|“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes…” Romans 1:16 (NIV)|
We are living in a season where it seems everyone is so easily offended. As a result, much of the church has grown afraid to speak up. Jeremiah called us to be influencers and not to be influenced by the world (15:19). Paul told of the being transformed instead of conformed to the world (Romans 12:2). I believe God is calling His church to preach the gospel of Jesus with more clarity. We are not to be ashamed of the cross, but to preach it (1 Corinthians 1:18). God is calling His kids to stand out. The Church is meant to be different, to look different from the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Our message is what the world needs. It is the solution, but the enemy has silenced us out of fear of offending someone. Jesus told us that we would be hated by the world because He was hated by it (Matthew 10:22). The gospel has been sugarcoated. Grace has been cheapened. Please pray for your pastor and church, for God to set them apart unto Him! Pray for the gospel to be preached and lived out so the world would see. St Francis of Assisi wrote, “Preach the gospel always and when necessary use words!” May your life preach the cross of Christ and His gospel!!! ALWAYS!
Here are some options to pray with and/or for others this month….
Student Pastors Prayer
Thursday, July 2 / 9 to 10am
Watkinsville First Baptist Church (in the student center) – 1610 Simonton Bridge Road, Watkinsville 30677 The Student Pastors will continue to meet on the first Thursday of the month. In July we will be doing it in person!!! Student Pastors across Athens must continue to be very creative as churches start to open up and students begin to trickle back! Please join us from wherever you are and pray that God would draw students back in, even more hungry than before! Be praying for all those who minister to the youth of our city, starting with the ones at your church. Pray that God would prepare them for this season as school is just about ready to start (hopefully). Pray that God would protect these Students Pastors, their teams and grant them creativity and wisdom as they reconnect with their students and stir them toward Jesus and missional lives! Pray for all the students in our city as well, that this unprecedented moment in history would be the catalyst for revival in them, in our city and specifically among our Middle and High School students and campuses.
Athens Prayer Walk
Saturday, July 4 / 10am to noon
The Arch – Corner of College Avenue and East Broad Street
We will be back on the ground pounding the pavement in prayer the first Saturday of the month. We meet at The Arch and go from there. These are such important times to be praying, and specifically prayer-walking. Please join us if you can! And of course, we ask that everyone observe the social distance guidelines.
Wednesday, July 8 / 9 to 10am
St James UMC (in the sanctuary) – 111 West Lake Drive, Athens 30606
This month the pastors will be meeting in person to pray for and with each other! Please use this opportunity to pray for the pastors in our city, starting with your own! Pray that God would give them extraordinary wisdom, creativity and boldness as they lead their congregations through this exciting yet challenging new season of reopening. Pray that God would empower them to lead well, and for your church to be an instrument of life and help to the community. Ask God to guard and even deepen the unity He has been establishing over the past 10 years among pastors in our city. In the midst of all the weight that is currently on them, ask God to abundantly bless, refresh, encourage, protect and provide for your pastor, their marriage and their family. Ask God to meet each of these lead shepherds across Athens right where they are, and give them all that it takes to stay connected to God and run strongly throughout this battle. Ask God to use our pastors as a powerful voice in our city!
Athens Intercessors Community
Monday, July 13 / 7 to 9pm
We will be gathering once again, in person, as the Athens Intercessors Community in the APN Prayer Center. We will debrief all the recent prayer/intercession activity, share what God has been saying to us and get a sense of where we are heading as we press through the summer. If you’re one of the intercessors, please join us!
Groups Pastors Prayer
Wednesday, July 15 / 9:30 to 10:30am
Classic City Church (Ministry Center) – 386 N Milledge Avenue, Athens 30601
The Groups Pastors from around Athens will be meeting in person once again this month. Across Athens, people are longing for authentic community! Some groups are meeting again, others continue via Zoom. This is the new norm. Pray that God would continue to lead the Groups Pastors in Athens to create even more new and effective ways to stay connected. Please pray for those who lead the groups ministries in our city. They need wisdom and creativity. Pray that God would prepare them for the days ahead. Pray for the groups’ leaders to lead well in these new formats. May God give each of these leaders a grace to rise up for the occasion. Pray for people in the groups to be willing to dive into the new formats as well as re-engage around in person groups, to share their lives and be open to grow. Pray that God would raise up more group leaders for this new season as we come out of our period of social distancing. Ask God to protect and expand this vital ministry in our city. Ask Him for heaven to come down upon every group that meets in Jesus’ Name in Athens!
