Prayers for our city, Idaho Falls

1. Pastor Ken Feliciano, Berean Baptist Church (Facebook)

Master,

How I praise and worship You for You are God. You have all things in Your hands and because of this I know I can stand firm and sure in good times and hard times even when I am uncertain of what You are trying to accomplish. Thank You that even though our buildings may be closed down temporarily, the Church will never be closed down. We are Your people and as long as there is one of us to share Your love the Church moves forward.

Forgive me, when I jump ahead thinking I have the solution to a problem before I’ve even consulted you about it. Forgive me when I forget that I am called to serve You and others, and I allow my self-importance to get the best of me. Forgive me when I forget to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s true, we’re not able to meet together, but put it on my heart to call, text, email, and encourage others to good deeds. Forgive me when I don’t love You like You deserve.

Protect Your people, Your Church, in Southeast Idaho from fear and anxiety all the time, but especially during this crisis. Guard Your people and keep us true to Your word. Though the pandemic is all around us You are God. Your hand is upon us and You embrace each and everyone one of us. Allow our confidence in You to be real and apparent to others and guard us from being arrogant and insensitive to their needs or insensitive to their fears. Give us hearts of compassion and love so you may be glorified.

Wake up Your Church to the great need to complete the work You started by preaching the gospel. There are many who need Your love and truth and we have both in Jesus Christ. Show us how to take up Your Cross and deny ourselves for Your glory. Give Your people the courage and opportunity to share Your love with others. Give us the energy to shake up the world around us like the early disciples were accused of doing. Give us the discipline to pray for those who are ill and hurting, but most of all to pray for those who need Your love and need the gospel of truth. Give us the love to stand in obedience to Your Word regardless of how difficult it seems to do so.—–Magnify Yourself in us and through us. In Jesus name. Amen.

2.  Pastor Mike Ghiglia, Share the Son Ministries (Facebook), MorningStar Christian Fellowship, Eastern Idaho Pastors Coalition (Facebook)

Lord, first of all thank You for forgiving us, cleansing us, and saving us into your Kingdom.  May we never take for granted the inestimable sacrifice of King Jesus.  And thank You for the bountiful blessings and provisions we enjoy with every breath we take.  And thank You for the gift of prayer that changes us from the inside out by the Spirit with Whom you sealed us.  And on that note, Lord, may this time of unprecedented trial and uncertainty in our nation and lives be an opportunity for Your church to shine like the great city on a hill You intended it to be.  Bless us with courage, passion, wisdom and humility as we take the glorious gospel of salvation into the world in word and deed.  May You be exalted for You alone are Lord!  Amen.

3.  Pastor Warren Cuppy, Dubois Community Baptist Church, Providence Downtown Church (Facebook)

All-powerful, All-knowing, Ever-present Father, loving and merciful Lord, Our Salvation, Our Healer, Our Provider and Our Sanctifier, please hear our prayer.

All-knowing Father will you search the hearts of your people here in Idaho Falls, And will You try us and expose our sin and our faithlessness?  And Lord, will You please, in Your abundant grace, begin with me?   Will You bring Your people here in Idaho Falls to a place of repentance, and will You give us the strength and courage to live our lives fully for You?

Father, will You convince our neighbors who don’t know You of sin, righteousness and judgment, for Your judgment is perfect, Your grace and love are eternal?  Will You send Your people here to preach and live out Your good news and will You break our hearts for the lost neighbors?

Everlasting Lord, thank You for Your care and goodwill toward Your people. You have prospered us here, Lord that we would find favor with our neighbors so that they might see You in us, Your Church in Idaho Falls.  Thank you, Lord, for the trials that cause us to grow strong in our faith in You.  Thank You for the move of unity that You have begun amongst Your people here, may it continue to grow so that You will be presented with a beautiful spotless bride on that glorious day.

Will you fill our hearts with Your agape love, with Your compassion, and with Your kindness, so that we will be Your peculiar people?

Father, will you build in us Your love and compassion for the homeless, for the hungry, for those who are imprisoned and for those in our hospitals?  Lord, will you deliver those enslaved by addictions of any kind?  We know that the victory is only through You.

