Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Several (7) Statistics of Information and Possible Action for the Church Worldwide

1. 28 million in slavery worldwide; many are children and victims of human trafficking! 400,000 children are in slavery in Haiti! [“Finding Slavery in My Own Backyard”, by David Batstone. “Missions Frontiers”, September-October 2007 29:5, p.12]

2. 3.2 million untrained or undertrained pastors throughout the world. Pray for missionary mentors and trainers to assist these needy pastors [http://topic.us/].
3. 100 million Christians are living in persecution throughout the world (Persecuted Church) [http://www.persecution.com/].

4. There are 145 million orphans worldwide. If one missionary (or one church) took responsibility for 1000 orphans, there would, therefore, be a need for 145,000 missionaries (or individual churches) [http://viva.org/; http://www.compassion.com/; http:// www.actioncic.org /]!

5. There are 160 million street children, especially in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Thousands of missionaries and Christian workers are needed to take the Gospel and compassionate care to these needy children [http://www.actioninternational.org/; http:// www.actioncic.org/].

6. 200 million people worldwide are on the move (referred to as the Diaspora) in search of employment and a better education, because of persecution and natural disasters, and so forth. Many are open to kindness and hospitality which opens the door for the Gospel [http://www.fin-online.org/].

7. There are three (3) billion people worldwide with no nearby Christian or church to share the Gospel with them. They can only be reached by someone going to them (missionary) with the Gospel. If one missionary went to 5000 of these, there would be the need of 600,000 additional missionaries [http://www.actioninternational.org/]!

Monday, November 22, 2010

From the book, "Just Do Something"

by Kevin DeYoung

Obsessing over the future is not how God wants us to live, because showing us the future is not God's way. His way is to speak to us in the Scriptures and transform us by the renewing f our minds. His way is not a crystal ball. His way is wisdom. We should stop looking for God to reveal the future to us and remove all risk from our lives. We should start looking to God-His character and His promises-and thereby have confidence to take risks for His name's sake.

God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He has planned out and works out every detail of our lives-the joyous days and le difficult-all for our good (Ecclesiastes 7:14). Because we have confidence in God's will of decree, we can radically commit ourselves to His will of desire, without fretting over a hidden will of direction.

In other words, God doesn't take risks, so we can.

For some this means trusting God enough to let your money slip through your fingers. For others it means holding it to the Word of God in some difficult circumstances or an unpopular situation. For others it means cross-cultural missions, or more evangelism, or a new dream, or confession of sin, or confrontation of sin, or new vulnerability in a relationsh¬ip. And for some it means getting off your duff and getting a job, or overcoming your fear of rejection and pursuing a lovely Christian woman. For all of us it means putting aside our insatiable desire to have every aspect of our lives, or even the most important aspects of our lives, nailed down before our eyes before we get there.

God has a wonderful plan for your life-a plan that will take you through trial and tri¬umph as you are transformed into the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29). Of this we can be absolutely confi¬dent. But God's normal way of operation is not to show this plan to us ahead of time-in retrospect, maybe; in advance, rarely.

Are you feeling directionally challenged by this? Don't de¬spair. God promises to be your sun and your shield and to carry you and protect with His strong right arm. So we can stop pleading with God to show us the future, and start living and obeying like we are confident that He holds the future.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Saturation Praying

by Rev. Will Bruce, Minister-at-Large
Overseas Missionary Fellowship
10 West Dry Creek Circle
Littleton, CO 80120-4413
Telephone: 800.422.5330 or 303.730.4160
E-mail: info@omf.org

I. Saturation Praying is praying in which we share, unite, and zero in on the target with specific and full coverage.

Luke 11:1 "Lord, teach us to pray." We are commanded to pray: 1 Thess. 5:17. We are invited to pray:John 14:14. We are the losers if we do not pray: James 4:2b.

We talk to God, the Father through Jesus Christ, the Son, helped by the Holy Spirit. We talk with God simply and naturally as we would talk to others, yet with reverence.

It is hard to change old habit patterns and adopt that which would prove to be more effective in relation to answers for ourselves and for others. Involve the whole family or group in praying--no spectators, all participate. We move on from panic or crisis praying to protective praying.

God loves us, accepts us and cares for us. He will also forgive and cleanse us as we repent. "We are His workmanship." Ephesians 2:10. He is a living God who hears and answers.

II. General Rules:
Brief--back and forth
Only one formal opening and closing
Avoid simply "Lord, bless so and so."
Specific. Not shotgun praying. Luke 11:5,6.
Saturate one subject at a time.
Pray in agreement.
Everyday language but not crude.
Honest and open.
One step at a time.
Then move on to another subject.

An example of saturation praying for a missionary coming home on furlough. Items for prayer will include: extra strength for the multiplied duties prior to his leaving; handing over the work to others; health problems; travel arrangements; safety in travel; needs of the family (change of schools, new friends, culture shock); relationships with family members at home (including unsaved or bereaved ones); a place to live; a ministry in the home church; deputation opportunities; need of a car, furlough studies; ability to communicate the challenge of the field, etc.

Evelyn Christenson has an excellent book on prayer and a leader's guide for teaching prayer. She suggests these 6 simple steps:

1. Subject by subject.
2. Short prayers.
3. Simple prayers.
4. Specific prayers.
5. Silent prayers.
6. Small groups.

III. Five suggested steps for praying, with full freedom to move back and forth between steps:
1. Tune in: Psalm 46:10; Ps. 27:14, and think of:
a. What He is.
b. What He has done for us.
c. What we are in Him.
d. What we have in Him.

2. Praise Him (worship): Phil 4:4-7; 1 Thess. 5:16, and thank Him for:
a. Who He is.
b. What He has done for us.
c. What He will do.
Be specific. Give thanks for NEW LIFE, HEALTH, FAMILY MEMBERS, ANSWERS TO PRAYER, etc.

3. Share personal needs: James 5:13-16. In honesty, in openness, with reality. Use "I" for expressing
a need or in confession, not "We."

4. Bear one another's burdens: Gal. 6:2. Have a real concern for and understanding of one another.
Use your imagination concerning the needs of others. Ask God for guidance.

5. Reach out in earnest, specific, in-depth prayer for other Christians and those without Christ in your
neighborhood, nation, and world.

IV. Benefits:
1. A new awareness of one another.
2. A new sense of being loved.
3. Timid ones begin to participate.
4. Praying is more thorough, therefore more effective.

Some recommended books on prayer:
Prayer Power Unlimited by J. Oswald Sanders
Born for Battle by Arthur Mathews
God's Powerful Weapon by Denis Lane
Prayer without Pretending by Anne Townsend
Mountain Rain by Eileen Crossman, The biography of J.O. Fraser. Gives an ideal example of what is accomplished on the mission field through prayer in the home country.
The Prayer of Faith by J.O. Fraser
Effective Prayer by J. Oswald Sanders

Overseas Missionary Fellowship
10 West Dry Creek Circle
Littleton, CO 80120-4413
Telephone: 800.422.5330 or 303.730.4160
E-mail: info@omf.org