Persistent Prayer (weekend repost)

I suspect that we all have struggled at times to be consistent in our prayer times. In Matthew 7:7-11 (quoted above), Jesus is in the middle of his great Sermon on the Mount. In chapter six, the Lord gave an amazing lesson on prayer. But as you listen to what Jesus is teaching in the Sermon on the Mount the more you see that radical dependence that you and I need in prayer. 

To read the rest of this post, go to: Persistent Prayer

God’s Power and Prayer (weekend repost)

The sinfulness of man requires the power of God to overcome our nature, bringing us to Christ and setting us free from our sins, removing us from the kingdom of darkness and placing us into the kingdom of God, adopting us as sons of God and joint heirs with Christ, establishing both our ability to stand before the righteous throne of Almighty God as well as establishing our right to do so by virtue of Christ’s perfect righteousness imputed to our account.

To read the rest of this post, go here: God’s Power and Prayer

Praying for Missions

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.”

—John Piper

Satan wants to cause disruptions and disunity among missionaries to make their ministry ineffective, and ruin their testimonies, which if not quickly dealt with, could cause many to reject the gospel.

There can be a tendency to think of missionaries as superheroes and put them on a pedestal, but the truth is that they are just like all other Christians with every weakness and temptation that you struggle with. Like you and me, they too need to depend on the Lord so that He can work through them. God truly does use the weak and foolish of this world to confound the wise (1 Cor. 1:27).

Missionaries need your prayers.

Some examples of things you can pray for:

  1. Dependence on God.
  2. For strong, godly marriages.
  3. For health problems- these can cause discouragement and might press missionaries to eventually leave the field.
  4. For the difficulties of language and culture learning.
  5. That the message of the gospel of grace (not works) would be clearly understood 
  6. Missionaries are often surrounded by Satanic forces through witchcraft and rituals of the local people.
  7. Frustration that comes from with lack of privacy, lack of results, unfamiliar foods, extreme climates.
  8. Open communication and good relationships with coworkers.
  9. Loneliness, including separation from family and friends. 
  10. Making new friends in a new culture and language.
  11. Missionary children- for social, educational and spiritual development.
  12. Bible translation- Satan doesn’t want God’s Word to spread into other languages and it is a real spiritual warfare to get the Word of God into a new language.

Eight Ideas for Reaching Your Mission Field (Other Cultures in Your Back Yard)

1. Take your neighbors a plate of cookies with a tract in their own language. If you give a non-disposable plate they are almost sure to return it, possibly with a gift of their own. Then continue the relationship.

2. Get the young people of your church involved. Many teenagers are taking foreign language classes in school or have learned it at home. Challenge them to memorize their testimony in this foreign language and go from there.

3. Hand out copies of the Gospel of John in the language of your neighbors and those at work or leave in your work break room, hospital waiting rooms, laundromats and other public places for people to pick up and read. 

4. Pray specifically for families and couples to be saved and discipled. The family is so important and will lead to other members being brought to Christ

5. Consider starting some informal soccer games on Saturday and involve the children or maybe even adults. Bring a cooler of cold water. Take a break, give out the water and share the gospel. In many countries, soccer (or football as it is called in other places) is a favorite.

6. If you have a ministry in your church that teaches in another language, pray fervently for that ministry to grow. We can plant and water, but it is God who will bring the growth.

7. If you speak a foreign language, volunteer to be a translator for gospel materials. You must have good grammar and spelling, but the needs are endless!

8. If you speak the language, help with outreach events, paying particular attention to those who come and speak in a foreign language.

Some encouraging quotes to help fuel your prayer for missions:

  • “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God” — William Carey, who is called the father of modern missions
  • “If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?” — David Livingstone
  • “Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.” — C.T. Studd
  • “Someone asked, ‘Will the heathen who have never heard the gospel be saved?‘ It is more a question with me whether we — who have the gospel and fail to give it to those who have not — can be saved.” — Charles Spurgeon
  • “Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God’s delight in being God.” — John Piper
  • “People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives … and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.” — Nate Saint, missionary and martyr
  • “We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.” — John Stott
  • “It is not in our choice to spread the gospel or not. It is our death if we do not.” — Peter Taylor Forsyth