Do Not Be Afraid

Fear can, at times, be a good thing. God has given us a natural “fear” response that is beneficial to us when our physical or psychological safety is threatened. However, it all too easily grows to hold a place of authority in our lives… a place that it was never meant to hold. One of the greatest barriers to living a life on mission is allowing your life to be driven by fear. Fear can prevent us from doing what we have been called to do… and behind every irrational fear is a lie that must be identified and confronted with truth. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather living a life of obedience despite its presence. This week we pray that God destroys the fear that lurks in our hearts and that He bring us to a place of such great faith that we joyfully follow Him boldly & courageously wherever He leads us!

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Prayer Focus #1: You as an individual

Some of the most common fears that keep us from living a life on mission are listed below. Take a few minutes to evaluate the list – ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any of these, or any other fears that are holding you back.

  • Fear of death
  • Fear of embarrassment
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of rejection / disapproval
  • Fear of being victimized
  • Fear of the unknown / the future
  • Fear of other cultures
  • Fear of confrontation
  • Fear of leaving young children behind (short term) or family behind (long term)
  • Fear of discomfort
  • Fear of spiritual warfare
  • Fear of not knowing enough / being able to do enough
  • Fear of financial hardship

Take a minute right now to confess that you have allowed these fears to control you and in doing so have lacked faith. Thank the Lord for His forgiveness. Renounce, in the name of Jesus Christ, that fear has any authority in your life and ask God to reclaim all surrendered ground for His glory in your life. Ask the Lord to increase your faith in Him!

Now courageously ask Him what is the next step of obedience He wants you to take for the sake of His Kingdom – pray for the courage necessary to step out in faith to do what He is calling you to.

Prayer Focus #2: His Church

Pray that God, in His divine power, would destroy the stronghold of fear in our church. Pray that we would be faithful to put on the whole armor of God and stand firm amidst the pressure from our culture and from the enemy to be fearful (Ephesians 6:10-18) Pray that God would replace our fear with relentless faith and sends us out. Pray that He grows our faith in who He is and our place of identity in Christ. Pray that we would seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).

Ask God to lay someone on your heart that is struggling with fear – take a moment to pray for them. Ask God to do mighty work – to destroy the stronghold of fear, to destroy the argument raised against Him in their heart and mind. Ask the Lord how you can be an encouragement to them this week, how can you strengthen them with truth, scripture, and love.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Prayer Focus #3: Those Preparing to Go

Pray for those who are preparing to GO… for a week, for a month, for a year, for a long time.  Pray that God would destroy any fear that threatens to slow them down or delay their going.  Pray that God would replace that with a humble confidence that compels them forward in the purpose that God has set before them.

Mission Trip

Mission Together – Lifegroup Launch

We were made to live, love and serve in community.  We sharpen each other, we bear one another’s burdens, we pray and encourage one another.  We are the Body of Christ – His Church – His people, filled with the Holy Spirit, sent out to be His ambassadors in this world.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9

This year, we are praying God sized prayers.

What if our Lifegroups made a commitment to pray intentionally and connect relationally –  not just for one another or those in our city – but with a global partner or unreached people group as well?  How would that change the landscape of missions at Lifepoint?  How would that impact the culture of our Lifegroups? How would God use us to minister to a lost and hurting world, in His name?

Prayer Focus #1: Break our hearts

  • Pray that God would break our hearts for the lost, the unreached and the unengaged.  Ask the Lord to lead us toward a movement of prayer that flows out of our groups – for those who have yet to hear His name.
    • “For the son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 19:10
  • Pray that our groups would set our minds on the things of God.  Ask God to stir in our groups the need for His wisdom and we would respond with earnest prayer asking the Lord to give us direction.
    •  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” – James 1:5

Prayer Focus #2: Lift up our Lifegroup leaders

  • Take some time to pray for our Lifegroup leaders.  Pray that God would grant them vision and direction as they lead their group to live out the mission of God together.  Pray that God would give them an understanding of and passion for His global purpose.
  • Pray for YOUR Lifegroup leader(s).  Pray that God will show you how to support them and encourage them as they lead.
    • “9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,” – Colossians 1:9

Prayer Focus #3: Obedience & Action

  • Pray that our Lifegroups do to more than simply have conversations about doing mission together. Pray that those conversations lead to obedient response to the Lord’s leading.
  • Pray that our Lifegroups pray, that our LifeGroups connect, and that our Lifegroups GO!
    • “22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” – James 1:22-25

Prayer Focus #4: Pray for those who are sensing God’s call toward longer term mission.

  • Lift up those who may be sensing God’s call toward longer term mission engagement.
    • Pray that some would move their family to intentionally live among international populations here in our city.
    • Pray that some would take steps to move overseas. 
    • Pray that those who work among internationals would recognize their call and position and that God would give them spiritual eyes to see the “harvest field” surrounding them.  

A Note From Central Asia

This week’s TenTwo is written by one of our sent ones, currently residing in Central Asia.  Please join us as we pray and fast on behalf of so many around the world!

The Sacrifice Festival

I once asked a friend, “How do you know you will go to heaven after you die?” She responded, “You have to follow the five rules of Islm. You have to have faith in Al’lah, pray five times daily, fast during Ramadan, give to the poor, and if you can, go to Mecca.” I said, “But how do you know? Is there a guarantee?” And she responded, “No, there is no hope like that. But still, I am Mslm, because my family is Mslm. This is what we believe.”

Can you imagine living like that, knowing that no matter what you do or how hard you try, there isn’t a guarantee that you will ever earn enough credit with God to enter the kingdom of heaven? This is what 99.9% of the people in my country believe. Even if they say they are not religious, the main religion of my country is so engrained within the culture that they are constantly trying to “earn favor” without even realizing it.

Today most in my country, along with so many around the world, celebrate the festival of sacrifice, Kurban Bayram. Similar to the story of Abraham and Isaac found in Genesis 22, their book writes about Ibrahim and his willingness to follow Al’lah to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, before God intervened and provided an alternative sacrifice for him.

In this religion, families, depending on their income, is required to sacrifice a sheep, goat, bull, or camel. The animal is divided into three parts; one for the family to keep, one to give to neighbors or friends, and one to give to the poor. This sacrifice is to remember the ways that Al’lah has provided for them and as a way to stay faithful to the teachings in their book.

After learning about the holiday, I shared the Good News with the same friend that told me she does not have hope in following her religion, but yet continues to go through the actions because it is what her family believes. I shared with her the truths we find in Scripture and about Jesus being the promise and the perfect last sacrifice. Freely given to us, beaten and shamed on the cross, casting upon himself all of our guilt and bearing our death sentence, not because we deserve it, but because of he was the only way for us to be reunited with our Father. Through Christ alone, we are saved. There is nothing we can do to earn our favor with God or a place in heaven, but it is by our genuine, underserving faith in Him. And after hearing all of this, my friend with confusion written on her face looked at me and said, “I do not understand what kind of love this is”, which made me giggle but isn’t that true for us as well? How great is His love.

This holiday began yesterday and will last through Thursday. Will you please join me and those that I serve along side of, in lifting up so many who practice this religion living around the world.  Ask that they would come to know our Lord Jesus and will be able to experience the sweetness of His grace. We would love if you could join us through prayer and/or fasting during one day this week.

Please continually lift up the lost in this world. They are not just overseas, but they are your neighbors, family members, and friends. Let us be the Body on mission so we can see Matthew 24:14 come to fruition and we can go home to be reunited with our Father. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. – Matthew 24:14 ESV.

‘Til we go home,

V*

Serving in Central Asia

This Summer At-A-Glance (Part 3)

This the final recap of the summer as we celebrate what God is doing in Jamaica. Lifepoint has been serving in Jamaica for the past 7 years, this year building our 15th, 16th & 17th Little Blue House.  We ask of you to interceded on behalf of the people of Jamaica and the ministry there.

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Jamaica

  • Praise the Lord for how He continues to draw people to Himself.  Our first team had planned daily Bible studies with the men and women.  On the second day of their trip, 10 minutes before the planned start time, no adults were around.  A group went aside to pray that the Lord would bring people to hear His word.  5 minutes later a group of 4 men and 1 woman walked up the hill, sat down with us, and the Gospel was shared with them.  
  • Pray that the Lord would do a mighty work in the local church in Jamaica.  Pray that barriers created by class and legalism would be broken and that the church would desire to love and serve the ‘least of these’ (Matthew 25:31-46).
  •  Pray for the IsleGo staff that we work with year after year. Ask the Lord to work in the lives of Bobby, Red, Damain, Gregory & Million.  Pray that God would grant the strength to resist conforming to the patterns of this word and be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2).  Praise the Lord for our friendship with these men and for the way that they care for us year after year while we are in country.
  • Pray that God would grant wisdom and align our vision for next steps in planting a Hope Center focused on discipleship in one of the areas in which we work.  Pray that the right partner in Jamaica would step up and that the ministry could begin.

This Summer At-A-Glance (Part 2)

This week, we continue to celebrate what God is doing around the world, specifically in the areas that we had the privilege to work in this summer. This week, we praise Him for how He is moving in both Cuba & Toronto!

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CUBA

This summer’s trip to Cuba was an incredible time of encouragement!  The Lord is working mightily as He continues to multiply His Church across the island.

  • Pray for wisdom, safety and protection for the leaders and believers. Being a pastor in this country is a very difficult thing.  Pastors and their families sacrifice not only a tremendous amount of personal resources but also their own family’s comfort and safety to lead as God has called. Pray that the Lord would sustain spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
  • Pray for the house church movement. Many of these believers live on just a few dollars a month and the church has very few resources to meet the increasing demand for discipleship resources and physical resources as they minister to one another and the needs of the community members that live around them.
  • Pray for local churches as they multiply into less-engaged areas of the island.  They are finding a hunger for the Gospel but lack enough leadership to disciple people in some areas.  This leads to some pastors traveling for days to help fill the need which can become very difficult over time.  Pray that God would raise up many new leaders to fulfill the need.

 

VBS 2

TORONTO

In our third year of VBS in Floradale Park, we praise the Lord for the largest turnout of kids and families. As we’ve built trust with families in the area over the years, there were people that were invited and came from outside the immediate neighborhood because of personal invites from people! 

  • Pray for a church to be planted in the Floradale area to connect more consistently with those families.
  • Pray for the gospel to cross the cultural and religious barriers.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for the future of our partnership in Toronto.  There are many opportunities and ways to serve.  Pray for laborers and for God to grant a unified vision among His Church for the sake of His Kingdom!
  • Praise the Lord for the ministry of the summer intern team (3 of which were from Lifepoint). Pray that it would bear lasting fruit!

