And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
- 1 John 5:14
My Jym-shorts article to you this week is a call to prayer. There is some mystery surrounding prayer—we have talked a bit about this over the past few weeks in our study through 1 John. Why do we pray to an all-knowing God? Does he need information? Why do some of our prayers seemingly go unanswered? If God already knows the future, doesn’t that make prayer meaningless, or does God change the future for us? How does God answer contradictory prayers (e.g. I am praying for rain, you are praying for sunshine—and we are both pretty good Christians)? You can surely add a few of your own questions to the mix. The mystery notwithstanding, we are called to pray, I think you would agree. Scripture holds prayer out to us not only as an invitation but also as a privilege and blessing, and an activity that puts us at the shaper of history's doorstep. The Bible tell us that he is not only listening, but responding as well. In short, prayer is effective because God says it is effective, even though we do not understand all the ins and outs surrounding it—so we must pray.
With that brief theological point behind us, let me call you to pray for a few specific things this week:
- Pray for our upcoming week of Vacation Bible School. We will end up with more than 300 children and over 100 adult volunteers corralling those children. We do not just entertain; we teach and share the gospel. Pray that children will be impacted by it (and maybe those children’s parents too).
- Pray for our elders/pastors/deacons. These men commit time and energy to the task of shepherding this local congregation. The task is important and occasionally time consuming. They care deeply for you, and they have been called to serve faithfully. Pray that they will seek the Lord continually, that they will be protected from evil, and that they will remain faithful to the Lord, their families, and to the church.
- Pray for those who volunteer here at LifePoint to serve and to teach. The church’s ministries are possible because we have volunteers who make things happen. Their task is important and impacts all of us.
- Pray for your family. You will know the specifics here far better than I will. Here are some general ideas that I think are biblical. Pray for God’s watchful care over them. Pray specifically for any family members who do not know Christ. Ask God specifically for their salvation. Pray for your children, that God will guard their hearts from the false gospel that permeates so much of our culture, and the false teaching that goes along with it (in music, literature, school classrooms, social media, etc.). Pray for LifePoint Church and our ministry to children, youth, and college-aged students—that we might effectively come alongside your family to reinforce the godly principles you are trying to teach your children/youth.
- Pray for the persecuted church. Yeah, I know, this is a bit out of left field, but we really should be remembering our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for the gospel that we often take for granted. Dying to get the Scriptures into the hands of believers, languishing in jails simply because they have given their lives and livelihoods over to Christ with a hope for a better future. The media would have us believe that just about every religion except Christianity is loving and accepting and open to new ideas. To say that is untrue is an understatement. Christians die in other countries simply for being Christian, or they suffer deprivations that would seem like death to most of us. What can we do? Pray.
Our Voice of the Martyrs conference is this Saturday from 9a.m. -4p.m. Pray that the Lord will use this time effectively and that those who attend will be challenged to do all we can on behalf of the persecuted church. Over 650 people have registered as of this writing.
Set apart some time this week to meet with God. Pray as you feel led, and please add these prayers to your list.