As we have entered 2018, we are taking this first month of January to freshly revisit our New Song Nashville mission, vision and ministry values, as we pursue another year on Knowing God and Knowing Others. This will help us to not only revisit, but also to recast a clear sense of prophetic assignment in what God has called us to personally and as a people gathered to encourage and equip one another, in order to be a people distributed to the communities we live in and serve.

It is with this worthy and worshipful pursuit in mind, that we come to this month’s theme of Clear Vision—Clear Values, as we freshly focus on who we are, what we do, why we do it and how we do it—all for the glory of God and the good of all He has called us to effectively serve.

Last week, we did an overview on our vision and ministry values to Reach Up To God Through the Ministries of Prayer and Praise, Reach Into One Another Through the Ministries of Making Disciples, Developing Leaders and Multiplying Covenantal
Communities and to Reach Out To The World Through The Ministries of Evangelism, Compassion and Justice.

This week, we are focusing on what it means to Reach Up To God—being and becoming a people who engage in the ministry of prayer, the ministry of praise and embracing and engaging in a theology of place—the secret place, the gathering place and the public place. This is our first pursuit and priority that leads us to our other worthy pursuits and priorities.

The Ministry of Prayer Every person and every people that have ever made a significant difference for God’s purposes in the earth have always been given to the ministry of prayer. Serving God in prayer means that we are searching for the revelation of God’s will, by the word and the Spirit, and agreeing with it in faith for its fulfillment. We see this service and search in the life of every true believer who longs to know the heart of God, hear His voice and heed His commands. Prayer is an ongoing dialogue with God about what He is saying and doing, as exemplified in our Lord Jesus and all those who love His word, will and ways. Let’s pray that the burden for prayer and the blessing of prayer would grip our hearts and guide our way.

The Ministry of Praise King David, the founder and father of faith-filled praise, modeled for us what it means to praise God for who He is, what He has done and what He will do in the future. The Scriptures are replete with examples of how praising God’s attributes and actions produce faith in God and friendship with God. If we want our faith in God’s great power to grow, we must become a people who release God’s great praise in His person, power and purpose. Let’s pray that the release of praise for our great God would grow ever stronger in these days.

A Theology of Place We are called to come to the secret place, the gathering place and the public place as a people of prayer and praise—a people who are seeking God’s face and speaking for His name and His fame to be known in the earth. What begins in private, becomes corporate and then public in the community where we live and are called to have redemptive influence. Jesus taught that if we sought God in the secret place, every place we went would be openly rewarded—revealing that we were seekers of the Father’s word, will and ways. Let’s pray that our pursuit of God in prayer would produce power every place we are.

Remember: As we reach up to God, He will reach back to us, by His Spirit, to provide every spiritual resource needed to fulfill His plans and purposes revealed through the ministries of prayer and praise.