This is the second in a series of “Week of the Day Prayers.”
The typical question an adult asks a child is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” From a very young age I remember answering “a missionary nurse.” I knew I wanted to help heal people’s hearts and souls. Looking at a map of the world, I would imagine where God would take me to fulfill that dream. Every night, I would pray, almost poetically, for “Rick and Gail in Brazil.” They were my heroes who went into the heart of the Amazon to bring the message of hope and healing to a group of people who had never heard the Truth. I loved it when they came back to California and shared their stories. I just knew one day, I would be called to the Amazon Jungle as well.
Well, I am fifty something, and I am not saying God will never send me to Brazil, but to date, I have not received that call. But that does not release me from the Great Commission. Recently, we had a missionary speak at our church. He stated, you are either a goer, a sender or a disobeyer. We all have a responsibility to participate in the Great Commission. Matthew 28:18-20. How we do that may look different from one person to the next, but we must do it.
As I have matured in my faith and in life itself, I have learned to participate in the Great Commission in a variety of ways. While I must be willing and surrendered to go if I get the call, there are so many other ways to support our missionaries, chief among them, to pray for them. I want to pray more than “bless our missionaries.” I want to know their goals, needs, and accomplishments so that I can pray with more specific understanding and intercession for them. I want to rejoice with them when people come to know Jesus. I want to weep with them for the lost. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15
Along the same theme, I pray for the ministries within our church body and community with as much detail as possible. I lift up the worship leader and team that they will be able to lead us into the throne room of God; that their hearts will be pure in their desire to present themselves directly to God, and that we will be invited to go with them, the soil of our hearts cultivated and ready for the Word.
I pray for our teachers, that they would teach diligently, communicating God’s message for us. I lift up our church leadership that they would lead humbly, but with confidence that can only come from the Holy Spirit; that they would recognize the gifts of individual members and equip us for the work set before us. I pray for our church body to be unified. This is especially important in the wake of COVID and how the enemy has used it to impale the Church. And as difficult as this is, I pray that the sin within our church body will be purged from us as individuals and as a body.
Over the years, I have spoken at retreats and other events for churches. Many of our church members are students at a local Christian College. Often, they come to our church for a period of time and then go on to serve in another ministry or mission field. These are among the “other” ministries included in my “Missions, Ministry and Marriage Monday” prayers.
The last ‘M’ on the list is Marriage. Not surprisingly, it is a large portion of my prayer list. During this prayer session, I have to begin with myself. I pray that I will be a wife and mother that honors God first and then my family; that I will be kind, gentle and wise. I pray that our marriage will be an example of love and respect and that God would guard our hearts and keep them pure.
The long list of couples includes newlyweds to people who have been married decades. It includes marriages that are on the rocks, ones that have ended and ones that have been reconciled. As I bring each family before the Lord, these are my requests:
Repentance – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
Forgiveness – Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Healing – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3
Trust – Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. I Corinthians 13:7
Love – For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her. Ephesians 5:25-26
Respect – So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband Eph 5:33
Compassion – Ephesians 4:32
Wisdom and Humility – But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds… James 3:17
Gentleness – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
Reconciliation – So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:6
God would remove any root of bitterness and anger – Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Ephesians 4:31
God will be the center of their relationship – A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.Ecclesiastes 4:12
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proudor rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. I Corinthians 13 4-7
My prayer for you today is that you will know the abundance of God’s love; You will experience loving people with a love that can only come from God. That you will have peace in every relationship and that God will use you in what ever ministry He has called you to. That you will have joy in surrendering your will to His and that you will have a more fruitful prayer life as a result of this encouragement.
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