On Sunday, June 18 th , I referred to the worship bulletin’s announcement regarding, “The Summer of

Prayer”. With this article, I’ll elaborate and hopefully convince all who read this to commit to pray more

than ever before during these summer months of July and August. And my prayer is that a disciplined

life of prayer will take hold within us and all connected with Oak Grove UMC. Then, this “Summer of

Prayer” shall propel all of us into a committed, obedient life of prayer for months and years to come.

This calling for all to pray more and more comes from my prayers in asking God to lead me as your

pastor. So many of my prayers stem from the assessment of our church today. Over the past two years,

we have lost many of our faithful to death. Their departures from life here into eternal life in heaven

leave us much depleted. Our Hot Dog Thursdays and Wednesday evening Sandwich Builds are

examples. Thankfully, several long-term members have returned. And we are blessed with more recent

members volunteering to help. Yet, for our church to continue to do what we have done (and to do

more good), we need additional laborers.

The saints who have been called to heaven impact us in ways other than with depleted numbers for

Hot Dog Thursdays and Sandwich Builds. How about Thursday’s Food Pantry and the hours of

preparation beginning on Tuesdays? How about Sunday School teachers and nursery volunteers? How

about volunteers for children’s church? And where are many of our children? Why are there so few

attending Sunday School? Understand, please, these are questions I have asked God. After months of

asking, I am led to believe that all of us must turn to God in prayer, asking for more attendees, more

members, and more volunteers. Let us join together in “The Summer of Prayer”.

Scripture encourages us to do this! Consider Jesus’ words from Matthew 9:37-38 in sending the

disciples into the world: Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;

38 therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." (NRS) Let us join in

praying…in asking God for more laborers at Oak Grove. In doing so, we are to persist and not give up.

Jesus gave such instruction to his disciples as recorded by Luke in Chapter 18. Here is verse 1, “Then

Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.” And Paul relates this

“always pray” message to the church in Thessalonica in saying, “pray without ceasing”. (1Th 5:17 NRS)

So, upon assessing our church’s human resource need AND in relying upon Scriptural direction, let

THE Summer of Prayer begin. All are invited to come to our church every Wednesday evening at 6:30PM

through July and August. We shall begin July 5 th and end August 30 th . (These Wednesday evening

prayer sessions are in lieu of small-group studies. Bible studies renew in September.)

Come, let us pray! Pastor Bob

Further comment: Yes, we must pray for our church…and our members. But we must also pray for our

nation and the world. And we will!