pray

Holding the Ropes

The greatest missionary was almost stopped before he got started! Acts 9:23-24 tells the story of Saul who had just come to Christ and was sharing his new faith in 1st century Damascus. Knowing his enemies wanted to shut him up, his friends took him to the city wall one night, put him into a basket, and lowered him by rope to safety outside the city walls. From there he was able to make his way back to Jerusalem, then eventually on to Antioch, Asia, and Europe. We also know him as Paul the apostle.

 Paul’s friends are unknown to us. They most likely didn’t seek honor or publicity for their brave deed. As the years went by, though, they saw the value of holding the ropes for Paul. I’m sure God noticed!

 It’s a truth that missionaries cannot work alone. Yes, they might go out in teams, they might interact with national workers and churches, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.

 They need people to figuratively hold the ropes for them so they can concentrate on going where God sends them and doing the work for which they have been called.

 As surely as God calls some to go, he calls others to support them prayerfully, financially, and in encouragement.

 I’m looking today for some people to hold the ropes.

 Beginning next Monday, Mandate’s four-person leadership team is leaving the U.S. for a two-week visit with our national ministry partners in Vietnam and Laos. We want to encourage our front-line workers. We want to personally see the results of their ministries. We want to come back with photos and stories to share so that we can encourage more people to join them in their works.

 We are going into spiritual battle. We have prepared ourselves as best we can. We have our tickets, our visas, accommodations booked, packed suitcases. Now we’re looking for people like you who will join together in praying with and for us as we go.

 PRAY for our travel. We’ll leave our individual homes in the U.S. on September 17 and arrive in Da Nang, Vietnam the next day. So PRAY for safety and comfort through our travels.

 We’ll spend days visiting ministry sites in Vietnam. So PRAY that we’ll have good communication with our hosts and Vietnamese people in general.

 I’m hoping to share my testimony with one specific communist official I’ve met before. So PRAY he will be receptive to me and, especially, the gospel.

 Lord willing, I’ll come back to this page next Friday (or when I have a safe and secure internet connection) with updated prayer requests for the second part of our trip – Laos, and the following week with news for our journey home.

 We can’t do this without the help of God’s people. That’s you.

 Will you join together to hold the ropes for Mandate?

Pray for Russia

Lord, thank you for our brothers and sisters across Russia. Thank you for their faith in you. Thank You that there is a time of freedom for people to share their faith. Strengthen them so that they will be ready to stand strong and share Your love no matter what hardships they face and no matter where they go. Please continue to grow in Your saints in Russia this faith in You as well as their love for one another. Lord, we pray for this faith in you not only from the Russian majority, but also from the many minority groups native to this vast land as well as the millions of immigrants from central Asia and other parts of the world barely touched with the good news of Jesus. Show Yourself through the love that the saints from these various people groups have for one another.

May Russians find Your glory not only in the natural beauty across this vast land, but even more so in the work of Your Spirit in the hearts of all who believe in You. Lord, we realize that this will only happen if you pour out Your Spirit, Your wisdom and Your revelation so that they will know You. Lord free them from the various strongholds that linger from the system wide atheism behind the Iron Curtain, from alcoholism that entangles so many, and from the large pockets of Islam, Animism, Buddhism and other folk religions that keep people from putting their trust in You. Lord, free all the peoples of Russia from hopelessness or fear that keep them from Your peace and freedom. Let them press forward in finding what is true and right and may they find that the truth is only ultimately found in You. Bring light and joy to their hearts, as they understand the great inheritance that You offer by Your grace. May they see that true greatness will happen as they participate in growing Your Kingdom within Russia and across the boarders to their neighbors. Help them to see the righteousness, honor, and peace that You give to each of Your children. May they see that You and You alone are the ultimate authority and power no matter what difficulties they are facing. And help them to hold on to the hope of heaven.

Lord, build Your church in Russia and fill the church with Your fullness. Raise up men and women from Russia who will be disciple-makers of the nations. Raise up a movement of disciple-makers. Give them your perfect grace so that they will fulfill their role in bringing Your perfect good news to every people group and every person not only within their borders, but to all the ends of the earth. May we talk of Russia as a nation that is forever changed by Your glory and grace!

Pray for Tanzania

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today, I pray for the country of Tanzania through a prayer of thanks.

