missions (10)

During the first week of Ramadan, many in the Arabian Peninsula gather together with family members to break fast and feast in the evening, provide food to the poor, and pray special tarawih prayers. Pray that as their bodies hunger and thirst, that God will show them Jesus who promised, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst" (John 6:35). As they give alms to the poor, pray that they will come to know Jesus who became poor for our sake and see the treasure and eternal glory in heaven. 

A colleague asked a Christian worker for a copy of the Bible because she has close friends who are believers and is curious to know what it has to say. Pray that she will actually read the Word with an open heart, and that God will speak to her and open her eyes to the Truth in reading the Word. 

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PTAP: The Lord is my Inheritance

There is a whole category of people who are called to Christ and have a passion for the nations & for the weak & marginal and have sought to go with a variety of service groups and who are repeatedly told no, don't go, be quiet, just settle down young man.

The reality is that if I were to go to my field of focus, I would probably die in short order because I would of my zeal or I would be disregarded as a lunatic because I would lose all my sleep because the medicines that help me relax & sleep sometimes would be unavailable.

Instead I pray.

I dare say that often my prayer lacks impact that I am aware of. I tend to pick certain countries & prayer goals and remember them as reminded, so I make lists.

Is this unfocussed? No, usually the only times I have observed the impact are when I stop praying and problems happen.

In retrospect, I have however seen the Lord start movements in various peoples that I prayed for and the timing was impossibly too neat to correlate due to chance. God uses our prayers for movements. Over and over, I find that God works far more in my absence than in my presence. He is a big God, and he wants us to pray big, foundation-laying prayers.

If the leaves of the tree in the Revelation of Jesus given to John are for the healing of the nations, then we must plead for that salve to be applied for the salvation of the souls of societies.

Praying requires a whole different category of action, it elevates us to the heavenlies, for we read the divine counsel in the Word and render judgements according to Psalm 2:8: the Son will have the inheritance that is His! HE shall possess the earth. HE is waiting for us to ask. He knows exactly what He plans to do and He is always on the right side of history.

Politicians will fail us.
Disasters are unpredictable.
The devil is dangerous.
The nations are too large for us to reach them in our own power.

But every time we kneel in prayer and cry out for help, God hears and acts. Every time we stand on His promises, the Lord proves His faithfulness. Every time we sit in His presence and ask for the nations, the Lord God sends forth His angel armies to intervene. Every time we fall flat on our faces and humble ourselves before the King of the Universe, the Lord God Almighty rejoices over us with singing and stands in the gaps that we cannot fill.

We cannot fill the gaps for we are sinners,
I am the worst
But He is perfect
We fail. He is faultless.
The Lord will succeed in every intervention He begins.

Our actions, our giving, our prayers, our sacrifices all must flow from our lives guided by the Word of God for them to be effective.
This is why years in prayer are often needed to accomplish what may take a season of actual service.
Then, when the doors close behind us after our work is finished, then the Lord Spirit goes to work most earnestly, with greater freedom than we could ever have.
This is the story of China.
This is the story of Iran.
This is the story of all who are bathed in prayer,
This is the story of all who are bathed in the Spirit.

This is why statistics lie about the future.
Statistics are based on what man sees.
Faith is about what God has promised.
Hope is the certainty that God will keep His promises to the end.
Love is behaving according to this confidence that God is love.

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Jesus says in the Great Commission, "Go and preach the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15). 

This week, I was inspired by an idea Kevin Senapatiratne wrote about at Christ Connection. It's a great new "tool" for my missions toolbox, and I asked Kevin if I could share it with others. He is delighted to share this idea with you, too, and you'll find it right here:

Be the Spark to a Great Awakening!

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We pray for so many things. I saw two prayer requests this week for sick and suffering dogs. I think that is legitimate. Those who lifted the requests loved their animals. Our prayers should reflect the concerns and passions of our hearts. But it is crucial for us to have right priorities of desire and concerns. Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God. Are you praying for the kingdom?

The day will come when the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. In 2 Peter 3:11-12 we find these words.

"Since all these things are to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening, the coming of the day of God."

We are to wait for and hasten that day. Now let me ask you what we could do to hasten the culmination of history?

