The reasons we continue to publish this weekly prayer letter include, of course, encouraging you to pray specifically for the issues and needs that face us on an ongoing basis. We can't tell you adequately how much that means to us and none of us will ever know the total impact your prayers will have had on us until we stand together in heaven and see the fruit that has been borne from your prayers in the lives of our students.
Another reason for this weekly letter is to encourage you in your own walk with the Lord and in your personal ministry impact. Sometimes that includes devotional expositions of the Scriptures and other times in might involve commentaries on current events or social issues or the state of education today. We do this because we fully realize that the Lord is powerfully at work among you who are praying for us and we rejoice in this fact. We want to encourage you as you serve Him in your life and ministry.
Through this letter we also hope to give you a better understanding of what and who Bethlehem College and Seminary is and why we believe God has called us into existence. That's why we regularly feature letters written by students, faculty, staff, board members, and friends. We want you to know us and what impact your prayers are having on this ministry. We want you to be encouraged!
I've often thought about the impact of prayers over the years. Sometimes we see immediate and direct answers from the Lord to our prayers. More often, however, we don't see what look like immediate and obvious answers. But we know that the Lord hears our prayers and does, indeed, answer them--in His own time and in the way that is best for us and best for His glory. The passage in Revelation 5 below is a beautiful reminder that our prayers are never in vain.
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints (Rev. 5:6-8)
Even when we don't see immediate and obvious answers to our prayers we can be confident that every prayer we utter is being stored up in heaven and will be used to bring praise and honor and glory to the Lamb of God Himself. Thank you, thank you, thank you for earnestly and diligently filling the bowls of incense that will one day be laid at the feet of Jesus in worship of Him who is and who was and who is to come. Come quickly Lord Jesus!
Prayer requests (and praises) for this week:
- Please keep praying for our faculty hiring process. This week we are interviewing the two finalists for the Professor of Systematic Theology position we have available for the coming year. Pray for much wisdom and discernment that we make the hire that the Lord has ordained for us.
- Please also pray for our first formal commencement ceremony coming up next month (May 18th). We want this to be God-honoring and inspiration for our students and their families. The commencement ceremony planning process is new to us and so we need the Lord's help on this!
- Pray for our students that they be able to finish the year well. The final few weeks of spring semester are some of the toughest for any college student. Pray that they would not only persevere, but thrive in these final weeks.
- Finally, please keep praying for our finances. We long to be an institution that is not driven to make decisions based on finances. We want to always focus on what is best for our students and what will give the Lord the most glory. Please pray for a remarkable outpouring of financial gifts in the next several weeks so we can end the fiscal year with a strong finish.
I am so blessed by you!