I've had a lot of "life" going on these past weeks. Maybe that's why I haven't sat down to write my first ever support letter for a mission trip I feel called to be on. I'm heading to Israel and Palestine next April. While I know walking in the steps of my Savior will have an amazing impact on my life with him, I am just as eager to be part of encouraging the Christian community in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. I can't believe I will have the opportunity to do outreach at a local orphanage and refugee camp for children in Bethlehem. I get to do construction work, paint, and play games with the children. We will study the peace and conflict of the region, past and present, and hear Jewish and Palestinian experts share their religious and cultural narratives. Our partners will include the Jerusalem Church of Christ (jerusalemchurchofchrist.org), a mixed fellowship with Israeli, Palestinian-Arab, Russian, American, and Armenian backgrounds; World Vision; GMU's Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution; Dr. Bernard Sabella, Executive Director for Service to Palestinian refugees, amongst others.
God has been stretching me - more likely, my sight for His world. I've been challenged by mentors like Rob Bell in "Jesus Wants to Save Christians," and Shane Claiborn's "Irresistible Revolution." I've watched a new thing bloom - or at least from my traditions and experience in this wonder called Church - as people like Erwin MacManus, Andy Stanley, Rob Bell, and Mark Batterson have preached the Good Word. And now in the beautiful, challenging, equipping fellowship of NCC I think I've understood what I've been awakening to. Mark Batterson, in recent a Nov. 5th blog post, has spoken about reformation.
"do we need another reformation?
The short answer is yes. Every generation does. I think every generation needs its Martin Luthers, its Wittenbergs, and its 95 Theses. But I don’t think the next reformation will look anything like the last reformation.A single person won’t lead it. A single event won’t define it. The next reformation will be led by millions of reformers living compassionately, creatively, and courageously for the cause of Christ... So what does our generation need to rediscover? What is the rallying cry of our reformation? In my humble opinion, it's Amo Dei or love God. Simply put: we've got to be great at the Great Commandment. Anything less isn't good enough."
I am so excited to be part of the Kingdom of God, in this place, this time, and with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I've been growing in my disciplines but must confess that I think my prayer offerings are shallow. I am in communion with God all day, but my set aside time for prayers are - hm, can I say weak!? So, along with praying scriptures that I've begun writing in a 3X5 spiral when God makes one stand out to me (thank you Sister Beth Moore, for this practice!) I am going to move daily through these 10 prayers.
Finally - I get to purpose behind this post!! Sharing these with you! I know I've said I will work on shortening these. However, if you know me, your know my writing is so much of my voice. I'll leave you with these prayers. I've been praying Isaiah 52:7 since God affirmed this trip with that Word. Would you join me in praying for those we will minister to, for this team, and for me as I prepare?
"The LORD bless you and keep you," Favored One!
Ten Daily Prayers
Prophetic - Listen to God’s prophetic Word for today.
“Lord, cause me to hear your prophetic Word for my life today. And lead me to the places and people who need to receive that Word - even at the risk of being thought a fool.
Planning - Plan to do today what Scripture says.
“Lord, help me to accept your prophetic Word today and plan my life based on it. Allow me to take the initiative in advancing your kingdom and keep that initiative even in enemy territory.”
Prayer - Become persistent in prayer.
“Lord, as I plan my life in service to you, I pray for the working out of your will in my situation, and I pray against every evil force that opposes your will.”
Preparation - Prepare to live as a Christian full time.
“Lord, make me the proper tool in your hand. Cause me to grow in my relationship with you so that when opportunities arise to reap your harvest, I will be completely prepared.”
Penetration - Penetrate every devil-inspired boundary and barrier.
“Lord, help me to do something for you today that I have never done before.
Presence - Maximize your opportunities by being present.
“Lord, show me how I can bring your presence to the places it is needed most, simply by being there myself.”
Profile - Establish your profile as Christian.
“Lord, help me to live in such a way that your presence in my life is seen by others. Make me to be a blessing to someone today.”
Permanence - Become part of a permanent presence wherever you are.
“Lord, you have called me for a purpose. Wherever you lead me, help me to stay there and serve you faithfully.”
Proclamation - Use you platform to proclaim God’s message.
“Lord, thank you that even though I’m in the midst of a spiritual battle, the victory is already yours. Help me to proclaim that victory today.”
Power - Allow God’s power to flow through you into a needy world.
“Lord, help me to surrender to your power and your greater purpose for my life.”
Brother Andrew, founder of Open Doors, a non-profit that ministers to the global persecuted church. From The Calling: A Challenge to Walk the Narrow Road