This Summer At-A-Glance (Part 1)

We are so incredibly thankful for a Summer full of sending! We invite you to join us as we praise the Lord for what He has done and is doing in many of our partnering countries and ministries.  Over the next 3 weeks, you’ll find a snapshot of how you can remain in prayer for these ministries from each team leader.  Maybe you will pray about joining one of these teams in the future!

peru

Peru

  • After a few years of working in a tiny village named Llacllin, the local church – led by their pastor, Alejandro – is taking steps toward caring after the “least-of-these” in their community. One of those “least-of-these”, Bertha, is a middle-aged woman who has suffered from a brain tumor – leaving her blind, unable to walk, and alone in a corner of her son’s home. In their culture, such a disastrous malady spells a scarlet letter: …’certainly, the spirits and gods are against this person.’ Alejandro bravely and compassionately overcame these stigmas to show the love of Christ and commit his church to her! Praise God for these first steps of leadership, but pray that he continues the journey of serving rather than being served – Matthew 25:40
  • Our initial inter-church leadership meeting between local Peruvian church leaders was a great success in June; They asked for a second meeting even though it took hours of driving and waiting to assemble everyone in one room! As we move into a second set of leadership meetings, pray that their first experience of Biblical Communion last June would become a pattern on this trip. Pray that Communion would not just be a checkbox but a state-of-mind and state-of-soul.
    • John 13:3-5, 12-14
    • Mark 14:22-24
  • Much of our strategy for the November trip will surround learning a story set of applicable scriptures that address Church and pastoral needs across the various villages. Many of those needs center on encouragement: the churches are isolated, small, and under social persecution by their communities. Pray that:
    • Our team members embrace learning and teaching scriptures in an oral format
    • Our team members would be encouraged that they indeed are the feet the bear Good News! (Isaiah 52:7)
    • We will all trust God’s promise of scripture (Isaiah 55:11)
    • Our Peruvian brothers and sisters would indeed be built up and encouraged by the Words we bring!

INTERESTED IN GOING TO PERU (November 2 – 12)?
Email missions@lifepointohio.com

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Chile

  • Praise the Lord that He is a good Father who is pursues His children. As the team was prayer walking around the area that Fuente de Vida is located, God brought them to Jorge, an older single man that was sitting on the corner about a block or two from the church.  He was discouraged that his family and friends had left him…he had no one to lean on.  God used the team to encourage and point him towards Christ. The team was able to share that in light of human nature, where we all fall short, sin and fail others; that God will never leave us or forsake us. Praise for how God opened the door and the team wrapped their arms around him, prayer for Jorge that he finds companionship in Christ!
  • The body of Christ is growing! Noelia, a young lady the team visited one morning, made the decision to follow Christ.
  • Pray that Fuente de Vida is used continuously to share God’s love in Coquimbo, La Serena and Hurtado and that people come running from their sin to Him for salvation. 
  • Pray that the Body of Christ is renewed and given strength in Him to persevere and shine God’s light through generational sin and other non-Christian religious beliefs.
  • Pray that new believers in Christ can break through family strongholds to represent Christ in their family and community.

INTERESTED IN GOING TO CHILE (November 9-16)?
Email missions@lifepointohio.com

The Next Generation

Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

Over the past 3 weeks, something special has happened.  Twenty-four students and children have served on one of our international mission teams.  Young people using their gifts, their talents, and their time to love and serve the nations.

As we pray for God to send 100 people in 10 years (now 99 in 9 years), there is a great possibility that what He is doing NOW in the lives of the next generation will eventually lead to their saying “yes, send me.”  Let us be faithful to pray for them, to encourage them, to disciple them and to support and send them.

The students that have participated in our Toronto trips over the past 3 years have learned so much about planting a church in a place where there are a vast number of cultures and worldviews – of both the joys and challenges.  

  • Pray that God uses their time in Toronto to grow in them a heart and passion for reaching the nations with the Gospel.
  • Pray that some would consider strategically going to college in Toronto for the sake of the Kingdom.
  • Pray that the seeds of the Gospel, planted at Flordale park will continue to be watered by others.

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tor

Over the past two weeks, a total of 14 kids served and loved in Jamaica.  Lifepoint sent their first “Family Trip” to Jamaica and the Lord used these little ones in big ways!  

  • Pray that God continues to stir in the hearts of the children (and students) that served in Jamaica this year.
  • Pray for the parents that served this year alongside of their children, that they would be granted much wisdom and discernment as they continue to disciple their families on mission.
  • Pray that families would engage in international mission right here in our city together.

kids floor

bradyja

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Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12

Pray that God continues to shape their view of the world to align with His. Pray that God would call some of the young folks to full time ministry (either in the U.S. or among the nations).

Pray also that they would choose to use their gifts and talents to the best of their ability (for the glory of God) and that they would choose to use them somewhere strategically (for the Kingdom of God).

Mission Trip

Jamaica Team #2

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3: 14-21)

Last week, team #1 was able to do great things in Jamaica. They shared the gospel, loved on people and helped build a house. Team #2, consisting of 17 people, mainly families, arrived last Saturday to continue working. We praise God for how we see Him moving, however, the work is still hard, and so many hearts are hurting.  We know that only the God of all grace and hope can heal the hurts and satisfy the void that lives within us all. Let us lift up team No.2, and the beautiful Jamaican people they are serving this week!

Prayer Focus:

  • Pray that team #2  would be bold in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as the ultimate source of hope.
    • Keep praying that as the team loves and serves through meeting physical needs, it serves to expose the greater spiritual need in people’s lives and that they would respond to it.
    • Keep praying for the Bible studies that the team is offering each day on the work sites.  This is challenging for many – pray that the Lord would calm their anxiety and give them the words to speak through His Holy Spirit. (2 Timothy 1:7)
    • Team #2 is mostly comprised of Lifepoint families working together. Pray for the kids of the team, that the Holy Spirit would use them boldly as they love on and make friendships with Jamaican Kids. 
    • As weariness starts to arise, ask the Lord to renew the team’s strength to finish out strong. Ask the Lord to do away with any hindrance that comes in the team’s way.
  • Pray that the team builds strong relationships this year that go well beyond this one week.
    • Pray that the homes that are built are representative of the light of Jesus Christ. Pray that those may see the good deeds done this week and praise not men, but our Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:13–16)
    • Pray that the Jamaican believers the team comes in contact with, will be encouraged and strengthened to keep persevering in the Lord and be of light to others.  (Col 2:9-12)
    • Keep praying for Dusty and Corinne, the leaders of IsleGo missions, our co-laborers in Christ.  (Ephesians 4:1–7)
  • Keep praying for physical safety (from injury and sickness).  Jamaica is incredibly hot this time of year and heat exhaustion is a real risk.
  • God continues to open doors with the men of Jamaica, Praise God for the many spiritual conversations that were held last week.
  • Praise God for Team #1’s work and for their late, but safe arrival to Columbus.

Jamaica – Week 1

37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.‘ – Matthew 25:37-40

Currently there are 21 people serving and loving in an area of Jamaica often referred to as “the compound”.  Over the past 2 years, we’ve sense God’s activity in this area in incredible ways.  There is an openness and receptivity to God’s word and the Gospel that both challenges and excites as we return this year.  We praise God for how we see Him moving, however, the work is still hard, and so many hearts are hurting.  We know that only the God of all grace and hope can heal the hurts and satisfy the void that lives within us all. Let us lift up the team, and the beautiful Jamaican people they are serving this week!

Prayer Focus:

  • Pray that the team would be bold in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as the ultimate source of hope.
    • Pray that as the team loves and serves through meeting physical needs, it serves to expose the greater spiritual need in people’s lives and that they would respond to it.
    • Pray for a daily Bible study that the team is offering each day on the work sites.  This is challenging for many – pray that the Lord would calm their anxiety and give them the words to speak through His Holy Spirit.
  • Pray that the team builds strong relationships this year that go well beyond this one week.
    • Pray for Pinky and Stacie Ann – the two women that will be receiving the keys to their homes this week.
    • Pray for Gregory, Bobby, Domain, Red, Million & Uncle, our friends and Islego staff in Jamaica.
    • Pray for Dusty and Corinne, the leaders of IsleGo missions, our co-laborers in Christ.
  • Pray for physical safety (from injury and sickness).  Jamaica is incredibly hot this time of year and heat exhaustion is a real risk.
  • Pray for the team of 17 that is preparing to leave for Jamaica this coming Saturday (yes – we are there for 2 weeks this year).

Students in Toronto

This week a group of our students are ministering in Toronto.  We asked them how we can be praying for them specifically.  Be encouraged by the faith and obedience of these young men and women and lift them up to the Father through the remainder of the week!

Prayer Request #1: VBS

  • Pray that the kids rely on the Holy Spirit as they communicate the gospel across many cultures.  Nearly half of the Greater Toronto Area was born outside of Canada.
  • Pray for the students as they lead VBS in a park that the summer team has been working in.  Ask the Lord to soften the hearts of the kids (and their parents) who will interact with the team this week.  
    • Pray for the teams that will be leading music, recreation, Bible storying, crafts and small groups.
    • Pray for instant and genuine connection with the kids.

VBS 2

Prayer Request #2: Spiritual Mapping

  • Spiritual mapping can be a difficult / scary task for some.  Pray that God would give the students boldness and confidence in Him.  Pray that God would give the students wisdom, without reproach (James 1:5).
  • Ask the Lord to open the door to many Gospel conversations. Ask that the students would “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” and that they may be “filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19

Prayer Request #3: The Team

  • Pray for team unity and flexibility.
  • Pray for sustained energy and strength.
  • Pray that the students would focus on Jesus and engage this journey in an attitude of humility and selflessness.
  • Pray that the kids experience God is a new and very real way this week and that God would use this journey to call them further to Himself.
  • Pray that through this journey some of the students would even begin to sense God’s call to ministry / missions.

CHILE UPDATE: The Chile team makes their way home later today.  Praise the Lord for a wonderful week (full update next month).  Praise Him for keeping them safe amidst 2 earthquakes.

Mission Trip

Two Teams Return, Two Teams are Sent!

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations. – Isaiah 61:11

Tomorrow (July 13th), a team of four will head down to Chile to continue working with our partner church, Iglesia Fuente de Vida in Chile.  Saturday (July 16th) a group of high schoolers head to Toronto. This week, we ask that you continue in steadfast prayer on behalf of the teams and partners!

Prayer Focus #1: Chile

  • Pray that the teams arrives safely in La Serena and that they’d be rested and prepared to do life with Iglesia Fuente de Vida for the next few days.
  • Pray for unity and harmony among the team members. A new culture, a different language, different customs, it’s a lot to take in. Pray that the team will be able to overcome these obstacles quickly and be focused on the task on hand.

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

  • Pray for the harvest in the field. That our team and Iglesia Fuente de Vida be ready to reap the harvest, plant the seed or water the crops.  Ask that whatever stage the field is in, they’d be able to see that His work in not in vain.

The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. – 1 Corinthians 3:8-9

  • One of the things that the team will be participating in is home visitation.  Visitations can be difficult for our teams as they can be uncomfortable due to language barrier and the unfamiliarity of the situation. As they learn to navigate working with a translator, pray they God does away with fear and that the Gospel bridges across culture in a powerful way.
  • Pray for the youth group of Iglesia Fuente de Vida. Pray that this generation of believers be steadfast and deeply rooted in God’s word so that they can be light among their peers in school.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

  • Pray for continued motivation among the congregation of Iglesia Fuente de Vida. That they be transformed by the renewing of their minds and that they continue to be a beacon of light in their neighborhood.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

Prayer Focus #2: Toronto

  • Our high schoolers are preparing to visit Toronto next week.  Pray that the Lord would prepare their hearts to serve, love and share the Good News of Jesus.
  • Pray for the mid-term team that has been living and serving in Toronto over the Summer as they help prepare for the team.
  • Next week, a detailed list of Toronto prayer requests will be given!

