Prayer of Thanksgiving – Sunday September 4
Dear Lord, thank you for the people of Harbour!
We are privileged to have such a beautiful community. You have blessed us with supportive, encouraging, life giving individuals that enrich our families. Thank you for the growth of our church dear Lord. You are awesome!
We want to pray specifically for the children and youth here;They bring so much life and vitality. So hungry and ready to soak up the promises of who You are God. Help us to continue to encourage and pray for them, that they know the transforming power of your hand in their every day lives! Especially as they begin a new school year we pray Joshua 1:9 over our children “be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.
Be with the staff and leaders in our church Lord. As they invest their hearts so deeply in the people and ministries here. Fill them with wisdom, humility and direction. Thank you for each and every one of them! For the team they are and how well they use their gifts and abilities to move gracefully in your plans for our church. It is so amazing to have a group of people committed to the families here at Harbour.
Dear Lord, we want to pray specifically for the volunteers among us! So much happens behind the scenes to help make this church function well. Thank you for the passions you have placed in the hearts of our volunteers. You have created and brought together such a beautiful team of helpers Lord. Thank you
Lord, we thank You for placing us in a rich community and for giving us meaningful friendships. We know that people are often the administers of grace in our lives and so we thank you for our community groups. May we pursue truth and unity in our groups.
When hard times come, we pray that we would stand firm with each other walking in both confidence and humility because of our relationship with You. And may we as a group cultivate an environment of honesty where shame has no power and where Christ is honored. Thank you Lord
Prayer of Thanksgiving – Sunday September 11
Father, We come before you now so grateful for your love and faithfulness to us as a church community. We thank you that we live in such a beautiful country that allows us to gather and worship you freely! “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” (Psalm 36:5)
Father, we are so grateful for your leading of Harbour over these past 28 years. You were with that small gathering of ten in the blue room at Bethel Baptist Church all those years ago as they looked to you for guidance in leadership, vision and location. You led them to start at Gracefield School and there lives began to change for your glory. It was there that you grew our leadership and planted the vision of “Walking with people from disenchantment to discipleship”.
When we outgrew that location you were faithful in providing us with the space in the plaza on Ontario St. There we saw our numbers increase, baptisms occurring, staff hires happening and small groups growing. As you increased us in number we began to pray for your direction with regards to a new location. At the same time, the congregation that had initially built this church was looking for a smaller place. In answer to both of our prayers, Lord, you brought us together and orchestrated the switching of locations. “O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you.” (Psalm 89:8)
We settled in here in 1996 and within a couple of years we excitedly began construction on the addition. Then on that warm July evening in 1999, the addition was set on fire destroying the work that had begun. There were moments of wondering what you were up to Lord, but you proved faithful to us once again. Like the psalmist we took “refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster had passed.” We cried out to you, trusting that you would continue to fulfill your purpose in us. (Psalm 57:1-3) You did not disappoint us, Father. You provided us with a location that very next Sunday to gather and worship you! And you allowed our construction team to dream even bigger plans for the new addition which now included our beautiful atrium. Great is your faithfulness!! (Lamentations 3:23)
Father, we continue to thank you for your faithfulness to us financially. You not only provided funds for the completed addition in 2000 but now we are so grateful to you for providing for the renovations that have occurred recently with the completion of our new kitchen and heating systems and for the renovations happening now in the toddler and nursery wing. You abound in love and faithfulness, Lord!! (Psalm 86:15)
Not only have we witnessed your goodness to us within these walls Father, but we thank you for opening our hearts and our wallets to reach out in your love and strength to our Greenvale and Manchester neighbours, to our friends in Quebec and to our partners in Kenya. Lives are being changed. Thank you! Please continue to challenge us to reach out Lord, keeping our vision, YOUR vision, of walking with people from disenchantment to discipleship always on our minds.
Father, we have had some wonderful moments of celebration over these past 28 years! You have helped us create some great memories as a family. Prior to having this building with the baptismal tank, we had some inspiring baptisms in Visser’s backyard pool. Those were great events, Lord! Lasting memories have been created at leadership conferences that we have attended and even participated in. Memories were made at Promise Keeper events and Women’s retreats at MBC. We have laughed, cried, prayed and learned together. We celebrated our 10th anniversary in this building in a great way and even had Bill Hybels as our guest speaker! Thank you for the fun golf tournaments and barbeques that have now morphed into the Gig on the Grass and barbeque. Thanks for the great Christmas celebrations that always begin with a wonderful breakfast together where we can invite our family and friends. For the fun kids summer camp programs, we thank you. So many amazing, happy memories. You have truly blessed our Harbour family!
But Father, as we come before you praising your for your goodness and faithfulness to us, we also acknowledge that the road has not been easy. We have faced challenges and struggles and dark times, Lord. We have wept more times then we care to count over the deaths of our beloved Harbour family members. We rejoice that they are now in your presence but our hearts ache over our loss, Father. And we have also been deeply saddened over the loss of other family and staff members as they have moved on to other callings and locations. We miss our brothers and sisters that we have loved and worked alongside, Lord. Yet in our grief you have been there walking with us. You have promised to be close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:8) Thank you. Even when we don’t understand your ways, we will choose to trust you, Lord. Great is your faithfulness.
Thank you for continuing to build up your church, Father. You continue to bless Harbour with new faces and with growing families. We praise you for how you are increasing our numbers once again, particularly in the children’s ministry. May these little ones come to know of your love and grace through Jesus and may they seek an intimate, growing and trusting relationship with you. “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)
Our prayer is that we, and this next generation, will continue to walk with people from disenchantment to discipleship and be forever thankful of your great love and faithfulness!
In your precious Son’s name we pray, Amen
Prayer of Thanksgiving – September 18
(Psalm 68 reads:) When you, God, went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the one of Sinai, before God, the one of Israel. You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. Your people settled in it, and from your bounty,God, you provided.
We give thanks that we have a Heavenly Father that eternally loves us and desires to provide all our needs here at Harbour. Knowing this, Heavenly Father, we can serve one another, and those beyond these walls, with a glad heart, not expecting anything in return, but only to glorify your precious name Lord. When Kathi and I first came to Harbour, Lord, we could not help but feel that here was a Church family, that truly cared for one another, because of the multitude of volunteers. So we give thanks for the many volunteers that you have provided. We are thankful Lord that they give, their time and talents, to care for us, in all the areas of ministry hear at Harbour. Lord we would also like to thank you for providing such a rich and caring abundance of Pastors, teachers and visionaries, in Jeff, Mark, Devon and Chrissy. It is not an easy task to take on the shepherding of a church family Lord, but with your guidance we would pray that you continue to bless them, give them courage, hope, and peace knowing when the burden gets heavy, you and we, are walking beside them. In times of Joy you and the Harbour family, rejoice with them. We pray that you give them a clear vision for the future of Harbour as they seek your guidance in all things. We also pray for each of their families Lord, wives, husbands, mothers and fathers, that you provide for their needs, and guide them in grace, and wisdom, as they nurture their families.
Lastly Lord we give thanks for the many opportunities you provide to serve, here at Harbour, that give our lives a portion of purpose and meaning. We ask that you prepare our hearts to be ready for service, to be kindly affectionate to one another, with brotherly love, in honor, give preference to one another. So as Christ first loved us by dying on the cross, rising to life, to provide for those who believe, hope of living eternally with our God, may we seek to give a portion back to Him. In Christ’s precious name, we pray… Amen.