A Day at a Time: Prayer of Thanks
By Scott Harrup
Dec. 28, 2014
Twenty years ago I had the privilege of joining the editorial team of the Pentecostal Evangel. John Maempa, a friend and mentor, was leading the magazine following the death of Richard G. Champion. I had served on John’s staff editing Assemblies of God Adult Sunday School curriculum years before, and gratefully accepted another opportunity to work for John.
Beyond that friendship, however, was another motivation. Since my early teens, I had felt God’s direction to be involved in Christian publishing. In my mind, there was no more effective publishing tool to communicate the gospel than the Pentecostal Evangel, the weekly voice of our Fellowship. Growing up in a family heavily committed to both pastoral and missionary service, I had seen the Evangel’s wonderful imprint on churches and Christians both in the United States and overseas.
My exhilaration at joining the Evangel team mixed with a dose of trepidation. I was used to the quarterly production schedule of Sunday School curriculum. The Pentecostal Evangel had to hit mailboxes around the world without fail every week. The task seemed daunting.
I soon put my worries to rest.
Serving alongside the men and women producing this magazine became the most fulfilling of ministries. At its foundation, and the open secret of the Pentecostal Evangel’s success — prayer. Prayer opened every editorial meeting. Prayer was shared quietly among team members when a personal need would arise. And, yes, much prayer went into every writing, editing, and design task that crossed individual desks.
God honored those prayers again and again. He touched countless thousands of inmates’ lives in jails and prisons across the United States through Evangels donated via the Key Bearers ministry. (See this week’s news feature about that outreach.) God opened unique avenues for gospel witness during the Super Bowl and Olympics through special editions of the magazine. Children responded to weekly Kids Pages and annual Kids Editions. God used the Evangel to multiply the effectiveness of Assemblies of God U.S. and world missionaries serving in some of the most challenging mission fields imaginable.
Twenty years after John’s invitation, I struggle to find the words to express my feelings at the close of the Evangel’s 101-year printed journey. To express my love for the people I was blessed to minister alongside. To express my joy at the eternal results sure to spring from all those prayer-fueled magazines.
For the Evangel, for its countless readers through the years, for the multitude of team members (whether on the editing staff or in the Gospel Publishing House plant), I can’t put it any better than the apostle Paul did centuries ago:
“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers” (Philemon 1:4, NIV).
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