Pastoral Letter

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

 

By the mercy of God, I have been pastoring Peace Evangelical Church more than six months. In the past contacts, I can feel the close brotherly love and sisterly care in our church. There is also a strong passion for evangelism among us. I give thanks to God for this. I hope we can continue to pursue for growth by working out true Christian love per Simon Peters exhortation: K to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:7-8) Due to the motivation of the unfailing love of Christ, it provides us strength to bear witness for Him in this world. However, by my observation there seems to be a potential danger in our church V neglect of the praying ministry. Some of us do not have a good constant praying habit. Some couples do not pray with the same mind everyday. Many parents just neglect their responsibility to build up an altar of prayer at home. Due to multiple-tasking involvement in church ministries, many serving brothers and sisters spend more time in their ministries rather than in prayer. No consistent effort on the knees and with tears is found behind these ministries. Regarding the church praying meeting on Wednesday, some of us consider it as a less important church meeting. The attendance has indicated the reality of this mind set. Although many of us know and understand the essence of prayer in church, we are subconsciously marginalizing the praying ministry by our action. Through the redemption of Jesus Christ, we are elected and called by God into His Kingdom, becoming a nation of priesthood and performing a mediatorial role of intercession and prayer. Prayer, intercession and supplications are the basic responsibilities of a priest. It is because praying is serving God. If we overlook the duty of prayer, we commit the sin of negligence. We fall short of the glory and grace of God. We also owe others prayers that are due to them.

 

My beloved brothers and sisters, we are now progressively moving forward in church construction project. Due to a big increase in construction cost, our building project is a difficult mission. But to me, it is a more challenging mission to be accomplished by building up all the members of our church. It is a more difficult task than fund raising for a church building. When Jesus Christ saw selling and buying in Jerusalem temple, He zealously said: My house shall be called a house of prayer. (Matthew 21:13) St. Paul also mentions: Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16) Therefore, we know that God expects to see and find from us a team of praying ministers. Without the spirit of prayer, we do not know how to build up ourselves according to His Holy will. If we want to fulfill the Kingdom and will of God on earth, we should finish it by prayer. If we constantly neglect the importance of prayer, the church construction project may lose its true meaning. We cannot finish our church building without the prayer of dependence on God. When the first group of exiled Jews returned to the city of Jerusalem, they immediately began to rebuild their temple. Their construction project started from the building up of an altar. The Jews were afraid of their enemies; they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening burnt offerings. (Ezra 3:3) My beloved one, before we construct our physical church building, let us first begin to erect a personal altar of prayer, an altar of prayer at home and in our church. 

 

Hence, may I encourage you to cultivate a personal habit of constant prayer. Let the couple has prayer with the same mind every day. Let the brother be a faithful priest to lead the whole family to build up an altar of prayer at home. If you have small children, please try to work out a schedule so that either husband or wife may have equal opportunity to attend church prayer meeting. Dont treat our Wednesday prayer meeting as a less important gathering. I understand that work, family, children and study ask a lot of our time everyday. If we set our mind and goal right with our Lord, it is still acceptable before God and well pleased by God. Find a partner of prayer in your fellowship and begin to pray for one and other. Jesus says: But one thing is needed. (Luke 10:42) Though He refers this to Mary who sat at His feet and heard His word, please allow me to apply this Scripture into our daily ministry of prayer. I hope many of us may choose that good part, which will not be taken away, by well practicing prayer in both private and public life.

 

In His Service,

 

Brother Daniel To