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Call to Prayer

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Covenant First Presbyterian Church Call to Prayer September 27 through October 10 Rejoice always pray continually give thanks in all circumstances for this is God s will for you in Christ Jesus 1 Thessalonians 5 16 18

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Covenant First Presbyterian Church Call to Prayer September 27 through October 10 Rejoice always pray continually give thanks in all circumstances for this is God s will for you in Christ Jesus 1 Thessalonians 5 16 18

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September 17 2020 Dear Members and Friends of Covenant First Think back to January 1 2020 your goals anticipations Certainly all of us agree that this year has been different than we anticipated with challenges none of us expected We see the awful impacts of Covid 19 we see heightened social and economic challenges we see broad differences of opinion on all sorts of topics and a resulting disunity in many of our communities and our nation And yet as Christians we know that our faithful God is always in control and we know that we can turn to him with all of our concerns This is why your Session is calling all of us to a time of dedicated focused prayer We believe that as Christians we are always called to be in prayer 1 Thessalonians 5 17 but we also believe there are times when Christians are called to more focused community wide prayer Joel 2 15 17 You ve heard from Pastor Smith and read previously in the Courier about this call to prayer perhaps you also recall the early history of our congregation praying for revival The Session is asking every member and friend of our congregation to join in a daily two week prayer commitment beginning on Sunday September 27 and continuing through October 10 We are asking that we all spend at least 30 minutes in focused prayer each of these 14 days We are also inviting anyone who feels led by God to consider fasting as well We believe God is calling us most broadly to pray that he would bless our congregation our communities and our nation with revival that God would act powerfully through his Holy Spirit drawing us all closer to Jesus We view components of this broader prayer as including prayers that each of us individually would grow in our personal relationship with Jesus that God would grow within us more completely the fruit of his Holy Spirit We long to see all of us praying for each other all of the members and friends of this congregation and also for our mission partners We want to pray for God s healing in our broader society for an end to the Covid 19 pandemic and for healing of societal divisions We long to see others come into relationship with Christ and even to see growth in our own congregation as new believers come to faith You ll see more details in the upcoming Sunday bulletins with prayer suggestions and details on how you might consider fasting The sanctuary will be open at times during these two weeks if you would like to spend some prayer time in our sanctuary Your Session will gather at the beginning of these two weeks for a time of prayer together We are asking that all of us individually commit to this two week time of prayer We are confident that God hears our prayers when we come to him in Jesus name Please talk with any elder or Pastor Smith if you have questions Soli Deo Gloria Rob Heidenreich Clerk of Session Invitation to Fasting For the last week of September and first week of October Session has issued a call to prayer and an invitation to fasting Therefore I ll be using the Ministry Toolkit to talk about these disciplines for the next month or so I ll start with fasting I confess that I m not an expert in fasting I ve certainly not been disciplined in fasting My fasting experiences have been clumsy erratic and infrequent This invitation is just as much of an opportunity for me to learn as it is for everyone else Therefore I am leaning heavily on respected teachers who have studied and practiced more than I have Donald Whitney professor of Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary defines fasting as a Christian s voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life It is worth noting that Whitney acknowledges that many orthodox Christian leaders define fasting more broadly encompassing the voluntary denial of a normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity Here Whitney cites luminaries such as Richard Foster and Martin Lloyd Jones as adhering to this camp Key to both definitions is the word voluntary A fast cannot be imposed compelled or demanded Rather it is a discipline taken up by the disciple Another important point in both definitions is abstinence the setting aside of something that will challenge you Refraining from food is most challenging because it is a bodily need Initially we are driven to prayer and dependence upon God when we feel the pang of loss as the first cravings hit However on the other side of those cravings we experience a deeper communion with the Lord and a richer fellowship with him Finally we must note the spiritual purpose of fasting This is not abstaining for something for self improvement reasons Neither is this to be mistaken for intermittent fasting for weight loss purposes Fasting is meant to be taken up for spiritual purposes such as but not limited to penitence seeking direction or fellowship with the Lord