Prayer Focus #3: Returning Teams

  • Peru & Cuba teams are back.  Praise the Lord for the good things He has done (longer updates on each of these trips will be shared during the month of August).

 

Be Still and Know…

Be Still and Know…

If you were to ask someone to complete the often quoted verse of Psalm 46:10, you’ll most likely get a response.

Be still and know…“that I am God”

But sadly, and most often, it stops right there and the exciting second half of the verse is rarely included.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

It’s a beautiful verse of assurance. A verse that reminds us that God, who is always faithful to see His promises through, will be worshiped by every tongue, tribe and nation. It’s a verse that reminds those who walk in obedience to the commission to “Go and make disciples of all nations” that the Lord goes with them, it is His work, His mission and they need not be afraid.

Lifepoint currently has many on the field, with more going this week. We ask that you continue to be steadfast in prayer on behalf of those who have gone / are going. They enter into a spiritual battle, there is no doubt. Pray that they are emboldened and empowered by God’s Spirit and that they can find rest in the truth of His good promise found in Psalm 46.

Toronto Update:

  • The team has battled sickness this week, which has been difficult for them on many levels. Pray for God to bring physical healing and to give the team a restored energy (Psalm 23)
  • Pray for the team this week as they continue to do spiritual mapping in an area with no gospel-centered church engagement. Mapping is a tool utilized to help one see a community as it really is, not just as it appears to be. It is hard work (physically and spiritually).
    • Pray for supernatural endurance for the team, that they would be steadfast in prayer, putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
    • Pray for wisdom to see what lies beneath the surface. Pray that the Holy Spirit gives discernment and guidance (James 1:5)
    • Pray that those that they talk with are prepared to hear the gospel, that the Word of God would fall on fertile soil and take root (Matthew 13:1-23)
  • Ask the Lord to deepen relationships that the team has been building with people in the community where they live.

Peru Update:

  • Praise the Lord for the work He is doing in Peru. Last Wednesday’s meeting time with local church leaders was an amazing encouragement. Many partook of their first communion since deciding to follow Jesus Christ.
    • A second pastor’s/leadership meeting was requested by the local churches.
  • The team has had an incredible opportunity to share Bible stories with a man who lives in one of the villages in which we work. At one point in the conversation, this man stated, “Hmmmm, I’ve never thought of the Christian life that way; to not just believe in Jesus but to try and follow Him.” Pray that this man truly comes to know and understand what it means to follow Jesus and will “deny himself and pick up his cross and follow me” Luke 8:34
  • Pray that God moves in the Peruvian church in a mighty way, that they would understand their calling to love, to serve, and to proclaim the Good News!

Pray for the team of 7 that will head out into the field this week.

The harvest is plentiful, the laborers few. Pray that God would SEND!

Mission Trip

The Next 8 Weeks

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!

 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering, and come into his courts!

 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
    tremble before him, all the earth!

– Psalm 96:7-9

In the next 8 weeks, Lifepoint will send 75 short-term missionaries to 5 different countries. We are so incredibly grateful that the Lord is allowing us to partner with Him in such incredible ways. We are also incredibly dependent on the Holy Spirit for wisdom, discernment & guidance throughout this season!

Therefore, we urge you to pray!

Over the course of the next 2 months, these TenTwo prayer blogs will look a little different as they will be devoted to specific prayer requests AND updates from the field. So, please set an alarm as a reminder to come to the TenTwo page at least once a week to read the updates and pray.

Toronto Mid Term Team Update: The 3 summer missionaries from Lifepoint, along with 2 from Mississippi will be hosting a game night TONIGHT (Tuesday, June 14) at their residence hall in an effort to get to know others that live in the building and begin to build relationships. Pray that there is not only a good turn out, but also that people would be open to follow up conversations, and ultimately, open to hearing the gospel.

IMG_3548

Upcoming Teams (next 4 weeks):

  • In 2 weeks, there will be a team of 5 headed to the Andes Mountains of Peru.
    • Pray that God would prepare them physically, emotionally and spiritually for the upcoming trip.
    • Pray for the hearts of those the team will minster to. Pray that God would remove the blinders that keep them from seeing the light of the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction. – 2 Timothy 4:2

  • In 3 weeks, there will be a team of 7 headed to the Caribbean. Pray that they would seek the Lord with all of their hearts as they ready themselves for the ministry that lies ahead.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2

  • In 4 weeks, there will be a team of 4 headed to Chile. Pray that God would use that team in a mighty way to encourage the church in La Serena to run the race that is set before them with endurance (Hebrews 12:2)

Ask the Lord to go before all of these teams and cut off any schemes of the enemy meant to disrupt the ministry of the Gospel.

Ask God to call some that will go short term this summer to a longer-term missionary assignment. Pray that God would send!

Summer in Toronto

This afternoon 3 young ladies from Lifepoint will embark on a 7-week missionary journey in the greater Toronto area. We are praising the Lord for the calling that He has given to this team and their willingness and obedience in saying, “Yes!”

A few facts about the city from the North American Mission Board:

  • It’s where a fifth of the nation’s population lives and where you find its greatest diversity.
  • It is among the most ethnically diverse cities on earth, topping Miami, Los Angeles and New York City. Of its population of nearly 6.5 million, about 2.3 million are foreign-born.
  • Although about 33 percent of Torontonians claim Christianity as their religion, but those that are connected with a Gospel centered community are little better than 3 percent.
  • Add to this a growing immigrant population bringing a growth in Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism and other world religions. Toronto has one of the world’s highest Jewish populations as well.
  • About 410,000 Torontonians speak a Chinese language such as Mandarin or Cantonese. More than 100,000 speak Filipino; 56,000 speak Arabic. In total, more than 2 million Torontonians report that they primarily speak a language other than the official languages of English and French.
  • Statistics are like skylines. They give you a glimpse of a city that only grows more diverse and complex with each community you visit, each home in which you eat and each ministry opportunity that brings you face-to-face with a city full of stories and needs.

You can see by reading just these few statistics that ministering in Toronto presents an incredible opportunity and some significant challenges. Because of this, there is no better way to send these girls, than to send them fully covered in prayer!

We’ve asked the three of them how we could best pray for them, at least initially as they start their summer up North. Below you’ll see their responses and some Scriptures to pray back to the Father on their behalf.

Rachel- “Please pray that everywhere I go I can connect and form genuine relationships and that I can show Jesus to them. Pray that people here and people there (and even myself) can see and be reminded that I am in no way special, but Jesus is!”

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
– 2 Corinthians 4:7

Megan- “Please pray that God would work and speak through my team and me – that everything we do would bring glory to God and that the people there would see Christ in us.”

1 Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
    tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous works among all the peoples!
                                                          – Pslam 96:1-3

 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:5-6

Cori- “Please pray that I would be courageous when opportunities come to present the gospel to people we meet”

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. – Acts 4:31

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

Standing in the Gap

This week we continue to stand in the gap on behalf of those who have not yet heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We also lift up to the Father those who are working among them and ask Him to send more laborers into His harvest. Join us!

Prayer Focus #1: God’s Mercy

  • Pray that God’s Mercy would fall on the unreached and unengaged. None of us deserve to be saved, but God is His great mercy makes the way for us to come to know Him.
  • Praise the Lord for being righteous, holy & just. These are beautiful characteristics of who He is. It is sin that His wrath is turned upon. Will we stand in the gap on behalf of those who do not know His grace and mercy yet?
    • 30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.31 So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.” – Ezekiel 22:30-31

Prayer Focus #2: That He Would Destroy Strongholds

  • Pray that He destroys the strongholds that hold us back from living out our purpose and call as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) such as fear, comfort, anxiety, apathy, prejudice, unbelief & despair.
  • Pray that God would do a similar work through His global Church, freeing His children to join Him in His mission of reconciling a lost and broken world unto Himself.
  • Pray that God would destroy strongholds in areas of the world that have long been bound by false religion & idolatry.

Prayer Focus #3: Pray for Boldness

  • We need boldness from the Lord. The early church recognized that they were utterly dependent on the Holy Spirit for this boldness and prayed for it often. We need to do the same – for ourselves, and for each other.
    • 29 And now, Lord,look upon their threats and grant to your servants[a to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”– Acts 4:29-30
  • Pray that God would prepare the hearts of those that we will speak with ahead of time, just as he worked in the heart of Cornelius to prepare Him to hear and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    • 30 And Cornelius said,“Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour,and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. – Acts 10:30-31

Prayer Focus #4: Pray for Laborers

  • Pray that God would stir in the hearts of those that He has chosen to go and that they would respond in love and obedience.
  • Pray that God would send 100.

 

How Should the Church Pray Together?

If you’ve been reading and praying with us over the past two weeks, you’ll know that we have been talking about about what happens when the church prays together?  This week, we look at the question of “how should the church pray together?” – specifically in regards to strategic, petitionary prayer for the nations to know the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

– Matthew 6:9-13

There is so much to learn as we look at how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. First – honor and worship and glory be to the Lord.  He alone is worthy of it and everything we do (and pray for) in regards to strategic prayer for the nations is because of that truth.  Next – Your Kingdom come, you will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  The Kingdom of God is of upmost importance.  Jesus taught us to pray for the Kingdom first – before we prayed for our own provision, our relationships, or our day.  He instructed His disciples to pray with Kingdom vision – eyes set on the things that are above, not the things that are on earth (Colossians 3:1-4).

Prayer Focus #1 – Kingdom First

  • Pray that God would teach us to see the world through His eyes – that He would give us Kingdom vision and that our prayers would reflect the Kingdom of God as priority.
  • Take a few minutes to reflect on how you pray?  What do you pray for?  Do you earnestly pray for the Kingdom of God to come?
    • If so, pray the the Spirit leads you to greater consistency and urgency in those prayers.
    • If not, take the time to repent that your eyes have been set on the things of this world and ask the Lord to renew your mind and to set your eyes on the things above.

Prayer Focus #2 – With Great Confidence / Boldness

  • Pray that because of who Christ is and our relationship to the Father through Him, that we would boldly draw near to the Lord through prayer.

16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Prayer Focus #3 – Without Ceasing

  • Sometimes we pray and we don’t get the answer we expect or desire – and all too often we give up and our prayers discontinue at that time.  We’ve been praying for God to send 100 for nearly a year now, and while we’ve not sent any additional laborers long term, we must believe that God is working in accordance to His glory, His purposes, and His will.  Therefore, we must remain steadfast in our prayer for God to send laborers into His harvest, with thanksgiving in our hearts.  Let us raise our voices together with greater earnestness and urgency than ever – without ceasing.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

 

Mission Trip

Why the Church Prays Together…

Last week we looked at what happens when the church prays together. This week, we continue with the question “Why do we pray together?”

There are many reasons why we pray together, as there are many types of prayer (confession, praise etc.). But let’s look specifically at why does the church unite in strategic, petitionary prayer on behalf of those who do not know Him?

