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Elder's Thoughts & Prayers for 2014

Tim Axford - Read Philippians 1:27. I would like to see God work in my life this year by taking seriously and really believing what God has done for me in Christ. It will show itself by me teaching others about how to understand and apply the scriptures and spending more time with the people in our body. In our church I would like to see God work in us, that we work together for the gospel, and see God's purposes in all we do; that our unity would be based on our relationship with Christ and we would see the need for each other in order to accomplish what God wants to do through us.

Frank Chihowski - In Jeremiah 29:4-14, our Lord instructs his people to “build houses, plant gardens, take wives” during their captivity. Many of us are facing or will face “limiting” circumstances in 2014. The challenge of this “confinement” is to seek our Lord’s strength that we may grow in the “grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” My prayer is we will all “increase and not be diminished” (vs 5-6) so we experience his goal for us “to have a future and a hope” (vs 11).

Dave DeHaan - My prayer for myself and my brothers and sisters at New Covenant is that we would strive to enter the rest (Heb 4:11) that Jesus offers us when he said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). With all that is going on in our lives, I sense my need to rest in Jesus’ finished work on the cross on our behalf and to live each day in the humble confidence secured by His resurrection. I am struck by the paradox of striving (effort!) to be at rest in my Savior (ceasing to strive).

Dennis Freidel - For myself I want an increased friendship with Christ, greater understanding of others and greater compassion for others. For the church I would like to see God increase friendships within our church. That our church members would have greater love for God, a better understanding of God's love for them, and that this would transform their lives into a greater love for each other and those around them.

Jim Gordon - My prayer for all of us at NCBC in 2014 is that we would increasingly be caught up in God's purposes and plans. That his kingdom and his righteousness would be the focus of our lives. That individually and collectively we would say, "Father, not my (our) will but yours be done." May this be our prayer for the coming year until all else grows strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.

Dan Huff - I pray that God would assist me in resting in His extravagant grace for my personal life and for my ministry plans and enactments. For our church, I pray for an increased commitment to prayer, particularly at our monthly church gatherings and an evident vibrancy in our worship that calls for each of us to look more to the things above and not so much at the things of this world.

Dan Leeper - In God's kind providence, I was assigned to preach from Luke 18:1-8 on December 29. The theme of that passage will be my theme for 2014. My desire is that this year God would cause me to be a man who always prays and does not lose heart. For our church I pray that we would faithfully spread the Good News and see many lost souls come to Jesus for salvation this year.

Nathan Martin - As I look back at 2013, I again marvel at God's steadfast love and faithfulness. I also marvel at my lack of faith, doubting that God will continue to provide for all I need--as if God will withdraw his lovingkindness from me. My cry this new year will be "I believe, help my unbelief." As I think about 2014, I see so much I can't control, things "I would change" if I were in charge. I thank God that he doesn't need my help in these matters. I want to know more of God's glory and worry less about my circumstances. I pray that our church would not be satisfied with what God has done, that we would long for God to do things we could never imagine, and that we would experience a godly restlessness, expecting the lost to find Christ, expecting God to heal marriages, etc. These are a few things I hope for in 2014.

David Sommer - For myself and our church, I pray that we would know more of Jesus and more of the gospel this year. I pray that we would experience deeper joy in the midst of our suffering as our emptiness and brokenness gives us a deeper capacity for knowing more of Christ. I pray that the word of Christ would dwell in us so richly that the gospel would advance in dramatic ways.

Ross Stern - For me personally, and for the church, I would like to see us develop a deepening, broadening, soul-strengthening sense that God is enough; that His love and provision for us is all that we need, that His protection is the only fortress we require, that salvation provided through Jesus is the most important gift we can receive, and that the peace that comes from a relationship with Him is sufficient to calm our anxious thoughts.

David Sunday - Growing discipline, depth, and delight in personal and corporate prayer; intensified love for God, for his people, and for those who do not see and savor the beauty and power of the gospel; Spirit-transformed lives as a culture of disciple-making takes shape; our affections set on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (Col. 3:1). "Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6).

Justin Taylor - The Beatles sang, "All you need is love." Perhaps unknown to them, they were faintly echoing a biblical theme. The God who is love (1 John 4:8) wants us to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." "This," Jesus tells us, "is the great and first commandment." And then he gives a second that is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt. 22:36–39). Jesus took the 613 commandments of the O.T. and was able to summarize it in the size of a Post-It note. It's what led Augustine to say, "Once and for all, I give you this one short command: love, and do what you will." Life is complex and life is hard. 2014 will be a year of joys and sorrows. We don't know exactly what lies ahead. But my prayer is that over and over again, as we take this journey together, we will find our hearts and lives abounding in supernatural love, for God and for one another.