This house will be 104 years old next Tuesday. It has seen many joyous times, and a few sad times. It has seen a number of transformations and endured a few challenges. Yet, by the grace of God, it has survived these transformations and challenges, and remains open to serve the people of God.
The dozen or so people who live and work here cannot do what we do alone. We rely on our Ministry Associates, those who have committed to supporting us through prayer, volunteer service and sharing their treasure. We have on many occasions in this Chronicle, highlighted and thanked our donors and volunteers, but one group that rarely gets mentioned is those who pray for this ministry every day.
Prayer is so powerful. It is one reason we strive to begin and end our workdays here with community prayer. Prayer is humbling; it reminds us that everything we do, we do with the help of God, and that we can do nothing without God. Knowing people are praying for us and with us gives us the strength to keep going through those sad or challenging times.
At the second of our team retreats this spring, Steven asked those of us who live and work here to join him in a blessing for St. Anthony’s. The blessing was written by Jennifer Flanders (lovinglifeathome.com) for the family home, but it seems very fitting for this old house, too. Adapting the prayer slightly for our situation, we invite you to join us as we pray for God’s continued blessings on this house. . . .
Lord, we lift up this house and all those who live and work in it. We ask you to pour out your richest blessings upon it and make it:
H Happy & Humble.
We pray you would satisfy those who live and work in this house with your unfailing love and unending joy. Keep them close as they draw near to you in humility. Fill the rooms of this home with every good & perfect gift.
O Open to Others
May guests in this house feel warm and welcome. Bless those who live and work here as they extend hospitality, serving others in love. Help them do the necessary work cheerfully and unto the Lord, as if entertaining angels.
U Understanding & Uplifting
Crown all who live and work in this home with wisdom and an uncommon depth of understanding. May the speech heard between these walls lift all eyes to you. May your name be honored and glorified in every thought, word, & deed.
S Safe & Secure
Lord, we know that unless you guard this house, the guards stand watch in vain. So we pray you would fortify those who live and work in this home against every threat, both from within and without. Build a hedge of protection around them and keep them in your loving care.
E Encouraging to Everyone
Make this home a refuge of peace. May everybody who spends time here come away feeling refreshed and built up. May their hearts be equipped and encouraged. Renew their strength so that, both collectively & individually, they may run with endurance the race you’ve set before them.
For all the blessings God has bestowed on this house, and for all the blessings yet to come, we say Deo Gratias!