It is legitimate to pray as John prayed at the end of The Revelation. "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" But there is more that we can do and pray in this regard. In Matthew 24 Jesus gave us signs of the end times. And in verse 14 He said, "This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all people groups, and then the end will come."

Are you praying for the spread of the gospel, the spread of the Kingdom?  Do you have lists of missionaries that you pray for every day? Are you praying for the gospel to be brought to unreached and unengaged people groups? www.operationworld.org/ is great place to begin. They have the definitive prayer guide for people groups around the world. You can also find information on praying for the spread of the gospel at www.imb.org/ or on the websites of other mission agencies. We can pray for His kingdom to come.

Next week we will look at praying for God's will.



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Continue Reading at His Inscriptions

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9651021452?profile=original"Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession" -- Psalm 2:8.


These words promise that all the earth will be our Lord's inheritance and possession.  The command to ask of God has been widely applied to believers today, leading us to pray for the spread of the gospel throughout the earth.  Perhaps the best-known and most comprehensive resource to help the church pray for the world is Operation World.


The first edition of Operation World was published by Patrick Johnstone in 1964.  The seventh and most recent version, the first to be spearheaded by someone other than Johnstone, came out in 2010.  The mission and purpose of OW is to inform and encourage prayer for the world by providing statistics, trends, information, and prayer points for each country.  OW is widely regarded as the definitive resource for praying for the world.


OW can be used as a prayer devotion, providing prayer information for each day of the year.  The book begins with information and prayer points for the world, then for each continent, then for each country (alphabetically).  Many of the major countries are spread across multiple days, while the smaller countries typically are covered in one day.  The information for each country includes statistics on population, religion, and economy.  A summary of the political, economic, social, and religious atmosphere in the country follows, with an emphasis on prayer points in each area.  Typically, each day includes both items of thanksgiving and praise and items for intercession.


In addition to the book, OW is available on CD as a searchable pdf including rights to reproduce the content for personal use.  A more comprehensive edition on DVD-ROM provides not only the book but each country as an individual PDF and includes rights to reproduce the materials for ministry use.


The OW website (www.operationworld.org) includes a prayer calendar that provides summarized prayer points for each day - excerpts from that day's entry in the book.  Visitors to the site can sign up for a 60-day prayer experience, which includes daily e-mails with links to the site to pray for a different country each day.  After the 60 days, the e-mails continue with links to the current day's country from the prayer calendar.  One of the more interesting features of the site is the links to PrayerCast videos, which feature natives of various countries offering a 2-3 minute prayer for their country, accompanied by a video of landscapes and people from the country.


If you're looking for a place to start praying for the world, Operation World is the place.  And if you're looking for a group to pray with, check out the Operation World group here on PrayNetwork.org (http://www.praynetwork.org/group/operationworld).  You can post prayer entries in the "Pray Today 2015" discussion forum in this group (http://www.praynetwork.org/group/operationworld/forum/topics/pray-today-2015).


Ask the Father to make the nations the inheritance of His Son!!


PrayNetwork.org Spotlight by Andrew Wheeler.

See Andrew's website at www.togetherinprayer.net


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The Test of Love


Despite all of our divisions and denominations, the great test for every Christian is the test of love. Can we love without judging, when our brother believes differently than we do? Can we rejoice in the preaching of the gospel by those "less qualified" than ourselves? Can we allow for differences of opinion and interpretation while still agreeing on the essentials of the faith? 

This is the great test for every Christian: not simply to preach the gospel ourself, but to allow others to preach Christ in the knowledge they have attained, however limited. Paul recognized this in his letter to the Philippians. Instead of being upset by those who preached Christ out of "selfish ambition" or even contention, he rejoiced that the gospel was being preached at all! (SeePhilippians 1:15-18). Sometimes, even those who attack our faith end up drawing more attention to it, instead of causing its demise.

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Whose heart are you praying? It is often a step of growth for a person to move from praying casual prayers to crying out to God with their heart. But it is greater spiritual growth to move to praying God’s heart. Even a new Christian can desire to please God. And you don't have to be a spiritual giant to know the best things that ever happen are the will of God. As we grow in those prayers, We begin to long for those things that God desires.


