We confess that in the midst of a sinful world, we often fail to foster gratitude as a discipline. We are tempted to settle for the cheap, naïve thankfulness of denial, trying to ignore the pain and brokenness in our lives and around us. Alternatively, we forgo gratitude entirely, letting the poison of pessimism or entitlement creep into our hearts. At his lowest point, surrounded by enemies and in the depths of despair, King David felt all too keenly the hurt and desperation of injustice. He cried out to you, “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. . . . My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God” (Psalm 69:1-3, ESV). And yet David ended his psalm in gratitude and worship: “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. . . .When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners” (Psalm 69:30-33, ESV). So give us faith to feel the pain of a broken world and to celebrate Your unfailing goodness. Let us rejoice with Paul, singing, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3, ESV).
Specific Prayer Requests
- Please pray for the staff and board of the Chalmers Center as they continue the process of 2014 strategic planning. Pray that God would grant them wisdom, discernment, and excitement as Chalmers continues its work in equipping the church to empower the poor.
- Join us in thanking God for the generous financial ministry partners who have made our work in 2013 possible. Pray that God would encourage them as they steward His money in support of His work in the world.
- Join us in praising God for providing Chalmers with a new staff member, Laura Hunter. Laura is joining Chalmers’ international team, where she will contribute to savings group curriculum design and training.
- Please pray for Chalmers’ West Africa Program Director, Gregg Burgess, as he equips lead trainers with Wycliffe-Benin. The church and ministry leaders will then train pastors to establish gospel-driven, church-centered savings group ministries in their own communities. Pray for safety as the participants and Burgess travel to and from the training, and pray that it would be a mutually refreshing time of fellowship and encouragement.
- Pray for the upcoming Chattanooga Faith & Finances training in January. Pray that God would assemble the right group of church and community leaders, and that it would be a platform for effective collaboration in our hometown. Further, pray that God would use it to mobilize Chattanoogans to walk alongside our low-income brothers and sisters in new ways.
We are owned by You. As David sang, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein . . .” (Psalm 24:1, ESV). You are indeed “the King of glory, the Lord strong and mighty,” the ruler and sustainer of all things (Psalm 24:8, ESV). But Your ownership is not one of oppression. You love us and chose to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). This holy and gracious kingship is the antidote both to our pride and our despair. We are Your creatures, dependent on You in all things. But You govern us with mercy and love, calling us Your children. As Your ambassadors, let us boldly proclaim Your dominion over all things, challenging the darkness around us and comforting the broken. We await the coming fullness of Your Kingdom. But in the meantime, we sing with David, “Lift up Your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in” (Psalm 24:7, ESV).
Specific Prayer Requests
- Please pray for our upcoming Faith & Finances training in Raleigh, NC on October 11th - 12th. Pray that it would be a time of mutual encouragement for the church and ministry leaders present, and that they would leave equipped to start Faith & Finances classes in their own communities. Also, please pray for safety as Chalmers’ staff and the attendees travel to and from Raleigh.
- Please join us in praising God for a fruitful Helping Without Hurting Seminar in Tulsa, OK last weekend. Pray that God would grant the church and ministry leaders in attendance perseverance and wisdom as they implement these principles in their communities.
- Please continue to pray for Chalmers’ church and ministry partners in West Africa. In particular, pray that He would give church leaders joy and endurance as they form gospel-driven savings group ministries in their local congregations.
- Please pray for wisdom and peace as Chalmers’ leadership and board discuss detailed plans for 2014. Pray that God would make His direction clear as they explore many exciting opportunities to equip churches to empower the poor in new ways.
We are dust, and our days are like grass that withers in the field (Psalm 103:14-15). But we confess that there are times when we fight against the reality of our finitude, attempting to serve You and others apart from the sustaining power of Your Spirit. Humble us when we stubbornly fall into self-sufficiency, and teach us to rest in our own inadequacy. For as You reminded Paul, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (II Corinthians 12:9, ESV). And even as we come to accept our finitude, give us a deeper understanding of Your infinite goodness, mercy, and power. Let our work in this world point others to that ultimate greatness and steadfast love, never the gifts You graciously lend us to steward on Your behalf. May we enter into the chorus of all creation as it blesses Your holy name, a song born of humility and awe (Psalm 103:17).
Specific Prayer Requests
- Please join us in thanking God for the board and leadership of the Chalmers Center. Pray that God would guide them as they consider how to best steward the opportunities He gives us to equip the church to empower the poor.
- Please pray for the upcoming Helping Without Hurting Seminar in Tulsa, OK on October 5th. Pray that it would be a time of both reflection and encouragement for those in attendance, and that it would serve as a catalyst for collaboration and engagement within the community.
- Please pray for the church and ministry leaders who are currently training to lead Faith & Finances classes in their communities. Pray that God would use the course to prepare them to walk alongside low-income people in humble relationships. And please pray for safety as they travel to Raleigh, NC on October 11th-12th to complete the live portion of their training.
- Join us in praising God for incredible opportunities to partner with denominations and church-equipping organizations in West Africa via our savings groups program. Pray that He would continue to open doors for more and more churches to form savings groups in their communities, providing a platform for discipleship and lasting economic transformation.