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Pray for God’s Mission in Light of Old Testament-Part 2
Abraham and Starts
The Problem is Clear
Genesis can be a hard book to read. I remember one time when I was asked at the last minute to read a passage from Genesis. I didn’t have time to read it over. I got to one of those names that we don’t say today. The problem was clear, I had no idea how to pronounce it and made it to clear to everyone in the room. I said “Oh my goodness.” Everyone laughed and a colleague of mine said to me “you said what everyone was thinking.”
Not only was the problem clear in that situation (running into a name I couldn’t pronounce), but it is clear from the early chapters of Genesis is that humans are the problem, hands down! In my last hub I wrote about how sin entered the world and how it just keeps getting worse. It got to the point that God had to destroy the world with a flood. But God imparted His grace to Noah and his family by saving them and allowing the human race to continue. In this hub, we are going to look at Abraham and how God is teaching us His plan to save mankind. We are going to look at Abraham and the promise that God gave him and then I’ll give suggestions on how to pray for God’s mission in light of this.
The Old Couple Wait on God
Count the Stars
Open your Bible to Genesis, chapter 15. Here we meet Abram, who will be known as Abraham later in his life. Abram is an old man and he doesn’t have any children and Abram doesn't want his heir to be a servant. In verse 4, God speaks and says that the servant will not be his heir. God goes on to say that Abram’s offsprings will be as numerous as the stars. I wonder what Abram was thinking because he does believe God. It must have filled him with hope that God was going to use him to do something amazing. Sounds like us doesn’t it? God wants to do amazing things through us.
Now skip ahead two more chapters to Genesis 17. This is a powerful passage because this is when Abram gets renamed to Abraham and is declared the Father of many nations. Abraham is 99 years old at this point and he is told that in another year he will have a son, Isaac. Not only will he be his son, but also of his wife Sarah, who at this point is infertile at 89 years old. This son will truly be an heir of Abraham. The other amazing thing is that God is going to establish his Covenant with Isaac. The promise is going to continue with Abraham’s heir. I don’t know about you, but I’m praising God just thinking about this. The other amazing part, Isaac was born a year later.
The Happy Couple
What Paul Has to Say
Turn with me to Paul’s letter to the Galatians, chapter 3.15-17. Here Paul reminds us that you don’t add things to a covenant. God also doesn’t add things to the covenant that he gave Abraham and his offspring. The law was given 430 years later from Abraham by Moses and didn’t replace the promise given to Abraham. You see, the promise is given to the seed, not the seeds. One man, Christ, is the one that promise rests on, the promise of the nations being blessed through Abraham. The promise of taking care of the sin of the world.
I just love how God uses the less likely person. It shows that He is truly at work and He is the only one who does what he is doing. Showing once again that he wants to work through us to save the world back to him. This leads me to one conclusion, we need prayer! In a lot ways, we are that less likely person.
Here is prayer song for you
Take time and reflect on these ideas. Here are some questions to help you reflect:
What does it mean to you that Christ is the seed of Abraham?
If you are in Christ, and Christ in you, you are Abraham's offspring. How are you going to thank God for this?
What family and friends do you want to be part of Abraham’s family?
How do you need to be reminded that you can’t earn your salvation?
How does God want to work through you? If you only pick one question to reflect on, reflect on this one.
I strongly recommend that you write down your responses. This can become your prayer list. Praising God for his grace to you and then praying that others will receive this grace and that he will use you to share his grace with others.
Prayer for God's Mission
I find that the more I understand what God is doing, the more I want to pray that He will continue. These passages lead me to pray for others to come into God’s Kingdom. Here is a list of prayer ideas to help you out:
Use your prayer list that you develop during your time of reflecting.
Pray for at least one person to become a Christian and pray everyday for this.
Pray for the Church to stop trying to earn their salvation but to share grace instead.
Praise God for the grace he has shown you.
Pray that you will be open to how God wants to work through you.
God’s mission is so important. That is why we need to pray and be engaged in it. Don’t stop after praying this list once, but do it again, and again. In other order words, pray, pray, and pray early and often. I’m sure that God will speak to you. And as He speaks to you, you will get ideas on how best to share Him with others and how else to pray.