October 15 To The Missioned, Pray

Image by Brandon Johnson

Image by Brandon Johnson


Jeremiah 26:1-27:22; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18; Psalm 85:1-13; Proverbs 25:16

Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance…never tire of doing what is right.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5,13

Pray. Pray. Pray.
Missionaries around the world covet prayers from their brothers and sisters in Christ.
That’s you. That’s me.
Let’s pray.

O most Holy God and Lord, be with your messengers of Good News, wherever they may be found. Protect them from the Evil One and from evil men who would seek to do them harm. Confound any plots to ‘silence’ them. May the Good News of Salvation be received, nurtured and matured in those who hear that Jesus loves them and gave up his life for them. Let us not grow weary in our prayer-offering on behalf of unsaved souls, both near and far. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

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October 11 Stand By Them–And Us

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Jeremiah 16:16-18:23;  1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3;  Psalm 81:1-16;  Proverbs 25:6-7

‘Stand by me,’ was the prophets cry.

Surrounded by self-centered,

stiff-necked people

who carried on the trappings

of religious devotion,

but whose hearts were

cold as stone,

God’s spokesman, Jeremiah,

labored heavily under

verbal assault,

rejection

and ridicule,

yet remained faithful.

God in His mercy,

gave him strength and perseverance

to day-after-day speak on

His behalf,

to speak His words of judgement,

and calls to repentance

and promises to

forgive,

restore,

and heal

if His people would

renounce their sinful ways

and look to Him.

~

Jeremiah calls out to God:

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;

save me, and I shall be saved,

for you are my praise.

Behold, they say to me,

“Where is the word of the Lord?

Let it come!”

I have not run away from being your shepherd,

nor have I desired the day of sickness.

You know what came out of my lips;

it was before your face.

Be not a terror to me;

you are my refuge in the day of distress.

Let those be put to shame

who persecute me,

but let me not be put to shame;

let them be dismayed,

but let me not be dismayed.”

Jeremiah 17:14-18

Lord God, just as you stood by the prophet Jeremiah during the difficult days of speaking your truth to a wayward people, please be with all ministers of your Word, who declare your word of Law and Gospel, repentance and forgiveness, darkness and light.  Sustain missionaries both near and far; give them the strength needed to bear up under very difficult circumstances.  And be with us, today, Lord.  Help us remain faithful bearers of your Truth which we receive by faith, even though many around us spurn us and turn their backs against us.  Grant that we remember our Savior’s rejection, and His dogged determination to get the work of Salvation done for us.  If we must suffer, let us remember that Jesus, “counted it all joy”-even his death on the Cross.  Thank you, O Lord for your strength and love that fills us and helps us to stand.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

**Thank and praise God for your pastor during October’s Pastor Appreciation Month.  Show your love and appreciation in a special way!

July 8 Unlikely

Photo by Sandara Lee

Photo by Sandara Lee

1 Chronicles 5:18-6:81;  Acts 26:1-32;  Psalm 6:1-10;  Proverbs 18:20-21

It’s just like God to pick a man like Paul–a persecutor of Christians–to become His spokesman to the non-Jewish world.

Isn’t God in the habit of choosing the most unlikely people to fulfill His purposes and speak His Word?

In the past He’s used idolators (Abram), adulterers and murderers (King David), liars and connivers (Rebecca and Jacob), foreigners (Ruth),  womanizers (Samson), prostitutes (Rahab) and the like.

Today’s reading includes Jesus’ words to Paul after He knocks him off his feet:

“But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and as a witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from the Gentiles to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”  Acts 26:16-18

Jesus revealed himself to Paul–He extended His grace–He forgave Paul and made him new.  Paul didn’t do a thing to deserve any of it!

God doesn’t wait for the most likely prospect to serve Him; He chooses the unlikely–like you and me and Paul.

Lord God, thank you for choosing to love us and rescue us, for opening our eyes to see your Salvation.  Help us to stand on our feet and take the Good News of Life through your Son, Jesus Christ, to share the story of our conversion through faith–our turning from darkness to Light.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

June 30 Gotta Go?

Photo by Sarah Bryant

Photo by Sarah Bryant

2 Kings 17:1-18:12; Acts 20:1-38;  Psalm 148:1-14;  Proverbs 18:6-7

And now I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace which is able to build you up and give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”  Acts 20:32

Missionary Paul was moving on.

He had more people to reach with the Good News.

Those he left behind

he reminded

that God’s teaching wouldn’t

stop,

His Grace would

continue,

their faith would

grow.

Saying goodbye to a beloved pastor

is not easy

especially when God’s love and His Words

were abundantly shared.

God knows.

He is faithful.

He will hold His

faith family together

forever!

Lord God, thank you for faithful pastors whose lives touch us with their devotion to you and Your Word.  Bless them in their service to You.  Strengthen them and keep them in your care, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

October 10 Missionary Joy

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Image by Megan Watson

Jeremiah 14:11-16:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:10-3:13;  Psalm 80:1-9;  Proverbs 25:1-5

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.  May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”  1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

Missionaries labor long and hard for the sake of the Gospel.  When they leave the people they have been living and working with they long to know how they are doing, how and if they are growing in the faith.  They wonder if God’s Word will continue to be part of their lives.  They leave in faith, entrusting those souls to the One who claimed them as His own.

St. Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians reflects missionary joy.  He had gotten word that they were standing strong in their faith amidst great opposition.  And he encourages them to keep on loving and believing.

Pray for missionaries around the globe that are praying the same prayer for those whom they are reaching with the Good News of Jesus Christ–that they may remain faithful and strong in their calling as God’s mouthpieces.

Lord God, just as St. Paul took to the streets with the message of salvation through Jesus, please be with missionaries who are giving up their very lives for the same Gospel.  Strengthen them, protect them, and bless their work in your name.  Give us a missionary’s heart for the lost and equip us with your Word and Spirit to share the Good News.  Thank you for your patience with this world….that you are giving us more time to get your Word out to those who need to hear.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

 

July 1 “I Am Ready”

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                                        Art by Dianna Wizner

2 Kings 18:13-19;  Acts 21:1-16;  Psalm 149:1-9;  Proverbs 18:8

“I am ready”

Paul’s words to his companions,

 brokenhearted at the news

that their dear friend

was headed for trouble

     for chains

          for prison in Jerusalem.

 

“I am ready”

was Paul’s resolve

to face the charges,

to give up his freedom

even his very life

“for the name of the Lord Jesus”

whom he served and loved.

 

“I am ready”

is on my lips?

Lord, may it be so.

For your gift of life to me

may I lose my life for you.

 

“I am ready”

to suffer for your name?

To be deprived and suffer loss?

To lose my status, job or home?

Give me strength, O Lord, in you.

 

“Let the will of the Lord be done”

graced the lips of Paul.

May they be found on mine this day, too.

Lord God, help us to be ready to go wherever you lead us, to do what you want us to do, being assured that you go with us, you strengthen us, you will keep us in the one true faith.  We pray especially this day for all missionaries throughout this world who take the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who have yet to hear.  Protect them from the powers of evil.  Guard their hearts and minds.  Bless their work for Jesus’ sake.  In His blessed name we pray, Amen.