Prayer Guide (Week 2)

Wednesday Night Prayer Guide 

Theme: Influence

All Saints Church vision is to earn the right to influence all who believe, doubt and seek in Queen Anne and Seattle. Our focus will be praying to influence the city, nation, and the world. We are aware of the issues and challenges many are facing in Seattle and around the world. (Trafficking, slavery, poverty, disease, homelessness, financial instability, lack of leadership).

So, how do we have influence? We believe we must ask God for wisdom, mercy, kindness, and love. 

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples, but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. (Isaiah 60:1-2)

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.(1 Tim 2:1-2)

  • Read the passages two or three times
  • This time, let your mind and heart go to a place where you can feel the impact and meaning of the text.
  • Which word or sentence did you feel the most impact? 
  • Use this work or sentence to fuel your prayer.
  • Incorporate this into your prayer for our Church, friends, co-workers, neighbours.
  • Let the Holy Spirit bring to mind a person, or cause and pray using these words.

Here is a guide in praying for those who have influence in our city and country:

First, Pray for elected and appointed officials(1 Tim 2:2). We talk and complain a lot about politicians, but do we pray as often as we should, as often as we are compelled to pray by scripture? We should pray, not only that our leaders would use their power well on behalf of the people (Rom 13), but also for the well-being of their families. My suggestion is that we pray for all leaders, not just the ones with whom you agree.

Pray for public servants and first responders. Around the country, at this very moment, millions of men and women wear a uniform and have pledged to protect us from harm. Police officers, fire-fighters, paramedics, search and rescue teams and others put their lives on the line every day. Pray for wisdom and discernment, pray they would use their power well, pray for their families.

Pray for racial justice. It is clear that there is still much work to be done in our country to heal from our racial wounds and to see more racial progress. We should pray for more unity in our communities and in our country and for leaders who unite, rather than divide. Pray for just laws to address racial disparities. Pray that the church will lead the way, showing by its steps toward racial reconciliation, a glimpse of the kingdom, where God will gather every nation, tribe, and tongue

Pray for the recognition of human dignity. Everywhere we look, we see violations of human dignity, from the horrific rhetoric some leaders are using to talk about immigrants and refugees, to the violence erupting in the neighborhoods in our cities. Pray for laws that see value and worth in every human life.

Finally, Pray for the church. The most powerful institution on earth is the church of Jesus Christ, made up of people from every nation, tribe and tongue. Pray for God’s people to unite together around the good news of the gospel and to commit to living on mission for him in each community. Pray the church would embody the kind of other-worldly values of the Kingdom and point people to the hope found only in Christ. Pray that the influence of love and justice would prevail. 

Prayer Guide

All Saints Church is gathering for prayer every Wednesday night during the month of January. We realize with all the traffic issues, it may be difficult for everyone to join us. So, I am posting the prayer guide for you to join us virtually. We invite you to take a moment and pray with us.

Our theme for 2019 is Influence.

Week 1 | Ephesians 3:14-21

All Saints Church vision is to earn the right to influence all who believe, doubt and seek in Queen Anne and Seattle. That is to say, this week we will be praying for our church, neighbourhood, friends, and co-workers.

So I bow in prayer before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name. 16 I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit. 17 I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. 18 And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.20 With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. 21 To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen.

  • First, Read the passage two or three times.
  • Now, let your mind and heart go to a place where you can feel the impact and meaning of the text.
  • Which word or sentence did you feel the most impact? 
  • Use this word or sentence to fuel your prayer.
  • Incorporate this word or sentence into your prayer for our Church, friends, co-workers, neighbours.
  • Finally, let the Holy Spirit influence your mind and heart and think of a person, or cause and pray using these words.

Write out thoughts, pictures, or reminders of what your next steps are as you take action on your prayer.

Refugees and Immigrants

Since 2012, All Saints Church has participated with Advent Conspiracy to radically counter our consumer mentality by ‘spending less and giving more.’ As a result, we have given $96,000 to organizations that are making Seattle better.  This year, All Saints Church is partnering with World Relief Seattle to resettle an immigrant family here in Seattle.

