Starting A New Year
The start to a new year means the annual Prayer and Fast here at Sovereign Grace Church. The P & F prepares us as a church body for a new year by focusing our attention back onto God and asking Him for specific requests that we can watch Him answer throughout the year. While it can be a sober and somewhat difficult time physically due to the fasting part, it is also an encouraging time as our church gathers to pray at length together. Dan and Betsy Mazzucco, who were there with their five kids, are regulars at the P & F. “We have been coming to the P & F as a family for a few years. We have wanted our children to be a part of the church doing something powerful, humbly seeking God in prayer. And prayer is for all ages. You are never too young (or old) to pray.”
Friday night focused on four areas of prayer – Praise, Thanksgiving, Confession and Petition for the Holy Spirit’s work. The thanksgiving time was particularly sweet as folks shared what they were thankful for on an open mic for all to hear and rejoice in. Many prayers were offered up this evening for our church and all its various ministries. Worship through singing was spread throughout the evening as Joshua Gilmore led on the acoustic guitar with Connie Mall singing and Nicole Gilmore playing the djembe. The mood was celebratory and reflective – appropriate for the occasion of praying and fasting.
Saturday was a more personal time as specific groups of people received prayer. Joe Carnuccio poignantly said that he didn’t want anyone to leave that night without being prayed for. That set the tone for the evening, and for the next hour or so, folks wandered around the room praying for others with various challenges in the areas of health; marriage, parenting & singleness, and circumstances. The last two categories focused on praying for the next generation and community group leaders, ministry team leaders and deacons. After everyone was prayed, Ken Bond went up to the front and mentioned that there was one area we had not prayed for – the pastors. This sparked enthusiasm and an especially sweet time followed as folks formed small groups around each pastor and prayed for them and their spouses. What a blessing to pray for those who so faithfully pray for us throughout the year! It was particularly humbling to hear all the children’s prayers for the pastors and for others throughout the evening. The Mazzuccos went away saying, “it was an amazing encouragement to hear our children's tender hearts, compassion for others, and sincere prayers during this year's P & F. It was a blessing to observe God using our children to bless and serve others through our children's prayers.”