One of the initial barricades I met upon entering ministry at Santa Maria St. Andrew UMC was a deep sense of fear and anxiety. I took time to pray it out, and to ask for prayer cover from members of the congregation, and from some of the prayer institutions of Santa Maria.
I asked and received anointing for the ministry I had ahead at St. Andrew. I sought out counsel and ideas for how to effectively pray against those forces of evil and dread in the world I encountered, both in the church, and in the community at large.
I had begun to feel a sense of ease and relief. I had continued in prayers of protection for my child, my home and my wife, as well as for myself. However, I had let it go with the church. I had not continued to ask for prayers of shelter and protection.
I discovered this week how insidious the infiltration has been into the consciousness of the body of Christ at Santa Maria St. Andrew UMC. There is a Spirit of Fear at work. I need your help in asking God to bind that Spirit and to place a hedge of protection around this community of faith.
I ask that you would pray protection around each of the members of the church, and the staff of the church. I ask that you would pray God's healing and love to come in behind the exiting fear, that the church might have a chance to heal and grow in love. That indeed, we may come to be made perfect in love in this life. Thanks for praying with me.
The scripture guiding me at this time is
1 John 4:18 (New International Version)
18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Labels: fear, love, SMSAUMC