I’d like to encourage you to click on the link above and see the work World Relief  is doing. Because of all the fear and misinformation surrounding the immigration crisis in the U.S., we are hopeful that those who are within the reach of All Saints Church will join us in reaching our goal of $9,000. Incredibly, this money goes a long way!

  • Airport reception
  • Securing permanent housing, furniture and household items
  • Obtaining basic necessities, including food and clothing
  • Helping them apply for Social Security
  • Registering children for school
  • Scheduling and providing transportation to initial health screenings and ongoing health services
  • Providing orientation on various topics related to life in the United States
  • Helping to link and refer to available resources and services in Western Washington

Join us on Sunday morning at 10am, or listen to our podcast that is available directly after our gathering on Sunday afternoon. A couple next steps: First, please consider a donation to help us reach our goal. Second, when there, click the drop down menu on our donation page, select ‘Advent Conspiracy – 2018.’ And finally, All gifts are tax deductible.

Thank you and Merry Christmas!

The Blessing of Doubt

All Saints Church will continue our Holy Week contemplation with an interactive prayer time this Good Friday, March 30th, from 6-8pm. You are invited to come and meditate on the last hours of Jesus’ life. There are stations around the auditorium that focus on an aspect of the suffering and death of Jesus, the prayer walk ends with the Holy Supper. You are welcome to stay for the entire time or enough time to walk through the stations.

On Easter Sunday, April 1st,  we will celebrate the Resurrection of Christ at our 10 am gathering. We will look at John 20:24-31, and learn from Doubting Thomas. This text is about as April Fool’s as you can get. Thomas is a disciple, and he is known as doubting Thomas. Historically, Thomas has been vilified by Christians because of his doubts expressed in these verses. Many scholars differ with this assumption and instead present Thomas ‘a realist, a person who evaluated the situation on the basis of what he could perceive. Thomas is not merely a pathetic doubter. He is a paradigm of many believing people who are capable of great possibilities as well as hesitations in faith.’

Check out All Saints website for more information.

Sunday March 11, 2018

This Sunday we are looking at a controversial text in Colossians (3:18-4:1), the traditional view of this would be ‘rules for Christian households.’ I would like to look at this through the lens of unity. In every relationship and role we have, we need to seek unity. This applies equally to husbands, wives, children, employers, employees, and so on.  I believe this text can perhaps help us be advocates for the various movements that are happening across America. As a Christ follower, I want my voice to be in the mix, not as an outlier or a marginalized kind of thinker.

Let’s see where this goes and spark conversations with friends and family. See you Sunday at 10am.

Ready, set, HOME!

It really feels like the last week of this initial phase in my studies. It was a very rigorous week as I had to present my topic to the faculty and then answer their questions and critiques. This is part of the process, the further along I go, the tougher the scholars will be as they probe and pick at my work to make sure it will contribute to knowledge.

I look forward to being home. I miss my Sue and the family so much. I miss my All Saints family also. I look forward to preaching on November 5th. I am so grateful for the guest speakers that did such a wonderful job while I was in Oxford. Thank you Andi, Joe, Ray, Bob, and Brendan. A great gift you all are to the community of All Saints.

I have been journaling my experience here; it has also helped me expound on ideas and narrow my focus. Here is a snippet of my journal from last week:

I am fractured in many different places emotionally, psychologically, and physically. I naturally go to self doubt when faced with a big challenge. I also look around for ways to balance it by looking for others words and ideas rather than contemplating the word, my soul, and the Spirit of God. I want to believe that I have the ability, intelligence, and power of the Spirit to navigate this…So, God I ask…help me with my unbelief. I need discipline, grit, and the belief that God is directing me everyday. I believe this project will have repercussions that impact the Kingdom of God in ways that are far beyond my imagination, and it will create conversation and new forms that can impact the urban church in cities all over the world.

