thank You Jesus

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for BCS. My plan is to publish weekly on Wednesdays, Lord willing. So, look for something new each Wednesday, and be sure to subscribe if you’d like to be notified when a new blog post has been published.

“Thank You Jesus.” This simple phrase has been somewhat life-changing for me. I know I’ve heard it said before that giving thanks is a powerful way to change your mindset. And on some level, I even knew this to be true. But as in so many things, I am quick to forget.

Recently the reminder I needed came in the form of some advice spoken during an interview I heard. The question was, “What do you do when you feel overwhelmed, when you need to re-center yourself?” The answer? “Say, thank You Jesus.” It might be followed up immediately with “Help me Jesus”, but the point was that there is something about choosing to thank God right where you are that changes things. And being a person who’s always looking for new ideas and new things to try, I tried it. I specifically remember the moment - I was making my son’s bed in the midst of what my husband and I affectionately (or sometimes not so affectionately) call “the bedtime marathon”, and I had that all-too-familiar feeling like we were never going to get all of the kids to bed. Needless to say the exhaustion and discouragement felt strong. Suddenly I remembered the advice and just prayed “Thank You Jesus.” I thanked God for our beds, and in that moment the heaviness lifted. It was almost surprising what a difference it made, and how quickly it happened.

While I am certainly not expecting this phrase to become a magic button I can press to make everything better, I do hope I can remember for a longer time moving forward that thankfulness matters. That gratitude is powerful. It changes me, and I think it might even change the people around me. I wonder how the world might be changed if more of us started saying “Thank You Jesus.”

Pray with me…

Thank You Jesus…
… for each individual and family represented at Berks Christian School.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Thank You Jesus…
… for each individual and family who helps to support Berks Christian School from afar.
Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. Psalm 95:2

Thank You Jesus…
… for providing daily for our needs.
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory

~ Carrie Warner, BCS Prayer Team Coordinator

give us rest

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for BCS. My plan is to publish weekly on Wednesdays, Lord willing. So, look for something new each Wednesday, and be sure to subscribe if you’d like to be notified when a new blog post has been published.

“I’m so busy and so tired all the time.” Doesn’t it seem like almost everyone feels this way?

I sometimes find myself wondering why it is that almost all of us are tired and busy almost all the time. It seems like we all need to figure out how to rest. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I would venture to say that a song can also speak beyond the words themselves. The video below has both - pictures and a song. May these words and images inspire us as we pray. May they remind us of where it is we need to go to truly find rest. And may all of us who are weary and burdened come to Jesus, where we will find rest for our souls.

One additional thought about words - it can be tempting to think that our prayers are more legitimate or sincere when they are prayed spontaneously, “in our own words.” But when you consider that Jesus taught us to pray with a certain text, expecting us to use the words He gave us, it seems natural to conclude that borrowing prayers that have already been written is just as powerful as coming up with our own.

Pray with me…
… Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
~Charles Wesley

… Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
Prayer of Saint Francis

…O Eternal God, bless all schools, colleges, and universities
[and especially Berks Christian School], that they may be lively centers for
sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom;
and grant that those who teach and those who learn may find
you to be the source of all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer

… Come, Lord Jesus!
Revelation 22:20

Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory

~ Carrie Warner, BCS Prayer Team Coordinator



blessed

“To be blessed means to let God retell your story.” This is a quote I heard recently from Glenn Packiam, a pastor and author. As he shared his thoughts about being blessed, I was challenged to consider that we often have misconceptions about what it means and what it looks like to be blessed. We tend to think of being blessed as being strong or prosperous or successful. But the truth is, most of the pictures we have in our minds of being blessed are myths. In reality, it is often when we become open about our brokenness that we experience a deeper and more authentic blessing.

In light of this understanding of being blessed, I have to ask myself, what are we really asking when we pray for God to “bless” Berks Christian School? Are we asking for God to make us appear blessed in our own eyes? Or are we asking God to retell our story? To use our brokenness and our frailty and redeem them for His good purposes?

