Daily Prayer Points From Today Thru Easter

EASTER_CHANGES_op_720x540Like churches all around the globe we about to enter Holy Week. Here are the strategic things we are asking our local church to be praying for each day. Join us and/or come up with the things your church can pray for!

Saturday – Pray that the Easter Egg hunts, for each campus, may draw new families to the church.
Sunday – Praise the Lord this Palm Sunday that Jesus resolutely faced his death for us.
Monday – Pray for friends or family members you hope to invite to the Easter service.
Tuesday – Pray for the Children’s Ministry workers serving Easter morning.
Wednesday – Pray for Pastor Steve as he completes his message “It’s Friday Night but Sunday’s Coming.”
Thursday – Pray for the Worship Team and Choir as they rehearse for Sunday.
Friday – Pray that the Spirit of the Lord would be powerfully with us at our Good Friday services (Syosset and Manhasset, 6pm and 7:30pm).
Saturday – Pray that the Gospel message will be clearly delivered and that many will begin their journey of faith on Easter Sunday.
Easter Sunday Morning – Praise the Lord that Jesus is Risen; THIS CHANGES EVERTHING!


Andy sitting

I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was a scrawny little middle schooler; new to the school. Our middle school was attached to the high school. Back then students were allowed to smoke in the courtyard of the high school, and the kids who were smoking were usually a rough and tough crowd. Seeing all those long-haired metal heads of the1980s leaning against the wall smoking cigarettes was an intimidating sight for kids like me when we got off the bus. I would put my head down and quickly walk to the middle school, hoping I wouldn’t hear those dreaded words, “Hey kid! Yeah, you! Come over here.”

Fortunately, I never did hear those words. Each day as the bus pulled up to school I would see the tough crowd and shiver a bit. But there was one guy who seemed to stick out. He looked like the others – he had long, blonde hair, and he wore a denim jacket covered with buttons – but there was something different about him. He wasn’t smoking like most of the kids. As I would walk by, he wasn’t swearing like the majority of them. While most kids were acting tough, he was pretty chill. Others had an edge to them; he always seemed to be kind. Then one day I saw something else. He had a book in his hand. And it wasn’t just any book; it was a Bible. It was well-worn. I could tell he had either dropped it repeatedly off of a high building and run it over with a car, or he really read it a lot.

Soon thereafter I was at church, and I saw this same guy! I found out that the boy’s name was Andy. I discovered he was a drummer and loved the Christian metal band Stryper. I also found out that Andy was serious about his faith, and that he had a deep desire to reach people with God’s love. I learned that on Mondays, he would get up really early and go to his youth pastor’s office for devotions and prayer before school. There was something special about this guy, and I knew I wanted to be like Andy.

Before long, I was palling around with Andy. I would get up extra early in the morning to do my paper route, then I would ride my bike over to the church and join him and Pastor Bob for morning devotions and prayer. Bob would read from a little devotional called Our Daily Bread, then we would pray for kids at school, and for kids in our youth group. It was nothing big. Many times it was just the three of us; sometimes a couple of other kids would come. Although I was in middle school, Andy invited me to stay after school and attend the Christian Club he led in the high school.

Andy was a role model for me. I saw him witnessing to kids in his school, praying for people, reading his Bible in the cafeteria during lunch. He was unashamed of Jesus. He would sometimes take me out for lunch to talk to me about Jesus and encourage me. Later he became a youth pastor then went on to be a missionary. To this day Andy still inspires me. He left a legacy in his school and influenced me to be who I am today.

Andy was passionate about Jesus, and his love for God was contagious. I wonder if God wants you to be an Andy. You never know if a kid like me is watching you. What kind of message are you sending with your life?

A Prayer For Small Groups

Tonight is small groups night for our students, and it got me thinking about this little poem I wrote a few years ago, which is my prayer for small groups.

Father, today as our small group meets
I pray that each person will feel your heartbeat
May they know they are special, they’re cared for, they’re loved
Your kingdom come, on earth as above

Our time together, though not long only short
May it seed true communion with You in our hearts
Help us see Your image inside of each other
Teach us what it means to truly love one another

Away from the big, the loud, the flash
Just a few of us here to share and to laugh
To discuss Your Word, to share and go deeper
To talk real life and be our brother’s keeper

Praying for one another as we journey through life
May we encourage each other to reflect Your light
Let us always be inclusive, welcoming, warm
A safe place for all in the midst of life’s storms

Lord we all come from a myriad of places
Give us wisdom and kindness and grace and patience
Thank you for unity in the midst of diversity
Make us one in Christ, true Christian community

Bless those abundantly who have opened their home
Upon their house, God we pray Your Shalom
May it be filled with laughter, with joy, and with vision
In return for their giving, God we pray Your provision

And let us, O Lord, never ever forget
That there’s someone else out there who has yet to connect
Your eyes and your mouth to see and invite
That not one, O Lord, would be alone in the fight

It’s a mystery to me why they seem to be Your preference
But amazingly in the end small groups make a great big difference
Life on life, Jesus you modeled it back then
So I’ll do the same, in Jesus name, Amen.

