31st October 2017

Week Of Prayer - Day 2

 

Let faith arise

 

‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

False Sanguma’s belief in witchcraft was countered by the Word of God and the concern of Christian believers in Fiyawena, Papua New Guinea in 2015

The tragic events over the last few weeks will forever be etched on our minds.

The senseless bombing of a packed arena in Manchester and the vicious attack in London resulting in the death and injury of so many innocent people, reminds us of the vulnerability of human life and the devastating effects of someone’s choices.

Why?

A Papua New Guinean man sits in thoughtAt such times, many question the existence of a loving and powerful God as they search for reasons and answers; the poignant question ‘why?’ hangs heavy in the air.

‘Where is your God in all this?’ is something we’ve all heard at times – a question we don’t always know how to answer.

Was the same question asked when Jesus, nailed to the cross, took His last breath?

The King of Kings who was coming to save the world was dead. Confusion, heartbreak and despair consumed His followers. Doubt and fear crept in. Self-preservation overtook Peter as he denied Christ.

The story wasn’t over

Yet that was not the end.

The death and resurrection of Jesus is an illustration of triumph over tragedy, light out of darkness, life from death. It challenges our understanding of what power and authority look like; rooting us in the truth that Love always wins.

Love wins little by little with every act of kindness, each selfless choice, every bold decision to serve.

In the midst of loss and bewilderment, as the stark reality of what happened in both Manchester and London gradually unfolded, we witnessed the unity of people standing together to support the community.

In all the heartbreak, we experienced something of God’s presence.

In many of the developing countries in which MAF serves, tribal conflict, false beliefs and superstition result in loss of life.

Changing a culture is possible, but it takes time

In Papua New Guinea (PNG), a measles outbreak has led to innocent women and children being accused of witchcraft. But God is at work.

With MAF’s help, missionary Anton Lutz and a young woman called Nes Mark have been confronting accusations of sorcery head on. Through the work of an intervention team including missionaries, pastors, a police commander and public servants, communities have been renouncing their tradition of attacking those believed to be harbouring evil spirits. Unfortunately, despite the churches efforts to combat false allegations, lives are still being lost in PNG.

When Dr Rosie Crowter attempted to teach the women of PNG about TB and malaria, she found that everyone believed the diseases were caused by witchcraft and evil spirits.

So, to combat these beliefs, Rosie adapted her workshops to bring God’s Word. She is helping to change people’s mindsets by teaching them who God is and what He says about sorcery and death.

In Papua, it was the Word of God, alongside missionaries placed ‘for such a time as this’, that helped save the life of little Emma Grace who, because of false beliefs, was left to die shortly after being born.

The only book to be translated into the native Moi language was Exodus 1, but this was enough for missionaries to share with Emma Grace’s father the story of the Hebrew midwives who, despite Pharaoh’s orders, saved the Israelite boys from being killed. God softened the man’s heart and the family now follow Christ.

Let faith arise

God is at work in this broken world. His ways are not our ways, but His Word brings revelation and renewal. Let faith arise as we ask the Lord to reveal His hand at work in the little things – giving us eyes to see, ears to hear and the courage to be His hands and feet in a world that desperately needs us.

Please pray

  • Romans 12:2 reminds us not to conform to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. As we find ourselves with questions we cannot answer and despair in our hearts, let’s ask the Lord to renew people’s minds throughout this troubled world; setting them free for fear and superstition.
  • Pray for Anton Lutz, Nes Mark, Dr Rosie and others doing the Lord’s work, asking for protection as they continue to challenge false beliefs in Jesus’ name.
  • Pray specifically for Pastors and Christians in remote communities who are the first line of defence for those accused of acts of sorcery.
  • Give thanks for MAF’s ability to reach remote and isolated communities – enabling emergency medevacs, missionaries and the Word of God to reach those most in need.

A prayer session


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