3rd February 2018

Lifewords Prayer February 4 - 10

 

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched Elijah and said,

‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’ So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he travelled for forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.

1 Kings 19:7-8

 

The Bible is full of wilderness stories. Hagar goes out to the wilderness with her son, believing she would die there. The Israelites are liberated from Egypt … to the desert. The prophets call out from the stony emptiness of the wilderness, raising a voice of hope and expectation. John the Baptist gathers people at the edge of the Judean desert, preaching a message of repentance. And of course, Jesus spends forty days in that same desert, preparing for his public ministry.

 

The wilderness serves as a motif throughout the Bible story. It is not just a physical place but a chapter of life, a space that we are called or compelled to occupy. Through circumstance, through adversity, and sometimes through choice. The wilderness is a place of emptiness, even desolation. For Jesus it is a place both of testing, but also of clarity. The story of Elijah adds one more note to the wilderness experience. For those of us who are tired, for those of us who are broken, for those of us who are weary of the struggle Elijah’s desert experience brings something unexpected: rest and sustenance. The silence and emptiness of the desert is transformed into spaciousness in which to recover.

 

The season of Lent (which begins this month), and the discipline of fasting offer us a wilderness moment for our lives. Here is an invitation to us to enter the wide-open space of the desert. To remove something of the comforts we rely on, to embrace difficulty, to dial down the distractions that keep us ever-moving. Or like Elijah, simply to rest, remembering that we are human.

 

February 4 - 10

Experiments in Evangelism

Lifewords exists because the Bible is for everyone and we want people everywhere to experience it as good news for their lives and for the world. The latest issue of Interact magazine talks about a few of the projects we’re working on to share the gospel in new and creative ways.

 

* Lifewords Indonesia’s partner, Pelita Dunia Seminary, welcomed 50 new students in September. It was an opportunity for Lifewords to extend its out-of-the-classroom training for evangelism, where students practice sharing good news in public spaces such as shopping centres and bus stations. "Everyone has a different experience," said Lifewords Indonesia Director, Gunar Sahari. "Some of them feel afraid at the beginning, but they encourage each other to share the gospel." Praise God for these students and for their growing confidence in sharing God’s love.

 

* Last summer thousands of young people gathered at Soul Survivor and Elim Limitless Bible festivals in Stafford, Peterborough, Malvern and Kinross. Lifewords partnered with Youthscape and gave each young person who made a first-time faith commitment a new, innovative card game Shuffle designed to help them take their first steps into Christian life through Bible verses, prayer actions and practices. Give thanks for almost 2,000 young people becoming Christians and pray that the Shuffle cards help them understand what being a Christian means for their daily lives.

 

* We’ve been working with Labyrinth, a project that explores cities and their stories through "City Hacks" (which are turned into walking tours). We’ve partnered with them for Mark’s Gospel-themed hacks in Melbourne, London, and Washington DC. It’s a niche but fascinating way to use the Bible in public space, and to invite people to consider questions of power, politics, and the mission of Jesus. Please pray that participants would be inspired by the Gospel stories, and challenged to deepen their experience of who Jesus is.

 

Read more <https://global.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4bb2690302f87e09194c69f96&id=a7dbeec4bc&e=1222455c69> about our projects here in the UK and around the world.


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