Pray with me…
… for the whole BCS community as we continue to make the transition into school routines
The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer; my God is my Rock in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

… that this year’s theme of “Rooted” would have a positive impact on the students
Continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6b-7

… over all of the preparations for our upcoming big fall event, Homecoming (October 5)
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3

Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory

~ Carrie Warner, BCS Prayer Coordinator


Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for BCS. Look for something new each Wednesday, and be sure to subscribe if you’d like to be notified when a new blog post has been published.


praying Moms

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for BCS. My plan is to publish weekly on Wednesdays, Lord willing. So, look for something new each Wednesday, and be sure to subscribe if you’d like to be notified when a new blog post has been published.

There is a small group of ladies from BCS who have been meeting throughout the past several years for the purpose of praying together. The main common bond they share is that they are all moms of BCS students. I have had the privilege of being part of this group, and it has been such an encouragement. Not only is it uplifting to think about how God may be using our prayers, but it is also a blessing to be reminded that none of us is perfect and that we are not alone.

In this day and age, it seems more and more difficult to actually connect with other people in tangible ways. With social media and technology, we are more connected than ever but sometimes I think we are all more lonely than ever at the same time. I find that it is just good for my soul to be sitting in the same room with other believers and to join together with God and each other in prayer.

Praying Moms of BCS will be meeting this year weekly on Tuesday mornings starting September 10, from 8-8:30am in the music room. The group is open to all moms, grandmoms, and spiritual moms of BCS students. Feel free to come once a month, once a year, or every week - whatever works with your schedule. Even if you are not able to join us in person, perhaps Tuesday mornings would be a good time for you to join us in spirit by praying.

I would love to share the structure we use to guide our prayer time - ACTS. I remember learning this acronym as a kid and it has stuck with me ever since. Anyone can use this guide in praying alone or in a group - whether praying specifically for BCS, or praying about any topic.

Pray with me…

A is for AdorationWhat about God inspires you to praise Him?
Father, we praise You for who You are. You are our Shepherd, You lead us beside quiet waters, You guide us in paths of righteousness, and You are with us. (Psalm 23). You are great and worthy of praise, and we will share from one generation to another of Your mighty acts, at BCS and throughout the world (Psalm 145:3-4).

C is for ConfessionWhat is God laying on your heart to confess today?
O Lord, You have searched us and You know us (Psalm 139:1). We confess that we have turned to other things and we need to return to You (Malachi 3:7). Forgive us for how we have turned astray, turned to our own ways, both as individuals and as a school community (Isaiah 53:6).

T is for Thanksgiving… For what things can say “thank You” to God?
Every good and perfect gift comes from You, Father (James 1:17). Thank You for each person who is a part of the Body of Christ and for the beautiful way You’ve put us together (1 Corinthians 12:12-31) . Thanks for each person that You have brought into the BCS community and for the good works You have prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

S is for Supplication… What requests would you like to present to God?
Lord, we pray that all the BCS students would grow this year in their understanding of Your love (Philippians 1:9-10, Ephesians 3:14-19). We pray that the roots of the whole BCS family would be strengthened in Jesus this year (Colossians 2:6-7). May Your Kingdom come, may Your will be done (Matthew 6:10).

Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory

~ Carrie Warner, BCS Prayer Team Coordinator






unexpected blessing

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for BCS. My plan is to publish weekly on Wednesdays, Lord willing. So, look for something new each Wednesday, and be sure to subscribe if you’d like to be notified when a new blog post has been published.

Did you ever experience an unexpected blessing? Something for which you are deeply grateful but you never saw coming? This blog has been just that for me. I have done quite a lot of writing in the form of personal journaling and experimented a little with blogging, but I always felt a bit strange about writing a blog that would function like a “public diary”. I guess I was always wishing for some bigger sense of purpose in my writing.

Meanwhile, I was given the opportunity to work a very part-time job for Berks Christian School in the area of development. One of my first ideas was to recruit some people to be part of a prayer team for BCS, because prayer seemed so foundational to developing the school in a meaningful and fruitful way. Thankfully the team came together quickly and I felt eager to see how God would use this group of people and our prayers.

As I pondered how to best communicate about what was going on at BCS and how this team could be praying, the thought suddenly occurred to me, “why not start a blog?” I didn’t take much time to think or deliberate about it, I just started writing.