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

We are not waging war according to the flesh. We can talk about the unreached and unengaged, we can learn about the unreached and the unengaged, we can even go to the unreached and the unengaged, but what we must do first and what we must do most often is pray for the unreached and unengaged.

Prayer Focus #1: Prayer is Rebelling Against the Status Quo

  • David Wells says it this way; “What, then, is the nature of petitionary prayer? In essence, it is rebellion – rebellion against the status quo, the state of the world in its sin and fallenness.”
    • Pray that God would well up in us an absolute refusal to accept the status quo. Pray that His Spirit would set us afire with an increased sense of urgency to cry out on behalf of those who do not yet have access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    • Pray that we would not resign to the idea that “life is simply as it is.” Pray that His followers would reject the notion (subconscious as it may be) that God is powerless against the evil we see in this world. Pray that God would expose His power to us through His Scriptures and that we would believe that He is who He says He is.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Prayer Focus #2: Prayer is a Significant Part of Putting on God’s Armor

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12

  • Pray that God opens our eyes to the truth that we are, indeed, in a spiritual battle and that He would reassure us that He has given us everything we need to enter into that battle with Him (Ephesians 6:10-20).

Prayer Focus #3: Prayer Acknowledges Our Dependence on Him

  • God’s power in our ministries (whether personal ministry to a friend at work or leading a ministry across the globe) is released through prayer. He does not need us, but He allows us to be a part of what He is doing. Prayer keeps us mindful that we have no power of our own. Pray that we fully comprehend this truth and realize that we must remain connected to the Lord through prayer.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5

  • Prayer opens doors to God’s strategies. We desperately need His wisdom, discernment and direction.

For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. – 2 Chronicles 20:12b

Pray Focus # 4: Prayer Joins the Body of Christ Together in the Task

30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, – Romans 15:30

  • Pray that God would join us together, as a church body, to those on the front lines.
  • Ask God to stir in us a compelling desire to faithfully pray for those that He has sent and for those that He is preparing to send into the nations for the sake of His glory.
  • Pray that God would begin a sending movement from Lifepoint.

When the Church Prays Together

Just shy of 1 year ago, our TenTwo prayer initiative began.  It started with an increased sense of urgency to pray that the Lord of the Harvest would send out laborers into the harvest field (the unreached and unengaged). Specifically,we began to ask that the Lord send 100 laborers from Lifepoint.  Over the next several weeks, we’ll be asking the Lord to redefine, revitalize and re-energize the purpose for such a prayer. We ask that you join us as we lift our voices together, asking God for wisdom, direction, discernment and vision.

If you read through the pages of Acts, it’s often easy to ask –

“How did they do it? How did they stay strong in the face of such persecution?”

“How did the gospel continue to spread when so many were doing everything in their power to stop it?”

“How were they so bold when they faced so much rejection?”

“How did the early church continue to SEND people out amidst so many being martyred for their faith?”

Prayer! There is common thread weaved throughout the pages of Acts. The early church prayed together!  Prayer should always be our fundamental strategy as we look to engage the unengaged with the Gospel!

14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. – Acts 1:14

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous – Acts 2:42-46

The Early Church joined together constantly uniting in prayer! It goes so far to say that they devoted themselves to prayer. To be devoted to something is to spend a lot of time in / on whatever that thing is.  We are all typically devoted to something… our marriages, our children, our jobs, our health.  All these things are good – but we must honestly ask ourselves, how does our devotion to those things compare to our devotion to prayer and the Kingdom of God?

Prayer Focus #1 – PRAY FOR INCREASED DEVOTION TO PRAYER

  • Pray that we, as individuals, Lifegroups, and as a whole church body would devote ourselves to praying for the nations.
  • Pray that we would devote ourselves to prayer, asking that God would use Lifepoint to make the name of Jesus known.
  • Pray that we would be sensitive to the Lord’s leading to pray together more often. That it would be foundational to every ministry, every outreach, every discipleship relationship, every Lifegroup and every mission. Pray that God would grow both our dependence and faith through prayer.

Prayer Focus #2 – PRAY THAT GOD WOULD SEND 

  • Pray for God to continue to stir in the hearts of those that He has chosen to SEND to the nations for the sake of His glory! (Luke 10:2)  Pray that they would be obedient to that call.

Prayer Focus #3 – PRAY FOR THE SENT

  • Pray for “V”, currently serving in Central Asia. Pray that God would comfort her, equip her, encourage her and empower her. Pray that she would be dressed in the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Praying for India

This past Friday evening, 45 people from Lifepoint gathered together for an intense night of Bible study and prayer at Secret Church.  This year’s Secret Church prayer focus was centered around the church in India.  Throughout the evening, tens of thousands of Christ followers from around the world joined together to fervently pray for believers who are laboring endlessly for the spread of the Gospel as well as the billion people who’ve yet to hear it.  This week, we ask you to join those who have begun praying for this region of the world.

Declare his glory among the nations and his awesome deeds among all the peoples! -Psalm 96:3

By 2050, it is projected that India will be home to the largest population of Muslims in the world.

  • Pray for Indian Muslims to hear about Jesus Christ who died for them.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit does a work in their hearts – that they may know the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6

The Hindu religion has more than 350 million gods and a staggering 1,115 unreached People groups.

  • Pray for Hindus in India to hear the Gospel.
  • Pray that they will turn away from the millions of Hindu gods they worship and confess faith in the one true God.
  • Pray that those who come to the larger cities in India in search of a better life would find eternal life through Jesus Christ.

13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. – John 16:13

Over 240 million people in India live in less than $1.25 a day.

  • Pray for the poor and marginalized in India.
  • Pray that they would be cared for and would hear of the God who loves them.

16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
    the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” -Revelation 7:16-17

Pray for the Church and those who have decided to follow Jesus Christ in India, many of whom are severely persecuted.

  • Pray for the Gospel to spread into areas where there is no church presence.
    • Pray that national believers would come together to plant churches and make disciples among the unreached peoples of India.
    • Pray for Christians to come together and work diligently to spread the gospel even in the midst of persecution.
  • Pray that new believers will find Christian community and support as soon as they choose to follow Christ.
    • Pray that they grow spiritually and begin to make disciples.
  • Pray for church leaders to stand strong and for the church to grow.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

Pray that God would send laborers to India.  Pray that He would send laborers to India from Lifepoint.

Pray that we would reach out to our Indian neighbors, that we would befriend them and love those that are among us well.  

More resources can be found at www.prayingforindia.org

Uganda Praise Report

Recap, Prayer & Praise Report from Uganda

Last week, a team of 5 arrived back in the US after a week of prayer, encouragement and ministry alongside our friends and partners in Uganda.

During our time in country, we had the privilege of attending Global Theological Seminary’s graduation ceremony, during which 2 of our friends graduated.  We’ve known both men for many years and, thanks to the generosity of those of you who give financially to the Wide Open World offering, have been able to stand with them and help see them through their studies.  It was so encouraging to be able to have representatives from our church present to celebrate with Pastor Egessa as he received his 3 year diploma (he is currently finishing his 4th year) and Pastor Cyprian as he received his 4 year bachelors degree. Over the years we’ve watched these men grow and mature in the Lord, we’ve watched them as they stepped out in great faith and perseverance, amidst many hardships to start local church bodies in areas that are predominately bound by false religion.  Both men pressed on, not looking back, with great confidence in the Lord and the calling that He had placed on their lives.

Egessa

Pastor Egessa receiving his diploma

Pray for the pastors as they shepherd the flock in which God has made them overseer

1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.  4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

 

Cyprian with his wife (left) and a church member (middle) at his graduation celebration

Pray that God would provide for these men and the churches they lead

  • Cyprian has finished his schooling for now and is working to build a sustainable piggery farm as he pastors.  Pray that God provides financially (especially in these early days as the small pigs grow to breeding age).
    • Lifepoint, Jinja has also started a pre-school.  There are currently 7 children enrolled, most of whom are not from Christian families.  Pray for this ministry – that the Lord would use it in a mighty way for His Name’s sake.
  • Egessa has been working on a business plan for a small business he hopes to start when he finishes his 4th year studies.  Pray that God would give Him wisdom and discernment.
    • Vision Baptist has been praying for a more permanent location to meet.  They currently meet in an open courtyard, which provides a wonderful space but some challenges during the rainy season.  Their prayer is that God would provide a Sunday morning rental space at a local school.  They have met much opposition in seeing this become a reality.  Please pray that if it be God’s will, that He would move in miraculous ways and open doors that currently appear to be shut.
  • Pray above all, that the Holy Spirit would move in both areas in which our friends live and minister. Pray that God would soften hearts and remove the blinders so that many would come to see the light of the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Pray for Global Theological Seminary Faculty and Current Students

We were also able to connect with a new class of 1st year students at the seminary, which was wonderful. These men travel from all over Uganda and surrounding countries (Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan etc.) to be “trained in the word of God.”  It was only their 2nd week on campus, so their excitement was contagious. It was so encouraging to sit in class with them as some of them were hearing and understanding Biblical truths for the first time through the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit.

  • Pray for GTS as they continue to do the good work of training men.

2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. – 2 Timothy 2:2

  • Pray that as God raises up this generation of leaders that they would humble themselves under the mighty hand of God and that they would take on the role of servant as they lead.
3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4
Praise the Lord for what He is doing in Uganda and beyond.  Pray that God would send laborers.  Pray that God would send us! The harvest is plentiful!
Mission Trip

Chile Trip Recap, Prayer and Praise!

Recap, Prayer & Praise Report from the trip leader, Adam Pursel

Two weeks ago, a team of 4 from Lifepoint arrived back in the US after a week of prayer and ministry alongside our partner church – La Fuenta de Vida – in Chile. God is doing amazing things among our brothers and sisters in Chile!

During our week in Chile, we had the privilege of working alongside the believers in Hurtado for three days. Hurtado is one of the three campuses of our partner church, but is very isolated. It is just over 2.5 hours by car from the other two campuses of La Fuenta de Vida. Consequently, the believers there can feel isolated and unsupported, but God is doing incredible things in Hurtado!!!

When our vision team first went to Chile in October, 2013, they had the opportunity to visit Hurtado. At that point, there was only one believer in the entire community (of maybe 500-1,000 people). Her name is Jimena (pronounced “He – mane – uh”). Jimena is the real deal. Since the Fall of 2013, Jimena has been able to lead about 12 other people to Christ!!!

Our team was able to serve alongside of Jimena and the other believers in Hurtado. We spent time going to door to door to pray for the community and spent our evenings in discipleship and evangelism training for the believers. On Sunday, we had the privilege of worshiping with them. The highlight was being able to serve them communion, which they had not received for over a year. It was an extraordinarily humbling reminder of the beauty of the body of Christ gathered for worship…which is something we can easily take for granted because of our easy access to it.

The other highlight of the trip happened on Monday morning. We were invited by a local school principal, Teresa, to come and share with the students at her K-8 public school. After sharing briefly out of Philippians 4:13 to the entire school at an assembly, Teresa asked us if we would be willing to share the Gospel specifically with the 8th grade class. Obviously, we said yes! It was clear that God was moving in some of the students’ hearts as we shared the Gospel. Afterwards, they spoke with us for over an hour; they even missed a recess! It was a beautiful time of connection across cultures.

