Making BIG Requests of our BIG God in 2021

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  (Matthew 7:7-8, ESV)

Four weeks into 2021, we can look back and see just how great the Lord blessed us as a church in 2020. We rejoice in the Lord and praise his name for those blessings, but as we begin a new year together, it’s important to look forward. As we do, let me encourage us to look ahead with the expectation that God delights in answering the prayers of his people as we pray according to his will, for his glory. While it’s tempting to rest in God’s past blessings, I want to challenge us to press on and make BIG requests of our gracious God.

The Bible encourages us to approach God boldly in prayer (Hebrews 4:16). To be sure, we are to pray according to God’s will (1 John 5:14). When we pray according to God’s will, we can come before Him boldly, not on the basis of who we are or what we’ve done, but on the basis of who Christ is and what he has accomplished for us by his life, death, resurrection, and exaltation to the Father’s right hand. As we learned in our study of Ephesians, Jesus Christ is the one “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him” (Ephesians 3:12).

When we approach God with boldness based on Christ’s work and for the purpose of God’s glory, then such prayer is pleasing to God. It is in such a context that Jesus invites his disciples to ask, seek and knock. We are to ask persistently of God things that will glorify him; we are to seek earnestly in prayer those things which honor God; we are to knock urgently on the doors of heaven for those things that will advance God’s kingdom. When we take such joy in God and his glory, the Bible reminds us that God will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).

As we begin another new year together, I invite you to pray with boldness and make BIG requests of God that bring him glory. Ask God to do BIG things in our midst that will advance his kingdom purposes. We have two primary prayer guides at High Pointe. First, the church directory lists our membership. Let’s continue our commitment to pray for one another. If you just pray through one page a day, you will get through the directory at least once every two months. We’ve included a prayer guide at the end of the directory that offers some guidance on how to pray.  And we’ve included a list of our strategic gospel partners so you may have an easy-access way to pray for them. Finally, I want to encourage you to write down your prayer requests and be sure to jot down the date when the Lord answers your prayer. It will be encouraging to see the Lord at work in your life through answered prayer.

Secondly, our budget shows what we, as a church, have prioritized in 2021. Use the budget as another prayer guide because it shows how we are supporting gospel workers at home (High Pointe, Austin, Texas, North America) and abroad (to the ends of the earth). It also shows how we are caring for one another (benevolence). Finally, it addresses the administrative needs that are required for us to meet together as a church and minister to one another and our community.

In addition, below you will find a small list of BIG requests we, the elders, are asking from God in 2021.
  • Culture of Evangelism: This will always be an ongoing request. Pray that we (High Pointe) would grow in having more gospel conversations with unbelievers and sharing about those conversations with one another for the purpose of encouragement and prayer. Our 2021 theme is Engaging Our Neighbors and the Nations with the Gospel – may the Lord allow us to engage with many of our neighbors this year, and may he allow us to see much fruit from our evangelism.

Personal challenge: Pray that God would allow you to lead one person to faith in Christ in 2021.

  • Culture of Discipleship: This will also be an ongoing prayer request. Pray that we would grow in seeking meaningful relationships at High Pointe for the purpose of mutual edification through reading the Bible together, praying for one another, and speaking the gospel in one another’s lives. If we are to engage our neighbors and the nations with the gospel, we must be maturing disciples ourselves who look more and more like Christ.

Personal Challenge: If you are not presently involved in a discipleship relationship (one to one, Life Group, men/women’s group, etc.), we encourage you to make every effort to build discipleship relationships at High Pointe in 2021. I know Covid-19 has made relating in person more of a challenge this year, but look for opportunities you’re comfortable with.

  • Our Mission (Five-Mile Radius): Pray that we would make inroads in reaching the unchurched and unbelieving neighbors within the five-mile radius of our building. Pray especially for our members' own efforts, English as a Second Language (ESL), and Longhorn Christian Fellowship (our outreach ministry on the campus of UT). Also, join us in praying that the Lord may raise up a deacon of community outreach who may help us coordinate our efforts to engage our community.

Personal Challenge: Consider how you can help us engage our five-mile radius with the gospel.

  • Our Mission (International): Pray that the Lord would allow us to cultivate fruitful gospel partnerships for the spread of the gospel and encourage more of our members to involve themselves in international missions, either short-term or long-term. The global pandemic hindered us from traveling abroad, but we are still planning a vision trip to Mexico City in 2021 to see how we may be able to partner with International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries on the ground. We’re also hoping to create new care teams for each of our gospel partners. Each care team will be in regular communication with one of our strategic partners and help us as a church to care for them. If you’re interested in being a part of one of these care teams, please contact pastor Davey Davis (davey@highpointeaustin.org). Also, join us in praying for a deacon of mission who can help us structure and organize our missions efforts.

Personal Challenge: would you consider going on a High Pointe short-term mission trip in 2021? Ask the elders, and we’ll be glad to guide you and help you prepare.

  • Our Mission-Resources: Pray that the Lord would provide all the necessary resources of finances, persons, and materials that High Pointe requires for accomplishing our mission – that includes reaching and surpassing our projected budget income for 2021 and even liquidating our remaining debt (now approximately $1 million. Here are some other ways you can be praying!
  1. Joint Venture (JV) on 5+ acres of land: in 2017, we entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with our neighbor and a developer to construct luxury apartments on the property just north of us. That original plan did not work out, but a new business partner is hoping to complete the project with us. Pray that there would be swift resolution and that the landowners may be able to see a return on their investment.
  2. THANKSGIVING: We also want to give thanks for your generous giving in 2020. You will receive a full report at our February members’ meeting, but the Lord blessed us in great abundance through your giving in 2020. We met, and even surpassed, our budget goal for the first time in my memory. That’s a great answer to prayer! We praise God for your generosity
  3. PRAY: Let’s be sure to pray that the Lord would continue to allow us to be generous and meet and even exceed our 2021 budget. And let us ask the Lord to remove this debt from over our heads this year.
  4. PERSONAL CHALLENGE: If you have been giving regularly, sacrificially, joyfully, and as the Lord has blessed you, continue doing so. If not, let me encourage you to begin giving regularly this year, according to how the Lord has blessed you. If you need help managing your budget, beginning a budget, reducing your personal debt, or just making better financial decisions, let the elders know. We have a number of gifted brothers who can counsel you.

  • Our Mission-Harvest: Pray that the Lord would allow us to see much fruit of our evangelism, discipleship, and missions over the next twelve months.

These are not all the requests for prayer that we have as a church in 2021, but these are some BIG requests that are on the hearts of the elders. Join us in making these bold requests of God that we may see God’s greatness and worship him more deeply! Lord willing, we will be able to resume our Sunday night prayer gatherings some time this summer or early fall. On Sunday nights we will have focused times of prayer for such BIG requests. The Lord answered many of our BIG prayers in 2020, even beyond anything we asked or imagined. May he grant us the grace to see much answered prayer in 2021 because we are praying boldly according to God’s will, in the name of his Son, Jesus, in order that God would be glorified.

Love,

Pastor Juan

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