First, thank You for the Tanzanian people. All are fearfully and wonderfully made, all with a purpose. I pray that those who do not yet know You will see Your presence in a magnificent sunrise or through a helpful hand of a neighbor. I lift up those who do not understand their purpose and pray that they will find You soon on their spiritual journey.  I have hundreds of thousands of prayers for the amazing people in this beautiful country to be touched by the Holy Spirit, especially when they live without clean water, secure shelter, enough food or education.

Today, I pray to You, my Father, my Heavenly protector, to shield the Tanzanian people from the evils of this world. Guard them from false idols and sorcery.  Lord, hear my prayer as I lift up these welcoming and warm people of Tanzania so they may know You and understand that You are way, the truth, and the life. Through You, they will find a home and be secure. Lord, hear my prayer.

Today is Your day, the day You created for all people to rest and take time to remember their blessings and Your grace. I am thankful for You and Your perfect creation; You have made the country of Tanzania filled with many blessings and gifts. Today I saw You when I was walking through Your beautifully created landscape; birds singing, monkeys playing, perfectly made granite hills with acacia trees nearby. As I look out at the vastness of Lake Victoria, I am reminded that Your love is even more vast. Thank You for giving Your only son so we can see Your love on earth, then eternally with You in heaven.

Heavenly Father, today I am filled with joy, because I can hear songs being sung in Your name, and I know that one day, these Tanzanian people who praise Your name will come home to You. I am thankful for the church and the missionaries who have come to this land to teach Your truth. I pray that one day, all people in Tanzania will know You through Your son Jesus Christ our Lord and savior. Lord, thank You for not forsaking us and forgiving us of our sins.

In Your gracious name I pray. Amen

Pray for Earth

Father,

We pray for the tragedies going on on a global scale. We lift up all those who have experienced tragedy this year. We pray that you mold our hearts to be more like yours. May we have hearts that seek peace and love genuinely. May that peace and love overcome hate and violence. Open our eyes and ears to the needs around us, and help us be the hands and feet able to meet those needs.

So much has come against us this year- in the US alone there has been multiple shootings, hurricanes, fires, and much more. We pray for healing where there is hurt and fresh beginnings and hope where there is ashes. We pray against any lines of division in our global society. We pray to be able to unite with Your love that covers a multitude of sins. Above all we ask that Your will be done in us and through us and that we can be nations of good and faithful servants.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Pray for Canada

Gracious God and Father,

Thank you for your great grace extended to all men through faith in Jesus Christ. Thank you that you gave to Christ all authority over your Kingdom, and that we, his disciples, are sent as sons and daughters of the Kingdom to bring people everywhere to the obedience of faith through the gospel of Christ. Thank you that the Church in Canada was once one of the greatest senders of missionaries into the world.

But now, gracious Lord, this is no longer true. It makes us sad that under the pernicious influence of modernity and now post modernity, many churches have watered down the gospel till it is no gospel at all. Our nation is now totally secular, and it grieves us that godless ideas and philosophies are now indoctrinated in schools and social media to the point that these are unconsciously accepted by some believers. Canada has become a mission field.

Canada has always been a country of immigrants, and recently has welcomed thousands of refugees from Syria to add to the matrix of people from all over the world—from Russia and Eastern Europe; from the Far East and the Middle East; and from Asia and Africa. Now, more than 150 languages are spoken here. Truly this is a mission field, Lord, and we remind ourselves that you sent your disciple to keep making disciples of all ethné.

But Lord, the churches are so weak; Christians don’t study their Bibles any more, some even doubt it is the authoritative Word of God. These weak Christians don’t know how to witness; they are fearful of their Muslim, Hindu and Sikh neighbours; and even when they befriend their neighbours, they have been taught not to offend them by sharing their beliefs.

Our aching hearts cry out to you, O Lord. We pray for this mission field. Stir up the local church through faithful teachers and prophets who will be able to equip the church for the Christ-given task. Help the lively African, Chinese, Korean, Filipino and other churches, who for years have focused on their own people. Now stir up these ethnic churches to lift up their eyes and look on the Canadian fields. And Lord, bless the young Christians, both Canadian and International, at universities and colleges to be powerful bearers of the gospel to the next generation.

Above all, Lord, may all Canadians who truly love you: enlighten hearts and strengthened them by the Spirit. Help them grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ that by knowing him experientially, they may reject the ways of the world in which they live, that in faith and obedience they will live in Christ and for Christ.

To Jesus be ongoing praise and glory. Amen.