– Kevin Mahaffy, Jr.

My Prayer Today … Is it Yours?

Woke up with this song swirling around in my heart. It’s my prayer today.

Jr. High NYC Mission Day 3

This morning after breakfast Griffyn led us in devotions, sharing several Proverbs with us that talk about caring for those in need. We then got to work here around Living Waters. Our team was able to accomplish a lot of things that needed to get done around the church. We mopped the entire basement, four flights of stairs, fixed about 40 chairs in the sanctuary, washed 4 refrigerators, cleaned the stove, fixed some lights, stocked toilet paper and paper towels, and vacuumed the dormitories.

After some quiet time to do devotions, journal, and reflect, we had a brief time to relax, then at 5:30pm we jumped on the train and headed down to Brooklyn Tabernacle for their Tuesday night prayer service. Thanks to one of my friends who is a pastor at BT and were able to sit down in 6th row. It was a service in which probably 2,000 people were gathered to pray and worship, and it was a great experience for our team to not only observe another church, but to participate in praying for the needs of people all around the world.

After the service we took the A train down to the Brooklyn Bridge and had pizza at the world famous Grimaldi’s. Over dinner we talked about things students should be looking for in a church when they are older and need to make such a decision. We also debriefed our day, and Kristen led us in a devotional. It was another fruitful day for our team.

Family Idea for 2015

In an effort to express our faith in and dependance on God, to be more intentional about praying specifically for one another, and to grow in encouragement this year, I came up with the idea to create Prayer and Encouragement Journals for each member of our family. The idea is simple. Whenever we feel led to pray for or share an encouraging word with one another, in addition to expressing our care verbally, each person is invited to write their prayer or word of encouragement in the journal of the person they are thinking about and praying for. My hope is that these books will be a way for us deepen our heart-to-heart connections, and that as we read them, the journals will serve as a resource to uplift, inspire, and infuse us with hope. Maybe you’d like to do something similar in your home this year.


The Dream Has Come True!

Today, after months and months of prayer and hard work, our daughter Natalia’s dream of starting the first-ever Christian Club at Roslyn Middle School came true! They had 11 students there for their first meeting, and they all left saying they had a good time. We are very thankful to the school administration for their support, to Mrs. Marx for supporting the club as their advisor, and to Emma Rucci and Long Island Youth For Christ for their guidance in walking Natalia through the process of getting the club started. We are SOOOO proud of our daughter who is such a courageous leader. Yeah God! Way to go Natalia! You are making an impact and leaving a legacy!

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Leadership Rooted in the Presence of God

In a letter to a friend in 1951 Francis Schaeffer wrote: “I do think that our movement will never be what it could be under the Lord unless the leadership learns to be quiet in the presence of God…. I am more and more realizing that Scripturally none of us are ready for leadership until we come to the place before the Lord where we are really ready for His will – regardless of what it is – and therefore, of ourselves, we would prefer not to have the leadership, or at least be neutral concerning it. It is out of such stuff that true Christian leadership can come.”


Practicing what we Preach vs. Preaching what we Practice – A Thoughtful Insight

failure-michael-jordanFrancis Schaeffer was away at college when he was experiencing a sense of failure over doing something wrong, then being chastised by other students for not “practicing what he preached.” In a letter to Francis his soon-to-be wife Edith wrote him something insightful:

“Franz dear –

We humans fall so short of our ideals at times that it is discouraging. But we wouldn’t want to preach that side of it – I mean we wouldn’t want to say – ‘Well, once a month it’s a fine thing to break through and do something entirely opposite to what you believe is right’ – just because all of us do do things like that. We don’t want to sanction it – just for the sake of preaching what you practice? We want to really preach the Christian life – and then we want to live it so far as is possible, but because we are human – we can’t be perfect. That’s where forgiveness comes into the picture – forgiveness for our mistakes. I don’t know whether you can read into this what I am trying to say or not. Anyway – I think the fellows are all wrong in picking on one small slip – when there is so much more in your life that is parallel to your ‘preaching.’ In fact, I think it might help your influence for them to know that a Christian is just as human as anyone else – the difference is that he has someone to go to with his mistakes – and difficulties – to get them smoothed out – that that instead of pulling him down … he goes on again – a bit more prayerfully – and a bit stronger for having found his feet and climbed up the hill he slid down. See???” (Francis and Edith Schaeffer, pp. 63-64)