Welcome to the
MISSIONS WEEK Daily Devotionals
Prayer Is An Act of Faith
Scripture-Luke 11:2, 9-10- “And He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come…And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Insights- Jesus explains to us how we should pray. We should pray for God to be glorified and for His will, and His kingdom, to be done. Jesus encourages us to pray and promises that when we do, He will answer. What a beautiful promise! But we must pray in faith, for if we don’t, Scripture says that we won’t receive anything (James 1:5-8). And what is faith? “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). So, prayer is an act of faith because when we pray we are asking God to do that which He has already promised, but that which hasn’t happened yet. Beloved church, let us pray believing God and believing in His promises, for “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Today’s Prayer Focus- Pray for God’s name to be “hallowed”, to be honored and glorified, and for His “kingdom come” on earth as it is in heaven. With this week’s emphasis being on God’s mission, pray that all the people groups and nations of the earth would come to a saving knowledge of God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, and that they would worship Him in spirit and in truth. When we pray for this, we pray according to God’s promise to Abraham that “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3) and we pray in faith that God will accomplish His purpose of receiving glory “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Revelation 7:9-10) worshiping Him for all eternity.
Prayer - Father God, may Your name be hallowed in my heart, in the church, in this city, in the world. God, I want Your kingdom to come here on earth as it is in heaven! Please O God, I beg you by the power of Your Holy Spirit, reconcile lost people all over the earth to Your Son, Jesus Christ. God, use me individually, and use Living Hope Church, any way you please to accomplish this! I surrender to you afresh. Please show me what part I can play to help see the nations reached with the message of the gospel. Give me faith to trust in Your promises and give me faith to step out in obedience to Your commands, O Lord. Jesus, may You receive the reward of your suffering, the nations! I ask all of this for Your glory, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Prayer Is An Act of Obedience
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7)
To abide means to continue in a place. It also means to accept without objection. When you are abiding in Christ, you are committing to staying in Christ’s presence and accepting whatever He has for you without objection. Jesus taught that answered prayer and obedience are intricately intertwined. Obedience to the Lord is essential if you want your prayers answered and prayer is the ultimate act of obedience.
Our obedience is a concrete expression of love which pleases God. Our obedience in prayer is an even greater expression of that love. In the hearts of obedient believers, Jesus and the Father make their “home” through the Holy Spirit. Obedience to Jesus’ commandments facilitates fellowship with all three members of the Trinity.
Abiding…resting and continuing in the presence of the Lord; it sounds so….easy! And in a very real sense, it should be and it is. Obedience then should be equally easy. Why then is it so difficult at times to commune with our Lord, in prayer, as He desires?
Oswald Chamber said “Prayer does not equip us for greater works— prayer is the greater work.” And work is indeed what it feels like at times. It does not feel easy even though it should be. It is our duty to pray. Not praying is being disobedient as we are not doing this greater work the Lord has for us.
Jesus said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46) If we are to be obedient, then Jesus truly is our Lord.
You will discover that in this prayer-obedience relationship, the Spirit of Christ will increase your understanding of the mind of Christ. He will help you learn to pray more frequently as Jesus always did; according to the will of our Father who is in Heaven. “I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 5:30).
PRAYER FOCUS: Obedience is a matter of the will. Paul wrote this, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirt, Pray in the Spirit always with all kinds of prayer and supplication. To that end be alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18)
During this mission week especially, and also as the years go by, persevere for the saints. Do not forget those in service to the Lord on the mission field. Pray as Paul asked the Church at Colosse, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word…” (Colossians 4:2 - 3a)
PRAYER: Lord, You have a heart for the nations. It is Your desire for people from every tribe, nation and tongue to worship You in Spirit and in Truth. My desire is to abide in You. My desire is to be in Your will. My desire is have a heart that is pleasing to you. I want a heart for the nations as You do. Impart that desire to me! Use me in any way you desire, as I want to obedient to whatever the call is You have on my life. Use this small band of believers known as Living Hope Church – Athens Georgia in your grand design and plan to see the nations worship You!!! It is only through the matchless name of our reigning Lord and King, Jesus we pray…Amen!
Prayer Is An Act of Worship
Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you-- majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? Ex. 15:11
It may be overstating the obvious that our daily encounters with the Lord be “acts of worship”, but it bears repeating, and remembering. The entire context of our time in prayer flows out of our awareness and understanding of the One with whom we’re in conversation. If our view of the Lord is limited, i.e. God is here simply to meet my needs, then our prayers will reflect that. If our view of the Lord is more expansive, that is with an appreciation of His greatness that overflows naturally into worship, then our prayers will take on an entirely different quality and purpose… worshiping Him in the splendor of holiness.
I’m reminded of the Samaritan woman at the well in John Chapter 4. As Jesus spoke with her and revealed her own heart through their conversation, the woman turned to talk of religious things. But when the Lord revealed Himself as the Messiah, and as He expressed truths about her life that an ordinary stranger wouldn’t know, she began to see GOD as He truly is. A God of love and justice, truth and grace, condemning sin but offering salvation to sinners. This dawning in her spirit~ finally realizing whom she was speaking to~ caused her to leave her bucket at the well, run back to town, and boldly share what she had discovered of Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah. Notice that her immediate reaction to this revelation wasn’t to make this encounter about herself~ her needs, wishes, regrets and desires~ but was a holy boldness born out of thankfulness for the grace she had found in Him.
