“The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God”—1 Peter 4:7-10, NASB.
The holiday season is once again on our doorsteps, and in just a few weeks, 2013 will be coming to a close. The sights, sounds, and activities of the season are emerging and many people are already making plans to spend time with family and friends.
In many respects, this year has not been without its challenges. Some of us have been challenged by life’s roller coaster ride, braving the steep peaks and low valleys. Some of us have experienced economic, financial, physical, and psychological challenges. But, at the time when the ride has come to an end, will we be able to say of our experience “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12, NASB)?
I firmly believe that prayer is powerful. So, I have decided to create a holiday prayer list and to invite you to join me in prayer throughout the rest of the year for the items on the list. You may have some items of your own that you would like to add as you pray. By all means, please do so.
For the remainder of the year, let us join in prayer for:
• People who have suffered great loss, leaving them without homes or their personal possessions
• Families who are mourning the loss of loved ones
• The men and women in the military who serve this country
• The more than 4,500 newly-baptized members of the Adventist family who were added as a result of the NY13 initiative in New York City
• Our church members to put self aside and become partners in nurturing each other and the new members
• Families suffering financial hardship
• People dealing with medical challenges
• Our children
• Students everywhere
• First responders and others who join them to relieve suffering
• Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders as they grapple with the many challenges that are emerging
• All to be vigilant in sharing the good news of Christ’s return
• The Holy Spirit to impress upon us ways in which we can assist those in need
• For a growing personal relationship with God
This list might look similar to a list you are already working on. That’s great. Having you on board praying with me every day will make it special and more powerful.
As you visit with family and friends this holiday season, take your prayer list with you and pause for a moment with each other to pray. Whenever possible, reach out beyond the family circle and pray with someone else. On the remaining Sabbaths in 2013, share this prayer list at Sabbath School or during the worship service and have the members join you in prayer.
The joy of the holiday season will become more meaningful as we spend time together sharing lots of love and giving God thanks for answered prayers. On behalf of the Atlantic Union Conference administrators, directors, and office staff, best wishes to you and your family during the holiday season and throughout the coming year, and may Christ receive all the glory, honor, and praise.
Ednor A. P. Davison is the editor of the Atlantic Union Gleaner and assistant to the president for communication in the Atlantic Union Conference.