Atlantic Caribbean Union

ATCU’s Prayer Initiative 2013 is Launched

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Once again, the Atlantic Caribbean Union, now also known as ATCU (the new acronym voted by the Inter-American Division at its year-end committee meeting in Honduras), is pleased to launch throughout the union this weekend its prayer initiative for 2013 under the theme P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens).
Believing that prayer is absolutely necessary for the sustainability, development and growth of a young union, leaders, workers and members in general are once again being called on to unite in praying. Therefore, field leaders, directors, pastors, elders and prayer coordinators are called upon to ensure that during the Sabbath service on December 29, a few minutes are used to promote the initiative and pray for families. In this regard, it would be necessary to locate your prayer card or download a copy from the union’s web site at

Why Pray?

Prayer, when engaged in and practiced, enables one to be intentional in focusing on praise to God, as there are daily manifestations of God’s blessings that we would otherwise overlook. While writing this communication as I sit at an airport waiting for my flight to be called, I am moved to reflect on two miracles that God performed within the last fifteen hours. I do not need much prompting to praise and thank God for those miracles as they are still fresh in my mind, and therefore, my prayer last night and this morning began with praise and thanksgiving. Without a deliberate prayer focus, it is easy to just move along without pausing for thanksgiving.
Also, prayer assists us in focusing on given needs. For example, there are some specifics that I pray for. By doing so, I am led to be very sensitive to the needs of others as opposed to just my needs and those of my immediate family.
Additionally, prayer, as outlined in the Prayer Brochure 2013, forces us to look outside our church walls to governments, social agencies and definite areas that we would not ordinarily pray for.

And if I do not Pray?
The reverse of the above would be inevitable. We would not be focused and attentive to the needs of others around us. Neither would we grow in faith, grace and the knowledge of God. While prayer encourages the reading of the word, the reading of God’s word also leads to prayer. So, when we fail to pay attention to prayer, we miss out on knowing the will of God. As a corollary, we tend to panic at situations such as disasters and accidents. We are likely to blame others and even God; but when the mind is engaged in daily time with God, which involves the reading of God’s word, one’s outlook is different. For this reason alone, we would be greatly blessed by praying.

Encourage one Another

Again, I encourage each field leader to take the lead in highlighting the prayer focus. Accordingly, this weekend you can make this initiative a part of your final Sabbath service for 2012. Taking a minute to remind members of the prayer card and its focus on the family followed by a prayer will go a long way in sensitizing members to the program’s launch and its importance to their spiritual growth. Include the focus in your weekly newsletter, church bulletins and publish on your web page. Follow up with prayer praise reports. Do not regard the initiative as a union focus only; instead, make it your local field’s focus. As a result, your field will be blessed spiritually beyond our wildest expectation, and by extension our union will be stronger and more united on focusing on the mission of the church. Together, let’s pray in 2013.

Have a blessed New Year!

Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, President
Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists