From the Pastors Desk
Jun5FriJune 5, 2020 Pastor Byron Hand
In the midst of this Global Pandemic I commended to you Rachel Jones new book “5 Things to Pray in a Global Crisis.” How we can best pray in the midst of our current crisis. These days of crisis Jones encourages us to pray in 5 categories:
- Pray for our Heart
- Pray for our Family
- Pray for the Response
- Praying for my Church
This week we conclude with Praying for Kingdom Growth. Beyond our walls, beyond our isolation, beyond our bubble … Kingdom growth to the ends of the earth.
First we pray for kingdom growth in our community. Acts 28:28-31 - 28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”  30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!
- Father, as we witness in our community, help us to …
- Rejoice in God’s Salvation – v:28 – Thank Him for the Gospel
- Welcome Others – v:30 – Ask God for help to reach out and welcome non-believing friends who may have questions.
- Proclaim Boldly – v:31 – Pray for courage to speak up
- Teach Faithfully – v:31 – Pray for your pastors and life group leaders and every opportunity you have to teach the word.
- Watch God Work – v:31 – God is able to remove hinderances and he is able to make stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
Second, we pray for kingdom growth around the world. Revelation 7:9-17
- Prayer Points:
- Verse 9 – A Great multitude – Praise God that this promise will come true … No Virus can stop this.
- Verse 12 – A Wise God - In his infinite wisdom and power, God does things differently than how our limited vision would suggest he should. Thank him that we can therefore be confident that he will use this situation to achieve his purposes.
- Verse 14 – Christians Suffer – For believers around the world danger can be normal – Pray that God would continue to sustain them.
- Verse 16 – Christians Hunger - In many countries, the effects of this crisis will be compounded by poverty and poor healthcare. Pray for governments and hospitals, churches and charities as they seek to steward very limited resources.
- Verse 17 – Christians Weep - Ask that they would know the very real comfort of “the Lamb” who is “their shepherd” (v 17); and that their gospel hope in the midst of heartache would be a powerful witness to those around them.
Thirdly, we pray (NOW) for kingdom growth After the Pandemic. Matthew 9:35-38 - 35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
- What will life look like after this pandemic? We don’t know. But we do know what we should pray for… (Remember, it came to pass, not to stay.)
- Verse 35 – Good News - Praise Him that the Gospel is Good News.
- Verse 36 – Spiritual Sight - Pray that as post-crisis life goes back to normal for most people, they would not revert to feeling self-sufficient but would have their eyes opened to their spiritual need.
- Verse 36 – Fresh Compassion – Pray that people you know would experience the joy and security that comes from following the Good Shepherd.
- Verse 37 – A Plentiful Harvest - Whatever your concerns for the future, ask him to encourage your soul with the truth that he is at work to call many people to himself.
- Verse 37-38 – Pray that one result of this pandemic would be a generation of Christians recommitted to His work in the world.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray Without Ceasing”
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