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September 17 2020 Dear Members and Friends of Covenant First Think back to January 1 2020 your goals anticipations Certainly all of us agree that this year has been different than we anticipated with challenges none of us expected We see the awful impacts of Covid 19 we see heightened social and economic challenges we see broad differences of opinion on all sorts of topics and a resulting disunity in many of our communities and our nation And yet as Christians we know that our faithful God is always in control and we know that we can turn to him with all of our concerns This is why your Session is calling all of us to a time of dedicated focused prayer We believe that as Christians we are always called to be in prayer 1 Thessalonians 5 17 but we also believe there are times when Christians are called to more focused community wide prayer Joel 2 15 17 You ve heard from Pastor Smith and read previously in the Courier about this call to prayer perhaps you also recall the early history of our congregation praying for revival The Session is asking every member and friend of our congregation to join in a daily two week prayer commitment beginning on Sunday September 27 and continuing through October 10 We are asking that we all spend at least 30 minutes in focused prayer each of these 14 days We are also inviting anyone who feels led by God to consider fasting as well We believe God is calling us most broadly to pray that he would bless our congregation our communities and our nation with revival that God would act powerfully through his Holy Spirit drawing us all closer to Jesus We view components of this broader prayer as including prayers that each of us individually would grow in our personal relationship with Jesus that God would grow within us more completely the fruit of his Holy Spirit We long to see all of us praying for each other all of the members and friends of this congregation and also for our mission partners We want to pray for God s healing in our broader society for an end to the Covid 19 pandemic and for healing of societal divisions We long to see others come into relationship with Christ and even to see growth in our own congregation as new believers come to faith You ll see more details in the upcoming Sunday bulletins with prayer suggestions and details on how you might consider fasting The sanctuary will be open at times during these two weeks if you would like to spend some prayer time in our sanctuary Your Session will gather at the beginning of these two weeks for a time of prayer together We are asking that all of us individually commit to this two week time of prayer We are confident that God hears our prayers when we come to him in Jesus name Please talk with any elder or Pastor Smith if you have questions Soli Deo Gloria Rob Heidenreich Clerk of Session Invitation to Fasting For the last week of September and first week of October Session has issued a call to prayer and an invitation to fasting Therefore I ll be using the Ministry Toolkit to talk about these disciplines for the next month or so I ll start with fasting I confess that I m not an expert in fasting I ve certainly not been disciplined in fasting My fasting experiences have been clumsy erratic and infrequent This invitation is just as much of an opportunity for me to learn as it is for everyone else Therefore I am leaning heavily on respected teachers who have studied and practiced more than I have Donald Whitney professor of Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary defines fasting as a Christian s voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life It is worth noting that Whitney acknowledges that many orthodox Christian leaders define fasting more broadly encompassing the voluntary denial of a normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity Here Whitney cites luminaries such as Richard Foster and Martin Lloyd Jones as adhering to this camp Key to both definitions is the word voluntary A fast cannot be imposed compelled or demanded Rather it is a discipline taken up by the disciple Another important point in both definitions is abstinence the setting aside of something that will challenge you Refraining from food is most challenging because it is a bodily need Initially we are driven to prayer and dependence upon God when we feel the pang of loss as the first cravings hit However on the other side of those cravings we experience a deeper communion with the Lord and a richer fellowship with him Finally we must note the spiritual purpose of fasting This is not abstaining for something for self improvement reasons Neither is this to be mistaken for intermittent fasting for weight loss purposes Fasting is meant to be taken up for spiritual purposes such as but not limited to penitence seeking direction or fellowship with the Lord

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Professor Whitney identifies several different types of fasts in the Bible Normal fast Abstaining from all food but not liquids such as Jesus 40 day fast in Matthew 4 Partial fast Limiting diet to certain restricted foods such as Daniel s all vegetable fast in Daniel 1 or John the Baptist s diet in Matthew 3 Absolute fast Abstaining from all food and drink such as Ezra s fast in Ezra 10 or Paul s fast in Acts 9 Supernatural fast A long extended fast that is possible only by God s divine intervention Note There are only two of these in the Bible and they were undertaken by Moses and Elijah These are not considered to be fasts that disciples are called to rather they are evidences of the divine authorization of the ministries of these two great prophets Additionally fasts can be practiced in different ways Private fast Done for personal devotional purposes This is the kind of fast that Jesus references in Matthew 6 Congregational fast Called for usually as an expression of group penitence as in Joel 2 or preparation for special ministry as in Acts 13 National fast Called for by kings leaders during times of great national crisis as in Jonah 3 or 2 Chronicles 20 Regular fast The Day of Atonement fast was the only scripturally instituted regular fast for the Old Testament Leviticus 16 29 31 although later leaders would add on fasts as a part of tradition Over the next few weeks we ll present more articles to enrich your understanding about fasting and prayer May the Lord lead and guide us all as we seek his face his guidance and his kingdom Soli Deo Gloria Russell Purposefulness in Fasting As I mentioned in this column last week the Session has issued a call to prayer and an invitation to fasting for the last week of September and first week of October Not having been a disciplined practitioner of fasting I m taking this as an opportunity to learn I m leaning heavily on teachers of spiritual disciplines especially Dallas Willard Elmer Towns and Donald Whitney If you d like to explore these resources on your own I commend to you Willard s The Spirit of the Disciplines Towns Fasting Can Change Your Life and Whitney s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Of these books Whitney s is the most technical type of how to book and he is the teacher I m leaning on most for these columns Last week we focused on defining fasting and the different types of fast found in the Bible This week let s focus on the purpose of fasting Fasting is abstention for spiritual not physical purposes While there is some physical health benefit to certain types of fasting the discipline of fasting prompts us to consider spiritual purposes Professor Whitney summarizes 10 types of spiritual purposes for fasting Any given fast may serve several of these purposes at the same time As you consider the invitation to fast look over this list and ponder if one or more of these purposes speaks to you To Strengthen Prayer Throughout Scripture we see fasting and prayer coupled together Indeed all of the other purposes listed might be considered as different petitions of prayer However it is important to remember that fasting is not something that makes our prayer more persuasive to God Fasting does not change God s hearing so much as it changes our praying Whitney Just as prayer is often God s instrument to shape us so too is fasting To Seek God s Guidance We see this purpose in Judges 20 26 28 as the Israelites ask for God s guidance on whether to continue a battle against their own kin even after massive defeats This story is interesting because it takes place during a time of decadence and decline in Israel s history This was a time when there was no king in Israel every man did what was right in his own eyes Judges 21 25 and even then God heard his people cry out with fasting and prayer and he responded to them However we must remember the caveat that the purpose of fasting in this instance is to make us more open to hearing from the

