First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Monday, January 18, 2021
Live and Share God's Love

From the Pastor

Rev. Rebecca Voss




Dear First Family of Faith,

We’ve made it! As my navigation app says in a polite British accent, You have arrived”. We come to 2021 with more than a few scrapes and scars. Between the knock-out punches of the pandemic and politics and the epic loss of life and livelihoods, we probably feel more like collapsing than celebrating at the beginning of this New Year. How do we rise again especially when our faith has been so deeply tested and our souls are still troubled?

Romans 8:26-28 (MSG) gives me help and hope: Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, Gods Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives, of love for God is worked into something good.

We often look up to people who can pray with eloquence and boldness. But I think God listens especially closely to people who come to Christ with “wordless sighs” and “aching groans”. There are times when being able to verbalize exactly what our souls are trying to express is important, but it’s more for our benefit than it is for God’s ability to understand and answer us.

One of my goals for 2021 is to help our congregation find more meaningful ways of connecting to God through prayer. Though prayer is certainly personal, it isn’t only meant to be private. Though prayer can be deeply spiritual, it isn’t a magical incantation. Prayer is, first of all, a belief and an action of humility and trust in God. If we start there, then the words of prayer that reach God’s heart in spirit and truth will come. Prayer is practicing patience as we ask God to show us both the plan and priorities of Christ in our lives and church. Prayer is preparing ourselves to respond with praise and action as we see God’s plan unfold.

Almost two years ago our church was introduced to something called “Breakthrough Prayer”. At 9:03 AM and/or PM (based on our street address, 903 N 3rd St), you prayed a simple one or two sentence prayer wherever you were every day. We’ve seen God answer some of those prayers! We’ve also had a lot of change and new opportunities that give us a fresh start to look and pray for God to ”breakthrough”. While a new year is nice, we really need a renewed call and commitment to simple but powerful prayer together.

The MCCI Implementation Team is in the process of putting the passion of our church into a simple “Breakthrough Prayer” for our church to pray together. In addition to the understandable sighs and groans you pray, are there any words or phrases that keep stirring your spirit? Please email or call to let me know so we can see how they may be part of a collective cry from our hearts to God’s ears. We hope to introduce a new Breakthrough Prayer within a few weeks. I am confident that God’s mercies will lead us to find and fulfill our calling as a church. One day, we will all hear Jesus’ voice say, “You have arrived! Well done, my good and faithful servant!”

Grace and Peace,  
Pastor Rebecca