My New Year’s Prayer Requests

Dan Eum
3 min readJan 22, 2023

Every year as a pastor I ask my congregation to share prayer requests they have for the new year. I use this info to pray specifically for our members throughout the year. It’s also a nice way to learn more about what’s on people’s hearts, what do they really care about? How do they want to grow? I wanted to share also my prayer requests so that y’all can know more what’s on my heart and to pray for me. Below are my answers to the same questions that I asked my members on the New Year’s Prayer Request form.

1. What is a character trait or behavior you want to change?

I want to grow in being “above reproach” as it says in 1 Timothy 3. As I was teaching on the meaning I was freshly convicted about the high standards of holiness that are expected of pastors. Above reproach means that people would be shocked to hear of any accusation of immorality. I want to have such a consistent character in public and private that people would be shocked to hear that I have not fixed my eyes on Christ.

2. What is a hope or dream you have for 2023?

My dream would be to be accepted for the Lilly renewal grant for pastor sabbaticals. I have been serving as a pastor continuously for over 8 years now and I have been thinking and praying more about going on sabbatical. The Lilly grant is an incredible grant of $50,000 that goes towards travel for the whole family, resources, and even pulpit supply (guest speakers). I know some pastors who have gotten it, and others who have been rejected even after several tries. My hope is to be awarded the grant and go on sabbatical for 3+ months in 2024.

Why sabbatical? In his article “Caring for Pastor’s Well”one writer compares pastors to bell towers. He says that if we’re not careful, over time we can sound like we’re ringing one bell repeatedly. As fatigue and staleness slowly creeps in and shows itself in the pulpit and ministry overall. Sabbatical is not a vacation, but it is designed to be a time of refreshing and replenishing for the ministry. I have some ideas of how to use that time for fresh inspiration for house church ministry.

3. What is your prayer request?

I want to be a better shepherd to shepherds and to the congregation at large. My goal is to meet with 2 shepherds each week and 2 members each week. My prayer is that I can stay consistent with this goal throughout the year.

On the NYPR form I asked people for feedback for our church and for my ministry as well. One of the main requests, from several people, was they wish I reached out to members more. I had already started the calendly office hours, but I am trying to take one more step by systematically going through our membership list to meet with 2 people each week. If you are a member, I ask for patience. If you do the math, meeting 2 members a week for 56 members, that means it’ll take about 7 months just to meet everyone one time! I want to shepherd members better, but also keeping in balance that I must also shepherd my family well (1 Ti 3:4) and we do have hc shepherds who are the main ones to care for members.

4. How can the church be more of a blessing to you?

I want to grow as a pastor, and much of that comes from people speaking the truth to me in love. I appreciate feedback in how I can get better in various areas of ministry: sermons, bible studies, hc, leadership meetings, events etc. However, sometimes I find that I get too defensive when people try to offer constructive criticism. Here’s my alternative solution: offer criticism with belief. I’ve found that my whole attitude towards criticism changes if someone shares it in the context of “I say this because I believe in you and want to see you grow into your potential.” When criticism is brought to me in that kind of spirit, I find myself grateful for even the harshest criticism. Without that belief, sometimes it just sounds like judgment and attacks.

Thanks Unity for sharing your prayer requests, we had a record 61 submissions! I and the shepherds will be praying for you throughout the year, and I hope you will be praying for me too.



Dan Eum

One life, ‘twill soon be past…Only what’s done for Christ will last.