Prayer for God’s Mission and Lent-Part 3
Jesus leaves Satan after being tempted
Thanks for continuing this journey with me. So far we’ve pondered what Lent is about. It can be a tool to be used in preparing to engage in God’s mission. Lent is also a time to confess and repent of our sins so that God can use us for his mission. These 40 days can be used to really focus our time to pray for God’s mission and do some service or give to God’s mission. There is a lot to think and pray about. You know what, God is asking us to be completely dependent on Him. So maybe it is time for us to live the life He wants us to live and Lent is a good time to discern what that could be.
Readings for the First Sunday
Let’s start this week looking at the readings that will be read in many churches this Sunday morning. I encourage all of you to read these on your own and reflect on their meaning.
Deuteronomy 26.1-11: Israel was once in slavery to the nation of Egypt. God was the one who brought them out and led them to the borders of the promise land. We need to realize that we were once slaves to sin and it was God that released us. We are free because God has set us free.
Psalm 91.1-2, 9-16: God is our refuge and our shelter. We are to rest in Him. Not only will He protect us, but that we will be able to trample the great lion and the serpent (vs. 13). If we call out to God, He will rescue us. Why don’t we call out to God for our community, county, state, and nation. Don’t forget to call out to God for the nations of the world as well. God will rescue us. Just as this psalm states, we are to say that God is our “fortress” and “in whom I trust.” Will you join me in trusting God?
Romans 10.8b-13: Speaking of calling out, we call out to Jesus for our salvation. We need to confess it with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus was raised from the dead. Then, we are not put to shame. We are saved! And, this is for everyone. Jesus has declared that there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles.
Luke 4.1-13: This is the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan while he spent 40 days in the desert. Jesus was fasting during these 40 days and was hungry. Satan tempts Jesus to turn stone into bread, worship him, and jump from the temple. Each time Jesus responds to the temptation with scripture. This speaks to the importance of understanding what the Bible says. Take time to read it and study it. Ask the Holy Spirit to help. Find a book that talks about the overall themes of the Bible. Realize, that Jesus, even though he was tempted, didn’t sin. This is why he was the perfect lamb of our salvation.
Yes, confession is about admitting our sins to God and others. But confession is also agreeing with God. Remember, we were once lost and now we are found. Let’s not get caught up with what we do wrong, but caught up in what God has done for us because we are sinners in need of a Saviour. The best confession is realizing that we were lost and now we are found. When we sincerely ask for forgiveness, by faith - He will grant it. We just need to receive it and believe it.
My question for you, is there a sin or an indulgence that God is asking you to give up during Lent?
Psalm 51, a prayer of confession
Get into you prayer position
Here is a list of ways you can be praying in light of God’s mission in these themes.
Universal Church: In other words, the small c catholic church (not any particular denomination - the body of Christ). We are all a people, like Israel, that was in bondage. Let’s not forget. Let’s instead pray that we will allow God to mold us into His image.
Your Local Church: Your church is on mission. Pray for it’s mission. Pray that the members will confess (individual and corporate sins). Don't forget to pray for your Pastor and other staff as well.
Cleansing: Pray that we will be cleansed by the Holy Spirit. This cleansing will bring about true freedom.
We will hear clearly from God: His mission should be our main focus. What is God telling you about your role? Are you ready for God to give you your marching orders? Can you trust him, even if it is something you don’t want to do?
Prayer of Confession
In closing, here is a prayer of confession. Read it as a prayer to God and reflect on it.
"Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God, though we have rebelled against him. Let us then renounce our willfulness and ask for his mercy by confessing our sins in penitence and faith."
After praying that, pray two more times. Then, keep on praying early and often.