Sunday, February 1, 2009
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments. --Matthew 22:37-40
Our goal this year is to put together a family mission statement that includes this verse. Please pray that we will not only memorize this important verse but that we will live it out in loving God and others in ALL that we do.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” --Psalms 1:1,2
Unless we spend time daily with the Lord in prayer and meditating on his word, the pressures of this life can overpower His voice. Please pray we would not neglect our time with God. Pray that we would hunger and thirst for righteousness. Pray also that God would meet us, fill us and satisfy us through His Spirit and by His Word.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” --Colossians 3:12
As we approach our 8th Anniversary we remain thankful for the gift of our marriage. Please join with us in praying that we continue to give our marriage the healthy priority we want it to have. We don’t want to take each other for granted. We want to continue to “spur each other on” in whatever God has. Pray we won’t allow pride to get in the way.
“…These commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” –Deuteronomy 6:6,7
DADDY: Sometimes it is easier to make time for ministry outside the home then inside the home. Please pray that I would develop the discipline to “Impress” the truths of God on our children now. Pray that I would continue to make them a priority!
MOMMY: Ohhh – they are SO Cute! How can I NOT treasure every minute with these precious little charges?!! Yet somehow I can become discouraged by the endless dishes, laundry, cleaning, organizing, and sibling disputes. Pray that I will keep my vision above the daily mundane tasks to honor the calling, and the privilege to be a Mommy to Nathan, Abby and Joshua.
Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.” –James 1:27
Over the past year we have had many mixed emotions about pursuing another pregnancy. In light of our past medical problems and our hearts desire for adoption, we sense God is now leading us to pursue adoption! Pray that God would direct us and lead us throughout the process. Pray also for us to have patience. Pray that we are connected to the right adoption organization (international or domestic) or the right person who knows someone. And pray that God provides for the finances to adopt.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. –James 5:16
In a culture that values independence, pray we will pursue opportunities to be held accountable in our pursuit of personal spiritual growth. We have witnessed a few close friends in ministry struggle in their integrity. Pray for the Lord to protect us and keep us accountable through a few specific authentic and transparent friendships. Pray we would value a prayer partner and/or a mentor.
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:19
MEDICAL: In the last month, we have been to the ER or the doctor maybe a dozen times! (Josh-croupe, RSV, pneumonia; Abby-pneumonia, ear infection, tooth ache; Jenni-stitches, optical migraine.) Please pray for health for our family. Pray also for us to identify a more economical health insurance strategy for our family—as this is something we pay for entirely out-of-pocket.
FINANCIAL: With the economy as it is, we have found ourselves in a place where we need to focus on building up our support base. In recent months our regular monthly giving has been down at least 20%. Though this could be burdensome, amazingly—our call to long-term ministry seems to be strengthening
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. –Ephesians 2:10
Believe me when I say there has been numerous times when we have thought about leaving ministry, getting regular jobs and having a “normal” life. But whenever we entertain that thought there is never a peace about leaving but instead a constant drive from the Holy Spirit to “stay the course.” Pray that God would continue to lead us and direct us in our calling in ministry. Pray that we would continuing to pursue the “good works” he has prepared in advance for us to do.
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. –Ephesians 5:15-16
In order to continue to build my focus, pray for wisdom as I periodically set defined, measurable goals in my work. Also pray against a tendency for “my task” to become more important than my focus on the one who called me to it. I pray my focus is first and foremost fixed on Jesus, as my top priority. And then secondly, the task He is calling me to. Pray for discernment to dive into the tasks He calls me to, and also the self-control to not over-commit myself.
“...May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” –John 17:23b
If our relationships with co-workers and those on the mission field become strained we need to be honest and open with each other, show real repentance, and allow God to break our stubborn pride. It is NO easier for us to admit we are wrong than for anyone else! Pray that we will surrender “our” plans to God, be unified with our fellow Christian workers with agape love and seek the highest good rather than claiming our rights.
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. –Ephesians 6:19-20
Some of you may think that people in ministry don’t fear sharing the gospel. But even the apostle Paul, bold as he was, still struggled with fear in proclaiming the gospel. That should not only encourage us to know that we are not alone in our fear but to pray that we too would follow in Paul’s example and be a bold witness for Jesus. I want to be like Paul, please pray that God would give me the boldness to open my mouth and proclaim his message fearlessly!
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. –1 Corinthians 15: 57
Though there is not much talk these days about Satan, he is very real and desires to destroy us and our work for the living God! Please pray that we would have victory over his schemes. Pray also that we would personally have victory over our own worldly and sinful desires. And pray that we would be in a constant state of thankfulness for our Victor, the Lord Jesus Christ!
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.” –Matthew 9:37-38
Ultimately our work is to disciple the next generation of missionaries. Some may ask, “Are short-terms missions worth it?” And my response is always, YES! Statistics show that MANY, MANY missionaries receive their calling to missions or ministry through a short-term mission trip (including Jenni and I.) Please fervently pray with us that God would do a mighty work among the next generation and send forth workers into his harvest field!
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the father will give you whatever you ask in my name. –John 15:16I believe it is impossible for Christians to mature in their walk with Christ if they are not willing to speak for him. Unless we share our faith with others, we may never see any lasting fruit in our lives or in the lives of others. This is a top priority for our Royal Servants team as we travel abroad and the reason we are seeing lasting fruit in the lives of the students and in the lives we serve overseas. Please pray that we will continue to make this our “top priority” in the work he has called us to. Pray that God will continue to work through us to “bear fruit” and “fruit that will last!”