This Week Virtual Hugs All Round from Mike

https://player.vimeo.com/video/413018212

Hi Church,
With Corona Virus case numbers steadily decreasing, we are another week closer to being able to meet together, and greet each other with handshakes and hugs again!  We look forward to resuming our normal church life. Until then, here’s our weekly update.

Why pray?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but for many, prayer is hard. I wonder if over lockdown without events in the evening or on the weekends, or no school to race off to, whether your prayer life has blossomed?

I heard a great quote from John Piper: “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”

Prayer is not hard because it takes time; prayer is hard because it’s a spiritual exercise.

In Peter’s first letter, he calls his readers to “Cast all your anxieties on [God] because He cares for you.” (1 Pet 5:5) Zoom out a little bit and see the surrounding context: it is spiritual warfare within the church. (The shepherds 5:1-4; the flock 5:5-7; the predator 5:8-9)

Prayer is a spiritual exercise that humbles us under God’s hand. It’s a spiritual exercise that helps us resist the devil (see also James 4:6-10). It’s a spiritual exercise that helps us draw near to God. And it’s a spiritual exercise that allows us to trade our anxieties for God’s peace (Phil 4:6-7).

If you’re like me, I am not looking forward to exercising after lockdown. I am out of shape! But the more I exercise, the easier it will get. This coming month of May, let’s set some goals to spiritually exercise through prayer!

Updates

May Month of Prayer

May is our church-wide month of prayer! Throughout the month, we will be running a prayer campaign and we invite you to join us!

We exist to Reach the world for God. When Jesus was preaching the gospel and saw the crowds, what was his response to his disciples? “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Mt 9:38) If we want to reach the world for God, we need to be a praying church.

Here is our challenge to you this month:

Set yourself some prayer goals
What would you like your prayer-life to look like? Who do you want to be consistently praying for? Set some stretching, measurable, attainable goals and how about finding a partner to journey this with throughout the month?

Schedule in Sunday prayer meeting
We will be facilitating church prayer meetings via Zoom Sundays at 9am (details below). Decide to be a part of those this month!

Look out online for our weekly challenges.
Each Monday in May, we will be posting a new “can-do” prayer challenge for the week. They will be practical and creative challenges. Prayer is hard but you can do it!

Let’s be a praying church, and let’s be a church that reaches the world for God!

Sunday Prayer Meeting
If you want to take up the May Month of Prayer challenge, here are the details for our Sunday 9am prayer meeting. All are invited to join in via Zoom!
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86189099930
Meeting ID: 861 8909 9930
Password: 291171

Alert Level 3
As you are aware, New Zealand has downgraded its Covid-19 alert to Level 3. For us, at this level there are no significant changes to how we will be doing church. We will be awaiting further clarification around guidelines at Alert Level 2 before we can plan what church will look like in the near future.

Reminders

  • Church History class is running Thursday nights at 7pm. For more details click here
  • Facebook Live with Pastor Greg will be happening this Sunday at 11am. You are encouraged to jump online here and interact with the message.
  • Mothers’ Day is coming up! Don’t forget to show your appreciation for your loved ones (which might take some creative thinking with your young kids at home!)

Have a great week, church! We look forward to worshiping together online on Sunday morning.
God bless,
The Orchard Church Elders and Staff

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