Prayer

I admit. I struggle with words, especially when it comes to prayer. I feel like nothing I say is worthy enough to be said to the Creator of the universe. Especially praying out loud. I fumble over what to say. I get overwhelmed because I want to make sure I pray the right words.

This has troubled me for some time but today I saw a wonderful Bible verse:

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

Romans 8:26

This verse reminds me that even when I can’t find the right words, the Lord knows what is on my heart, whether it is something of praise or concern. There are times that I am so overwhelmed with the current situation that all I can say is “Thank you!” and/or “Help!” And while I may still turn bright red when asked to pray out loud, at least I have peace knowing that God knows what it is that I’m trying to say.

Honduras Prayer Retreat

By Chris Briles

The Honduras prayer retreat was a great time for all involved. The team in Honduras was able to rest and refocus while enjoying times of worship, fellowship and prayer. The added fun of going to the beach and eating together promoted an atmosphere of family and helped create a peaceful atmosphere. Jim and Ruth K., and George and Angelyn R. were able to travel to Honduras and participate as well. It was great to have both of these couples join the Honduras team for a few days.

The focus of our time together was to rest and refocus and be reminded of whom we serve. Times away from our location of service are good. They allow us to reconnect with each other, and more importantly, with the Lord. I believe that at the end of our time together, each family left with a renewed sense of purpose and restored energy.

The following is Angelyn’s reflection of her first short-term trip to represent WIM’s member care team:

“There is nothing better to energize the ability to pray for those in ministry than to be with them in person on the field and walk with them through their daily activities. This is true for me, from personal experience, in Honduras! All that we witnessed the first few days of our trip emphasized the challenges of many “normal” tasks like getting a hot shower, electricity 24/7, internet connections, and travel from place to place. I left Honduras with an enhanced awareness of and appreciation for those who serve and minister on the front lines every day. It also made me realize the lifestyle of relative ease, excess, and expectation of comfort of those who live in the Western culture.

The Honduras prayer retreat was a precious opportunity to engage in team building, fellowship, heart sharing, worship, and prayer. For several on the edge of ministry burnout, the time set apart was imperative for spiritual, emotional, and physical renewal and refreshing! There were many opportunities for laughter, storytelling, and fun which are essential to balance and camaraderie. Corporate worship and lifting our voices in praise allowed the Holy Spirit to walk among us and unify our hearts. The sweetest moments of bonding were shared during times of concentrated prayer for each individual and family. Each was asked to share ministry and personal prayer concerns. Then, each was surrounded by all the others with laying on of hands to lift them before the throne of grace. It was an honor and privilege to participate in this ministry together. The end result was renewed focus, encouraged spirits, and revitalized endurance for returning to busy, full lives of service to God and others. We are part of a beautiful family in WIM! No matter where we serve, our bond is our love for the Father and the common desire to be obedient to Him.”

Using Your Gifts and Talents in Missions

No action is too small. Sometimes the smallest actions have the greatest blessings. Even a smile can change a person’s day. Below is a guide to help you think of ways to discover and use your gifts and talents for missions.

Using Your Gifts and Talents in Missions

We all have different gifts.

Think of what you are good at and what you are passionate about. Not sure what that may be? Have you ever been working on a task and completely lost track of time because you enjoyed the task so much? Are there any topics that you feel strongly about? What hobbies do you enjoy? The answers to these questions could lead you in the right direction.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8

How can you use your gifts to serve God in mission field?

There are many ways to serve in missions. Whether you prefer to serve by volunteering behind the scenes or feel a calling to travel far from home, your talents are useful wherever you are.

Some ways you can serve locally include the following:

  • Pray for missionaries. Let them know that you are praying specifically for them.
  • Volunteer at your local missions organization. There are many ways to use your gifts, from administrative assistance and event meal prep, to landscaping and maintenance.
  • Assist missionaries by providing financial support.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

Pray for guidance.

Make sure your decision aligns with God’s will for your life.

“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4-5

Put your gifts to use in missions.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

India: The Need

Photo by Joshua Watson on Unsplash

India has a population of over one billion people, consisting of over two thousand different people groups (ethnic communities, tribes, etc.) and has one of the most diverse cultures on the planet! According to the Joshua Project, out of that number of people, 81% are Hindu and only 2.1% profess the Christian faith. One primary group in India is the dalits. Formerly known as “untouchables,” the dalits are the poor and illiterate peoples of India. Living mostly outside the recognized caste system in thousands of rural villages, they are lost in the chaos of millions of false gods, living without Christ. Over 89% of India’s people groups are either unreached with the gospel or unengaged (Joshua Project).

“Over 89% of India’s people groups are either unreached with the gospel or unengaged.”

Matthew 9:35-38 says, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”

The Indian people are eager to hear a message of hope and are hungry for something more in their lives. Though the atmosphere in the villages can be heavy with both spiritual and physical poverty and spiritual darkness, the fields are ripe for harvest. By the grace of God, hundreds of people are coming to Christ. Though the harvest is plenty, the workers are few. Pray that the Lord would send more workers to this part of the world that is in such desperate need of the Gospel!

Billy Graham’s Challenge

by Chuck Hall

Billy Graham had a great impact on my life​. Many of you could probably say the same​. I remember​ watching his crusades on TV when I was a child. In 1970, after returning home from the Vietnam war, I again watched on television the Billy Graham Crusade. The​ very next day, I left ​for Texas ​to ​take several pounds of marijuana I had sent home from Vietnam to my friend​ who had served very closely with me in the war. ​It was a tumultuous time in my life. I told my friend I ​had decided I was going to “try the church.”

On October 3, 1970, back home in Georgia a few weeks ​after visiting my friend,​ I had a life-changing encounter with Jesus​ Christ​. I fell on my knees and cried out, “God, if you are real, be real to me.”  Jesus Christ came into that room with me that night.  The next day, I wrote ​my girlfriend, a ​Bible-college student in Nashville, Tennessee, “​Mary Nell, ​I have met the Lord Jesus Christ​. He has changed my life​ and I will never be the same again!”

As a new Christian, I read several books ​authored​ by Billy Graham​ as well as many of his articles in Decision Magazine. In one of ​these articles Reverend Graham called for a commitment, “an irrevocable commitment…to Jesus Christ to spread the gospel.” In ​1971,​ at age twenty-two​, about a year after I was discharged from the army, I made a commitment to enlist in Christ’s army​.​ Not knowing what it would mean, where it would take me, or what would lie ahead, I recorded on the front page of my Bible a challenge from Billy Graham:

“By God’s grace, whatever the cost, I will enlist in the army of Christ. I will serve Him under His flag, and by God’s grace, I will stand in the gap and make up the hedge. Total commitment, an irrevocable commitment! Can you say, ‘I am committed irrevocably to Jesus Christ to spread the gospel?’ Will you say to God, ‘I’ll go where you want me to go and I’ll be what you want me to be. I want to be your man, your woman​; I’ll stand in the gap and make up the hedge; I will deny myself and take up the cross, and whatever the cost, I’ll follow the Savior.’?” – Billy Graham, Decision Magazine​ 1971

I am headed into my seventieth year of life. Forty-seven​ years past that commitment I made as a twenty-two-year-old, I reread that quote. With tears, I renew my commitment “to Jesus Christ to spread the gospel…deny myself and take up the cross; and whatever the cost, I’ll follow the Savior.”

 

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