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In Times Like These, How Shall We Love, Convene, and Pray? – Part 3

By Fraser Venter

“I have prayed about our impact.”

As I have been praying — as I hope you have — for our upcoming General Conference and the space where nearly 2,000 Free Methodists nationally and globally will be present, I have prayed about our impact.

Here is my list of prayers, and I encourage you to join me.

Orlando, Florida, USA aerial cityscape towards Eola Lake.

I pray about how we stand with those who live in Florida long after we are gone, who will be a continual light demonstrating God’s love and goodness.

I pray for those in the Southeast Region Conference who will be ordained after the General Conference to be used by God to demonstrate His power and authority in the community to which they are called to minister the gospel.

I pray about the tough decisions culturally placed before them and us daily. And I pray for the wisdom to know when to be pastoral and when to be prophetic but always to bring His peace.

I pray that peace will be present for those who face natural anxiety by being marginalized. I pray they will be seen and loved.

I pray that the marginalized in our communities will see us as empathetic and engaging, not criticizing and retreating.

I pray for those who would feel unwelcome in any part of our country and that they would never feel abandoned, orphaned, or unloved in the fellowship of Free Methodists.

I pray that we would have eyes, ears, hearts, hands, feet, and minds to discern and act in spreading scriptural holiness to all in both word and deeds.

I pray for the host of our conference location, the Hilton, and all their employees who may come from underserved and marginalized populations that they will experience and see our generosity, grace, service, and witness as we are hospitable to one another while there and to them.

I pray that this beautiful message of freedom in Christ will be heard and seen repeatedly.

I pray that we will be a solid witness of what it means to be a people who once were in darkness but have been called into marvelous light.

I pray we will steward the light of the gospel in places surrounded by darkness — and stand securely with one another in our authority in Christ.

I pray that we, as Free Methodists, would be known by our love that is uncompromised in its biblical foundation but stretched in the complexity of being empathetic to those we are called to reach, support, and include.

I pray about discerning and dismantling the strongholds deeply rooted in the headlines of our culture.

I pray that we remember that no weapon formed against shall prosper and that our authority in Christ will release new freedom throughout the state and nation.

I pray that we/I would know when to be the serpent and when to be the dove — and how to steward in grace and love that power in His authority.

And I pray for our Free Methodist family that we do not forget we are people called to be holy and holy invasive. To love without compromise and to be counted as courageous when the culture continues to cry out in disunity, pain, and loss. To not be afraid of His love, our love that will produce a fruit that changes hearts, systems, and even headlines.

I pray that as we gather at GC as a diverse multiethnic Free Methodist Church, the world will see what it means to demonstrate love, honor, justice, peace, and unity.

I pray and will continue to pray that Holy Spirit will give strategy to our FM churches around the nation and globe that now is the time not to retreat from the grave crisis of our world but to introduce the One who conquered the grave, sin, and death.

I pray that we would be a Free people in Christ so that all of God’s children would experience this same freedom now and not yet.

Holy Spirit, now go before us, work in us, and love through us as we enter this sacred time not just to do business but to see the places we dwell changed by the goodness of our God in the land of the living.

The Holy Spirit brings a spiritual awakening in and through the church as she gathers in Florida that we would bring the message of the Kingdom in power, authority, and presence.

I pray Ephesians 1:17–21 (NRSV):

“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.”

And I pray all these things in the name of our God of peace, mercy, justice, and love.


Fraser Venter

Fraser Venter, D.Min., is the strategic catalyst for love-driven justice on the Free Methodist Church USA Executive Leadership Team. He previously served as the lead pastor of Cucamonga Christian Fellowship in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and as a superintendent of the Free Methodist Church in Southern California. He earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees at Azusa Pacific University. And is currently enrolled in the Masters of Justice and Advocacy at Fuller Seminary.

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