And Father, will You, in Your infinite mercy, bring healing amongst us, spiritual, physical, and emotional healing? Will You rid us of the illness that has not only crippled our society but that has handicapped Your Church?  Will You remove the shadow of fear that has overtaken us, will You strengthen Your people here even in times of calamity that we might all look into Your face?

Precious Father, we know that there is nothing impossible with You!

Thank You, Glorious Father, for hearing our prayer and for the move of Your Holy Spirit here in Your town of Idaho Falls.

In the name of Jesus our Savior we pray,

Amen

4. Pastor Oscar Perdomo, Fuente De Restauracion, (Facebook)

Dear Lord, as I gather my thoughts, the only thing of great importance above everything else I can ask for is, lifting up the name of Jesus Christ in the city of Idaho Falls.

Through the years, Lord, you have put in the hearts of pastors of East Idaho to ask for a revival; and, Lord, you have opened doors of opportunity during these difficult times; so I just ask that we as your church embrace with boldness the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ,  help the needy, and give Agape love, transparent love, sincere love to the people of Idaho Falls.

Lord, knowing that your kingdom come and your will be done is far more excellent than anything I can ask for.  For you know all things!!! Nothing can escape from you!!! Your love is farther than the east is from the west!!!!

Lord, please hear the cry of your people as we gather our prayers and intercede for Idaho Falls in the place, we call home.  Amen!!!

Your servant in Jesus Christ

5. Pastor emeritus, Larry Cudmore, First Evangelical Lutheran Church (Facebook), Champs Heart

Our Father, we come before your in the name of Jesus today. We lift before you our city and those essential workers who put their lives on the front lines to keep us safe. We pray you will bless them and their families and guard them with your angels. We also pray that those who have the resources will dig deep to help the most vulnerable among us with the needs that they have for themselves and their families. We pray that these days will work to draw us closer to you. We think we know what we need, but you are the one who knows what we need. We surrender ourselves to your will this day, that your will may be done among us. We pray for your will be done. We pray that we will not fall into the prison of calling you good only when things are going our way. Lord have mercy on us. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

6. Pastor Jared Clark, Falls Baptist Church (Facebook)

Father,

I again come to you in the name of your Son, Jesus.  I am so thankful He stands as my mediator; where I can come boldly to your throne of grace, that I may find grace and mercy in times of need. It is once again one of those times of need, Father.  It is a time where I am struggling to align my thoughts and actions with my theology. It is a time where I stand before your people and declare your sovereign control but awake the same night with fear of the unknown. I fear for the future of my children. I fear for the future of our local church body. I fear for the future of my city. I fear for the future of my country. Yet, your Word declares that Christ is before all things and by him all things hold together.  Forgive me for my lack of faith and trust in you, Father.

Help me to walk not in fear, but instead be empowered by your Spirit. Father, please renew my mind so that my thoughts and actions align with who You truly are.  Help me Father, to be the under-shepherd your people deserve. An under-shepherd that is filled with your Spirit and not of himself.  May your Spirit also work mightily in those you have allowed me to lead. May it also be for those in other local assemblies throughout the Valley. For it is the only way we will be of any use for your Kingdom work here in Idaho Falls. I am reminded when Zechariah told Zerubbabel: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty”  So be it, Lord.

It is my prayer that you would use a Spirit-empowered Church to magnify your Name.  That you would use your Church to shine your light brightly in the midst of the darkness that has descended upon our land. Father, as we trust in you, and walk by your Spirit, would you glorify your Name by bringing many into your family through the effectual proclamation of the Gospel. None of what I just said can happen, Lord, unless your Spirit moves and you extend your mercy and grace not only upon your Church, but also upon the community you have placed us in. As Paul declared about his Jewish neighbors we can also declare that many of our neighbors have a great zeal for God but not according to knowledge.  They are a people in great need of your mercy and grace, Father.  We are a Church in great need of your continued mercy and grace.  Thank you, Father, for all you have done and will do. Your will be done.

7. Pastor Matt McGukin, Calvary Baptist Church (Facebook)

Lord Jesus,

I cry out to you on behalf of our city. Would you shine your light in the darkness. For all those who are hurting physically, mentally, and emotionally would you the great physician heal for the glory of your name. Oh Lord for those who have lost their job or are on the verge of losing their business would you be their strength and shield, would your provision be gracious, and your daily bread be appreciated. Lord Jesus for all our health care workers and first responders and every essential employee would you protect them and be mighty on their behalf. Would you in your tender mercy comfort those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. With your everlasting mercy would you calm the spirit of those who are fearful and afraid. Oh, gracious God would your Word, the Bible, speak to the weary and wounded soul and draw people to yourself.

Oh Lord, for your people, your church, your bride, would we love you more than we hate a virus. In this time of social distancing would we not be distanced from you. Would your holy Word inflame our hearts and purify our minds. Would we dare to see other people Lord Jesus as you see them, please give us your vision. Renew our hearts and revive our souls that we may point people to you. Make our hearts content with what comes from your hand. And Oh, mighty God, we thank you for all you have done and all you will do. You are the only one worthy of praise, honor, and glory.

Oh Lord Jesus, I close my prayer by praying your Word back to you from Ephesians 3:14-21:

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.—–20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

8. Charles Barnes, Jesus in Idaho Falls ministry (prayer for the Church)

Lord, give your church in Idaho Falls eyes to see You, the author and finisher of our faith, the One having all authority in heaven and earth, the One working among us for your glory and kingdom; to know Jesus Christ crucified, the power of the cross, to have the hope of the resurrection, and to comprehend what it means to be raised us up with Christ and seated in the heavenly places with Him. May we abide in Jesus that we may produce fruit that reveals you to our city. May we seek Your kingdom and righteousness, and walk by faith. Fill us with your Life, Your Spirit. Let us see the harvest that you have prepared and desire us to reap. Fill us with the knowledge of Your will that we may walk worthy of our calling. May our city be good soil, and hunger for truth.

9. Pastor Todd Wood, Providence Downtown Church, Shepherd of the Falls Lutheran Church, Idaho Falls Rescue Mission (Facebook), Eastern Idaho Pastors Coalition (EIPC)

Dear God,

I agree with my brothers today as we bow in awe before Your presence.  In Your mercy, hear our prayers.

In Idaho Falls, give us Your peace to surmount our fears, Your renewed calling to replace our confusion, and Your gift of faith to topple our nagging doubts. We thank You for how You demonstrated Your love to us when long ago, You sent Your Son to die for our sins, to set us free, and to give us new life.  We thank you for how the Spirit is magnifying Christ in our city, the mighty Deliverer who conquers both our heart disease of sin and our physical disease of the coronavirus. You are the potter; we are the clay. One of your preachers, Charles Spurgeon, once wrote to the effect: “You are too good to be unkind and You are too wise to be mistaken.  And when we cannot trace Your hand, we must trust Your heart.”

Dear God, You are our Father.  And as Your children, we trust Your heart. We rest in Your Providence tonight. Thank You, for watching over us, protecting us, and loving us in Idaho Falls. We love You. In our prayers, we depend upon You alone for our salvation.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

The prayer of a rural Idahoan (8)

Dear God,

I have been reading how the quarantine response is damaging the production of our Idaho farmers and others:

God, I have some of these hardworking, “salt and light of the earth”, godly farmers in my church family. I am so thankful for them as I lift them by name up to You.  Give them Your hope, Your peace, and Your provision in this pandemic.

Bless, my brothers and sisters, our humble farmers in Idaho.  They fear Your holy name, Mighty God. Bless them, their kids, and their grandkids, the multi-generations of workers on the farms.

I think of the blessing in Psalm 128 for them during this season of great trial:

“Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. The LORD bless you out of Zion, and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!”

For those who have seen potato contracts cut by 50%, I asking that in the days ahead, You open up the financial market in miraculous ways.  Give them favor with our Idaho Governor and our federal government.

Also, dear Lord, I want to slip in a prayer for all my rural, beautiful, farming family spread out all over central Oregon.  Watch over them today.  Encourage them.  Prosper them. Draw them all close to You.