I am ready to continue this work. See you next Sunday!

A study break in the Cotswolds

It has been a long week, so much to take in but good progress on my research question. So today, I was invited out to the Cotswolds with some friends. The Cotswolds are what inspired Tolkein to call the Hobbits home, The Shire. It is lovely. Here are a few pictures:

The above is St. Mary’s Church

So many views like this, a passageway off the main street into a little neighborhood. 

So, now it’s back to the books tomorrow. The process of landing on a research question is becoming more clear everyday. It is a such a daunting process, but the reward will be worth it….in 5 or 6 years. I am grateful and humbled that I get to do this.

I look forward to getting home. I get to preach at All Saints on November 5…’remember, remember the fifth of November’…wait, wrong context. I’ll be back later this week.

Do technology and religion belong together?

As I begin the arduous journey of writing a theses, I am pulled in so many different directions. At the time of this writing, I am interested in technology and the kind of community that can come from it. In other words, can technology  provide the interaction, intimacy, and ultimately discipleship relationships that are necessary in Christian community? The American church has suffered greatly with a lack of discipleship and deep community; the end result of this project has to be way toward depth and intimacy.
As cities increase in density, and housing prices soar, the church must have a solution for those who are unable to “keep up with the joneses.” The fact is, churches are needed in cities and neighborhoods, an issue for these churches is sustainability financially, culturally, and theologically. This has become an issue for most churches that reside in cities like Seattle, NYC, Chicago, and LA, to name a few. Another issue facing churches is the transient nature of most urban people. In a city like Seattle, where many people come to pad their resume, the likelihood of a long term stay or the feeling of calling Seattle ‘home’ is generally unlikely. A few reasons for this is the lack of affordability and the American dream of owning a home with a yard and white picket fence. In a city like seattle, single family homes are becoming a snapshot of another time and era. The next step for a young family is to move outside of the city and raise their family. This, then, makes churches in urban centers usually smaller and unable to afford the soaring costs associated with city life.
Can technology be an answer? Can the use of social media foster the community and sustainability that is needed for urban churches to remain present in the neighborhood it is serving? Is technology able to create biblical fellowship that produces and fosters the same intimacies that happen in person to person encounters?

Red Pill or Blue Pill?

I know, I know, you’ve seen the movie and this is nothing new. Well, I am gaining a whole new appreciation for the metaphor. In this endeavor to study for, and get a PhD, the temptation to take the blue pill is real. (I’m only a week in!). Take the blue pill, go home, and everything stays the same. However, the red pill is all about how deep the rabbit hole goes. I must say the desire to search, uncover, pry open, and discover is much more appealing. The rabbit hole is deep, and I want to know how deep it goes.

The research on technology and faith is uncovering some very interesting research. For instance, church leaders using the internet to keep connections, and keep up with relationships has become common place (from 78% in 2000, to 98% in 2014. Barna Research). The exciting part of technology is the ability to create religious experience and connect people to Christ. This ‘new media’ is being used more and more. I look forward to exploring what that could mean for a church like ours in a city like Seattle.

I’m off to get a glass of water, I need to take a pill….

Technology and Community

I grabbed an excerpt from my writing journal this week. This is only beginning thoughts, but I’d like to give it a go and see what questions or comments you may have.

As I begin the arduous task of writing a thesis, I am flooded with so many different directions. At the time of this writing, I am interested in technology and the possibilities of community that can be developed from it. In other words, is technology able to provide the interaction, intimacy and ultimately, discipleship relationships that are necessary in Christian community? The American church has suffered greatly with regard to discipleship and deep community, the end result of this project has to be way toward depth and intimacy. I am curious to know if technology can provide such an experience. Is technology an answer? Can the use of social media foster the community and sustainability that is needed for Urban churches to remain present in the neighborhood it is serving? Is technology able to create biblical fellowship that produces and fosters the same intimacies that happen in person to person encounters? 

Down the rabbit hole I go.