PRAYING GOD’S WILL AND SEEING CHANGE
PRAYING GOD’S WILL AND SEEING CHANGE
“It’s KAIROS!!!”…“Yes, it’s KAIROS!!!” is a mantra chanted year in year out by church members and students taking the Kairos course- a mission mobilization course.
The Compass Bible study guide acts as follow up activity after the course. As we went through the study guide, we came across an indelibly insightful article by Titus H. titled “Praying God’s will and Seeing Change”. This we have decided to share for many to read.
“Jesus commissioned His followers to “make disciples of all nations,” and gave them the ministry of reconciliation. He said, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Matt 28:19, 2 Cor 5:18, Acts 1:8). Jesus knew that not all of us would be able to physically go to the ends of the earth and make disciples; however, He did expect us all to play our part. God empowered every believer with an amazing ability to join God in directly and dramatically effecting real change for “the ends of the earth.” We call it prayer.
Most of the time, praying for God’s kingdom to come in all the earth doesn’t even cross our minds. If it does, it is often our last resort, some- thing we pray out of obligation, or a brief addition to our list of requests. All of these responses betray the fact that we do not really understand prayer or the power in our prayers that make a specific and practical difference.
James tells us that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” and gives us an example, saying that Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the Heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops” (James 5:16-18). Now that is the power! He was an ordinary human being, but he knew God’s will, prayed earnestly, and God answered in power for all Israel to see and give glory to God! How much more should prayer be the foundation of our relationship with God, since we have Jesus and the Holy Spirit living inside of us! Certainly, James seems to think that this kind of prayer life should be more the norm than the expectation for those who follow Jesus.
Paul tells us in Romans 8 that, “the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God,” and that Christ Jesus “is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for [His Children]” (Rom 8:26, 34; also see Heb 7:25)
Since part of Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s work is to intercede for believers, let’s join with them in praying specifically for missionaries and God’s work to reach the unreached. If we. Like Elijah, learn to listen to God and learn to pray in agreement with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, then we will certainly be a vital part of bringing God’s kingdom on earth “as it is in Heaven” (Matt 6:10).
Prayer also changes us. As we learn more of God’s heart through prayer, He changes how we think and act. We learn to love the things He loves, hate the things He hates, and see things the way He sees them. For example, God significantly changed Peter through prayer. Acts 10:9 says, “About noon…Peter went up to the roof to pray.” God spoke to Peter as he prayed, and Peter soon realized God’s message – that “in every nation, anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him” (Acts 10:35). This radically changed Peter’s perspective and effectively changed the perspective of many in the church (Acts 10:45. 11:18, 15:14-19).
When we take a glimpse into the past, we see that prayer and missions movements are linked throughout history. The American mission movement was sparked in 1806 after a prayer meeting where five college students had taken refuge from the storm under a hay stack. They discussed the spiritual darkness in Asia, every Christian’s responsibility to do something, and then they prayed. As a result of that moment, those men dedicated themselves to the Great commission and the “Haystack Prayer Movement” spread, sparking the creation of mission agencies which sent many Americans overseas to preach the gospel.
Jesus established this direct link between praying and going when He said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2). We must never disregard the power of this prayer or its need to continually be prayed. One could argue that so few have obeyed Jesus’ commandment to pray for labourers. Would you pray every day for labourers?
Lastly, we must remember who we are praying to and what we are praying for. This will give us confidence as we pray. We are praying to our Abba Father who loves us, who wants a relationship with us. He desires that no one be separated from Him, and sent His only son Jesus to purchase, with His own blood, a people for God (Rom 8:15, 2 Peter 3:9, John 3:16, Rev 5:9-10)! Our Father is passionate about reaching the lost and He loves to listen to and answer His children’s prayers. Jesus tells us that if evil human beings know how to give good gifts to their kids, how much more does our Heavenly Father give “good gifts” and the Holy Spirit to His children when they ask (Matt 7:9-11)! “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10). This is how the kingdom of God works; this is the way of our Abba Father, our King!”
By Kevin Mbugua.