As you pause to pray during TEN:TWO today, please pray for these things:

  1. Pray for Jimena and the believers in Hurtado. Pray that God would fill them with joy, even as they experience some persecution for their beliefs. Pray that God would make them even more faithful and effective in sharing the Gospel with their community. Pray that God would open hearts to receive the Gospel message. Pray that God would comfort them with His presence, even as they continue to live in a remote village.
  2. Pray for Teresa and her school. Pray that Teresa would experience the joy of Christ in her work, and that she would continue to be bold in sharing the Gospel with her students and co-workers. Pray for the students who heard the Gospel. Pray that they would know, experience and share the love of Jesus.
  3. Pray for the leadership of La Fuenta de Vida. Pray that God would continue to bless their church. Pray that God would grant them wisdom and grace as they lead. Pray for health for their new Lifegroups and that they would be able to see even more people come to know and love Jesus.

Here is the passage that emerged as the theme for our week in Chile:

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20

Please pray that each of us would be reminded that Jesus is with us, always. He has commanded us to share the most important news in the world, and we have the great privilege of obeying Him in this, even when it seems difficult or risky. Pray that God would grant us boldness to share the Gospel.

Uganda Bound

Tomorrow, a team of 5 will be headed to visit our friends and partners in Jinja, Uganda.

While there, we will be attending the graduation ceremony of Global Theological Seminary (GTS), which is an honor for our team.  When you visit GTS, one of the first things you will see in their chapel is 2 Timothy 2:2 painted on the wall.

and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful menwho will be able to teach others also.

Let that verse be the meditation of our hearts as we lift the team and our partners up to the Father this week!

Prayer Focus #1: Global Theological Seminary

  • Pray for the faculty & staff of GTS who sacrifice much to train up faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2)
  • Pray for the student body at GTS.  At the beginning of this year, there were a reported 44 students on campus.  Over their last break, 3 new churches were launched and 455 people gave their lives to follow Jesus as the students ministered and shared the good news in their home villages / towns.
    • Students that come to GTS are not only from Uganda, but travel from surrounding countries as well to learn the Word of God.  Pray that the men walk in manner that is worthy of their calling as they take the gospel into their home countries and beyond.
    • I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:3-6)
  • Pray for John Fulks and his family as he serves as both the Academic Dean at GTS and Principle of Rift Valley Academy High School in Kenya.  Pray that God continues to give them endurance to run the race that is set before them, looking after Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Prayer Focus #2: Pastor Cyprian & Pastor Egessa

  • Our teams have known both Cyprian & Egessa since they were early in their studies at GTS.  We have the great privilege and joy  of now joining them on their graduation day!  Please pray for each of them and their churches (Cyprian – Lifepoint Church / Egessa – Vision Baptist).
    • Pray that they would serve the Lord will all humility (Acts 20:19).
    • Pray that they would not shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
    • Pray that they would pay careful attention to themselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has make them overseers (Acts 20:28).
    • Pray that they would be alert and that the Lord would guard them from “fierce wolves among them” (Acts 20:29-30).
    • Pray that they would be built up by the Lord and the word of his grace and they would not grow weary in working hard and doing good (Acts 20:35, Galatians 6:9).

Prayer Focus #3: Our Team

  • Pray that God would grant wisdom to discern what needs to happen in terms of ministry when they get there.  Ask God to prepare the way for those going to be fruitful and build strong relationships.
  • For the physical health of our team members (sickness and safety).
  • Ask God to give each team member at least one person to make a strong connection with, and that the team would be an encouragement to all they meet.
  • Ask the Lord to go before the team to fight the spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-13) and to thwart any spiritual resistance that they might experience from the kingdom of darkness. Ask him to bind up the work of the enemy and release the power of his Holy Spirit on the team.
  • Pray for boldness for the team, not to proclaim themselves, but “Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5).

From Death to Life

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Spring is often a beautiful reminder of what Christ did for us on the cross. Not only because Easter falls in this season, but also because if we look around us, we’ll see how what once seemed dead, is slowly showing signs of a beautiful life.  Just as trees look dead and withered during winter, so are our lives when we are void of Christ.

Can you remember the season in your life where you were without Christ? Where hopelessness would set in and loneliness would overtake you? Is that your neighbor, your co-worker, a friend?  What opportunity has the Lord given to you to share the hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ?  

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect- 1 Peter 3:15

Today, pray that God gives you the boldness to witness to someone who is in need of the gospel.

  • Ask the Lord to show you and direct you to  one person who needs to be comforted by the Word of God and his never-ending promises.
  • Pray their hearts be ready and opened to hear the truth. Ask that the Holy Spirit gives you the right words / scripture to comfort, encourage, & challenge them in their situation.   
    • All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, – 2 Timothy 3:16
  • The Word of God says to be ready in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). So, even if you feel like you are in a dry season of your life, pray that you’ll be ready to share the Gospel with others putting aside every selfish ambition of your own and letting God be glorified through you.  
    • Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4

Perhaps you are a Christian who feels like the trees in the dead of winter, hold on to the steadfast truth that God is sovereign over any and every situation in your life; the good fruitful season as well as the one that seems to be full of trials.

For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:3-4

  • Pray that God constantly reminds you of his goodness and faithfulness through all seasons of your life. Ask Him to give you unwavering faith through those dry seasons of your life.
    •  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • God often uses your circumstances to draw people to Him, so ask God to teach you how to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12).

Trees in the fall shed their old foliage knowing that next time they bloom, they’ll be renewed and alive. Just as the Gospel has renewed our lives, it can also renew the lives of those who you think are least likely to follow Christ. All it takes is boldness, obedience and a willingness to be used by God.

 

Delaware Launch – This Sunday

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. — Colossians 4:2–3

As our Delaware Campus gets ready for launch this coming Easter Sunday, let us come together and root the beginnings of this church plant with prayer!

Prayer Focus #1: Pray for the Laborers

Starting a new church takes a lot of work and dedication, not only from the pastoral staff, but also from every member. As both the Lewis Center & Mount Vernon campuses SEND individuals and families to the Delaware campus, let us be faithful to pray for them.

  • Pray that those that are a part of the campus launch stay rooted in God’s words amidst any difficulties that planting new campus might bring. Ask that God, in His grace and mercy, grants to them steadfastness and endurance.  Pray that they not easily give up or grow weary in the process of launching a new church campus.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. –  John 15:5

  • Pray that they bear much fruit and that they do not grow weary in doing so. Ask God that He do away with any boastful ambitions and renew their hearts and minds so that their actions may glorify the Father.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3

  • Ask God to give every member yields to the Holy Spirit and walks in humble confidence, growing in understanding and obedience to their calling.  Pray that as they minister to the lost around them in their city that people would perceived they are “ordinary men” who have been with Jesus.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. – Acts 4:13

  • Ask the Lord for a hand of protection over His laborers.

Prayer Focus #2: Pray for the Harvest

  • Pray that hurting hearts and seeking souls will find their way to the Healer of all and that no scheme of the enemy will divert them from finding Him.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. – Romans 1:16

  • Pray that the neighborhood where the church will be is receptive and welcoming of the new congregation. Ask the Lord to ready the hearts of those around the community.

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. – Acts 2:46-47

  • Pray for strengthened Kingdom partnership between Lifepoint and other Gospel centered churches in the area.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—  one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

  • Lastly, pray that Lifepoint Delaware be a beacon of light that stands deeply rooted in the Word of God and will be the hands and feet of Christ in every situation to any person that comes looking for Christ.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:14-15

Mission Trip

Gospel Foundation

Even in mission, there is a dangerous tendency & temptation to “do mission” apart from the power of God, the person of Christ, the Word of God and the Spirit of God.  We must be desperate for Him!  The Gospel of Jesus Christ must be our starting point, our sustaining point, and finishing point of our mission.

15 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

If we are to live on mission, for the Kingdom of God, it is not enough to say “I get the gospel.”  The real question we must consider is “am I growing in the gospel?”  The gospel is not exclusively about our salvation – it is also very much so about our sanctification (our becoming more and more like Jesus). There is a transforming nature to the gospel  – in the power of God’s grace, it should continuously change us. In fact, over time, as we continue to apply the gospel to every area of our life (including our very purpose) we find that the gospel does not lose meaningfulness but increases in meaningfulness. As we walk in honesty and confession, we realize the depth of our sinful nature and our great need of God’s grace and forgiveness.

This week, let’s pray together, that God will deeply move us through the power of His gospel and that it is the gospel that fuels our mission.

Prayer Focus #1: Understanding

  • Pray that God helps us to truly understand His grace and that Jesus is the ONLY way of salvation.  Take a minute to reflect & pray, asking the Lord to reveal to you how you have tried / are trying to earn your salvation through good works.  Spend a moment praying Ephesians 2:8-10 back to the Lord and ask that God reinforces that truth through the Holy Spirit in your heart and mind.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing;it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Prayer Focus #2: Repentance

  • Pray that God calls our church to repentance. Pray that the Holy Spirit leads us to recognize ourselves as broken sinners, in great need and desperation for Him, and helps us make a daily decision to turn away, putting off our old self to put on the new self. Take a moment to read Colossians 3:1-17

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity,passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.  In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old selfwith its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts,kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Prayer Focus #3: Faith

  • Pray that we continue to grow in our belief and faith that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be and is able to do all that He promised to do. Pray that we come to a place that we can fully accept His forgiveness of our sins and move forward in His grace.

11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1

20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20

Prayer Focus #4: Lordship

  • Pray that we, as individuals and as a church, fully surrender ALL of our being to the Lordship of Christ. 

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. – Matthew 16:24-25

Prayer Focus #5: Delaware Launch

  • Continue to pray for the Delaware campus launch.  This week praying specifically for all those that will be sent to be a part of that launch.
    • Pray that they not only fully understand and grow in the gospel – but that it may also compel them proclaim the good news throughout the city!
    • Pray that on Easter morning, many who have not heard or understood the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will come, hear & believe.

 

Pray for Cuba

On Monday morning a team of 9 from LifePoint arrived back in the US after a week of prayer and ministry alongside the church in Cuba. God is moving in Cuba in ways that haven’t been seen in recent history and perhaps as never before in the history of this incredibly beautiful and resilient island nation. In spite of the turmoil and persecution that the church has faced over the past 57 years under an oppressive regime, it has flourished and is stronger today that it has ever been.

During our week in Cuba we had the privilege of working with pastors from 3 different churches who are instrumental in leading the underground church movement that is exploding from one end of the island to the other. In 2010, we began working along side one small church that was meeting in a carport at the home of one of these pastors and over the past 6 years this small congregation has grown into a network of over 300 churches meeting in homes all across the island.

Through the work and movement of the Holy Spirit these churches are winning people to Christ, discipling them in what it means to be a follower of Jesus and multiplying those believers out to start new churches in cities and communities all throughout the nation. These believers are ostracized and oppressed by their government but no amount of oppression has been able to stop the movement of the gospel among a people who regularly lay it all on the line for the sake of the expansion of God’s kingdom.

