An Invitation to Prayer and Fasting

Greetings ABCNJ family!  It has been a little over a month since I began to serve as your Executive Minister and Senior Regional Pastor.  I continue to be humbled and honored in serving alongside sisters and brothers who are committed to proclaiming God’s deeds of power in Christ for all people to hear.  I am grateful to be leading in a Region that offers each one of us the opportunity to serve in a manner that encourages conversation and welcomes the differing gifts of the diverse oneness of the Body of Christ.

As we begin this journey together, I want us to consider a specific and intentional posture found in the book of Acts. From the moment we open the book of Acts we are introduced to these words, “they all joined together constantly in prayer…” (Acts 1:14).  “When the day of Pentecost had come, they are all together in one place.”  (Acts 2:1); “They devoted themselves to…teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer.” (Acts 2:42)

God’s community is invited to come together and join in prayer.   Prayer is the language of the heart and community is the quality of the heart.  Although to live in community does not necessarily mean to be physically in one place, it does require us to live as one in the Body of Christ.  As God’s beloved community we recognize that we are diverse. We are individuals with different experiences and knowledge. And as the ABCNJ community we are strong by the rich diversity of our theological perspectives, gender, age, geography, social economics, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. And in the midst of this diversity we are called to be together by the same Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

When the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, they were set free to move out of their closed room into the world. They became a body of free people who could stay in communion with each other even though they were not in the same room. ABCNJ, we too are called to practice community and to speak the language of the heart.  When we pray, community is created as well as expressed.

In addition to prayer, and in the spirit of Acts 13:2 and 14:23, I also invite you to participate in the spiritual discipline of fasting. We are reminded in Scripture that the community often fasted when they sought God’s will and needed the strength and grace to remain faithful to God’s work. Consider setting aside at least one day a week to the spiritual practice of fasting.

As we enter into a new dawn, ABCNJ family and friends are invited to a Sacred Journey of Prayer and Fasting. Beginning Sunday, February 10 through Sunday, April 21. These are some of the prayers we can lift up together for the next 11 weeks: 

  • The American Baptist Churches of New Jersey

  • Camp Lebanon Ministries

  • Pastors and their families

  • Congregational leaders

  • Mentoring young Leaders

  • Youth and Young Adult Ministry

  • Churches in leadership transition

  • Church Officers and Leaders Training (COAL) - March 16, 2019

  • ABCNJ Ministry Team

  • ABCNJ Council, Committees and Task Forces

  • ABCNJ Associations - (Capital, Essex, Greater Delaware Valley, North, Raritan, North Shore, Florida, Watchung, West)

  • Sacred Safe Spaces: Healing Circles Initiatives

  • New Church Plants/Fresh Expression Communities

  • ABCNJ Annual Session - September, 27-28, 2019

  • ABC/USA National Leaders, staff and partners:;;;

  • Seminaries and University Partners

  • Chaplains and Counselors

  • Courageous and discerning conversations for unity in the Body of Christ

  • Public expression of our faith

  • Incarnating God’s justice and peace in our local communities

Please Pray For Indonesia

Please Pray For Indonesia

This past Friday, October 28, a double disaster struck the Indonesian island of Sulawasi. First, a shallow 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the region. Then, less an hour later, a 18 foot high tsunami tore across the island – devastating the cities of Palu and Donggala. Donggala remains inaccessible by ground, as the the main bridge into the city collapsed during the disaster.

A Prayer for the Ebola Crisis


This prayer was written by Ron Cosgrove, a member of Central Baptist Church of Riverton-Palmyra  


O Heavenly Father

We come before you this day with great concern, fear, and uncertainty. Our planet is faced with a crisis that is growing more serious each day – the outbreak and spread of Ebola.

We come before you in prayer for the safety and future of your children on earth.

O Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

We pray for the victims and their families as they struggle through unfathomable pain and suffering.

Please wrap them in your tender mercies and guide them as they work through their grief.

O Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

We pray for the Doctors, nurses, and volunteers. These compassionate individuals have put their own lives in danger so that they may give comfort and aid to the stricken.

Grant them continued courage and strengthen their hope that they can successfully contain this disease.

O Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

We pray for the lab teams the world over who are working tirelessly to find to find a cure. Grant them patience and wisdom in their quest, as well as determination to continue in their work in spite of disappointment.

May they soon be blessed with the discovery of a cure.

O Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for all the governments and corporations the world over. May they unite as one in the spirit of cooperation. May compassion, and not financial or political gain, move them in acts of mercy.

May they push aside all barriers and provide better logistics for the delivery of much needed supplies and equipment, as well as to stimulate more research.

O Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for all the people of Earth. May we also unite as one through prayer, education, and actions.

With your guidance, O Heavenly Father, help us to overcome our fears and prejudice. May we wisely use the talents, gifts, and abilities that you have so graciously given us and work together to overcome this challenge and ensure a better, brighter future for our children and their children.

O Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

Join the 2013 World Day of Prayer


Friday, March 1st is World Day of Prayer 2013. Services begin at sunrise in the Pacific and follow the sun across the globe. Women, men and children in more than 170 countries and regions will participate in this ecumenical movement of believers from many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer. It is founded on the idea that informed prayer and prayerful action are inseparable in the service of God’s kingdom. ABC International Ministries asked the missionaries for prayer requests from their fields of service. We invite you to share them with your friends and family, and in your communities of faith as you join with believers around the world on March 1st. Or choose another date that works for your community.

The host country for 2013 is France, on the topic, “I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me” encouraging welcome for migrant people worldwide. It strives for a Christian response to struggles concerning immigration and for ways to welcome “the stranger” and to identify with “the least of these” in Matthew 25. The focus this year draws on customs of hospitality found in Leviticus to paint a picture of welcoming the stranger, and to help us put ourselves in the shoes of “the stranger”. We will remember our own feeling of being on the outside, and the joy of the blessings of being welcomed.

Dan Buttry – Global Consultant for Peace, Justice and Conflict Transformation

  1. Pray for Kenya to have a peaceful election on March 4 and in the weeks before and after. I’ve been working with Central Baptist Theological Seminary’s Wilson Gathungu and others for the last two years in conflict transformation training. In April we will do follow-up trainings and strategy sessions to continue the work for peace. Pray for all of Africa, me and Wilson Gathungu of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, as we put together a 10-day Training of Conflict Transformation Trainers in September that will shape key Christian leaders in Bible-based peacemaking skills. Registrants so far are from Zimbabwe, Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya. Pray for the members of the IGNITE team who will be in the Republic of Georgia in May and June, exposing emerging Christian leaders from the U.S. and Georgia to the challenges and opportunities of mission. Lauran Bethell – Global Consultant for Anti-Human Trafficking
  2. Pray for those who are walking the streets of Europe, meeting victims of human trafficking/prostitution as they meet together in April in Waterloo, Belgium. Pray that they learn information that strengthens their ministries. Pray for me as I help plan the meeting and also speaks in one of the plenary sessions, that the Holy Spirit will speak words of truth and power through me. Pray for the European Baptist Federation’s Anti-Trafficking Network, as they meet together near Barcelona, Spain in April. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide them to know more effective ways of ministering to victims of trafficking from Africa and Eastern Europe. Ingrid Roldán-Román missionary in Panama & Costa Rica:
  3. Pray for students of the School Tutoring Program in Changuinola, Bocas del Toro, Panama so they can continue to acquire skills that will help them in their learning process and that through me they will know God. Pray for the membership of the Baptist Church in Sixaola, Costa Rica that can remain faithful to God and sharing the gospel with others. Pray for my return to the mission field after my time at home for Puerto Rico & US visitations.

Dan and Sarah Chetti missionaries in Lebanon:

  1. After 7 years of ministry among imprisoned maids in Lebanon, I (Sarah) am launching INSAAF – an Integrated Center for the Ministry among the Maids. Please pray that the harassed, discriminated, suffering maids from several Asian and African countries will find a safe haven where someone listens to their stories and ministers to their needs. Please pray for people to help me, to convert the building creating counseling and work stations, and for money for the renovation work.
  2. Lebanon right now is over whelmed by more than 200,000 refugees due to conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq. Families are living in difficult situations including unfinished buildings open to the elements in this cold winter season. Many refugees are Christian minorities, and the students of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (where we work) identify with the refugees and are deeply disturbed by these changes in society. Join us and our students in praying that Lebanese churches will reach out to the refugees and minister among them, and for churches & donors in the US who would like to participate in this ministry.