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Professor Whitney identifies several different types of fasts in the Bible Normal fast Abstaining from all food but not liquids such as Jesus 40 day fast in Matthew 4 Partial fast Limiting diet to certain restricted foods such as Daniel s all vegetable fast in Daniel 1 or John the Baptist s diet in Matthew 3 Absolute fast Abstaining from all food and drink such as Ezra s fast in Ezra 10 or Paul s fast in Acts 9 Supernatural fast A long extended fast that is possible only by God s divine intervention Note There are only two of these in the Bible and they were undertaken by Moses and Elijah These are not considered to be fasts that disciples are called to rather they are evidences of the divine authorization of the ministries of these two great prophets Additionally fasts can be practiced in different ways Private fast Done for personal devotional purposes This is the kind of fast that Jesus references in Matthew 6 Congregational fast Called for usually as an expression of group penitence as in Joel 2 or preparation for special ministry as in Acts 13 National fast Called for by kings leaders during times of great national crisis as in Jonah 3 or 2 Chronicles 20 Regular fast The Day of Atonement fast was the only scripturally instituted regular fast for the Old Testament Leviticus 16 29 31 although later leaders would add on fasts as a part of tradition Over the next few weeks we ll present more articles to enrich your understanding about fasting and prayer May the Lord lead and guide us all as we seek his face his guidance and his kingdom Soli Deo Gloria Russell Purposefulness in Fasting As I mentioned in this column last week the Session has issued a call to prayer and an invitation to fasting for the last week of September and first week of October Not having been a disciplined practitioner of fasting I m taking this as an opportunity to learn I m leaning heavily on teachers of spiritual disciplines especially Dallas Willard Elmer Towns and Donald Whitney If you d like to explore these resources on your own I commend to you Willard s The Spirit of the Disciplines Towns Fasting Can Change Your Life and Whitney s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Of these books Whitney s is the most technical type of how to book and he is the teacher I m leaning on most for these columns Last week we focused on defining fasting and the different types of fast found in the Bible This week let s focus on the purpose of fasting Fasting is abstention for spiritual not physical purposes While there is some physical health benefit to certain types of fasting the discipline of fasting prompts us to consider spiritual purposes Professor Whitney summarizes 10 types of spiritual purposes for fasting Any given fast may serve several of these purposes at the same time As you consider the invitation to fast look over this list and ponder if one or more of these purposes speaks to you To Strengthen Prayer Throughout Scripture we see fasting and prayer coupled together Indeed all of the other purposes listed might be considered as different petitions of prayer However it is important to remember that fasting is not something that makes our prayer more persuasive to God Fasting does not change God s hearing so much as it changes our praying Whitney Just as prayer is often God s instrument to shape us so too is fasting To Seek God s Guidance We see this purpose in Judges 20 26 28 as the Israelites ask for God s guidance on whether to continue a battle against their own kin even after massive defeats This story is interesting because it takes place during a time of decadence and decline in Israel s history This was a time when there was no king in Israel every man did what was right in his own eyes Judges 21 25 and even then God heard his people cry out with fasting and prayer and he responded to them However we must remember the caveat that the purpose of fasting in this instance is to make us more open to hearing from the

