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Pray Better

Greg and Susan Williams
Greg and Susan Williams

Dear GCI Family and Friends,

As I write this update, I am travelling to Fargo, North Dakota (Susan’s home state). From there, Superintendent Mike Rasmussen and I will head north and join the National Director of Canada, Bill Hall, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for a three-day conference with pastors and ministry leaders with the theme, “Welcome Home.” We anticipate a wonderful time of regathering after the Covid pandemic and a time of learning and inspiration. (I’ll write about this in our next issue.)

When I prepare to make such trips, I solicit prayer support from the extended Home Office family. Safe and uninterrupted travel is part of the request (especially with all the travel-related horror stories circulating in the news). In a book on Christian leadership I recently read, the author challenged us to think about better prayers, rather than just more or longer prayers. I surmised this to mean more thoughtful and more specific prayers. It caused me think about the words of James when he said, “You have not because you ask not.”

I have come to take a fresh look at prayer. Beyond my personal safety and comfort, plus a general covering of blessing on the meetings, what if I prayed about conferences and celebrations with more intent? Would you join me?

Lord, be with the presenters in their time of preparation. Give them the thoughts and words that the attendees need to hear. Bless them with creativity and passion so that the presentations of the gospel are exciting and move the listeners to action. Jesus, be in the hearts and minds of all who gather that there is a palpable sense of receptivity. Jesus, meet us in the informal gatherings – the shared meals, chats in the hallway, late night discussions, and even the difficult conversations that need to take place. Bring us together in a spirit of unity and harmony. May we deeply appreciate the opportunity simply to come together after this long season of being unable to gather. We join the Psalmist in saying, “How good and pleasant for brothers to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). Most importantly, we come together to raise up your name, Jesus, and proclaim you as Lord of our lives and Lord of your church. Jesus, we worship you and declare that we are here to seek your will and humbly ask that you empower us to be the church you would have us be. In your strong name, we anticipate your positive response to our requests. Amen!

May we also be in prayer for our weekly services and our neighborhood engagement. God is present in and cares about our Hope and Love Avenues. We’re soaking up Jesus’ presence when we pray, and his presence transforms us.

After the Canadian conference, Susan will join me, and we will jet off to Australia and Fiji. In late September, I am in the Philippines for a week, and I will then end my 2022 travel outside the U.S. in October with a trip to France. All of these are important gatherings that deserve to be covered in prayer. And just as we pray about the preparation and execution of these gatherings of God’s people, let’s remember to pray about the longer-term lasting impact that they have as pastors, leaders, and members return to the local expression of the church. Lord, continue to guide, bless, and empower our journey toward Healthier Church!

Going Forward on Our Knees,
Greg Williams

15 thoughts on “Pray Better”

  1. Currently I am reading The Burning Heart Contract by Becky Tirabassi. It is a 21-Day Adventure that will increase your power in prayer, decrease your desire for the things that diminish your love for God, fuel your faith beyond your wildest dreams, and surprise you with how much God loves you and wants to use you to change the world!

  2. Many thanks to God. and to Greg, Mike, and Bill for the very beneficial conference in Saskatoon! The GCI Church in Winnipeg is busily building on the “Team-based, Pastor-led” concept. We are reaching out to our neighbors with our church’s food bank. We served close to 80 families yesterday. They were very happy to receive our help, and our food bank team was very happy to serve them.

  3. Thank you so much everyone for the wonderful Australasian conference. I went empty and came home so full. Thank you Jesus

  4. I also just happen to be reading a book on prayer by an unknown Christian who offers up some interesting perspectives on the subject.If a person does not believe the essential ingredient of the Christian experience is prayer, this book “The Kneeling Christian ” may produce a genuine epiphany.

  5. Intercessory prayer, is in a way, a great and wonderful mystery. For one, besides it being a matter of obedience as stated by the scriptures, it also helps us build a closer personal relationship with our loving God. And, in some for us not fully explainable way, prayer is part of the established process through which our Lord pours grace unto his beloved children and help seekers.

  6. It is the heart that drives the matter. The friendship, care and thoughtful concern for others is from the light of the Eternal Father. When we take the time to pray, the Holy Spirit drives the thoughts to our heart of hearts. No words given to the Yahweh in love, no matter how many or few are ever not weighed.

  7. Mr Greg Williams you are right to look more at prayers. Jesus really wants that we can do the mission to bring the good news of the kingdom as a witness to the nations. And our personal relations with Jesus can really mean, asking Jesus more directly what his purpose is for the church and the ministry and leadership. Have good safe weeks ahead!

  8. Thank you, Greg! Yes, I am praying for the Canadian Conference. I know the Triune God is with you and will bring success as you all follow the Holy Spirit’s lead for Healthy Church!

  9. Thanks Greg for including us in your prayer before the gathering together of the ministry in Canada. Prayer is our communication with God and draws us together with one another. In prayer thru faith we already have what we ask for and when we receive those things we ask it increases our faith! Rm 4:17, 20-21

  10. Hi Greg 👋 Glad to hear 🙉 you are on the run! I pray that you have a wonderful safe trip. Also pray 🙏 that we all accomplish what Jesus would want us 😁 to do . Praises and glory to him. From Darlene 💐 in Colorado home 🏡 church.

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