As you pause to pray during TEN:TWO today please lift up these things:

  1. Pray for wisdom, safety and protection for the leaders and believers. Just a few weeks ago a Cuban pastor was arrested and while he was being questioned and held in a local prison, the government went to his home and tore it down. Similarly, one of the pastors that we know very well had his church and home threatened by government officials a few weeks ago.  However, after a night of prayer the government official was very suddenly, and seemingly without cause, removed from her position and the threat to the church left with her.
  1. Pray for the house church movement. Many of these believers live on just a few dollars a month and the church has very few resources to meet the increasing demand for discipleship resources and physical resources as they minister to one another and the needs of the community members that live around them.
  1. Pray about how you are investing financially through Wide Open World. A portion of that fund goes to meeting the needs of the church in Cuba and bringing the gospel to this nation where God is very actively at work.
  1. The pastor from our partner church in Chile was able to join our LP mission team in Cuba. He connected really well with the pastor and church on the island and a new partnership seems to be emerging between those 2 churches. Please pray for this relationship as they continue to support and learn from one another.

Here are 3 passages that are visibly on display each day in the lives of the Cuban believers.

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8

But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

2 Corinthians 1:12

12 For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.

Hebrews 12:28-29

28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Pray that these verses would become even more apparent to those who don’t know Christ and more foundational for those who chose to live for eternal things in a world that offers them very little in this lifetime.

Make Disciples

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20

As we continue praying through the above passage, often called “The Great Commission,” we will take a look at verse 19 together.

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Jesus’ command is clear.  Make Disciples.  As we pray that God makes us a church that makes disciples of all nations… we must also pray that God helps us understand what it means to BE a disciple.

Looking through the gospels, we see that the disciples not only listened to Jesus and His teachings, but were eager to apply what was learned to their daily lives.  They didn’t always get it right, but there was a consistent and growing pattern of understanding and obedience. They left their old lives behind and surrendered their hearts to Jesus.

To be a disciple is to put Christ before all else and align your desires with His desires. It is to deny yourself, and take up your cross. Being a disciple is to live your life by God’s Word, and not your own. To be a disciple is to reach out of your comfort zone and make sacrifices for the Kingdom. To be a disciple you don’t just go to church, you are the church. To be a disciple is to make disciples.

Prayer Focus #1:

  • Pray that God would show us how to be authentic disciples. Pray that our dependency on Christ is deepened and that we would be rooted in Him.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5

  • Two questions that are always great to ask: Who am I discipling? Who is discipling me?  Pray that the Holy Spirit reveals to our hearts and minds that the call to make disciples is not optional.

Prayer Focus #2:

  • Oftentimes, we think that by bringing someone to Christ is the same as discipleship (and it is certainly a part of it), but we are not called to make quick converts, we are called to make disciples. Jesus spent years with his followers as they slowly grew in understanding and obedience to the lives that He was calling them to live.
    • Pray that God would help us create margin and time for discipleship relationships (Lifegroups, Godly and edifying friendships, intentional relationships with unbelievers.).
  • Pray that God gives us the boldness and discernment to find someone to disciple and instruct them in God’s word.

And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Tim 2:2

  • Pray that as God connects us to discipleship relationships, that we be rooted in his Word.  It was once said, “you can make disciples without the Word of God, they just won’t be disciples of Jesus.”  Pray that we are always using Scripture as the heart of any discipleship!

Prayer Focus #3: Delaware Launch Prayer Points

  • Take time to praise God for an incredible first preview service. We had 175 folks there!
  • Pray that God would set it on the hearts of our folks to take seriously the encouragement to invite at least one person to launch.
  • Pray that God would open avenues for us to reach people in Delaware across ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic boundaries.

All Authority

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
Often referred to as the Great Commission, these words were among the last recorded words of Jesus before His ascended to heaven.  Although sometimes treated as such, these words were not offered as a suggestion.  Jesus was giving a clear directive to those who followed Him.  We’ll take the next couple of weeks to pray through this passage together.  Let’s pray that God shapes us into the disciple making disciples He has called us to be. This week, let’s set our eyes on who Jesus is, in light of His direction for us to follow.
Prayer Focus #1: Authority
  • Pray that the Lord Jesus reveals to us in a new and personal way that He is the long awaited Messiah.  He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'” – Luke 3:4-6

  • Pray that the Lord deepens our understanding of His authority.  We need not fear the purpose the Lord has placed on our lives.  We need not fear the idea of making disciples. We need not fear he step of obedience that He is calling us to next for the sake of His Kingdom. He has been given ALL authority in heaven and on earth.  and as His disciples, He allows us to enter into that authority – not for our own glory, but for His Glory.

17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.  20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” – Luke 10: 17-20

Prayer Focus #2: Go Therefore
  • Pray that as we understand the authority in which we are sent, we obediently Go.  Pray that the truth of the gospel becomes so glaringly real in our own lives that we are compelled by His great love for us into His harvest.
  • Pray that God calls us up and sends us out for the sake of the Gospel.
    • Pray that we be sent to the nations (see next prayer point) and to our neighborhoods (see prayer focus #3)
    • LifePoint has a team of 9 headed to the Caribbean at the end of this week.  Please pray that the team would be strengthened and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the work that God has prepared for them.

Pray Focus #3: Delaware Launch Prayer Points

  • Pray for the work that is being done to the building this week. Although we recognize that the “church” is not a building in an of itself –  it is still important to us that an environment is created in which will allow people to comfortably gather, connect and to worship the Lord together.  We are reflooring, reconstructing a stage, installing audiovisual equipment, and setting up all of our kids environments. This is a busy week, and we’re asking that God oversees the work that both our folks and the Seventh-day Adventist folks are doing
  • Pray for our first preview service this Sunday, February 28th. This is the first time LifePoint Delaware will meet as a family of believers on a Sunday morning.
  • Pray for our various ministry teams: Connections, LifePoint Kids, Students, Security/Parking, Worship & Arts, and Set-up / Tear-down. Pray that God would move on the hearts of those not yet serving and that he would encourage those who already are. Pray for the leaders of these ministry teams.
Mission Trip

Praying for Those Returning From the Field

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6:9-10

Each week, we join together in praying that God would SEND laborers from LifePoint into His work among the nations.  However, this week we are reminded that due to changes that have been occurring throughout the IMB (International Mission Board), of the hundreds who are coming back to the United States, leaving the “home” that they’ve know for much to most of their adult lives.  Let’s pause this week to intentionally lift them up in prayer.  Re-Entry can be a very difficult season for laborers who are entering in to the next season of their lives.

Below is a list of common challenges that they face – please take some time to pray that God will provide in miraculous ways and that the Holy Spirit will minister to their hearts during the transition in His infinite love and grace.

Pray for their Relationships:

  1. They have changed during their time abroad, and most likely, so have their families and their friends.  When they try to talk about their mission experience, people may listen politely for a few minutes, then launch into an excited conversation about how the local football team is doing.
  2. For many their home church has changed.  Perhaps most of the people they knew have since moved on, or even passed away.  For some, their “home” church will under completely new leadership.
  3. The culture has changed.  We live in a day and age where the culture changes so incredibly rapidly that those who now return home after a long assignment abroad not only deal with “reverse culture shock,” but “future shock” as many things will exist as part of every day life that did not before.

Pray for their Hearts / Minds:

  1. Pray against frustration, disillusionment, judgement, bitterness & hostility.  Pray that the enemy does not gain a foothold in the lives of those who return home.  Pray that the Lord gives them supernatural wisdom and understanding to navigate tough and frustrating conversations with others with love, truth, and grace.

Pray for Provision:

  1. Many who return home, in a sense, “start over.”  They need to find a place to live, transportation, insurance, employment, all while dealing with the cultural changes around them.  Pray that the Lord leads His people to provide generously in the transition period.
  2. Pray that as LifePoint is moved to action when we hear of the needs of returning M’s in our cities (there are some).

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit. – Psalm 51:10-12

If you or your LifeGroup would like to be a part of helping a missionary family as they return from the field (either through providing food, prayer support, temporary vehicles, housing etc.) please let us know at missions@lifepointohio.com.

Delaware Campus Launch

This week’s TenTwo is written by Kale Booher, our soon-to-launch Delaware Campus Teaching Pastor.  As we head into the Lenten season of 2016, let’s be faithful to pray for both the laborers who are being sent and the harvest in Delaware to which God is sending them to.

The Lenten season is a 40-day period in which we prepare our hearts to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. This time of preparation includes, among other things, devoted times of prayer and fasting. This Lent, we are asking that we, as a church, take time to pray each day for the launch of the Delaware campus. Also, we would encourage you to prayerfully consider fasting for a certain period of time, whether that be from food, social media, television, or something else (see TenTwos dated 1/19/2016 or 7/30/15 for additional prayer focus regarding fasting together). The point is that we come together, as a body, to join in the work that God has already begun in Delaware and to ask Him to guide, direct, and govern our efforts to make disciples in that community.

As you pray, please focus your efforts on the following things:

Prayer Focus #1: Receptiveness

  • Pray that God would send his Holy Spirit ahead of us to soften and prepare the hearts of those in Delaware who will one day be a part of our church.

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. – John 15:26

Prayer Focus #2: Relationships

  • Pray that God would continue to bless our relationship with the Seventh-day Adventist church (the folks we are renting from). Pray we would be humble and serving tenants.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:1-3

Prayer Focus #3: Laborers

  • Pray that God would encourage and watch over all those currently attending our Lewis Center campus who are stepping out in faith to be a part of the Delaware campus.

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” – John 20:21

  • Pray that God would sanctify, empower, and embolden those GOing to serve at the Delaware campus to be a part of lasting change in the city of Delaware – for the glory of God!

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.  Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. – Psalm 51:10-13

Mission Trip

To Live is Christ

This week, LifePoint’s worship team has released a new song, “To Live is Christ”  as we finish our Wide Open World series (you can download the song for free HERE).  This week, we’ll spend some time meditating and praying through some of the Scriptures that inspired that song as we pray for God to continue to […]

Life on Mission Together

We were made to live, love and serve in community.  We sharpen each other, we bear one another’s burdens, we pray and encourage one another.  We are the Body of Christ – His Church – His people, filled with the Holy Spirit, sent out to be His ambassadors in this world.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9

This year, we are praying God sized prayers.

What if our LifeGroups made a commitment to pray intentionally and connect relationally –  not just for one another or those in our city – but with a global partner or unreached people group as well?  How would that change the landscape of missions at LifePoint?  How would that impact the culture of our LifeGroups? How would God use us to minister to a lost and hurting world, in His name?