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Lord it is not a guarantee that we will hear a certain and unambiguous message To Express Grief An example of this would be David s mourning the death of Saul and Jonathan 2 Samuel 1 11 12 In this sense fasting can be a means of expressing and releasing the intense emotions of grief and mournfulness During this kind of fast we may experience God s presence in a powerful and rich way providing for us and holding us through our pain To Seek Deliverance or Protection We see this kind of fast in Esther 4 16 or 2 Chronicles 20 3 4 In times of national emergency key leaders called upon the people of God to pray for deliverance from calamity Often this purpose went hand in glove with penitence and grieving of sin To Express Repentance and Return to God Professor Whitney places the fast called for in Joel in this category After grieving over sin there is a renewed sense of penitence and recommitment to a renewed way of life This is certainly applicable to individuals however it is interesting that in the prophets Joel and Jonah we see the calls for community wide fasting for the purpose of grieving sin repenting and returning to God To Humble Oneself Before God David talks about this as one of his purposes in fasting in Psalm 35 13 Humility is an inner stance that is greatly to be desired Humble yourselves therefore under God s mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time I Peter 5 6 If this is a primary purpose however then we would do well to remember Jesus teaching to fast secretly without making much ado about our fasting Matthew 6 16 18 To Express Concern for the Work of God Professor Whitney writes Just as a parent might fast and pray out of concern for the work of God in the life of a child so Christians may fast and pray because they feel a burden for the work of God in a broader scope He cites Nehemiah 1 3 4 and Daniel 9 3 as examples of this purpose in fasting This seems to me to be a deeper identification with the prayer Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven We pray for God s work in the world and fasting becomes a way to personally identify with that work and at the same time acknowledge our dependence upon God to be at work in places where we have no influence To Minister to the Needs of Others In Isaiah 58 the people of God say they have been fasting to no avail Why have we fasted they say and you have not seen it Why have we humbled ourselves and you have not noticed Isaiah 58 3 God offers an eye opening and convicting corrective Yet on the day of your fasting you do as you please and exploit all your workers Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife and in striking each other with wicked fists You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high Is this the kind of fast I have chosen only a day for a man to humble himself Is it only for bowing one s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes Is that what you call a fast a day acceptable to the Lord Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke to set the oppressed free and break every yoke Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter when you see the naked to clothe him and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood Isaiah 58 3 7 Here we see that a purpose of fasting is to soften our hearts to the needs of those around us Even though we may not be able to fix the world we can be God s instrument to our communities To Overcome Temptation and Dedicate Yourself to God Jesus fasting in the wilderness after his baptism is an example of this type of fast Matthew 4 1 2 Fasting is a way of anticipating the temptations and challenges that will accompany a new endeavor undertaking or calling It is a means of re dedicating yourself to God s purposes as you undertake something new To Express Love and Worship to God The prophetess Anna exemplified this purpose in her fasting After becoming a widow at a young age she moved to the temple precinct and dedicated herself to fasting and praying As Joseph and Mary presented the infant Jesus at the temple Anna came to them giving thanks to God and speaking to everyone around about the redemption of God s people Luke 2 36 38 This story of Anna s practice of fasting and prayer puts me in mind of Psalm 27 One thing I ask of the Lord this is what I seek that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple Anna s practice of fasting and prayer seems to fulfill this desire of simple enjoyment of fellowship with the Lord I find this list both encouraging and challenging It helps me get a better handle on what has seemed to be a confusing and at times intimidating discipline I hope they are helpful for you Soli Deo Gloria Russell

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Lord it is not a guarantee that we will hear a certain and unambiguous message To Express Grief An example of this would be David s mourning the death of Saul and Jonathan 2 Samuel 1 11 12 In this sense fasting can be a means of expressing and releasing the intense emotions of grief and mournfulness During this kind of fast we may experience God s presence in a powerful and rich way providing for us and holding us through our pain To Seek Deliverance or Protection We see this kind of fast in Esther 4 16 or 2 Chronicles 20 3 4 In times of national emergency key leaders called upon the people of God to pray for deliverance from calamity Often this purpose went hand in glove with penitence and grieving of sin To Express Repentance and Return to God Professor Whitney places the fast called for in Joel in this category After grieving over sin there is a renewed sense of penitence and recommitment to a renewed way of life This is certainly applicable to individuals however it is interesting that in the prophets Joel and Jonah we see the calls for community wide fasting for the purpose of grieving sin repenting and returning to God To Humble Oneself Before God David talks about this as one of his purposes in fasting in Psalm 35 13 Humility is an inner stance that is greatly to be desired Humble yourselves therefore under God s mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time I Peter 5 6 If this is a primary purpose however then we would do well to remember Jesus teaching to fast secretly without making much ado about our fasting Matthew 6 16 18 To Express Concern for the Work of God Professor Whitney writes Just as a parent might fast and pray out of concern for the work of God in the life of a child so Christians may fast and pray because they feel a burden for the work of God in a broader scope He cites Nehemiah 1 3 4 and Daniel 9 3 as examples of this purpose in fasting This seems to me to be a deeper identification with the prayer Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven We pray for God s work in the world and fasting becomes a way to personally identify with that work and at the same time acknowledge our dependence upon God to be at work in places where we have no influence To Minister to the Needs of Others In Isaiah 58 the people of God say they have been fasting to no avail Why have we fasted they say and you have not seen it Why have we humbled ourselves and you have not noticed Isaiah 58 3 God offers an eye opening and convicting corrective Yet on the day of your fasting you do as you please and exploit all your workers Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife and in striking each other with wicked fists You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high Is this the kind of fast I have chosen only a day for a man to humble himself Is it only for bowing one s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes Is that what you call a fast a day acceptable to the Lord Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke to set the oppressed free and break every yoke Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter when you see the naked to clothe him and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood Isaiah 58 3 7 Here we see that a purpose of fasting is to soften our hearts to the needs of those around us Even though we may not be able to fix the world we can be God s instrument to our communities To Overcome Temptation and Dedicate Yourself to God Jesus fasting in the wilderness after his baptism is an example of this type of fast Matthew 4 1 2 Fasting is a way of anticipating the temptations and challenges that will accompany a new endeavor undertaking or calling It is a means of re dedicating yourself to God s purposes as you undertake something new To Express Love and Worship to God The prophetess Anna exemplified this purpose in her fasting After becoming a widow at a young age she moved to the temple precinct and dedicated herself to fasting and praying As Joseph and Mary presented the infant Jesus at the temple Anna came to them giving thanks to God and speaking to everyone around about the redemption of God s people Luke 2 36 38 This story of Anna s practice of fasting and prayer puts me in mind of Psalm 27 One thing I ask of the Lord this is what I seek that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple Anna s practice of fasting and prayer seems to fulfill this desire of simple enjoyment of fellowship with the Lord I find this list both encouraging and challenging It helps me get a better handle on what has seemed to be a confusing and at times intimidating discipline I hope they are helpful for you Soli Deo Gloria Russell

