Prayer for Our Community in Need

Church of the Redeemer Evangelist Rachael Surface has initiated a time of prayer and a prayer walk for our community that is suffering from severe drug abuse that has led to at least two deaths and a dozen overdoses in the past week. See her announcements below and plan to pray for our community and especially the generation of young adults.

From Rachael:
Every evening this week, starting at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 10, I will be standing at Mariner’s Wharf (where the Saturday Market is) for a time of prayer for the people in our community fighting addiction. On Water St., across from Page After Page Bookstore. At 6:15 I will walk up Main St., praying with whomever will join me, for those fighting addiction. This is not an attempt to make me “feel better”; this is a plea to God to reach those people in our community who need to know that they are valuable and necessary and important. We cannot be with those who are in the hospital or in jail suffering withdrawal, but God can. Please spread the word, and march with me.

As a wife of a local paramedic who is coping with the sadness of this outbreak of drug overdoses, and as a mother of a child who has survived two drug overdoses, is anyone interested in joining me in a prayer march through Elizabeth City this week? I have seen Jesus acting to save my child, and I believe with all my heart that God hears our prayers, and will act on the behalf of His children in our community struggling with hopelessness and addiction. I have to do this. Will anyone join me?

Is Not Praying a Sin?

The Bible does not exactly say that, but –

• Jesus taught his disciples to always pray and not give up. Lk 18:1-8

• Paul wrote to “pray continuously” (without ceasing) 1 Thes 5:17

• Samuel said, “As for me, far be it from me that I sin against God by failing to pray for you.” 1 Sam 12:23

• Jeremiah reported what the Lord said, “Pray to Me . . . and I will be found by you.” Jer 29:12-14

• From Hebrews we learn, “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Heb 11:6

• James teaches that, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins (sin of omission).” James 4:17 And, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” 4:8 And, “Pray for each other so that you may be healed.” 5:16

If failing to do something we are commanded to do is sin, then prayerlessness is surely a major sin for believers.  On the other hand, if following the commands of the Lord is how we express our love for him then praying and interceding is an expression of love for God and love for those for whom we pray.

AND STILL HE COMES…On the Occasion of the 12th Anniversary of the Elizabeth City Men’s Prayer Group

Perhaps you’ve read, or even thought about, alternate history… you know… What might have happened if the Atomic Bomb didn’t work? OR What if Kennedy had not been assassinated? OR What might things be like if the telephone had never been invented? This type of thinking is called UCHRONIA; fiction that proposes things that might have happened differently.

Roger Caillois wrote a novel, Pontius Pilate … in the following was proposed:

“On this particular occasion Pilate’s day began with the usual meetings, he was experiencing his typical moodiness, there were reflections on a restless night and bad dreams… and there was all the stress accompanying all these people, all these Jews, crowding his city… potentially problems and disorder threatened. And all things there was this obscure, determined, Galilean the priests were demanding be put to death. Pilate goes out to the priests and the crowd and holding his arms spread he announces: ‘I don’t see it. I see nothing wrong… let this man have his freedom!’ he declares… and Jesus goes home, he keeps preaching, he dies an old man widely praised for his wisdom; and a generation later he is all but forgotten… Christianity never emerges.”

Brothers, with faith and confidence we know the real story. We can choose to live in the reality of the promises of a risen Christ, promises of a divine life. We realize our destiny guided by the Holy Spirit within each of us. No doubt, our lives have been ones all too often focused on our own desires, subverting our lives from stepping into the destiny Jesus made for us. But we “AWAKE,” we turn, we return and return and return to learning to work with Him on what He wants to get done in our lives and the world around us. We grow in our confidence in Him.

There is no place He will not go with us or be with us. There is no space where Christ whispers to us, “…I can’t go there with you.” Brothers, this awareness is the source of our joyous Christian confidence… this is what we model when we become a more loving person. You see, this is TELOS; unselfish sacrificial love, love for the other person. This is Jesus in our lives…

• When Jesus was but a child they tried to find and kill Him… And still He comes!
• When crowds threatened Him and His own family tried to stop Him… And still He comes!
• When He was crucified, dead, and buried with a large stone rolled against the guarded tomb… And still He comes!
• When for 2,000 years the world fails to hold Him down, eliminate Him, silence Him…And still He comes

And you trust Him, you love HIM!!

Let’s put this another way… let’s put this in the Christian context of our membership in the Men’s Prayer Group and our life’s journey:

• When you have a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, a bad year… And still you come!
• When you lose a job, a career, your financial foundation, your home… And still you come!
• When you lose a child, a spouse, a relative, a friend… And still you come!
• When you really have to carry your cross, lose your health, your heart breaks, and all seems lost… And still you come!

Brothers, the Pilate story you just heard… the wrong story… unfortunately, that’s the story for the majority of people on this Earth… their lives are untouched by Jesus Christ… their lives are untouched by good Christians like us. So this Easter week we realize the sacrificial love of our Lord. God’s only Son is about to raise you up, the sting of death will be removed, and Jesus will live within YOU… and those lost souls require our attention, our love, our own kind of TELOS… And still we come!

Shared by: George C. Stonikinis, Jr.

NFL Player Don Carey, III Presentation

Don Carey III Current NFL Player


Sunday, June 24th 6 p.m.: NFL player Don Carey III, author of It’s Not Because I’m Better than You, will be speaking at Forest Park Church, Elizabeth City. Redeemer is partnering with Forest Park to present this powerful Christian speaker and message. 9-year NFL veteran and current NFL player Don Carey III overcame considerable challenges to make it to the NFL. Through his life experiences on and off the field, Don has learned considerable insights about pursuing and achieving dreams in life. He has made a commitment to inspire and help people reach their goals. His new book “It’s Not Because I’m Better than You” is impacting readers everywhere. He is coming to Elizabeth City to share in person his story and to inspire people. His message is for everyone and is especially relevant to youth and young adults. Don will be signing his book and inviting attendees to donate to The REECH Foundation, a charity started by Don and his wife Lakeisha.

Church of the Redeemer and Forest Park Church are partnering to present this event to our community. Towne Center Health, Men’s Prayer Group, Montero’s Restaurant and Danny Glover Law Firm are also sponsoring this event.