Thank You, Lord, for hearing my prayer for my family and friends.  Out in the fields, they worship and love You.  May Your presence and power be poured out upon them.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

The prayer of a beggarly Idahoan (7)

Dear God,

Yesterday at noon, I stood in the food line at the Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen; and then in the evening, I mingled with those in the meal line at the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission.

I hate to see my friends in their struggles: the stolen belongings, the abused women, the lack of education, poverty, missing teeth, dirty clothes, and poor mental health.

Lord, it is overwhelming.  Sometimes, I am at a loss for words.

During the noon hour, I listened to their stories.  And by evening, some of the men were drunk in their anger, trying to escape their misery for one more evening.  Dear God, speak to them; break into their darkness.  You know every detail of what is going on in their lives.

I am crying out to You, Father, for the full work of the Messiah, Your Son, among my friends. It was foretold around 2,600 years ago by the prophet Isaiah:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound (Isaiah 61:1-3).

God, I am thinking of my dear friend who was just picked up by the police this week.  He is now sitting in the Bonneville County Jail.  Looking at the Bonneville County Jail roster/list of names online, I linger over his name. God, you know all the church services have been canceled at the jail.  Please!  Swiftly take my written letter to him.

Jesus, restore my brother fully as you restored Peter in the days following Your resurrection. Please do not let the anger, despair, shame, and sin swallow him up.

Thank You, Jesus, that You come to us in our camps of spiritual leprosy.  You touch us in our soul-sickness and heal us.  We have been given Your food and new life.

Shepherd of my heart, I thank You for all that You have done in my life.  Help me to be a loud beggar who keeps sharing the news with all the other beggars in our city.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

The prayer of a gospel-filled Idahoan (6)

Dear God,

I thank You that in Idaho Falls, back in the early 1970s, I first heard the beautiful news of Christ’s gospel. And today, as we are beginning the 2020s in the midst of a dark coronavirus, I am so thankful through 50 years that we still have the same good news! Father, Your Son died in my place, bearing my sin. Thank You for granting me:  forgiveness, redemption, restoration, and adoption. Thank You that when I was spiritually dead, Your Spirit blew new life into me.  In Your amazing grace, You have given me eternal life which triumphs right over the top of my enemies: Satan, sin, and death itself.

God of life, during this spring resurrection season, I think of what one of Your missionaries, St. Paul wrote to believers in Corinth,

“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:1-4).

Dear God, I am thankful for the gospel pioneers who came to Idaho in the 1800s. I am grateful for the Reverend William N. Knox, a Baptist minister,  back around 1900, who preached the gospel to a road construction gang in the middle of nowhere on a moonlit night in the Nezperce National Forest. To this day, we have Gospel Peak, Gospel Hill, and Gospel Lakes named for what this gospel preacher did 120 years ago.

Lord of the Harvest, we thank You for the faithful gospel witness in Idaho among Your servants, missionaries, pastors, and Christians in their weekly vocations, year after year, and decade after decade.  In 2020, I ask that You thrust forth laborers into our Idaho fields.

As Pastor Matt McGukin of Calvary Baptist Church prayed yesterday:  Jesus, cleanse the temple. Cleanse Your House of Prayer.  And as Pastor Ken Feliciano of Berean Baptist Church requested, Master, help Your Church in Idaho to wake up, to take up our crosses, and to shake up the world.

Dear God, in the days ahead, we ask that Your word would run and be glorified through the streets of our Idaho cities.  We ask that through the internet, many men and women like Nicodemus in the night, would search and find answers from You regarding the eternal questions about their souls.

Lord, give us eyes to see and ears to hear.  In the midst of our physical sickness and financial recession, we humbly ask You to bring spiritual awakening to us in Idaho.  Save us, Lord.  Save us from the sin in our hearts. 

I pray this all in the mighty name of Jesus, for in the very meaning of His name, He will save His people from their sins,

Todd

 

The prayer of a political Idahoan (5)

Dear God,

I am lifting up to Your throne room this morning, our Republican Idaho Governor, Brad Little. He is under a lot of stress because of (1) the community spread of the coronavirus, (2) the sick and dying in the hospitals, and (3) the skyrocketing of unemployment as our state moves into financial recession.

