First Newsletter Ever (January 2005)

January, 2005

Hello from the great capitol city of Indiana! This is the first of many letters we hope to write sharing what God is doing through The Public Servant’s Prayer Ministry. Some of you may already know the burden that God has laid on my heart, but for those of you who do not, here’s a brief synopsis.

In late October of 2004, God impressed upon my heart 1 Timothy 2:1-2. I had desired for many years to be ministering full-time, but God had not opened any doors until then. After a month of prayer, consideration, and counsel, God made it clear that I was to leave my full-time job and start a ministry of prayer to the public servants across Indiana. The ministry has a dual purpose:(1) To minister to and gather the specific prayer requests from the legislators of Indiana, (2) To encourage local churches to get directly involved in praying for their community leaders.

My family and I arrived in Indianapolis on Jan 3, and the legislative session began the 4th. God has opened many doors in the short time we have been here. I am now scheduling speakers, leading the music, and my wife plays the piano for the weekly chapel services here in the Statehouse. The chapel services have been in existence for more than forty years so we consider it a great honor to be asked to fill these roles. I have also been invited to attend the weekly Legislator’s Bible Study.

I have been greatly encouraged to meet some solid, godly, leaders here in our state government. One of my biggest supporters has been Senator Dennis Kruse. He has introduced me to several people as the chaplain of the general assembly and has given me many great ideas on how to further the ministry. Obviously it will take a long time to establish relationships with all 150 legislators, but I am thankful for the ones that have welcomed me so readily into their midst.

I am currently looking for churches across the state that have a desire to pray for their state representative and senator. I would love to come and speak to your church and share the burden God has laid on my heart. My vision and goal is to see several churches in each district across the state praying for and corresponding with their legislators.

Let me give you an example of the power of ONE voice. Senator Sue Landske stated to me she has ONE church that sends her a card just ONCE a year thanking her for her work and letting her know they are praying for her. They have made a profound impression on her and she updates them on the general assembly. The astounding thing is that church is not even in her district. What an impact we as Christians could make with a little effort!

God has already answered many prayers and provided in incredible ways for us. We have a wonderful place to stay while we are in Indianapolis four to five days every week. We were given a top-of-the-line lap top and the money to buy a printer. My wardrobe changed considerably in this new job and I received many gifts of clothing that have helped me be dressed properly. Even down to the smallest details, God provides for his people! Thank you all for your part in praying for and supporting us!

Let me close by giving you some prayer requests that I have gathered here:

(1)Sen. Allie Craycraft (district 26, Muncie) fell off a ladder and broke his back

(2)Sen. Dennis Kruse (dist. 14, Fort Wayne) family time

(3)Sen. Sue Landske (dist. 6, Cedar Lake) patience

(4)Sen. Teresa Lubbers (dist. 30, Indianapolis) peace from God about decisions

(5)Sen. Ryan Mishler (dist. 9, Bremen) newborn baby – Grant Evan

(6)Sen. Johnny Nugent (dist. 43, Lawrenceburg) physical health

(7)Sen. Richard Young (dist. 47, Milltown) wife passed away two weeks ago

(8)Rep. Cleo Duncan (dist. 67, Greensburg) be used as an instrument in the hand of God

(9)Rep. Bill Friend (dist. 23, Macy) strength of character, mental clarity, wisdom

(10)Rep. Cindy Noe (dist. 87, Indianapolis) transition of leadership from dem. to rep.

(11)Rep. Phyllis Pond (dist. 85, New Haven) keep average people in mind

(12)Rep. Phil Pflum (dist. 56, Milton) has Hodgkins disease

(13)Rep. Peggy Welch (dist. 60, Bloomington) Walk match talk

Please pray for our family, that God would give us flexibility in this life-changing work, but also help us to develop a schedule that works for us. Miriam asks for prayer for patience with the children and the changes. Also, please pray for me, for boldness and that God would continue to open doors and grant favor with our legislators.

Thank you for being a part of the work God has called us to!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

Rev. Matthew Barnes