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For your weekend prayers we invite you to pray as you feel led paying close attention to what God has placed on your heart Call to Prayer Revival As I ve said in this column in the Courier and in the pulpit our congregation will be observing a two week call to prayer from September 27 through October 10 In our monthly Session meeting we worked out what this Call to Prayer will look like I m sharing these plans with you to help you to prepare The overall theme of our call to prayer is Revival This simple little word is packed with deep meaning It comes from the Latin root word vivere which means to live In the Christian church Revival is a special time in which the Holy Spirit brings new life and new spiritual energy to God s people Revivals are extraordinary seasons in the life of the church when profound inner growth produces extraordinary outward growth within the church Revival cannot be manufactured or orchestrated We do not produce Revival through careful planning clever schemes or detailed strategy The Holy Spirit brings Revival as the Holy Spirit will However a look back over the history of Revival shows us that a first move of Revival is a renewed commitment to prayer We are asking each member to commit to 30 minutes of prayer each day Some of you are already in that habit for others of you this will be a stretch If you ve never committed to that level of prayer before don t worry We re going to provide some resources to help guide you and make it a spiritually enriching experience Our Session has set some general themes for our prayers through the weekdays Monday Your personal spiritual growth Revival Tuesday Spiritual growth Revival for members of the congregation Wednesday Spiritual growth Revival in the extended CFPC family including mission partners Thursday That societal challenges including Covid 19 disunity and divisions would result in spiritual growth Revival Friday Growth Revival in the church both our congregation and the wider church of Christ Additionally we are inviting congregation members to consider fasting during this time We are suggesting the middle weekend as a good opportunity for a dietary fast that would be challenging to you This may be fasting from all foods but partaking of beverages Or perhaps it might be a restricted diet such as vegetables only Another possibility is to fast from some particular dietary element for the whole two weeks for instance abstain from caffeine or sugar for the whole period Yet another possibility would be to abstain from certain media for the whole two weeks Perhaps you might abstain from radio TV or social media for this period You have some time so please be in prayerful consideration about whether you may be called to the discipline of fasting during this time Finally we will have the sanctuary open for several days during this period times and dates TBD If you want to come down to church and pray we want to make that possible Brothers and Sisters let us join our hearts in prayer for ourselves one another our community and our church May the Lord shine his face upon us all Russell

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For your weekend prayers we invite you to pray as you feel led paying close attention to what God has placed on your heart Call to Prayer Revival As I ve said in this column in the Courier and in the pulpit our congregation will be observing a two week call to prayer from September 27 through October 10 In our monthly Session meeting we worked out what this Call to Prayer will look like I m sharing these plans with you to help you to prepare The overall theme of our call to prayer is Revival This simple little word is packed with deep meaning It comes from the Latin root word vivere which means to live In the Christian church Revival is a special time in which the Holy Spirit brings new life and new spiritual energy to God s people Revivals are extraordinary seasons in the life of the church when profound inner growth produces extraordinary outward growth within the church Revival cannot be manufactured or orchestrated We do not produce Revival through careful planning clever schemes or detailed strategy The Holy Spirit brings Revival as the Holy Spirit will However a look back over the history of Revival shows us that a first move of Revival is a renewed commitment to prayer We are asking each member to commit to 30 minutes of prayer each day Some of you are already in that habit for others of you this will be a stretch If you ve never committed to that level of prayer before don t worry We re going to provide some resources to help guide you and make it a spiritually enriching experience Our Session has set some general themes for our prayers through the weekdays Monday Your personal spiritual growth Revival Tuesday Spiritual growth Revival for members of the congregation Wednesday Spiritual growth Revival in the extended CFPC family including mission partners Thursday That societal challenges including Covid 19 disunity and divisions would result in spiritual growth Revival Friday Growth Revival in the church both our congregation and the wider church of Christ Additionally we are inviting congregation members to consider fasting during this time We are suggesting the middle weekend as a good opportunity for a dietary fast that would be challenging to you This may be fasting from all foods but partaking of beverages Or perhaps it might be a restricted diet such as vegetables only Another possibility is to fast from some particular dietary element for the whole two weeks for instance abstain from caffeine or sugar for the whole period Yet another possibility would be to abstain from certain media for the whole two weeks Perhaps you might abstain from radio TV or social media for this period You have some time so please be in prayerful consideration about whether you may be called to the discipline of fasting during this time Finally we will have the sanctuary open for several days during this period times and dates TBD If you want to come down to church and pray we want to make that possible Brothers and Sisters let us join our hearts in prayer for ourselves one another our community and our church May the Lord shine his face upon us all Russell