Dear God, You already know that he will be addressing our state this morning in a state-wide news briefing conference.  He needs Your strength and Your wisdom.

Draw Him to You, the great “I AM”. You are everything that our governor needs.

May the governor clearly know that he has the ongoing, supporting prayers of the Church in Idaho.  May the governor know this–that the small Shepherd of the Falls Lutheran Church family in American Falls, Idaho, practically prays in the public arena for him by name every Sunday morning.  And we know, God Almighty, that You, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.

Also, sovereign God, I humbly heed Your words of instruction this morning through Saint Paul to Timothy.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercession, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (I Timothy 2:1-6).

I raise up my hand to You, the God who sees us in Idaho. I lift my hand without wrath or doubting, asking You to be the strong Guide on this day for our governor.  I trust in You.  I rest in Your Providence. And I thank you for our Idaho governor.

Also, loving God, I ask that You move mightily among all my neighbors to the west of me in the Democratic seat of Blaine County.  Whether Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, may we all fear Your name. We need Your Presence. We repent of our sin and our political fighting. We ask You to forgive us of terrible transgressions against Your holy heart. Have mercy on us. Please heal all of our neighbors who are very sick.

We cry out to You!

You are the Sun of Righteousness!  Arise in Idaho with healing in Your wings!

Bless our state governor today.

in Jesus’ name,

Todd

The prayer of a fearful Idahoan (4)

Dear God,

Please take care of my wife, an Idaho nurse among the courageous, thin, white line in the battle against the coronavirus.

I love her life more than my own life.  I don’t fear the loss of my own life.  But I confess my anxiety to You regarding her life.

Loving Father, if she were to come into contact with a sick patient who tested positive with the coronavirus, I could not and would not allow for her to be two weeks, isolated in a local hotel room by herself.  She would be isolated in our master bedroom with a bathroom.

Majestic Creator, my wife and I are one flesh, created by Your sovereign, good hand, and who were joined together in holy matrimony by two Idaho gospel preachers on a beautiful day long ago, May 30th, 1992, in Your Presence and the household of faith at Gethsemane Baptist Church. 

Dear God, if my precious wife were to ever test positive for COVID-19 (God forbid!!), I would rally every brother and sister in the country to intercede on bended knee before You on the throne of heaven. You are the God of life.  You are the God who heals. You are God who is with us.

Dear God, my wife is not like the nurse, Jessica Schneider from Boise, who marched right to the front lines in New York City.  God bless and protect her, today.

My wife is simply headed off to work early tomorrow morning at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC).

My wife is a gift from You, the Giver of all good gifts.  I hold her in my heart and in my hand.  My hand trembles, but it is open before You.

I love and worship You, my Lord and my God.

In Jesus’ name,

Todd

The prayer of a disappointed Idahoan (3)

Dear God,

Yes, I am an introvert. But, God, on Resurrection Sunday, I was very disappointed in not being able to sit close, hug, lay my hand upon someone’s shoulder for prayer, and celebrate face-to-face with the brothers and sisters of Shepherd of the Falls Lutheran Church in American Falls and Providence Downtown Church in Idaho Falls.

Lord, I know I sound like I am whining and complaining to You. I am very thankful this past Sunday that You gave me the opportunity at early sunrise to stand up on the Pancheri Bridge to rejoice over Christ’s resurrection with Pastor Beau Floyd of Emmaus Road Church. I praise You, God, for the opportunity to stand up on top of the flatbed of a semi-truck and pray for our city’s pastors and churches during the Drive-In service with Pastor Jose Favela of Iglesia Centro Evangelistico in the parking lot of Shopko.  Thank You so much! Also, I loved the opportunity to swing over to the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission Women & Children’s Shelter (the Ruth House) in the early afternoon to share Your words of hope and to pray with the small handful of homeless women–my friends.  But, Jesus, it was awkward on Resurrection Sunday 2020 in Idaho Falls to wear gloves and a mask and practice very unnatural social distancing as we declared Your power and glory!