Prayer Focus #1: Break our hearts

  • Pray that God would break our hearts for the lost, the unreached and the unengaged.  Ask the Lord to lead us toward a movement of prayer that flows out of our groups – for those who have yet to hear His name.
    • “For the son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 19:10
  • Pray that our groups would set our minds on the things of God.  Ask God to stir in our groups the need for His wisdom and we would respond with earnest prayer asking the Lord to give us direction.
    •  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” – James 1:5

Prayer Focus #2: Lift up our LifeGroup leaders

  • Take some time to pray for our LifeGroup leaders.  Pray that God would grant them vision and direction as they lead their group to live out the mission of God together.  Pray that God would give them an understanding of and passion for His global purpose.
  • Pray for YOUR LifeGroup leader(s).  Pray that God will show you how to support them and encourage them as they lead.
    • “9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,” – Colossians 1:9

Prayer Focus #3: Obedience & Action

  • Pray that as our groups consider the many options that they have to connect globally, they take the first step of obedience.  Pray that this season leads to more than simply conversations about doing mission together, but results in obedience response to the Lord’s leading.
  • Pray that our LifeGroups pray, that our LifeGroups connect, and that our LifeGroups GO!
    • “22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” – James 1:22-25

Prayer Focus #4: Pray for those who are sensing God’s call toward longer term mission.

  • Lift up those who may be sensing God’s call toward longer term mission engagement.
    • Pray that some would move their family to intentionally live among international populations here in our city.
    • Pray that some would take steps to move overseas. 
    • Pray that those who work among internationals would recognize their call and position and that God would give them spiritual eyes to see the “harvest field” surrounding them.  

Your Kingdom Come

Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. – Acts 13:1–3

They were worshiping the Lord and fasting. The church at Antioch, as recorded in Acts 13, gives us an incredible example of how the Holy Spirit directs and leads the church into mission. They gathered together, they prayed together, they fasted together, and they worshipped the Lord together. They had incredibly close communion with God, not just as individuals, but also as a community. As we pray for the Lord to send laborers into His harvest, we must also seek His wisdom and leading within the sending. Tonight at 7:00pm, we invite you to join with us as we begin a 24 hour time of prayer and fasting together as a church.  Following our time of worship and prayer that begins at 7:00pm Wednesday night (at the Lewis Center campus), we’ll plan on breaking that fast together.

Like Antioch, let’s pray together that God would set some apart.  Pray that He would call them up and send them out.

PRAYER FOCUS #1 – PREPARING OUR HEARTS

  • Pray that God would teach us to fast as described in his scripture. Ask the Lord to grow in you a desire to see His Kingdom come that would outweigh your desire to have food in your belly.  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. – Matthew 5:6
  • Pray that the Lord would set our motives in fasting to be in alignment with His will. Entering into a fast is not about trying to see how long you can go without eating. Ask the Lord to help you enter into this as a God-chosen fast, inspired by Acts 13.
  • Pray that our fasting would be pleasing to the Lord, an act of worship leading to increased participation in the mission of God. (Isaiah 58, Matthew 6:16–18)
  • Our culture thrives on the worldview of independence. Fasting helps us put our deep dependance on the Lord in perspective. Each time your belly growls or you feel the emptiness of your stomach, you will no doubt be awakened to your body’s dependence on food. Each time it grumbles, ask the Lord to awaken your great need and dependence on God for things far more important than food. “But he answered, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” – Matthew 4:4

PRAYER FOCUS #2 – WIDE OPEN WORLD

  • Spend some time praying for the vision of missions at LifePoint.  Pray that our direction would be Spirit-led and that we would walk in a manner worthy of our calling (Ephesians 4:1-6)
  • Pray that God would provide provision for all that He will call us to do over the next year.
  • Pray that God would soften hearts of those who hold the idea of missions at arm’s length due to fear or misunderstanding.  Pray that God would reveal His great love for the world, His great plan for redemption, and His invitation to ordinary people to participate in His global purposes.

PRAYER FOCUS #3 – PRAY FOR LABORERS

  • Pray earnestly that God would call laborers from LifePoint to enter the Harvest.  Pray that He would send 100 people from LifePoint over the next 10 years.  And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – Luke 10:2
  • Pray that we all put our “yes” on the table.  Pray that as the Holy Spirit stirs the hearts of His followers, that we would respond in obedience and faith – no matter when or where He calls us. Pray that a movement of going and sending would spring forth from our church.
    • Pray that some would strategically move and live among international populations here in Central Ohio.
    • Pray that those who have a calling to move overseas would sense God’s activity and respond.
    • Pray that business men and women at LifePoint would understand and embrace their position as missionaries (not by leaving their vocation – but leveraging their vocation for the sake of the Gospel).
    • Pray that our college and high school students would consider choosing a major that allows them to live intentionally for the Kingdom through their major / future profession.
    • Pray that God calls some from LifePoint to play a significant role in the process of sending, either financially or through intentional discipleship and support of those that will go.

PRAYER FOCUS #4 – YOUR ROLE

  • Ask the Lord what your role in His global mission is?  Working among internationals here in our city? Playing a key role in the resourcing of those who will go?  Perhaps you sense God’s leading to go?
    • Take time to listen.  As you feel God leading you in a direction, ask Him for the courage to walk obediently in that calling, knowing that you are His workmanship. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

Looking To Jesus

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2

Last week, we prayed together for Hebrews like endurance as we take the road that is set before us.  This week, we look at how we are to run.  We are to run “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”  It’s so simple, yet so difficult… our eyes wander so easily.  Our focus is so quickly taken off of the ONE who is worthy of us running after.  The road in front of us may be a treacherous one, where will your eyes be set?  On the road filled with roadblocks, snares, and landmines? If that is where our eyes fall and stay, we may never even take the first step forward.  But, when our eyes are fixed on Jesus, the founder and perfecter, the hazards fade into the background and our eternal purpose is found, despite what temporary hardship could lie ahead.

Jesus knows that it is hard. The scripture is clear that His road was not easy. His road included the painful and humiliating cross. His road included being despised by the public opinion, rejected.   Where was He looking?

Ahead – To the joy that was set before Him.  His eyes were firmly fixed on the joy of God’s redemptive plan unfolding.  His eyes were on eternity.

Where are our eyes set?

Prayer Focus:

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” 

34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

  • Pray that we do not doubt or question the will and purpose of God as Peter did.  Once again, notice Jesus’ response – “you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Pray that God aligns our vision with His.
  • Pray that we run with endurance, despising the shame.  Pray that worldly opinion does not trump God’s purpose for our lives.  The truth is that God may call some of us to do what may seem unthinkable to the public at large.  Perhaps it may seem unthinkable to our families.  Pray that we have the faith to follow and not cower under the public opinion.
  • Pray that we deny ourselves, that we take up our cross and follow. Pray that our “yes” be on the table, before we even know the question, trusting that set in the middle of God’s purpose is the best place to be.
  • Pray that some from LifePoint would be called out to GO for the sake of the Kingdom and that we would respond obediently – looking to Jesus. The harvest is plentiful, the workers few.

 

Mission Trip

What Are Your New Year’s Resolutions?

It’s that time of year.  New Year’s Resolutions.

Lose a few pounds

Eat better

Save money

Spend more time with friends and family

Find a new job

Get organized

There are some familiar ones out there, and most likely your list includes at least one of the above.  Go ahead, if you haven’t already, take a minute and write yours out.  Really, write them out!

Did you do it?

Now, take another look at your list through an eternal lens.  Nothing wrong with wanting to get in shape or taking time to relax – these are good things for sure.  However, our resolutions give us a perfect opportunity to reflect on where we have set our minds, and we are all in need of a reset from time to time.

1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. – Colossians 3:1-2

Do you find the eternal incorporated into your 2016 hopes?  If so, wonderful!  If not, consider the following…what are you believing God for this year, what are you praying He will do through and in you?

Live ALL IN for the Kingdom of God

Put my “yes” on the table – whatever God calls me to do, wherever He calls me to go

Follow Jesus, in word and deed

Live my life in a way that if God doesn’t show up, my next step wouldn’t be possible  

Commit to pray Luke 10:2 daily

Be more intentional to engage those around me in gospel conversations

The first set of resolutions will most likely seem a bit less daunting for most of us, while the second set tend to be met with a good bit more hesitation.  The call to obediently follow Christ is not an easy call.  It takes courage and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. It takes unwavering faith in who God says He is and that He is worth it. It takes abiding in the word of God and unceasing prayer.

Our prayer this year is that we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6), as a church, as LifeGroups, as families, as individuals.  May the eternal Glory of God be more important to us than anything else in 2016.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:9-10

 

 

This Christmas… We Pray

10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. – Luke 2:10-11

Prayer Focus #1: The Unreached

This Christmas, while we celebrate the birth of Jesus freely in a part of the world with great access to the gospel, billions of people are going on about their day, never having heard the truth of who HE is.

May the heaviness of this reality fall to rest on us as we attempt to grasp the unfathomable, relentless, pursuing, perfect, uncompromising love of God made flesh in the manger over 2000 years ago.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He came to seek and to save the lost. We absolutely should celebrate this truth with abandon this Christmas. We are sinners, saved by grace. Grace we did not earn, grace we do not deserve.

But let us also remember and pray for the many who have not heard that there is great reason to celebrate.

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  – Romans 10:13-15

This Christmas, let’s bring HIM our utmost worship!

But let us also remember those in prayer who have yet to raise a voice of praise to the Lamb who is worthy!

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” – Revelation 5:11-13

 

Prayer Focus #2: The Persecuted

While we in the decorate our Christmas trees, sing our carols, hang our lights, shop for those last minute gifts and prepare to eat more than we should with family and friends during this Christmas season, many followers of Christ are being arrested, persecuted and even killed for their faith.

Believers carefully plan for their secret gatherings to celebrate the coming of their Savior with a handful of others – but sometimes their plans fall into the hands of the wrong people. Celebrations are often raided and those attending are often taken off to face interrogation and imprisonment.

As you attend church this Christmas, take a few moments to pray:

  • Pray for the safety and joy, of believers in areas that experience great persecution for their faith especially as they risk much by gathering with other Christians.
  • Ask God to comfort and provide for the needs of the families whose fathers, mothers, or siblings are imprisoned, and for the persecuted themselves.
  • Pray that God would make Himself known to the persecutors through those they are persecuting in powerful and life-changing ways.

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. – Hebrews 13:3

They Had Been With Jesus

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. – Acts 4:13

This passage makes it clear – it wasn’t what Peter and John knew, it was who they knew.

Uneducated.

Common Men.

But, they had been with Jesus!

When it comes to embracing our missionary call, too often insecurity and doubt will hold us back.  You may think, “I’m a banker, not a pastor.”  Or perhaps, “I’m a stay at home mom, not a seminary student.” We must begin to understand that those are lies of the enemy to keep up from the purpose and calling that God has given to His children.  We, as a culture, we must stop thinking that ministry & mission is reserved for the few?  The truth is that God calls ordinary men and women to do extraordinary things for His glory and through His power all of the time (2 Corinthians 4:7) .  If you are His follower, you are called to participate in His global purpose.  How do you begin, where do you start?

Be with Jesus.

Prayer Focus #1: Identity

Peter and John understood who Jesus was (and is).  They knew and understood His authority, His power, His grace.  They also understood who they were in Christ.