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A Call to Prayer The Session has called the congregation to a season of prayer for the next two weeks We re asking you to block out half an hour each day for prayer Our overall theme is Revival and we re asking you to pray for particular aspects of revival during the weekdays For our ministry toolkit this week we are providing some simple prompts for guidance if you need some direction in prayer Monday Your Personal Spiritual Growth Revival We begin by asking the Lord for revival in our own hearts This is a time when we ask the Lord to examine us and reveal to us things that we need to change It is also a time to ask for the Lord to grow within us a deeper love of him a greater joy in salvation a renewed peace in our relationship with him Where are you in your spiritual life and where is God taking you Some Scriptures for guidance Psalm 139 23 24 Psalm 51 a Psalm of penitence and self searching Psalm 42 a Psalm of yearning for God s power and presence in our lives Tuesday Spiritual Growth Revival for Members of the congregation Pray for the brothers and sisters who worship with you serve alongside you and enrich your life with fellowship Pray that the Lord may lead them to a deeper experience of his power and presence in their lives Consider using the church Friendship Directory as your guide and refer to our weekly bulletin Deacon s Prayer page for individuals with special prayer needs We are connected together and we pray that the Lord will grow us together Where is the Lord taking us as a congregation Some Scriptures for guidance John 17 20 26 Romans 12 3 13 Romans 15 1 13 Wednesday Spiritual Growth Revival in the Extended CFPC family including mission partners Not only are we connected with congregation members but we have an extended family in our mission partners and our brothers and sisters in the Presbytery of Cincinnati and the Presbyterian denomination Pray that God would be working through them to grow his kingdom and make his name known Where is the Lord at work in the Presbyterian church See section in this weeks bulletin for more details and specific individuals to include in your prayers Some Scriptures for guidance I Chronicles 16 23 31 Romans 10 13 15 Acts 1 5 8 Thursday That societal challenges including Covid 19 disunity and divisions would result in Spiritual Growth Revival We are all troubled by the state of society and we don t know how to fix it Only the Lord working in the hearts of people across our land will set things aright As we have prayed for our own revival we pray also for God s spirit to renew and revive our land Where is the Lord at work even in the midst of crisis Some Scriptures for guidance Isaiah 61 1 9 2 Chronicles 7 12 15 Joel 2 12 18 Friday Growth Revival in the church both our congregation and the wider church of Christ We pray Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven We pray that the church would become more faithful than ever before in presenting the kingdom of Christ We pray that the Kingdom would grow not only in our church but in churches around the world May we all see with greater clarity God s calling for his church How is the Lord working to revive his church even now Some Scriptures for guidance Psalm 36 Acts 2 42 47 I Corinthians 3 5 16

