The Upward Call—2015 Phoenix Prayer Goals

 
 
 
Angelica Rivera with Millie (Left) and Teresa (Right) just before she was baptized into Christ last night (1/24/2015)!  We are so encouraged by our newest sister in the LORD!

Angelica Rivera with Millie (Left) and Teresa (Right) just before she was baptized into Christ last night (1/24/2015)! We are so encouraged by our newest sister in the LORD!

1.) “…’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matt 22:37-40) There is no greater commandment and no greater call.  If we are to mature, we must grow in our walk with our Heavenly Father.  He must be the center of our lives.  We “can do nothing” unless we “remain in the vine” of Christ (cf. John 15).  We need to be praying for one another and pursuing growth in our understanding of the Word and in our prayer lives.  As Blaise & Patricia Feumba powerfully preached at our workshop – we must get out of the shallow end in our relationship with God!  Therefore our first and foremost goal is to: Call Every Disciple To Refocus on their relationship with God.

2.) “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:8).  Our loving Father “…wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.“ (1 Tim 2:4) and it is to his glory when we invest our hearts in the desires of his heart.  Last year’s record attendance was 189, this year our goal is to break that record with our first attempt coming up next week at the Super Bowl Sunday service.  Additionally, the goal is that God will grow the Phoenix church past 100 sold-out disciples by the end of 2015!

3.) “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezek 36:26-27) It is always heartbreaking when someone makes the decision to leave God and walk away.  We need to be on our knees before our God praying that he will guide those who have fallen away back to the fold, helping them to “[come to their] senses” (Luke 15:17) and give us the loving wisdom to “go after” the “lost sheep.” (Luke 15:4).  Therefore we are praying for many more restorations this year!

Blaise and Patricia Feumba provided powerful and inspiring keynote speeches at our bible talk leaders and general winter workshop.  Thanks be to God for the family of churches and the bonds of partnership the gospel creates in the Soldout Movement!

Blaise and Patricia Feumba provided powerful and inspiring keynote speeches at our bible talk leaders and general winter workshop. Thanks be to God for the family of churches and the bonds of partnership the gospel creates in the Soldout Movement!

4.) “Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.” (1 Tim 3:1)  We cannot grow to over 100 disciples without more of us raising up to serve in leadership roles in the Kingdom of God.  Therefore, our prayer is for more disciples to become bible talk leaders, for us to appoint another shepherding couple, and for us to raise up 2 more deacon couples as well as another house church leader couple!

5.) “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)  We must continue to pray fervently for the weak and the strengthening of the church.  At one time or another, through life circumstances and challenges, we all get “weak.”  We need to pray to keep the momentum with the Chemical Recovery ministry!  Pray for vibrant new member orientations and great follow-up studies to encourage and protect the new members and young disciples.  Pray for innovative spiritual strengthening groups such as marriage and parenting programs, classes on godly finances and a healthy Lifestyle.  Pray that soon we’ll be able to start specialized ministry events which minister to single parents and that every disciple will graduate from the first principles classes in 2015!

Marvell Holder—our newest Campus Ministry Full-Time Intern—preaches powerfully at the Bible Talk Leaders portion of the 2015 Workshop!

Marvell Holder—our newest Campus Ministry Full-Time Intern—preaches powerfully at the Bible Talk Leaders portion of the 2015 Workshop!

6.) “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.  O Lord, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.  And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, requirements and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.” (1 Chron 29:17-19)  What an honorable and blessed thing it is when God’s people have this heart to give with joy!  It is a part of our legacy as God’s people to have this desire in our hearts.  With so much growth ahead of us, we must plan to hold fast to this heart and our own integrity before our God.  This week marks the beginning of our 2015 pledge drive.  We are calling for all the young disciples (baptized 2012-2014) to strive to raise their pledges and for those who are able to, consider raising your pledge 1$/5$/10$/20$ for teens/campus/singles/marrieds respectively.  Let’s pray that we raise our pledges 4,500 and hit our 20x missions’ contribution in June!

Scott & Sandy Lunde taught an excellent lesson on preparation for bible talks and speaking in general.  This year’s workshop was full of both practical and inspirational lessons!

Scott & Sandy Lunde taught an excellent lesson on preparation for bible talks and speaking in general. This year’s workshop was full of both practical and inspirational lessons!

7.) “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27).  What an exciting year 2014 was for MERCYWorldwide here in the Phoenix church!  From the joyful sacrificial hearts to serve and celebrate with the orphans at Sunshine Acres to the generous disciples who donated dozens of pints of blood – it was a great year!  We want to continue to grow MERCYWorldwide and our ministry’s maturity in serving the poor.  We now are setting a prayer goal to have monthly, smaller, regional events that are organized by a bible talk.  These would be over and above our current notable annual projects.  Please be praying for these MERCYWorldwide events to really please God and be a part of “Religion that God our Father accepts!”

Brittany Bulerin taught the women clearly & inspirationally about the desperate need for follow-up!  She now co-leads the campus ministry house church with Marvell Holder!

Brittany Bulerin taught the women clearly & inspirationally about the desperate need for follow-up! She now co-leads the campus ministry house church with Marvell Holder!

8.) “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15-16) Currently Janelle Rushen is set to graduate in May of this year!  Several other disciples are aspiring to attend the ICCM.  Let’s pray for two more ICCM graduates in 2015!

9.) “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph 3:20-21)

One of the most touching miracles our Father in Heaven granted us this year was Destiny Piercy’s baptism!  Amen for our God growing the teen ministry!

One of the most touching miracles our Father in Heaven granted us this year was Destiny Piercy’s baptism! Amen for our God growing the teen ministry!

Our last challenge is for every member to have at least one personal prayer goal that is “immeasurably more than [anything] we imagine.” This may include being on a mission team, being selected for the ICCM, becoming a Bible Talk Leader, being selected as a Shepherding or Deacon Couple, or even the conversion or restoration of someone close to you!

As the saints in the Kingdom of God, we are called to “be like-minded” in the scriptures (Philippians 2:2), to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3) and to be “perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Cor 1:10)  In fact, a central outcry of Jesus’ last prayer before his suffering and crucifixion, is that we (those who would believe in Christ because of the apostle’s message – John 17:20) would be “brought to complete unity.” (John 17:23)

Certainly, bringing these prayer goals to our God together, as one heart, one mind and one spiritual body, will be a galactic step in our like-mindedness!  It will foster our unity of [the] Spirit, mind, and thought.  If each of us pray through these it will bring a bond of peace which can only come through prayer and it will bring us all that much closer to “complete unity!”

Here’s to God’s glory, and even greater things in 2015!

Jeremy Mark Ciaramella

JMC

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