One of the major focuses of our church planting team is prayer. We don't take this lightly. In fact, we believe it is one of the most important responsibilities we have as we desire to see others come to know the Lord. I have been amazed over the past several months to see what prayer accomplishes. My devotions this weekend have led me through John 16:23-17:21, and it has been such a wonderful reminder of the gift of prayer.
John 16:23, 24, 26, 27
"In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full...In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father."
I love this section of verses. Christ is our intercessor in prayer; however, it is wonderful to know that He doesn't have to convince God to answer our prayers. God already loves us and wants this close relationship with us. Isn't that absolutely amazing?!? The God of the universe wants to hear my prayers!
The next section of verses in chapter 17 points out the importance of prayer for those around us. Christ is the Son of God, he knew all that was to happen and yet He still prayed to God for His disciples in the world. He specifically asked strength and protection for His 11 disciples. In John 17:20, 21 he also says, "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their words; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that you sent Me. " Christ prayed specifically for all of us who would believe in Him! I asked myself, "If it is important for the Son of God to pray for believers and for the unbelievers alike, how can I ever think that prayer for others is something that can be low on my priority list? The answer? I can't! If we ever expect our ministries, if they be overseas; in our workplace; or in our church; part-time or full-time, to be fruitful we must pray!
Here is a specific prayer request I have for this week:
Please pray that I will be able to begin to meet our neighbors this week. My language is to the point that I could have a short conversation with them. The French culture tends to be private, and thus it can be hard to meet others around us. Pray for opportunities to take place, and pray that we will recognize them when they do!
Thank you for praying. Please let me know if I can pray for you in any way.
In the next post I will share some amazing things that God is doing for our team through prayer!