What is God's Mission-Part 1
I have taken a total of two seminary classes: Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey. The conclusion that I got from both of them is that God is on a mission to win the world back to him. If we are to pray for God’s mission, then we need to understand it. I’m not going to write anything new here, just in a different way. As part of my New Testament Survey Class, I had to plan out a Sermon series. This is my chance to start flushing it out some more. So sit back, get into God’s presence, and remind yourself of what God is doing and how we are a part of it. Of course, think about the ways you can be praying.
Let’s look at Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." He was talking to His disciples.
We see here that the Holy Spirit came to the disciples to give them power to witness. If we are, in fact His disciples, we can receive that same power of the Holy Spirit - and be His witnesses. Noticed what it says next, the verse gives locations: Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. I have heard many Pastors speak about these cities & areas as being symbolic for us today. The Jerusalem for us is the town or city we live in, Samaria is the surrounding cities, and Judea being areas around that, and then the world. We are called to witness first in our context, then to around the world.
This Song is a Prayer for God to Build His Kingdom
What I like about chapter 1 of Acts is that it doesn’t end there and goes straight to Pentecost. Back in verse 4, Jesus commands them to wait in Jerusalem until the gift of the Holy Spirit comes. So after the angels come to speak to the disciples about how Jesus is going to return, they go back into the city of Jerusalem. They spend their time praying and worshiping God. Just look at verse 14, it says that they were CONSTANTLY praying. As they waited for God to give them the Holy Spirit, they PRAYED and WORSHIPED.
What an example! Are you waiting for God? Then spend that time in prayer and worship.
The question now is, “How do YOU pray for God’s Mission?” As always, I have a few thoughts!
Pray for your “Jerusalem”: For me, this is Old Town, Maine. For you, it's the town or city where you live. Pray for God to soften the hearts of your neighbors. Pray for your church to be a witness. The Church should be a place for training and equipping the saints - you & me - to share our faith. So pray for that to happen. Use your time in prayer to prepare to go out and share your faith. And pray for more laborers for the harvest.
Samaria: This can be open for interpretation when identifying the surrounding area of the city or town that you live in. When you're ready, take the time to start praying for the surrounding cities, county, and your state. Pray for the same things as you would pray for Jerusalem. There is at least one church in each of these surrounding communities. Pray for those Pastors, leaders, and churches. Pray for God’s wisdom, especially if you feel you are being called to have a part in reaching those areas.
The Nation and the World: Pray for missions in the US and for missions around the world. One thing I do is have a video chat with a missionary in Japan so I can learn how to pray for him and his mission there. I suggest that you pray and ask God what area of the world that God wants you to focus your prayers on. Then, learn who your church supports in that area. Get to know them. Maybe they will skype with you. I haven’t done this, but I suggest that you do that as well for someone in this country (someone outside of your Samaria) who is doing God’s mission.
How are You Praying for God’s Mission: I’m not an expert, just someone who spends more time thinking about this than others. So, if you have thoughts, please share them in the comment section.
A Town Near By Old Town
Map of the World
The book of Acts is great! As we continue our journey into this book, we will see that prayer and mission go hand in hand. I hope you plan on joining me in this journey to learn more about God’s mission and how to pray for it. The more we understand, the better we are going to be at praying for it.
Above all do three things: Pray, pray, and pray... Do it early and do it often.