Kit Ripley missionary in Thailand:

  1. Please pray for the ministry of the New Life Center Foundation. We work with tribal girls who have experienced labor exploitation, domestic violence, sexual abuse or human trafficking, and girls who are "at risk". We are in a period of structural change and staff transitions, and are seeking God's guidance as we consider how we can be best equipped to meet the changing needs of tribal girls in the upcoming years.
  2. Insufficient access to citizenship continues to be a challenge for minority people groups in Thailand. Please pray for the government to open up channels so that minority people can access legal Thai citizenship.

Wendy Bernhard missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

  1. Pray for our seminaries and Bible institutes as they prepare pastors for ministry in today's turbulent world.
  2. Pray for the young people of Congo, that they would learn and follow Christ's way in their lives.

Deb Mulneix – development worker in India and Nepal:

  1. Making strangers into friends is the goal of all of all of our Partners in Ministry in India and Nepal. This week, I received news about the weddings of two new friends. Not long ago, these women were selling alcohol, drugs, and sometimes themselves. Then they were introduced to Christ. Today, they understand the difference between loving someone and using them. Their new husbands show them respect that they have never experienced before. Now that's a Welcome to a Stranger! Please keep these new families in your prayers, as well as the shelter and the women and staff who work there.
  2. Education in India is a very high priority. Our early missionaries were aware of the need and established many schools around the country. Today, Christian schools are well respected, and many non-Christian children are enrolled in them. The residents of a small, remote village approached their Christian neighbors to open a school. Even though they had no funds, no teachers, and no buildings, these believers began a school. The first year there were 75 students, and today, three years later, they number around 350, with less than 10 of these students from Christian homes. Like this one, many of our schools are in remote areas, and funding is not easily available. Please keep the students, faculty, staff, and parents of our Christian schools in your prayers.

Mike Mann – Global Consultant for Rural Development:

  1. Many villagers in China, Burma and Thailand live in extreme poverty and do not have access to clean water, proper sanitation and micro-loans. Pray for the mission projects that will address these challenges giving villagers hope for a healthier life and stronger economic future.

Madeline Flores-López missionary in the Dominican Republic:

  1. Pray for our economy which is directly affecting many families in the DR – a basket of basic supplies has gone up from 16% to 26%. Food and basic needs are now more prohibited and unaffordable for poor families.
  2. Pray for our college students who are the future in the DR. They face expensive transportation, no school supplies, and limited opportunities making an education nearly impossible. Please pray for more opportunities and scholarships for college students.

Chuck and Ruth Fox:

  1. Pray for children all over the world who are in need of education, and particularly for the children who receive STEP funds through IM. We have many Akha children who are receiving educational support because of the generosity of individuals and churches; we pray that others in need will receive the help they need, and that those in the program will see and understand the help they receive as God's provision in their lives.
  2. Pray for the Chiang Rai International Christian School, a school in Chiang Rai, Thailand, created to "serve the servant" families who come to minister in many capacities to the people of northern Thailand. Please pray for the development of the school as it grows, particularly for volunteer teachers who have a heart to serve in a setting like this. The school has served, and is served by, three IM missionary families, as well as 5 full-time IM volunteers this year. Many non-Christian Thai children are also coming to the school now, and we are excited to see them come to an understanding of Jesus and his love for them.
  3. Pray for the Akha people, that they might come to all know the saving power of Jesus Christ, but also discover what His love and the power of the Holy Spirit can mean in practical ways to achieve peace and their families, in their communities, in the church and in relationship to other Christian groups, as well.
  4. Pray for the projects we are involved with that are helping to provide self-sufficiency for the Akha people, namely the Akha Craft program, coffee production and drug rehabilitation efforts. May these programs be strengthened and may the people involved develop the leadership skills they need to carry these programs forward.