Week of Prayer

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Dear Partners in the Gospel:

The Apostle Paul was never shy about asking others to pray for him. “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:19-20, NIV 2011)

Following Paul’s example, we are asking you to pray for the Evangelical Free Church of Canada, from the local church to the districts, nationally and globally. To help you do that, we are providing this Prayer Guide designed for a week of prayer.

The EFCC leadership will be together in Langley March 6-12 for meetings and prayer. On Thursday, March 10 they will be participating in an all-day time of prayer and fasting for the EFCC. Perhaps you could join them that day in prayer where you are.

Click here to download the PDF Booklet

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Use this guide as you will. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Use it as a church the week of March 6-12 to pray for the EFCC
  2. Use it as individuals that week in March
  3. Use it at a week of your choosing to pray for the EFCC
  4. Use it indefinitely (the requests are not time-sensitive) for ongoing prayer for the EFCC

 

Whatever you do, please pray!

We are counting on your prayers.

Dave Acree

EFCC Prayer and Spiritual Life Catalyst

The Delusion of Prayerlessness

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Dave Acree is our Prayer Catalyst, eager to see more people to engage in a healthier prayer life. This is the accompaniment to our Prayer Calender, which you may find out more about here.

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DelusionofPrayerlessness
LDCatHave you been touched by it? “PIC”, that is, are you infected with it? “Prayer Inferiority Complex”, does it haunt you in your quiet moments of self-analysis? Are there times when you are dissatisfied with your life experience of prayer? Do you want to pray more; know you should pray more but find yourself praying less?

If so, you are part of a large and growing group of followers of Jesus. It started when Jesus was present on the earth. His disciples saw him pray and knew that they just didn’t measure up. They were struck with PIC. In Luke 11 one of his disciples finally asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.” So he taught them what to pray (the Lord’s Prayer) and followed that up with a parable on how to pray (with shameless audacity).

It is possible that those of us who experience PIC are being too hard on ourselves. Maybe our prayer expectations are too high. Do you recall any biblical commands or even teaching on how often to pray? No, biblical teaching and modeling is more concerned with how and what to pray rather than how much.

But there lingers still that nagging sense of prayer inadequacy; that we don’t pray enough; that we are prayer-deficient.

What keeps us from praying? Don Carson in his book, A Call to Spiritual Reformation, devotes a chapter to this, listing six excuses for prayerlessness:

  • I am too busy
  • I feel too dry spiritually
  • I feel no need
  • I am too bitter (with God or other people)
  • I am too ashamed
  • I am content with mediocrity

What keeps you from praying?

I’ve thought about what keeps me from praying so I’ll go first. Sheer foolishness is the first cause. “I’m doing just fine, thank you. I don’t need any help, let alone God’s help. I’m pretty much in control of things.” I’m horrified typing those words because I really don’t believe them but when I don’t pray I’m living like I do, living like God doesn’t exist. “The fool says in his heart there is no God.” (Psalm 14:1) That makes me a fool when I don’t pray!

That leads to my second cause for not praying. I’m delusional. Being foolish is acting like there is no God; being delusional is trying to take his place, thinking that I’m as good at being “god” as he is. “I can do that myself. I can fix that. I can do anything.” We sometimes call that suffering from delusions of grandeur.

What keeps me from praying is best said by O. Hallesby in his book entitled, Prayer (Augsburg, 1931, 17). “Prayer and helplessness are inseparable. Only he who is helpless can truly pray.” I tend to only pray when I or someone else needs something, something that only God can provide. That doesn’t happen often enough. No wonder I’m prayer-deficient!

That’s my confessional. Again, what keeps you from praying?

Self-analysis is strategic but this next question is the more important one. What are you going to do about it? We’ll tackle that one next month.

Big Problems Need Better Thinking (Coaching Clinic)

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In case you weren’t aware, the EFCC has a massive problem. Huge! The second largest in the world, actually. I mean, it’s basic geography: our country is simply enormous! Now, we’ve looked into it, and everyone we’ve talked to has told us that shrinking Canada isn’t really feasible. Certainly not now. Maybe not ever.

Sigh.

We’ve been wrestling with the question:

How do we facilitate meaningful, vibrant relationships between churches and leaders to enhance the EFCC’s spirit of community?

We want everything we do to have the most reach, but our ability to do national-scale events is limited. The two biggest priorities are the EFCC Conference and the Theological Summit, which alternate. This means we have EFCC-wide get-togethers each year. As a movement (not to mention as Home Office staff), we simply do not have the capacity to add more events at that scale.

We believe the way forward for us is to create distributed events.

These will achieve two things:

  1. attract and connect people of like minds, and
  2. resource people with specific insights and instruction to improve their ministry.

We are also thinking through how to leverage technology to augment our solutions. But technology cannot do it all. In-person, shared experiences are still the best path to start and strengthen relationships.

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The first distributed event of its kind is our Culture of Coaching Clinic, happening in Okotoks, AB April 22nd.

This isn’t another new program to fill your busy schedule with. It’s an approach to doing ministry.

The ministry your church is already doing.

With the people who are already involved!

You can see all the details in this pdf:
Culture of Coaching Clinic (web resolution)
Culture of Coaching Clinic (print resolution)

If you would like to register, click here:
Culture of Coaching Clinic registration

Equip for Harvest May 2016

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What is E4H?

charlieE4H stands for Equip for Harvest – a Church Planting Boot Camp Learning Experience.

May 13-16
Langley, BC

E4H is designed so that you and your board or leadership team will come away from this training experience better equipped to make disciples, especially through church planting, but also through your existing church ministries.

Presenters include Charley Worley, Lorin Bergen and Chris Yu.

In this training experience you will explore questions like:

  • How do you make and multiply disciples of Jesus through church planting?
  • How do you get from the dream stage to launching that first public service?
  • What does a core team and launch team look like and how do you build the core?
  • What is a disciple-making pathway for my church and how do I develop one?

More details are available on the E4H brochure, visible here.

If you’re interested in church planting in the EFCC, register for E4H today!