This week we are praying for Christian Service Mission. It was founded in 1971 by a man named Johnny Lynch. From the 1980s through 2000, CSM operated Food Source, which networked resources and distributed food every month to 60,000 families across 6 states. In 2006-2009, the ministry went through some organizational and leadership changes and refocused its purpose and ministry. Today, under the leadership of the executive director Tracy Hipps, Christian Service Mission uses an asset-based community development strategy. (You should take a look at that link. I found the explanation and model quite fascinating.) Through relationships with local churches and ministries, they bring together people and resources to change the lives of those in need, using their 80,000 sq. ft. warehouse as a tool in their strategy.
I had the privilege of praying with a small group of intercessors through their facilities just as Tracy Hipps came on as the executive director. It was a powerful time together. That warehouse is impressive. The Lord has used Tracy and his team to do amazing things in our city for the underserved in the last few years. You can sign up to receive their e-newsletter on their website. I’m continually encouraged and impressed with all that this ministry is doing to serve our city.
We’re going to use the Lord’s Prayer as it’s found in Matthew 6:9-13 to help us pray for Christian Services Mission today:
‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
Heavenly Father, there is no one like You. You reign in utter glory and splendor over all of Creation, yet You were so determined to have a relationship with us that You sent Your Son to die for us. You bring salvation by Your own hand, and You uphold it with Your own righteousness. (Is. 59:16) Your purpose cannot be thwarted. (Job 42:2) We give You all the honor, glory, blessing, and praise, because You alone are worthy of it.
We thank You for Christian Service Mission, and their commitment to work to see Your kingdom come in this city. Thank You for the resources You have given them and for the relationships You’ve allowed them to build between communities of resource and communities of need. We pray that You would continue to keep their eyes on You and the vision and mission You have called them to. We pray for unity among their leadership team, their staff, and their volunteers. Empower them to continue to be faithful ambassadors of Your kingdom in our city.
Use them to accomplish Your will for both the communities of resource and of need. We pray that You would protect them from becoming distracted with ideas or goals that are only man-made, and not part of Your will for their ministry, as we are all so prone to do at times. Thank You that Your plan is not to leave these communities in poverty, and that You have called the Church to be Your hands and feet to the least of these. We pray not only for CSM, but also that the Church here in Birmingham would rise up in humility and unity to answer Your call to be a light in the dark places. Use us, Lord, to intercede, to serve, to give, to submit to Your will for us and for our city.
We pray that You would continue to provide CSM with the resources they need to accomplish Your will. Thank You for the huge warehouse You have provided for them. Raise up more partners, more resources, more opportunities. Thank You that we do not have to strive and worry about anything we need, because You are our Faithful Father who loves to give us what we need even before we ask. Because a huge part of their mission is about relationships, we pray for the health of these relationships. Let forgiveness flow freely, and give Tracy and his team humility, discernment, and wisdom to navigate through conflict. We also pray that You would strengthen them and encourage them. Help them to stand firm against the schemes of the evil one. Cover them under Your wings. Be their Strong Tower. Do not let them stumble into any snare of the enemy.
We thank You for hearing our prayers, and we give You all the honor and glory for who You are and what You are doing and for what You will do. In the days we live in, we shout, “Hallelujah!”, to the One who has established His kingdom and His purpose for eternity. Amen.