Are we similarly changed in our daily encounters with Him? Certainly, the Lord expects us to “ask, seek and knock” in our times with Him. But like a loving father that simply enjoys spending time with his child, both listening and being heard, both embracing and being embraces, so our Heavenly Father is inviting us into His presence to know and do the same.
He’s knocking at the door of your heart this morning. May your joy be full as you answer the door and respond to His invitation to know sweet fellowship at His feet. The God of the Universe delights in you and has made you for this moment.
PRAYER: Lord, how glorious you are! How holy and awesome! Your lovingkindness is better than life! You cause my lips to praise You, for You’ve created me for praise. Fill me up with Your Spirit, like bellows to a flame, igniting a deeper passion in my heart for you Jesus, my Great Redeemer. I will make intercession… I will make supplication for my and others needs… but for now, my joy is simply to enjoy You, and find my satisfaction in You, my Lord and my God. Blessed be Your holy Name!
Prayer Is An Act of Warfare
“For our battle is not against flesh and blood … but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
When it comes to walking close with God and helping make disciples of all nations, you can be sure that Satan and demons will oppose this. Jesus was tempted and attacked by the Devil and demonic forces, and so will we. Since Satan is “the god of this world who blinds the minds of unbelievers” (2 Cor. 4:4), you can be sure he will do everything he can to oppose evangelism and missions. Therefore, if you seek to love God with all your heart, and seek to obey Jesus’ command to “go into all the world and make disciples” (Mt. 28:18), don’t be surprised if spiritual warfare increases in your life.
But fear not, for Jesus has won the victory over the demonic realm, and He has given us authority in His name to “submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee” (Jas. 4:7). Prayer is our weapon for overcoming the powers of darkness. Prayer is the means by which we submit to God and resist the Devil. Prayer is the way we stay in constant closeness with our Master, Jesus. Prayer is how we worship God and watch demons flee. What a privilege to win the battles through prayer, and this is why we must “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).
PRAYER: Take time now to pray for one of the countries we support or a country that God puts on your heart. Pray specifically against the powers of darkness that are at work in that country. Pray for God’s Spirit to be released over that country. Praise God that He is more powerful than Satan!
Prayer Is An Act of
Sacrifice & Labor
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land, so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” – Ezekiel 22:30 NIV
“Prayer does not prepare us for the greater work, it is the greater work” – Oswald Chambers
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he (Jesus) departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” – Mark 1:35 ESV
As pointed out in the devotion on prayer and spiritual warfare, we face serious consequences when we choose to “stand in the gap” for others, especially for the nations. There is a spiritual price to pay but also a price paid in time and effort – something else is put aside to make room for prayer. Sometime that something else is trivial, but there are times when we must forgo work, sleep, eating, or quality time with friends and family to pray. Busyness is an especially modern distraction (and too often an excuse), yet Jesus found it necessary to retreat and pray BEFORE engaging in ministry. How can we do less? How else can we know the Father’s heart at all unless we are in communication with Him?
Prayer is not easy work! Prayer is serious work! It is not a natural desire of our flesh to spend early morning hours or all night in prayer, especially praying for those we do not know but the reward can be great - “Ask of me and I will surely give the nations as your inheritance” (Ps 2:8). We have had the opportunity all week to pray for the nations. Did you take time to do so? Will God look again and find no one willing to stand in the gap?
PRAYER FOCUS: The focus today is on the sacrifice and labor of prayer. What are you willing to sacrifice to pray for the nations? What are you NOT willing to sacrifice to pray for the nations? Are you willing to stand in the gap and pray for peoples you do not know and may never meet this side of heaven?
PRAYER: Abba, tune our hearts and minds to what is on your heart. Let us not be found wanting when you search for those standing the gap. Lord, we ask for the nations to come to You! Let us see this inheritance come to pass! Let our prayer not be so much a sacrifice and a labor but an offering and joy, spending time with You to know You and knowing how to make You known. In the Name of Jesus, Amen!
Prayer Is An Act of Love
“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” – Revelation 2:4 ESV
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ESV
What stirs your heart? What drives you to prayer? What is it that causes us to pray for unsaved friends and family members, and the unreached peoples of the world? Ultimately, prayer starts with God wooing us and it is not possible to be passionate about prayer if you are not already passionate for Him. We cannot last long nor be effective as intercessors for the nations if we do not have a passionate love for our Lord – we need to remember the love we had at first and do all we do with love. It is for His glory that we long to see the nations come to Him and to make true the promise of every tribe, tongue, and peoples in heaven worshiping Him (Revelation 7:9).
This love and passion is what should cause us to pray for the nations. If we truly want to see our world changed, we will pray with love and passion.
PRAYER FOCUS: The focus today is on the love that drives our prayers. Can we take the love and passion that we have for sports or our leisure activities and focus some of that on praying for the nations?
PRAYER: Abba, we don’t want to be just noisy gongs and cymbals in our world. Remind us of our first love and rekindle in us a passion for You and Your peoples. Draw us closer to You and allow our hearts to burn for what is on Your heart. In the Name of Jesus, Amen!