Now, three weeks into the process, I am realizing that writing this blog feels like I’ve found something that I was looking for that slipped in quietly through the back door. I know Jesus said, “seek and you will find”, but I wonder if often the finding comes when we least expect it.

Many times I have been looking for something, and the moment I give up and stop working so hard to look, the thing appears. “Seek and you will find”… but it might happen in a different way or at a different time than you first expected. What does this look like for BCS? Could it be that what we are seeking, God is going to give us, but perhaps it will take longer or feel unlike what we thought it would?

Pray with me…
… that BCS would seek first His kingdom and His righteousness
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt. 6:33)

… that BCS would more deeply understand and be open to God’s work
His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way (Eph. 1:23)

… for patience and trust while we wait on the Lord
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7)

Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory

~ Carrie Warner, BCS Prayer Team Coordinator

I have a dream...

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for BCS. My plan is to publish weekly on Wednesdays, Lord willing. So, look for something new each Wednesday, and be sure to subscribe if you’d like to be notified when a new blog post has been published.

I have discovered that I am a person who gets excited about ideas. There is something incredibly life-giving and energizing to me about being able to sit down and dream, letting ideas flow about any given topic. Or even about no particular topic - just a free-flowing stream of ideas! I find that prayer ends up being intertwined with this type of brainstorming, as I quickly realize that my ideas will not get very far apart from the power and leading of the Holy Spirit.

Today, I am sharing a few of my dreams and ideas for BCS, asking you to join me in bringing them before the Lord and praying again, “Your will be done”. I would also invite you, if you have a few moments, to allow yourself to dream a little about BCS. Do you have any dreams or ideas? How would you love to see God move at BCS this year, or beyond?

Things I am dreaming about…
… REVIVAL - from students to parents to families to teachers to board members to everyone connected with the school. When it comes to dreaming about the growth of BCS, the work of the Spirit is the beginning, middle and end. As Jesus says in John 15, “apart from Me you can do nothing”.

… financial provision - that our “Hallways of Hope” scholarship program would grow and become well-established, that the vision for it would be realized. This program provides an opportunity for those who have been richly blessed financially to sponsor students who do not have the ability to come to BCS on their own.

… growth of our school community - students/alumni/parents/teachers/friends getting plugged in using their gifts and passions, growing as the Body of Christ. There are so many possibilities within this idea. Musicians, runners, athletes, artists, dancers, carpenters, gardeners, cooks… imagine if everyone truly used these abilities to contribute to the good of others. What a vibrant, life-giving community BCS would be!

… looking beyond ourselves - the world is so much bigger than us. How can we grow in expanding our view of the world as parents/teachers/adults and also challenge our students to see beyond themselves? Expose them to new cultures, take them to new places, or bring new cultures and places to them?

Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory

~ Carrie Warner, BCS Prayer Team Coordinator



more faith, less words

Welcome to the BCS Prayer Matters blog!

My main goal for this blog is to post updates about specific ways to be praying for the school. I may also include thoughts, ideas and Scriptures that relate to the work I see God doing at BCS. I am so grateful to be able to be part of this community, and it has been really exciting for me to be a part of the work of developing the school. I pray that God will work through every word written on this blog and use it to accomplish His purposes!

One of my favorite authors, Emily P. Freeman, writes: "Sometimes it takes more faith to say less words." She talks about how it is tempting for us to over-explain ourselves and how it can feel incomplete to use less words when we pray. I found this concept to be quite challenging as I am definitely a person of many words. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there is an invitation in this "less words" approach to a beautiful freedom in prayer. When I truly believe God is who He says He is, then simply praying "Your will be done" has so much power. Not because the words themselves are some kind of magic spell or anything like that; rather the power is in who it is I am asking. As I share a few simple requests regarding BCS, perhaps we can join together in prayers of few words and much faith, trusting that our all-powerful and loving heavenly Father hears and will answer.

Pray with me...
... for remaining students needed for enrollment
Your kingdom come, Your will be done (Matthew 6:10)

... for growth of Hallways of Hope scholarship program
Immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20)

Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory!

~ Carrie Warner, BCS Prayer Team Coordinator