Dear God, I know that there are Lone-ranger-in-the-woods-on-Sunday worshipers and sit-at-home-with-a-television-on-Sunday worshipers, but we know that these expressions of Christianity are woefully inadequate.  Dear Father, when I became a Christian long ago in Idaho Falls, your Spirit placed me in a Body.  How can eyes, ears, hands, and feet of the same living, breathing Body stay separated from one another? How long, Lord?

Father, I think of the words of the ancient psalmist who worshiped You (Psalm 126),

When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, the LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad. Bring back our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

We grieve now, O Lord GOD; but we trust You for abundant fruit and great joy on the horizon of tomorrow.

And, God, if I could once more, add my lament over not being able to attend the Nursing Pinning Ceremony and Class of 2020 Graduation for my daughter, Hannah Wood, at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina on May 7-8, 2020.  All the sweat, blood, tears, and sacrifice over the years in scrimping along and paying college tuition–now this capstone celebration is in the ash heap because of an unseen vile virus. I don’t understand it, God.  Is it, that on Thursday, May 7, where I wanted to be at a Nursing Pinning Ceremony clear across the country, you simply desire for me to pour out my heart to you all day–the National Day of Prayer? What are You asking of me, God?

And my youngest boy, Micaiah Wood, who is scheduled to graduate from Skyline High School on Wednesday, May 27 . . . what a mess.  No spring sport. No opportunity to compete in state competition. No awards ceremonies. No senior Lagoon trip. No Senior parties. A graduation commencement that lingers in the future, out of our grasp and uncertain. This kid of mine was born in the shadow of the terrorist attack of 9/11 on America.  Now, he graduates in the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic.

O God, I ache today.

In your mercy, hear my prayer. Work Your glory in my gloom.

In Jesus’ name,

Todd

The prayer of a selfish Idahoan (2)

Dear God,

I am pretty selfish. You know that.

God, don’t get me wrong. I love all my family. I love them dearly.  But at the same time, my family can drive me nuts.  My youngest son is a senior in high school, and my older three are housebound after their three colleges all respectively closed down to go online. Family quarantine constantly disrupts my schedule (and their daily routines). Lord, you know I am not a huge fan of millennials living with their parents. I need Your help.

Father, your Son teaches us to pray to You,

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

But honestly, the temptations abound every day for my family to point out generational faults between Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.  And God, we won’t even get into talking about the Boomers.

God, you know, that last night, my oldest daughter wanted to pull me away from the very important whatever-in-the-world-that-I-was-doing to go buy some “essential items” for goodies. She had her heart set on baking.  She wanted to give some treats to others today.  God, you know, that in my grumbling, bad mood, I drove to Albertsons and could not find what was needed.  Only two grocery clerks ran the whole store.  They both suggested the same aisle for what I needed, but I could not find it.  Immediately, I phone texted complaints to my daughter.  Then I drove to Walmart, and it was closed.  I couldn’t believe it!  In all my years of living in this city, I have never seen Walmart closed off to my direct, immediate access. Lord, you know, that I drove home, fuming.  My daughter managed to graciously cook some delicious goodies, but I was in a foul mood.  God, why do you have to put me in these family circumstances all over again that want to bring out my selfishness? Depending on the right mix of circumstances, I can get bent out of shape by the smallest of issues, straining at the gnat and swallowing a camel.

God, I need to repent of my focus on self.  As an introvert, I thrive on social isolation.  Unlike my bubbly, extrovert wife, I am energized by hanging out by myself.

So, God, why did you have to pack my little cracker-box home with my whole family?

