Soli Deo Gloria

Fasting & Prayer – Monday, July 26, 2021

God has been kind to always provide a place for Redeemer Baptist Church to gather. As we all know He has moved the heart of Crestwood Baptist Church to be willing to open up their building to us. In the process of getting to know Crestwood and talking about the future direction of their congregation and ours I have asked their leadership if they would ever consider the possibility of talking about a church merger. They have expressed that they would be interested to consider whether or not a joint effort like this could take place.

Before we pursue any formal conversations I have asked our congregation to fast and pray on Mondays from July 26th to September 6th for wisdom and discernment regarding the possibility of a merger. Below is a way that we can pursue fasting and praying together today. I plan to write a few points like this each Monday during this season to help us focus our prayer. Please do pray for other things that come to mind regarding this, but the points below should be a good starting point:

Fasting
– Choose one meal on these Mondays to abstain from for the particular purpose of praying.
– Let our hunger for food be a reminder of our hunger for Christ and wisdom from the Scriptures (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4).
– Let physical hunger grow our spiritual hunger to honor Christ together as a church in future conversations and decisions (Phil. 1:20; 1 Peter 3:15).
– Let our physical weakness remind us that we need God to lead us by His Word (Exodus 15:2; 2 Corinthians 12:9).
– If you have a medical condition that makes fasting unwise, feel free to simply pray.

Prayer
1. Wisdom
James 1:5-8 (ESV)
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
A. Pray that God would give us wisdom about how RBC might be a godly encouragement to Crestwood.
B. Pray that God would give us wisdom in conversations about doctrine, church polity, philosophy of ministry, the regulative principle regarding worship services and a church culture of meaningful membership and discipleship.
C. Pray for wisdom to be honest about strengths and weaknesses and how a possible merger may aide to strengthen.
D. Pray for wisdom about how a possible merger may build up the saints in both congregations and be a clear witness for the gospel in our community.
E. Pray that, while a building for a meeting place is in view, the chief concern would be to glorify Christ and care well for the souls in each congregation.
F. Pray for wisdom as to how a possible merger could aide the spread of the gospel in Des Moines and to the nations.

2. Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace
Ephesians 4:1-3 (ESV)
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
A. Conversations like this can be times that we are tempted toward division and conflict, pray that God would guard us from this.
B. Pray that secondary issues, while important, would not be a cause for disunity.
C. Pray that God would make us humble as we consider a possible merger.
D. Pray that God would enable us to have a spirit of gentleness as we consider this.
E. Pray that we would bear with one another in love.
F. Pray that the possibility of a merger would not seek to build unity around anything other than God’s authority in the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

3. That the Gospel Would Speed Ahead and Be Honored
2 Thessalonians 3:1 (ESV)
“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you.”
A. Pray for opportunities to encourage Crestwood and RBC to faithfulness in the gospel.
B. Pray that conversations about possible merger in partnership and polity, whether anything happens or not, would only serve our mission of preaching the gospel and making disciples. 


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