15th November 2019

Called To Never-Ending Prayer

 

Inspired by an Arise Walk devotional

In 1979, American composer Dan Schutte wrote the famous hymn Here I am Lord, when one of his friends asked him to write a song for an upcoming ordination service.

With just days until the service, Schutte prayed that God would help him. As he thought about the ordination, he turned to the stories of prophets like Jeremiah, who asked God to give him the right words to say.

Schutte commented, 'In all those stories, all those God was calling to be prophets had expressed in one way or another their humanness or their self-doubt.'

Unbeknown to him, the song, which was eventually published in 1981, would become an inspirational success and would be voted the UK's 10th favourite hymn.

Still calling

Today, God is still calling His followers to bear His light into this world. However, like the prophet Isaiah, we can sometimes question God and doubt our ability to respond.

As MAF serves 27 developing nations — despite the incredible beauty we see in this world, the apparently immeasurable number of creative possibilities and the amazingly faithful people serving overseas – there's no denying the brokenness and hunger, fear and anguish, conflict and need that remain so very real for so much of humanity today.

God is still calling, and he is calling us to never-ending prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV) tells us to: 'Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.'

We need to build a healthy rhythm of continuous prayer.

We may not be able to serve overseas ourselves, but we can all pray for those who do. We can also pray for those whose hearts God is stirring and who may do so in the future. A good place to start is to echo the words of the apostle Paul in Colossians 1:9-12 (NIV):

'We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God's people — the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the Gospel that has come to you.

'In the same way, the Gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world — just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God's grace...

'For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.

'We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the Kingdom of light.'

The blessing of prayer

How grateful we are when we hear that someone has been praying faithfully for us. It's such a privilege to bring other people to God in prayer and to pray that they discover God's perfect will for their life.

God is a master planner and He has one big plan for the salvation of the world. Within that master plan is an individual part for each one of us to play. Someone once said that God doesn't always call the qualified, He qualifies the called!

It's important to remember that the part each of us has to play will relate to other people. We need each other. Sometimes we cannot move into God's major calling on our life until others have found their place in God's plan.

Response

James 3:17-18 (NIV) reminds us that 'the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

'Let us pray that the quiet yet passionate insistence of God to follow Him will be spoken to men and women whose every sense is receptive.

Pray that they will be filled with the spiritual wisdom and knowledge that will direct them into their part of God's master plan.

Take time to allow the Holy Spirit to bring you face-to-face with God, praying that you hear the same thing that Isaiah heard — 'the voice of the Lord'. Then, having heard His voice, ask God to grace you with the ability to respond with strength and courage; echoing Isaiah by affirming: 'Here am I. Send me!'


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