Times of uncertainty can give way to doubts, anxiety, and even fear. Though churches typically tend to resist change, we may at times have no choice but to change. Our purpose to love God and people will remain. Our mission shouldn’t change. But how do we get there? Where do we go from here? — Let’s go to the throne of God so our vision and goals are born out of prayer. To rise above our insecurities we need a place to turn for refuge (Ps. 62:8), peace (Phil. 4:6-7), wisdom (James 1:5), and the help we need (Heb. 4:14-16).
Take some time to reflect on Hebrews 4:14-16.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb. 4:14-16)
A Firm Foundation Upon Which to Build Vision and Goals
No matter what’s happening around us, we don’t need to abandon God’s purposes and mission. Though we may need a new vision to get there, the foundation upon which we build remains the same. Hence, we read, “let us hold firmly to the faith we profess” (Heb. 4:14).
We can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” because Jesus has gone before as “the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured …” (Heb. 12:1-2). He understands our weaknesses, having been tested in similar ways to us. Yet, He didn’t give in to the fears, doubts, and anxieties. Now in heaven, He serves as our great high priest, making access to the Father possible.
Visions and Goals Born Out of Prayer Rest in His Sovereignty and Grace
Because of Jesus we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence” (Heb. 4:16). Obviously while living here on earth we cannot approach God’s throne literally so the way we come near is through prayer.
We can make these observations about visions and goals born out of prayer:
- We find the wisdom and guidance we need to get on the best path.
Though it would be quite appropriate to say we approach God Himself when we pray, Hebrews 4:16 says we approach His throne. This lets us know that we’re coming into the presence of the Sovereign One. As we yield to His agenda, fully trusting Him to know what’s right and best, we can be assured that He will lead us in the way we should go (Prov. 3:5-6). He promises wisdom to those who ask (James 1:5). A sovereign God knows the best way for each of our unique church bodies and ministries to live out His purposes and mission. Why wouldn’t we ask for His help in establishing a vision for where we should go?
- We find help and strength to implement goals needed to follow that path.
We not only come near to a sovereign God when we pray but also a gracious God. Because of His mercy and grace, God sent Jesus to eternally save us and He continues to pour out His grace, doing for us what we can’t do for ourselves. — “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.” (Jn. 1:16) — He gives us everything we need to do His will (2 Cor. 9:8; 2 Pet. 1:3). A sovereign God knows what we need to pursue that vision. A gracious God provides what we need when it’s needed. Why wouldn’t we pray for His help each step of the way, not just for the big picture, but also for the individual goals that need to be set in pursuit of that vision?
Also See: Prayer Resources for Church Leaders