A Pastor's Prayer
I remember as a soon-to-be dad feeling a deep love for our children. Even before I had seen them, God had placed in my heart a strong desire to know, protect, and care for our kids. Being a father is a gift I treasure, and my love for our children has grown even greater with time.
In a similar way, the closer we get to planting, the more aware I am of my love for the people of the Trails. Even though we have not yet constituted as a church, God has placed in my heart a strong love for our church: to know, protect, and care for you as your pastor.
In a recent core group meeting we looked at the prayer of Paul for the church at Philippi. Listen to how deep Paul’s love is for his church:  For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. Paul is not holding anything back in how he feels for this group of people – he loves them and he wants them to know it. This love also leads him to pray faithfully and specifically for the church. He writes to them,
 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,  so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:8–11)
Under the arm rest in my truck, between the front seats, I keep a list of our core group. This passage has shaped the way I pray as I drive around town over the last few weeks. Here are five specific things we see Paul pray, that we also can pray for our church, and those who will be joining us.
- Let our love abound more and more, with knowledge and discernment.
- Let us be a people who approve what is excellent.
- Let us be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.
- Let us be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.
- Let us be a church that exists to the glory and praise of God.
What a helpful and beautiful prayer to be praying for a new church plant. Would you join me in praying these five prayers for our church? Any time the gospel advances, it comes at a cost. People will be giving of their time, their talent, their finances. They will be leaving what is familiar, and comfortable to step out into the unknown. They will need your prayer. We have an incredible opportunity to form a new church as a people of prayer.
People of the Trails Church, I love you already. I am so grateful to get to be your pastor, and I cannot wait to see all that God has in store for us. I am sure of this – that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6)