Read your Bible daily asking God to show you His purpose and purposes. You can ask God to show you His purposes all around you. You know that God is not willing for anyone to parish. Are you praying for lost people He has brought into your life? You know He desires holiness. It is easy to complain about the wickedness that we see in politics, the media and modern society. But it is more important to pray for God to bring about His holiness.


Are you praying for missions and missionaries around the world? Start with someone you know or know about. Keep in touch with that person. Pray earnestly for God’s mighty hand on them. From there ask God to show you more who take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Ask God to expand your passion for the world that Jesus came to save.


Are you asking God to stir your heart with His love? Ask Him to give you His love for people all around you.


Spiritual growth can be painful. We often waste our prayer tmes asking God to make us comfortable. You can pray for God to do what is necessary in your life to make you strong. I sometimes find myself in the midst of pain or difficulty praying for God to keep me from missing the blessing or benefit He intends for me out of the situation. “Father, it would be terrible for me to go through this suffering and still miss what you intend to do in my life.” I find this much more satisfying that simply praying that God will get me out of the painful situation.


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Orlando 2011 - Hot-off-the-web Report

Thank you for praying!

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APRIL 2011
Evangelism news from the Mission America Coalition (U.S. Lausanne Committee)

The whole Church taking the whole gospel to the whole nation - and to the world.

110 Tables, 28 Affinity Consultations, Three Venues --
U.S. Leaders Seek Vision for Evangelism at Orlando 2011


110 Tables, 28 Affinity Consultations, Three Venues -- U.S. Leaders Seek Vision for Evangelism at Orlando 2011About 700 people gathered in Orlando, Fla. to seek God's vision for evangelism in the next decade. The U.S. Lausanne Committee / Mission America Coalition (MAC) convened leaders to consult together and seek God's vision for evangelism in this decade. The meetings centered around four plenary sessions with immediate table dialog and 28 separate "affinity consultation" groups, their topics spanning every arena of evangelism and missions from global justice to creation care to Islam to mobilizing congregations in missions. The affinity groups discussed the issues the Church faces in carrying out the Great Commission and practical next steps for those involved. 


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Praying for the Persecuted

I read recently an alert from the Presidential Prayer Team about the murder of 10 Christian aid workers in Afghanistan by the Taliban. (http://www.presidentialprayerteam.org/alerts/prayer-alert-01-08-07.htm).

To be honest, when I read of violence like this, my first reaction is to be angry. I'd like to think that anger is righteous anger of the type that Jesus displayed in clearing the temple of the moneychangers, but in my more candid moments I know better. James says that man's anger does not bring about the righteousness of God.

So when I pray over situations like this, I first ask God to cleanse my own heart. I want to feel his grief for both the victims and the perpetrators. That's not an easy prayer; frankly, only God could do that.

Recently, I've begun to "go on the offense" in praying for the persecuted church. I realized that my prayers have been primarily defensive in nature: asking God to fix what was broken, to comfort grieving families, etc. These are important prayers, but for some reason God seems to be leading me to pray more aggressively these days.

In praying for the families of these murdered workers, I've been asking God to do for them what he did for Job - not just to restore what was taken, but many times more than that. I've been praying for an "abundantly more than all we ask or imagine" type of blessing for those impacted by persecution - something that only God could do, something that will bring honor to him by showing both his love and his power.

And in praying for the perpetrators of crimes like this, I've begun to pray for Damascus-road type experiences like Paul had: not just that the persecutors would stop persecuting, but that God would so change them that they become champions of his cause. We know that Paul's conversion caused no small stir in the early church - can you imagine the stir it must have caused among his former allies in persecuting the church? What better display of God's power and saving grace could there be than that he turns around the lives of those who have so set themselves against him?

The church is at war. So yes, I pray for God to protect, to defend, to restore. But more and more these days, I sense God leading me to ask him to take the offense - to break down walls, to change lives, to expand the kingdom. The "armor of God" passage in Ephesians 6 contains both defensive and offensive weapons. I think God is teaching me now that prayer is intended to be the ultimate weapon on both defense and offense. What do you think?

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