February 26, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Fellowship & Mission,
I humbly request and call our family of churches to a time of seeking God and presenting ourselves before Him in prayer for our shared mission vulnerabilities and opportunities. When we know our great weakness, we can know His great strength.
On March 16th, at this season’s final Wednesday Lenten service before Holy Week (or on Sunday, March 13th if that better suits your situation), I ask each of our congregations to set aside a portion of time to pray for our denomination. We are a people who believe that God hears the prayers of those who call on His name. He has promised, “where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).
Imagine not two or three, but thousands of congregants bowing in prayer throughout North America, lifting up our shared mission of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren.
Lutheran Brethren Seminary
Pray for the graduating class at Lutheran Brethren Seminary. Pray that the Lord will strengthen these young men in their calls. Pray for incoming students. Pray that the Lord will provide housing and jobs for them and their families. Pray for our faculty as they faithfully teach the Holy Scriptures to our future pastors and leaders.
North American Mission
Pray for our Regional Pastors as they come alongside our pastors and congregations. Pray that the Lord will give them wisdom in their calls. Pray that the Lord will raise up new Lutheran Brethren Church plants, as well as for the health and revitalization of our existing congregations. Pray that the Lord will give wisdom and grant His favor upon the three new CLB church plants that emerged in 2015, Epiphany (Manhattan, New York), Grace (Lincoln, North Dakota), and Bethel (Battle Lake, Minnesota).
Lutheran Brethren International Mission
Pray the Lord’s protection around our missionaries and their families. Pray for the work of the Bengtsons as they continue in Ishinomaki, Japan. Pray for the Christoffersons and the Kittelsons as they work among the Hakka people of Taiwan. Pray for the Bronson, Stanton, and both Szobody families as they minister to the unreached people of Chad. Pray that the Lord will raise up new missionaries, that we may continue and extend the work that He has called us to overseas.
Pray for financial support for our joint ministries. As we enter the final two months of our fiscal year we have 44% of our budget still needed to be raised. This number is very concerning. Please pray that the Lord will answer this need so that we may continue to train pastors, send missionaries, and support church plants.
Please set aside time on March 16th (or 13th) to join together with the larger Body of Christ as we prayerfully submit this work and ourselves to our Lord and Savior. May God bless you, and your ministry this Lenten season, as you proclaim the Good News of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ!
Grace & Peace,
Rev. Paul Larson
President, Church of the Lutheran Brethren