The St. Louis Central church began the new year with a special Sabbath of prayer and praise. Sabbath school was preceded by a guided season of prayer. Members were split into groups of two and three and sought the Lord together using the acronym ACTSS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication and silence). Each section was introduced with a relevant passage from the Bible.

The worship service began with the hymn, “Praise Him, Praise Him, Jesus Our Blessed Redeemer.” The Praise team then continued setting an atmosphere of prayer and praise as they sang “Holy Spirit Reign Down.” The message focused on personal prayer, with examples from the Bible illustrating Jesus’ prayer life during his public ministry on earth. Members were challenged that to truly be a praying church means each member must seek to have an active personal prayer life.

A special lunch was served in the beautifully decorated fellowship hall, where Lin Schlicter, a member of the women’s ministries team, had used her artistic talents to make flames of fire that hung from the ceiling, each flame signifying a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23).

The day concluded with a candlelight prayer service featuring a second ACTSS season of prayer, personal testimonies of God’s goodness, and a reading from Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4: “It is impossible for those who are thoroughly converted to God, enjoying communion with Him, to be negligent of the vital interests of those who are perishing outside of Christ” (p. 319). Members then gathered in a large circle, raised their candles and sang “Go Light Your World.”