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A Call to Prayer The Session has called the congregation to a season of prayer for the next two weeks We re asking you to block out half an hour each day for prayer Our overall theme is Revival and we re asking you to pray for particular aspects of revival during the weekdays For our ministry toolkit this week we are providing some simple prompts for guidance if you need some direction in prayer Monday Your Personal Spiritual Growth Revival We begin by asking the Lord for revival in our own hearts This is a time when we ask the Lord to examine us and reveal to us things that we need to change It is also a time to ask for the Lord to grow within us a deeper love of him a greater joy in salvation a renewed peace in our relationship with him Where are you in your spiritual life and where is God taking you Some Scriptures for guidance Psalm 139 23 24 Psalm 51 a Psalm of penitence and self searching Psalm 42 a Psalm of yearning for God s power and presence in our lives Tuesday Spiritual Growth Revival for Members of the congregation Pray for the brothers and sisters who worship with you serve alongside you and enrich your life with fellowship Pray that the Lord may lead them to a deeper experience of his power and presence in their lives Consider using the church Friendship Directory as your guide and refer to our weekly bulletin Deacon s Prayer page for individuals with special prayer needs We are connected together and we pray that the Lord will grow us together Where is the Lord taking us as a congregation Some Scriptures for guidance John 17 20 26 Romans 12 3 13 Romans 15 1 13 Wednesday Spiritual Growth Revival in the Extended CFPC family including mission partners Not only are we connected with congregation members but we have an extended family in our mission partners and our brothers and sisters in the Presbytery of Cincinnati and the Presbyterian denomination Pray that God would be working through them to grow his kingdom and make his name known Where is the Lord at work in the Presbyterian church See section in this weeks bulletin for more details and specific individuals to include in your prayers Some Scriptures for guidance I Chronicles 16 23 31 Romans 10 13 15 Acts 1 5 8 Thursday That societal challenges including Covid 19 disunity and divisions would result in Spiritual Growth Revival We are all troubled by the state of society and we don t know how to fix it Only the Lord working in the hearts of people across our land will set things aright As we have prayed for our own revival we pray also for God s spirit to renew and revive our land Where is the Lord at work even in the midst of crisis Some Scriptures for guidance Isaiah 61 1 9 2 Chronicles 7 12 15 Joel 2 12 18 Friday Growth Revival in the church both our congregation and the wider church of Christ We pray Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven We pray that the church would become more faithful than ever before in presenting the kingdom of Christ We pray that the Kingdom would grow not only in our church but in churches around the world May we all see with greater clarity God s calling for his church How is the Lord working to revive his church even now Some Scriptures for guidance Psalm 36 Acts 2 42 47 I Corinthians 3 5 16

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Wednesday Spiritual Growth Revival in the extended CFPC family including mission partners As part of the Call to Prayer the suggested prayer time for Wednesdays is Spiritual Growth Revival in the extended CFPC family including mission partners Below is a guide to help you during this prayer time Our congregation has a long history of partnering with mission co workers serving both in the U S and around the world here s a listing of those individuals and agencies with whom CFPC currently partners CFPC Mission Co workers and Mission Agencies Ward Kari Ballard Navigators Collegiate Ministries Justin Krista Clermont African Inland Mission Chad Blair Jane Cook CRU International School Project Pat Durst International Friendships University of Cincinnati Rev Dustin Sherri Ellington PCUSA World Mission Zambia David Carleen Heath Wycliffe Bible Translators Nigeria Mark Marianne Householder Athletes in Action Rev Michael Rachel Ludwig PCUSA World Mission Niger Tim Huilan Monfort Mission to the World Taiwan Our congregation also continues an active partnership with two local mission organizations City Gospel Mission and Ohio Living Llanfair Retirement Community City Gospel has a broad ministry Covenant First partners each month to provide dinner at their facility in Queensgate Ohio Living Llanfair provides a full range of services at both their retirement community in College Hill and through in home services programming includes a weekly chapel service and a full time chaplain for the residents Covenant First is a member congregation of the Presbytery of Cincinnati and of the Presbyterian Church USA There are 66 other congregations in the Presbytery in greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky and southwestern Indiana all the congregations are listed on the Presbytery website if you d like to pray for all of these There are just under 10 000 Presbyterian Church congregations across the U S Presbytery of Cincinnati Key Leaders and Leadership Teams Elder Lisa Allgood Transitional Executive Presbyter Elder Bill Bogdan Moderator of the Presbytery Rev Carol Ferguson Vice Moderator of the Presbytery Presbytery Council Rev Adam Fronczek serves as chair of Council Pastor Smith is an at large member of Council Presbytery Trustees Rob Heidenreich serves as president of Trustees Permanent Judicial Council Paul Calico serves on this committee Committee on Preparation Rev Ed Goode serves as chair this committee will work with Margaret Heidenreich while she continues her seminary studies Congregational Renewal Vitality Rev Shawn Barkley leads this committee UKirk The Presbytery s campus ministry at UC Jonathan Sparks Franklin is the director Presbyterian Church USA Rev Gregory Bentley Elder Elona Street Stewart Co Moderators Rev J Herbert Nelson Stated Clerk World Mission Agency Supports mission co workers around the world including the Ellingtons and Ludwigs Presbyterian Disaster Agency Coordinates immediate and long term assistance for people impacted by natural disasters Presbyterian Foundation Manages endowment funds for congregations including the CFPC Music Scholar Fund Rejoice always pray continually give thanks in all circumstances for this is God s will for you in Christ Jesus 1 Thessalonians 5 16 18

