripture:   “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

~ Jeremiah 29:11-13

Pray:  for good participation from as many people as possible on March 10 in helping to envision our church’s future.

Scripture: From God the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

~ Ephesians 4:16a

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

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