Executive Pastors Prayer
Thursday, July 23 / 9 to 10am
Grace Fellowship – 1120 Malcom Bridge Road, Bogart 30622
This month the leaders who “run” churches across Athens will be coming together in person to share and pray with and for one another. These leaders are huge making decisions in an arena they have never walked in before. Please pray for the executive / administrative pastor (or those who do that role) in your church and the others who carry this load in the churches across our city. They need wisdom, creativity and faith. This is very a crucial ministry at such an important time as this! Pray that God would give them supernatural joy as they keep the systems operating and create new ones for Kingdom growth in Athens. Pray that God would increase His presence and favor in their lives and homes. Pray that God would give them what they need as the Church emerges in this season.
Prayer for the Middle East & Israel
Friday, July 24 / noon to 1pm
Living Hope (House of Prayer) – 2150 Lexington Road, Athens 30605
Our monthly M.E./Israel prayer meeting will be back onsite, in person! Come ready to join with others who have a heart for the Middle East. There are usually reports shared about what’s happening on the ground in the Middle East which leads to some very laser focused praying. If you can’t join us in person, please invest some time during the day to pray for Israel and the Middle East!
Athens Pastors Racial Unity Prayer
Thursday, July 30 / 10am to noon
The Light – 174 Henderson Extension, Athens 30605
The pastors across Athens will be gathering to discuss our response to the racial tension that our nation/state/city is walking through right now. Please join us in praying about what God would have us to do as an expression of the unity of the Body of Christ in Athens!
Back to School Prayer Vigil
Friday-Saturday, July 31-August 1 / 6pm to 6pm
UGA Wesley Foundation (Prayer Chapel) – 1196S Lumpkin Street, Athens 30605
This has been a crazy, ‘we’ve never been this way’ sort of season. Which makes our annual Back to School Prayer Vigil even more important than ever! Having said that, it will not be quite as usual! Each church, ministry or school is allowed one ONE HOUR slot. At this point, each team that signs up for their slot will be the only ones allowed to come during that hour (except for the prayer assistants who will be running the prayer room). In other words, each team can control how many people are in the room and adhere to the social distancing protocols. Each team is asked to bring their own pens and highlighters to mark up the prayer posters that will be all around the room. We will be praying for all kids going back to school from K through College. A prayer guide will be available (via Athens Prayer Network website). Once you sign up for your slot, please begin to promote it amongst your praying people and parents who would want to come and pray for their children. We are considering some remote (virtual) options as well. If there are open slots (that is, where no one signs up for them) these will be open for individuals to come and pray. The schedule will be posted on Facebook and the APN website. Grab a slot at https://www.slottr.com/sheets/18252556
Mondays / 12:15 to 1:15pm
UGA Tate Center
Starting date still TBD
Ongoing and inspirational…
Georgia Prayer Line Wednesdays / 8am
Dial 425-436-6325 – when prompted enter access code 423231#
Please try to log in at 7:55am to announce your city and county. If you miss the live call you can still hear it by dialing 425-436-6309 (same access code).
Athens Daily Prayer Texts
All across Athens area
Every morning at 8am Daily Prayer Texts are delivered to cell phones across Athens and beyond. They are also posted each day at noon on the APN Facebook page. If you would like to receive these prayer focuses each day, please text @athenspray to 81010. This is a simply amazing way to start your day and to stand in unified, and focused prayer with others from across our city for our city!
For more (and up to date) stuff…
Every day we post something on the APN Facebook page. Usually it is more than once. These posts include prayer opportunities, prayer points, prayer inspirations and the Daily Prayer Text. It is definitely worth checking out daily to help stay connected with what God is doing in our city, especially in such a time as this!
Bless you heaps!!!