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Wednesday Spiritual Growth Revival in the extended CFPC family including mission partners As part of the Call to Prayer the suggested prayer time for Wednesdays is Spiritual Growth Revival in the extended CFPC family including mission partners Below is a guide to help you during this prayer time Our congregation has a long history of partnering with mission co workers serving both in the U S and around the world here s a listing of those individuals and agencies with whom CFPC currently partners CFPC Mission Co workers and Mission Agencies Ward Kari Ballard Navigators Collegiate Ministries Justin Krista Clermont African Inland Mission Chad Blair Jane Cook CRU International School Project Pat Durst International Friendships University of Cincinnati Rev Dustin Sherri Ellington PCUSA World Mission Zambia David Carleen Heath Wycliffe Bible Translators Nigeria Mark Marianne Householder Athletes in Action Rev Michael Rachel Ludwig PCUSA World Mission Niger Tim Huilan Monfort Mission to the World Taiwan Our congregation also continues an active partnership with two local mission organizations City Gospel Mission and Ohio Living Llanfair Retirement Community City Gospel has a broad ministry Covenant First partners each month to provide dinner at their facility in Queensgate Ohio Living Llanfair provides a full range of services at both their retirement community in College Hill and through in home services programming includes a weekly chapel service and a full time chaplain for the residents Covenant First is a member congregation of the Presbytery of Cincinnati and of the Presbyterian Church USA There are 66 other congregations in the Presbytery in greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky and southwestern Indiana all the congregations are listed on the Presbytery website if you d like to pray for all of these There are just under 10 000 Presbyterian Church congregations across the U S Presbytery of Cincinnati Key Leaders and Leadership Teams Elder Lisa Allgood Transitional Executive Presbyter Elder Bill Bogdan Moderator of the Presbytery Rev Carol Ferguson Vice Moderator of the Presbytery Presbytery Council Rev Adam Fronczek serves as chair of Council Pastor Smith is an at large member of Council Presbytery Trustees Rob Heidenreich serves as president of Trustees Permanent Judicial Council Paul Calico serves on this committee Committee on Preparation Rev Ed Goode serves as chair this committee will work with Margaret Heidenreich while she continues her seminary studies Congregational Renewal Vitality Rev Shawn Barkley leads this committee UKirk The Presbytery s campus ministry at UC Jonathan Sparks Franklin is the director Presbyterian Church USA Rev Gregory Bentley Elder Elona Street Stewart Co Moderators Rev J Herbert Nelson Stated Clerk World Mission Agency Supports mission co workers around the world including the Ellingtons and Ludwigs Presbyterian Disaster Agency Coordinates immediate and long term assistance for people impacted by natural disasters Presbyterian Foundation Manages endowment funds for congregations including the CFPC Music Scholar Fund Rejoice always pray continually give thanks in all circumstances for this is God s will for you in Christ Jesus 1 Thessalonians 5 16 18

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REMEMBER OUR ELDERS Alex Balz Paul Calico Carol Carhartt Rod Crousey Bill Forsstrom Rob Heidenreich Rick Hopkins Karen Libourel Mike Millhaem REMEMBER OUR DEACONS Susan Ford Margaret Heidenreich Barbara Lambing Kirsten McKillop Susan Nehus Cindy Standen Melissa Ullman REMEMBER OUR CHURCH STAFF Rev Russell Smith Pastor Yolanda Ortiz Parker Choir Director Andrew Hackett Organist Genita Heidenreich Church Administrator Hayden Glasgow Organ Scholar Matthew Goodheart Choir Scholar Brenda Iglesias Choir Scholar Maddy Jentsch Choir Scholar Jordan Krack Choir Scholar Isaac Owens Choir Scholar Michelle Burke Nursery Jamie Borros Nursery Jason Harmon Interim Sexton REMEMBER OUR ACTIVE MILITARY Josh Baker Hanna Goering 1st Lieutenant Persian Gulf James Goering CW3 Honduras CPT Michael Goering Ft Brass Katie Goering Germany Jon Kan Air Force Andrew Rember Major Jonathan Rember Major Air Force Nathanael Katie Rember Achor Air Force Bradley Ullman Navy Darren Ullman Army

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REMEMBER OUR ELDERS Alex Balz Paul Calico Carol Carhartt Rod Crousey Bill Forsstrom Rob Heidenreich Rick Hopkins Karen Libourel Mike Millhaem REMEMBER OUR DEACONS Susan Ford Margaret Heidenreich Barbara Lambing Kirsten McKillop Susan Nehus Cindy Standen Melissa Ullman REMEMBER OUR CHURCH STAFF Rev Russell Smith Pastor Yolanda Ortiz Parker Choir Director Andrew Hackett Organist Genita Heidenreich Church Administrator Hayden Glasgow Organ Scholar Matthew Goodheart Choir Scholar Brenda Iglesias Choir Scholar Maddy Jentsch Choir Scholar Jordan Krack Choir Scholar Isaac Owens Choir Scholar Michelle Burke Nursery Jamie Borros Nursery Jason Harmon Interim Sexton REMEMBER OUR ACTIVE MILITARY Josh Baker Hanna Goering 1st Lieutenant Persian Gulf James Goering CW3 Honduras CPT Michael Goering Ft Brass Katie Goering Germany Jon Kan Air Force Andrew Rember Major Jonathan Rember Major Air Force Nathanael Katie Rember Achor Air Force Bradley Ullman Navy Darren Ullman Army