Lord, have mercy on this selfish Idahoan,

Todd

 

The prayer of a frustrated Idahoan (1)

Dear God,
Presently, we are struggling down here in Idaho.
We are an independent people who like to be stocked up, armed to defend ourselves, and not needing to be reliant upon anybody, especially the government.  Living in one of the beautiful regions in the country, we take great pride in our good common sense, our no-nonsense mentality, our conservative values, our simple ways to stretch a dollar, our religious morality, and our hard work ethic.
Why God, would You allow a virus to come all the way from Wuhan, China to touch us out here in our state?  In the first place, we don’t even like China.  Some of us won’t even buy anything “Made in China”.  So, what have we done to deserve COVID-19 entering the sacred woods of our Idahome?
In Blaine County, we are little upset by the wealthy who brought the virus to our ski slopes which then as a destructive plague ripped right through our small local communities. In central Idaho, we have been howling at night. Do You hear our cries?
Over in Ada County, housing our state’s capital, our Governor has ordered us all to stay-at-home.  Our healthcare workers are very thankful for his leadership in issuing this proclamation. But many of us in our state would like to be or already are in rebellion.  Who does Brad Little think he is, the king over us?
We know that St. Peter told us in I Peter 2 through the translation of William Tyndale,
Fear God and honour the king. Servants obey your masters with all fear, not only if they be good and courteous; but also though they be forward. For it is thankworthy if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what praise is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye take it patiently? But and if when ye do well, ye suffer wrong and take it patiently, then is there thank with God.
But God, Peter lived under a different government. We are Americans and on top of that—we are Idahoans!  We are a FREE people.  In history, people died for the freedoms that we possess. First, the Governor has no right to tell the Church what to do, because Your Son alone is the chief Shepherd. Man’s kingdom has no authority over your Kingdom! Second, the Governor has no right to douse water on the fires of all our hard work, pull the brakes on our businesses, and tank our economy. God, do you see what is going on?
In fact, no one can tell us what to do.  They don’t have the right. There is no way that we are going to let those liberals in Washington and Oregon ruin our state. God, we are frustrated.  We want to carry on business and free enterprise as usual.  We want to go right back to what we have been doing!
God, what are you trying to teach us?
As a struggling son in Idaho Falls, I pray this to You,
Todd

Jesus in Idaho Falls, the Saturday before Palm Sunday (4/4/20)

