On June 22, 1854 our church gathered on the banks of the Mississippi River in Fletcher’s Hall, located at what is now 2nd Avenue South. As the summer air cooled on that Thursday evening, Reverend A.A. Russell preached a candidating sermon from Romans 1:16 - “for I am not ashamed of the gospel” - followed by a vote of our church to call him as our first Senior Pastor.
The passage that launched our first pastor’s ministry will now serve as the basis for our prayer in 2022, as we go about the work of relaunching our church into the next chapter of our ministry in the Twin Cities and beyond.
Coordinated and corporate prayer has Biblical precedent in several places, notably seen in the call of Jehoshaphat for a time of prayer and fasting in response to a significant need among God’s people (2 Chronicles 20:3-4). As a church family, we have begun a practice of praying in unity around a particular theme for each year.
A couple of years ago, we prayed that God would make us one (John 17:21), and that prayer gave us a foundation of unity that was necessary for 2020, a year filled with potential areas of conflict. Last year, we prayed that God would do more abundantly than we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21), and we have seen God’s providence bring about things we could not have conceived, but that we trust are for our good and God’s glory.
We have seen the way that our coordinated prayer focus has worked in and through our church family, especially the way we launched our prayer focus last year with 31 Days of Prayer & Fasting. In response to a day of fasting last January, one of our members said, “I could tell fasting is a powerful way for us to petition our God. I sensed his presence in a special way.” God works in powerful ways when His people seek his face in dependence and faith. Our church has given witness to this reality in many ways over the past year.
In 2022, we are asking God to strengthen our resolve in the gospel, so we can say with Paul that we are not ashamed of the gospel. Join us in this prayer together.