The Pastor's Page

The following is taken from the February 2000 issue of the church newsletter.

Every morning in the Joplin Globe newspaper there is, in the lower left-hand corner of the front page, a little section entitled "Millennial Wishes." In this little section there is a picture of a person who has, presumably, been asked what his or her wishes are for the new millennium, and the response is printed below the picture.

The responses, predictably, vary widely, but not only with respect to content. Some express wishes which are obviously for themselves as individuals. Some express wishes for those in their line of work, their vocation. Some express wishes that are very specific. Some express wishes that are very short-term.

But as Christians, let’s imagine that each of us has been asked a question. Instead of being asked for our wishes, we are being asked for our prayers. And these are not prayers that other persons may or may not know about immediately, but rather are prayers directed to God.

Imagine that you have been asked, "What are your prayers for the new millennium for your church?"

Well, obviously, you can’t limit yourself to praying for yourself; but would you be praying for other congregations in your denomination? Would you be praying for other denominations in the church of Jesus Christ in the world? What would be the breadth of your vision in your prayers?

And, in praying for the church, would that also include prayers for evangelism and mission? In other words, would you be praying for folks outside the church?

How specific would you be? Or would your prayers be on a grand scale?

Would you be praying for a short-term concern? Or would your prayers have long-term vision? Remember, these are millennial prayers.

I think that while we try hard to be good Christians, we are too often stuck in personal worlds with limited vision. We have concerns for ourselves and our families, but our communities are limited.

How often, in our prayers, and in our actions, do we express visions for the church beyond the next week or month? Do we have long-terms goals for our congregations? Or shall we leave that to someone else? Do we have true millennial dreams? A thousand years is a long time. But do we even have prayers for the faith communities of Jesus Christ for the next year?


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