There are two things that I am thinking about this Saturday morning as I meditate on Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem: 1. On Sunday, He wept, and 2. On Monday, He cleansed the temple, emphasizing prayer.
“Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.’ Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, ‘It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.’ ” (Luke 19:41-44).
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’” (Matthew 23:37-39)
I feel that as we enter Holy Week, Jesus lays out two responses for me as I worship Him as King: (1) Weep for my country, and (2) Pray.
I saw a video of men literally turning over a shopping cart and throwing fists at each other in the parking lot of Walmart in Twin Falls. I read an article about the vandalism in Rexburg.  I grieved over a food bank at First Baptist Church in Roy, Utah, where the volunteers unknowingly passed out treats to children where the candy had been infused with THC. I am angry over the computer hackers who bomb Zoom conferences among teachers and elementary school students. I weep over our country, crying out to God that He might revive our trust in Him. I repent and agonize over the spirit of self and self-sufficiency in the I-15 Corridor.  I long for eastern Idaho to experience spiritual awakening and revival. I ask Jesus to make our hearts humble, repentant, and obedient to Him as our holy and high King.
At one time, our prayer meetings in our cities and towns were our smallest gatherings of a few people scattered here and there.  On this day, Saturday, April 4, 2020, on the cusp of Holy Week, I am asking that the God of heaven and earth will turn all eastern Idaho into His Holy House of Prayer.
Here are some of the prayer requests:
  • Please pray by name for those you know who have tested positive for the coronavirus.  It is excruciating that we cannot visit, stand, and kneel at the bedsides of one another in homes or hospitals.  But we must learn names, and we must lift their names to the throne room of God.
  • Please pray for Blaine County.  Please intercede for brothers and sisters in the local churches of this region, the locals, the wealthy out-of-towners, and the mayors of Ketchum (Neil Bradshaw) and Sun Valley (Peter Hendricks). I am acquainted with Pastor Jerry Reinke over in Hailey, Idaho from brief conversations in the past when he was the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Idaho Falls.  Pray for this brother-in-Christ, his family, and his congregation, Valley of Peace Lutheran Church. Pray for the other local churches.
  • Please pray for all our healthcare workers in all the hospitals.  Please pray for the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) that is at the epicenter in our region. Pray for the ICU doctors like Dr. Kenneth Krell. Pray for the nurses.  I would ask you to keep in prayer my wife, Kristie Wood, who is a clinical supervisor at EIRMC’s Women’s Center. Pray for pregnant mothers who have tested positive or might test positive in the days ahead for COVID-19.  Pray for the little ones in their mothers’ wombs. Pray for the sick elderly.
  • Pray for our mayors, our city council, and our business leaders.  Pray for the small businesses that will not weather this financial storm and close.
  • Pray for all our news media outlets that they will be able to craft stories in the days ahead that will strengthen communities to stand together and hope.  Pray that they will not be afraid to infuse God fully into the narratives that are unfolding day by day. In God, we trust.
  • Pray for our city school administrators and teachers who are plodding through new, unchartered territory and that they will be able to finish strong until summer break. Pray for high school and college classes of 2020. How can we celebrate in May for and with them in our communities?
  • Pray for those battling addictions and struggling in their mental health. Pray for those in the homeless shelters and pray for those on the streets.  Pray for the staff of Rescue Missions. Pray for our police officers. Pray for those incarcerated.
  • Pray for all the local churches. I recently listened to a NAMB Zoom conference where Dhati Lewis was hosting Brad Brisco.  They emphasized four themes: (1) Simplification (of our programs, activities, value-add-ons), (2) Decentralization (into networks, missional, small groups, and micro-churches, etc. so that we don’t have all of our eggs in one central basket), (3) Repurposing (of buildings – multiuse of the space), and (4) Bivocational & Convocational Leadership (ministry spread out among all the discipleship leaders in their holy vocations).  After listening to this, I wrote in my sermon journal, “What if God does not want us to go back to a lot of the former ways that we have maintained and done Church?”  Please pray for the Church of Eastern Idaho. On another note, over a week ago, Ed Stetzer published this article for church leaders, This Is Not The Crisis, But It Is Just A Few Weeks Away, Four phases for church leaders: (1) Phase 1: Pause and Innovate, Phase 2: Prepare and Plan, Phase 3: Engage and Execute, Phase 4: Recover and Reemerge. Please pray for church leaders.
The Lord has placed me in a rhythm of prayer each day at 7:14 am, 12:20 pm, and 20:20 pm. And yet, let us pray throughout the day.
Here are some of the praises:
  • There is an incredible resurgence of prayer, both verbal and written.  Let us see all that God does in our midst through prayer alone in our dependence upon Him. To Him alone be the glory.
  • There is the power of personal connection. People are calling one another.  People are doing extraordinary deeds of Christian love for those whom God puts on their hearts. Our cities shall know that we are Christ’s disciples by our love for one another.
  • There is the incredible ministry through our computers, whether a simple email or a fully planned Livestream service.  The online, social media and internet ministry is extensive.  We have no idea of the scope in how God is using our gospel proclamation in eastern Idaho and taking it to our Jerusalem, our Samaria, and then throughout the world. And with the preaching of the gospel, free resources are flooding the internet from parachurch ministries.
  • The musicians are birthing beautiful, new songs of prayer and praise during these trials. I could spend all day listening to one song after another of singles, couples, and families singing these newly written songs in quarantine.
  • There are the ideas of new church plants amid COVID-19.
  • And here is the greatest praise of all.  The King is on His throne, and His Kingdom cannot be shaken—earthly kingdoms, yes, but not His. And He has perfect love for His people. The good ending that He has planned will cause all the nations of the earth to see and behold His glory.
The joy of the LORD is our strength.
Events:
Tomorrow on Palm Sunday, April 5, there will be the gathering of Drive-In Church from 10:30 to 11:30 am with Pastor Jared Clark at Falls Baptist Church on the outskirts of Idaho Falls near Sandy Downs Arena. There might be a few other congregations who will gather in safe, innovative ways. But for the most part, the Church of Eastern Idaho will be thousands of house churches, scattered throughout Idaho Falls and Eastern Idaho, meeting in neighborhoods and out in their homes in the countryside.
May Jesus reign as King.
Roots by the river in Idaho Falls,
Todd Wood