My Pandemic Prayer

Here’s what I often pray for my church family, even more so, during this public health challenge:
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health,
just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 2, NKJV)
In using the word “beloved” I think John was feeling the motivation to pray: Pray for the people you love. One of the greatest motivations in prayer is the love that we share together as God’s family. We are His “beloved.” That simply means “His dearly loved children.” And in the words of John’s first letter, “if God so loved us we ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11) How can we possibly love someone as deeply as God instructs us to, if we don’t pray for them. Prayer without love is simply reciting theology. It’s not intercession.
And John has a big target in prayer. I pray that “all will go well.” That is John’s way of pronouncing a universal blessing upon his friends. His prayer is a way of asking God to “bless you and keep you; to make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; to lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26) Our goal in prayer is to bless and encourage the people that we know and love.
John’s short little prayer at the end of his ancient letter has health implications. He prays specifically that his church family “will be in good health.” Why would he not pray such a prayer? And if John felt the need to pray for the health of God’s people, so should we. My prayer every week for our church family is that God will keep them from illness and sustain them in good health. Having said so, remember that healing is “supplemental” to God’s ultimate purpose for your life. During the times that good health appears to be lost, we trust God’s wisdom in all things. Remember that “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Notice carefully what John appears to be saying. His prayer is that their circumstances will match what is happening in their “soul.” Specifically, John prays that all will go well and his church family will be in good health “just as their soul prospers.” He wants their daily lives to line up with the state of their soul which was “prospering.” The word “prospering” literally means “be led along a good road” or “have a good journey.” Each of its uses in the New Testament (Romans 1:10; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 3 John 2) is clearly metaphoric. The word describes prospering and succeeding in the normal courses of life, both materially and spiritually. It is important to note that God is the true source of our prosperity and success.
He goes on in the very next verse to explain what a “prospering soul” looks like. “For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” A soul that prospers is a life lived in honour of the Word of God in the Bible. You can’t prosper in your soul, or inner life if you are not reading and inwardly digesting the Bible, God’s Word.
Pastor Deric

WORSHIP in Arabic at City Centre! 

It’s been a prayer for our church for a long time to sponsor an Arabic service on the campus of City Centre Baptist in Mississauga. On September 13th God answered in an amazing way. Let me explain.

Our church is situated in one of Canada’s most densely and diversely populated regions. It’s called the GTA (now the GTHA). We are blessed to have 40 different nations of the earth represented in our church. It’s a little taste of heaven on earth. What the world cannot do in uniting the peoples of our planet, Jesus does in bringing all nations into His Church where they are ONE in Him.

We are accomplishing several Biblical goals. We are preaching the Gospel to the nations as they arrive in Mississauga while practicing a church culture where nationality, ethnicity or religious background does not separate. It makes sense from several different standpoints but more importantly it fulfills the Great Commission mandate of Jesus. It’s giving immigrants a spiritual home as they acclimate to their new home country. As they build community with fellow Arabic Canadians, they will have a better chance of flourishing in their new homeland.

Sunday, September 13th was very exciting. There were over 60 Arabic speaking people in attendance at our 3rd service. Our first two services are held at 9 &11 AM in English and our 3rd service is held at 1 PM in Arabic led by Pastor Armen Hakopian and his team. It was moving to be there. I had the privilege of welcoming the Arabic congregation to their new church home on behalf of the City Centre Church family. Remember church family that you are the reason that 3 families were able to immigrate to Canada over the last 1.5 years. Your generosity is what made this possible. THANK-YOU.

There is something special about hearing other followers of Jesus worship in their native tongue. And something equally moving to hear the Word of God preached in the language of the audience. Pastor Armen Hakopian has been preparing for the launch for several months. He has demonstrated great leadership and a pastor’s heart for this new congregation. You can find him on the Pastoral Staff page on our website. He has been hired to help us fulfill our mission “to make disciples of all nations”.

Church family, why not send a short email to Pastor Armen to let him know that you are praying for him and the Arabic congregation that he is planting at City Centre. Or phone and leave him a message @ (905) 826-8581 ext. 237. Follow the latest updates on our Arabic Community Facebook page.

Thank you for your ongoing support of this new Ministry at City Centre!
Pastor Deric