Making BIG Requests of our BIG God in 2022

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)

Every year about this time, I purpose to take time out to reflect on the Lord’s kindnesses to High Pointe over the previous year. Now that we’re four weeks into 2022, we can look back and see just how greatly the Lord blessed us as a church in 2021. Yes, I understand we’re about to cross the two-year mark of COVID, but it is amazing to reflect on what the Lord has done during that time. And it is good to rejoice in the Lord and praise his name for those blessings. As we begin a new year together, it’s also important to look forward. We will do just that this Sunday, January 23, at 5:00 pm during our annual State of the Church address. It will be a time of looking back for the purpose of thanksgiving and looking forward to seeking the Lord’s blessings in prayer. Make every effort to join us this Sunday night.

As we prepare for 2022, let me encourage you 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 to us, 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), according to God’s will (1 John 5:14). When we come before Him boldly, we do so, 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 read in Ephesians, Jesus Christ is the one “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him” (Ephesians 3:12). 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 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 2022. Our budget theme this year is Equipping the Saints for Ministry. 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 2022.

  • 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.
    • Personal challenge: Pray that God would allow you to lead one person to faith in Christ in 2022. Identify your ONE and pray for them now.
    • New Opportunity: In 2022 we want to do more than just talk about evangelism. As our budget theme reminds us, we want to equip you for that work. So, on Saturday, February 12, we will have an evangelism training from 9:00 am to Noon. Then, on the first Saturday of each month, we will meet at 9:00 am in the fellowship hall for a brief time of equipping and prayer, then go out to the neighborhoods around our church building to pray for and share the good news of Jesus with our neighbors.
    • Prayer Request: Would you begin praying now that the Lord would allow us to engage with many of our neighbors this year. Would you pray about joining us on Saturday, February 12. And pray that the Lord would allow us to see much fruit from our evangelism.

  • 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. Discipleship is simply following Jesus. Discipling is helping one another follow Jesus. The elders want to equip you to this end. Beginning this Sunday, January 23, we are offering a Life Class on Discipling. If you have questions about what discipling looks like, come to the class.
    • 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 2022. I know COVID has made relating in person more of a challenge, but look for opportunities you’re comfortable with. We need each other. If this pandemic has taught us anything it’s that we cannot isolate ourselves from one another. It’s not good for our mental or spiritual health. If you want to grow in discipling others, take part in the Discipling Life Class beginning this Sunday.
    • New Opportunity: Men of High Pointe – we will be starting Discipleship Groups (D-Groups) for men in 2022. If this is something you’re interested in contact me directly (juan@highpointeaustin.org). We already have one beginning February 3. We’d love to see a number of these groups going this year. In addition, we will have a men’s retreat in the fall. We will provide these dates this Sunday night at our State of the Church address.
    • Prayer Request: Pray about YOUR participation in discipleship relationships at High Pointe. We’re not meant to live the Christian life alone. Sitting under the preaching of the word on the Lord’s Day is vital but not enough to help us endure faithfully. We need to spur on one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).

  • 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.
    • Opportunities: 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). And see where you can join in to help or lead our outreach efforts.
    • Personal Challenge: Consider how you can help us engage our five-mile radius with the gospel.
    • Prayer Requests: Pray that the Lord may raise up a deacon of community outreach who may help us coordinate our efforts to engage our community. Pray also that our community would respond to our monthly outreach efforts as we go house to house in 2022.

  • Church Planting: As has been announced, we are preparing to plant a church in Georgetown to serve our members who are driving to Austin to join us each week. If you live in Georgetown or are willing to move to Georgetown to help us plant a new church, we will hold an informational meeting this Sunday morning, January 23, after the service. Listen for the announcement, then come learn about the need.
    • Prayer Request: Pray that the Lord would make clear who is to be a part of this new church plant. And pray that the Lord would raise up new workers at High Pointe in 2022. Planting a church requires great sacrifice on our part. We send members, elders, and budget. We want to be generous, and we have seen time and again how the Lord blesses our generosity.

  • 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.
    • Opportunities: The global pandemic hindered us from traveling abroad, but we are still planning a vision trip to Mexico in 2022 to see how we may be able to partner with Reaching & Teaching International Ministries (RTIM) missionaries on the ground. We also have two other trips planned to encourage our gospel partners. Both trips are to the Middle East. One is to Fujairah, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to serve and encourage Jesse Brannen, the pastor of Immanuel Church. The other is to an undisclosed country, to serve and encourage one of our families. Finally, we’re 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 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).
    • Personal Challenge: Would you consider going on a High Pointe short-term mission trip in 2022? If you’re not able, would you help one of our members go? If you have any questions, ask Pastor Davey. He will be glad to answer your questions, guide you, and help you prepare.
    • Prayer Request: Pray for a deacon of mission who can help us structure and organize our missions efforts.

  • 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 2022 ($1.661 million) and even liquidating our remaining debt (now less than $1 million). Here are some other ways you can be thanking, praising, & praying!
    • ANSWERED PRAYER - THANKSGIVING: 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 has agreed to complete the project with us. Praise the Lord that we are finally moving forward. And give thanks to the Lord that this venture will allow us to address our remaining debt.
    • ANSWERED PRAYER - THANKSGIVING: We also want to give thanks for your generous giving over 2021. You will receive a full report at our February members’ meeting, but the Lord blessed us in great abundance through your giving last year. We met, and even surpassed, our budget goal AGAIN! If you remember, 2020 was the first time we met our budget in my memory. That’s a great answer to prayer! We thank God for your generosity!
    • 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 several gifted brothers who can help you.
    • PRAY: Let’s be sure to pray that the Lord would continue to allow us to be generous and meet and even exceed our 2022 budget. Pray now about how much you will give in 2022. Think through your finances and establish a giving plan for 2022.
  • 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 2022, 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! This Sunday night, we will have some focused times of prayer for BIG requests. The Lord answered many of our BIG prayers in 2021, even beyond anything we asked or imagined. May he grant us the grace to see much answered prayer in 2022 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,

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