Monday, December 1, 2014

Gifts and Intercession (December 2014 Newsletter)

This month a missionary I have been training revealed that he had started five discipleship groups, four of these were among four different people groups with different religious backgrounds. We were excited at what God was doing, and especially that these groups had all started within the last few months. The missionary reported that though he had met with many people before this, God had been answering prayer in the last season and was drawing people by his Holy Spirit. We rejoiced together, and I was reminded of a quote by Oswald Chambers: “Prayer is not preparation for the work, prayer is the work.”

Although feet on the street ministry is where many miracles occur and God’s work is seen, these things started in the prayer closet. I meet with many people, both lost and saved, and preach and teach Jesus as the Christ, exhorting all to obey Jesus as Lord. But along with all the meetings, I have been taught by mentors and the Holy Spirit to labor in prayer for each person I meet with by name. I endeavor to intercede daily for my friends and coworkers, for strangers I meet on the street, for lost people I share with, and for even for some I haven’t seen for years. I know that the goal and lasting fruit of ministry is something that only God can do. I must obey His Word, do what He has commanded me and partner with Him on the earth to see His will accomplished through obedience and the prayer of faith.

God has given us His Son as evidence that He will freely give us all things, but we do not have because we do not ask (Romans 8:23, James 4:2). He is an amazing Father, and as we enter the season of gift-giving to commemorate His most precious gift, we must remember that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights in whom there is no variance or shadow of turning (James 1:17). If we ask for bread he will not give us a stone (Luke 11:11). Jesus encourages us always to pray and to never give up (Luke 18:1).

A Muslim family who had been studying the Bible with me, going through stories from Creation to Christ had dismissed me from their home two months ago. I had continued to pray for them daily for some time, but eventually I grew tired and since I no longer saw them every week began to gloss over them on my prayer list. Two weeks ago in the middle of the night I remembered them and prayed again, petitioning the Father that they would call me and ask to continue the study. The next day I received a phone call and they asked me to come over and share with them four days a week! God hears our cry.

Recently I was struggling to fall asleep; I kept drifting in and out of a groggy state. I was praying off and on, but I was too tired to pray with fervor. Instead I was just letting God hear my stream of consciousness. As I talked to him in a semi-dreamlike state I imagined entering Jesus’ throne room with a friend. I walked in calmly holding their hand and told Jesus, “Jesus this is my friend. They need your help. Please touch them,” and continued to tell Jesus what they needed. In my imagination, Jesus’ throne became a long couch and I lay on one side of Him resting my head against His side as He put his hand on my chest. I could feel warm burning come from his hand, and my heart felt His love for me and my love for Him. On the other side my friend lay in the same position as Jesus held them. It seemed like I was there for an hour, and I fell asleep knowing that He was answering my prayer, not because I was pounding the floor or shedding tears, but because in drowsy half-asleep haze I asked Him to help.

Ask the Father what you want for Christmas today. He never runs out of good gifts. Hope does not disappoint. The best is yet to come.
Read the rest of the December 2014 Newsletter
Read previous Newsletters