  • Pray that God reveals to us, as a Church, His authority and our access to enter into it as His followers. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” – Luke 10:19
  • Pray that God would overcome our insecurities and that we may be filled with the fullness of God.  Pray that we would walk in humble confidence, understanding our complete dependency on the one who calls us as we venture to do what is seemingly impossible in the eyes of man.  “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

Prayer Focus #2: Intimacy
And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

  • Pray that we would be recognized as people who have been with Jesus.  Pray that we seek to “put off the old self with its practices and put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of our Creator.” (Colossians 3:9-10)  Pray that our transformed lives point to Jesus.
    • “My friends, may I warn you from my own failures, that while you will be of immense help to the cause of Christ by being able to defend its intellectual position, you will be a thousand times more potent as a missionary if you exhibit a life that Christ has changed, if you show in your nature those fruits from which all people hunger, if you love the quiet serenity, that endless good will, that deep joy, and that passionate purpose which are among the important marks of a nature surrendered to our Lord.” – Leslie Weatherhead

Prayer Focus #3: Boldness

  • Pray that we proclaim the truth of the gospel in boldness and love, as Peter and John did. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
  • Let us pray for one another as Paul asked to be prayed for, “and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” – Ephesians 6:19-20

Pursuing the Heart of God

…The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart… – 1 Samuel 13:14

There was only one man in the Bible who is called “a man after God’s own heart.”  Why was David given such a description?  He was a shepherd boy made king, exalted by God into a position of honor and responsibility, but we know from looking at his life that he was not a perfect man. In fact, he was guilty of some very heinous things.  However, despite his sinful nature and his weakness, David had a deep understanding of God’s grace and lived out sincere repentance.  David was a man who reflected God’s heart… he pursued God’s heart.  He had a relentless faith that led this man of incredible stature to dance with abandon before the ark of His God.  As you read through the psalms, it doesn’t take long to see that David knew and understood God’s desire to be known throughout the earth and he desired to do everything He could to bring the Lord the honor and worship that He deserved. His writings are full of earnest prayers that God’s glory be known among all nations.

Are we a church that pursues God’s heart?  Do we live with intention for the One who make all things new? How do we truly become Christ-like?  One author puts it this way,  “You pursue the things in which Christ is interested.  You begin to pursue His heart, His interests, what is on His mind, and you cannot help but begin reflecting what He is interested in, what He is concerned about, His attitudes.”  Let us pursue the very heart of God…  Lord, make us a church that looks and lives like Jesus!

Prayer Focus #1: Passion for God (Psalm 1)

  • Pray that the way of the Lord is a delight to us, that we would meditate on it day and night.
  • Pray that as we seek Him and His heart, He would bear fruit in and through our lives.  Pray that we would be a living testimony of His love, His power, and His goodness.
  • The Lord knows our ways, pray that He would expose wickedness that hides in our hearts.  Pray that as our sin is exposed, we do not hide from God or grieve the work of the Holy Spirit, but that we move forward, in His forgiveness and grace, with repentant hearts.

Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.

Prayer Focus #2: King of the Nations (Psalm 96)
Do we desire that the Lord be glorified above all throughout the world?

  • Pray that God would set our eyes on the things that are above, not the things that are on earth.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit would renew our minds to think with an eternal perspective, that we would truly learn to seek first the Kingdom of God.

Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
    tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;[a]
    tremble before him, all the earth!

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
    Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
    he will judge the peoples with equity.”

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
    let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12     let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13     before the Lord, for he comes,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
    and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Prayer Focus #3: Jesus Known
In Habakkuk, we see an incredible promise.  The earth WILL be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God.  

For the earth will be filled
    with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea. – Habakkuk 2:14

And the light of the knowledge of the glory of God has been shone in our hearts… in the face of Jesus.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6

We have been given the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.  We cannot remain silent.  May the earth be filled with His glory.

Pray earnestly that the Lord of the harvest sends laborers! 

Mission Trip

Fear Not

Fear can, at times, be a good thing. God has given us a natural “fear” response that is beneficial to us when our physical or psychological safety is threatened. However, it all too easily grows to hold a place of authority in our lives… a place that it was never meant to hold. One of the greatest barriers to living a life on mission is allowing your life to be driven by fear. Fear can prevent us from doing what we have been called to do… and behind every irrational fear is a lie that must be identified and confronted with truth. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather living a life of obedience despite its presence. This week we pray that God destroys the fear that lurks in our hearts and that He bring us to a place of such great faith that we joyfully follow Him boldly & courageously wherever He leads us!

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Prayer Focus #1: You as an individual

Some of the most common fears that keep us from living a life on mission are listed below. Take a few minutes to evaluate the list – ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any of these, or any other fears that are holding you back.

  • Fear of death
  • Fear of embarrassment
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of rejection / disapproval
  • Fear of being victimized
  • Fear of the unknown / the future
  • Fear of other cultures
  • Fear of confrontation
  • Fear of leaving young children behind (short term) or family behind (long term)
  • Fear of discomfort
  • Fear of spiritual warfare
  • Fear of not knowing enough / being able to do enough
  • Fear of financial hardship

Take a minute right now to confess that you have allowed these fears to control you and in doing so have lacked faith. Thank the Lord for His forgiveness. Renounce, in the name of Jesus Christ, that fear has any authority in your life and ask God to reclaim all surrendered ground for His glory in your life. Ask the Lord to increase your faith in Him!

Now courageously ask Him what is the next step of obedience He wants you to take for the sake of His Kingdom – pray for the courage necessary to step out in faith to do what He is calling you to.

Prayer Focus #2: His Church

Pray that God, in His divine power, would destroy the stronghold of fear in our church. Pray that we would be faithful to put on the whole armor of God and stand firm amidst the pressure from our culture and from the enemy to be fearful (Ephesians 6:10-18) Pray that God would replace our fear with relentless faith. Faith in who He is and our place of identity in Christ. Pray that we would seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).

Ask God to lay someone on your heart that is struggling with fear – take a moment to pray for them. Ask God to do mighty work – to destroy the stronghold of fear, to destroy the argument raised against Him in their heart and mind. Ask the Lord how you can be an encouragement to them this week, how can you strengthen them with truth, scripture, and love.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Love Your Enemies

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5:43-48

Love your enemies. Three simple words that are all but simple to obey, especially in light of the tragedies that have transpired over the past couple of weeks across the globe. However, these incredibly challenging words from our Savior are like light that can pierce the darkness. These words reflect the gospel – the very nature of Christ.

“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” – Luke 23:34a

When we turn on the news today we are unable to avoid images and stories of terror. Terror is designed to do one thing – to send the world into a place of deep fear. And fear, when given authority in our lives, breeds hate. Will we fall victim to its design, or will we put on the full armor of God and fight fear with faith? Will we be faithful in choosing to love and pray for the people that are behind these evil acts? Will we be faithful to pray that those who plot against so many – that they would hear and know the ONE who can truly cover their shame and that they would turn from the evil of their ways?

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9).

As we continue to pray earnestly for God’s Kingdom to come both here in Ohio and around the world, let us pray that God would send us into the very darkness that our human nature would rather retreat from. Let us keep the words of Jesus in front of us “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” – remembering that we too were undeserving of His love, His grace, and His mercy. But, Jesus loved us still – to the point of death on a cross.

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” – Romans 5:10.

Love Your Enemies:

  • This is a love that we cannot conjure up out of sheer will. We need a holy, righteous love. Pray that God would show and teach us how to love as only He can. Pray that we fully realize the depth of our own wickedness and the depth of God’s grace in our lives. Pray that God then teaches us to extend HIS grace and love to our enemies.
  • Pray that God increases our faith – that it would cover any fear lurking in our hearts and minds. Pray that He would reclaim any authority in your life that you have given over to fear. Ask God to grow your faith in Him – be assured that God has not lost control when our world appears to be spiraling. He is the everlasting and His purpose will prevail. The battle has been won.

Pray for those who persecute you:

  • Whether this be someone whom you’ve never seen face to face, or someone that you know well – pray for the one who means you harm. This will not be easy – but take some time to pray for those who persecute you. Pray that would experience the healing power of God’s grace through Jesus Christ.
  • Pray that God would grow love and forgiveness in your heart and destroy bitterness, resentment, and hate. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Pray for those who will GO:

  • Pray that God would embolden those that He has chosen to GO, despite what the world would say. Pray that He would well up inside of us the truth “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
  • Pray that God would send His people into the most difficult of places. To places where few to none have access to the gospel.

Prayer and Praise Report from the Field – Chile

The team begins their journey home tonight and after a busy 5 days in country, there is much to be thankful for and much to remain in prayer about.  Please take some time this week to read through the updates provided by the team leader and pray that God would continue His work in mighty ways!

Thursday 

The team arrived in La Serena safely and lead a leadership training for our partner church, La Fuente de Vida.  The primary focus was to help them with multiplying leaders and empowering the lay people to help in the work of the ministry. We studied Ephesians 4:1-16 together.

  • Please pray that God would use this passage of scripture to help shape and define His church in Chile.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?  10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Friday

We began the day by traveling to a local medical post.  We set up a table to offer prayer for those coming for medical help. The rest of our team divided into 2 groups to prayer walk the neighborhood.

  • Pray that the Lord would do a mighty work in those that were prayed for during this time.  Pray that if they do not know Jesus as Lord that God would unite them with a local follower of Christ who could share the good news and disciple them in faith.

After lunch, we had another leadership training session. This focused on small group structure and administration (continued on Sunday).

  • Pray that the Chilean church seeks to be the church that God would have them be.  Pray that they stand firm amidst pressure to do things the way that they have always been done for the sake of tradition.  Pray that they strive to honor the Lord above all and that they have the courage to change their strategies in order to reach the lost.

Saturday

We began by traveling to Coquimbo to visit a local farmer’s market.  We passed out gospel tracts and invitations to a church event that night to those in the market.  After lunch, we visited some neighbors of the church to offer to pray with them and to share the Gospel with them.  Our team was able to pray with multiple families.  Further, one of the families (Johnnie and Celia) chose to pray to receive Christ while we were visiting with them!

  • Pray for Johnnie and Celia!  Praise the Lord for a new brother and sister in Christ.

 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)

That night, our team helped our brothers and sisters lead an evangelistic event in Coquimbo.  Brian B. shared his story powerfully and invited people to trust Christ as he has. 

  • Pray that the words that were shared would resonate in the hearts and minds of the people who heard.  Pray that their eyes would be opened to the truth.

“for what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Corinthians 4:5)

Sunday

We were able to lead Sunday School in Coquimbo with our brothers and sisters.  We studied 1 Peter 1 together. In particular, we looked at our identity in Christ and the reality that this great gift is wholly of the Lord. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

After lunch, we were able to lead another multi-hour training session on leading and structuring lifegroups.  

Monday

Monday morning we met for prayer with our brothers and sisters in Chile.  We then went to a local farmer’s/flea market to share the Gospel via tracks and conversation.  One person prayed to receive Christ during this time!

We then travelled to La Higuerra, which is a town about one hour north of La Serena which currently has no evangelical work.  Pastor Nilo shared his hope of starting an evangelical bible study in this town which would serve to help reach the neighboring villages.  We also spent time praying over the town and for this future bible study.

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3: 14-21)

In the evening, we led a small group for professionals.  We discussed how it is vital to keep a healthy rhythm in our lives by regularly having time in Scripture, prayer and by taking Sabbath.

Praying for Chile – Team there this week!

 “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if the gospel is veiled,, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

On Wednesday, November 11th,  a team of  7  will be traveling to Chile to work with our partner church, La Fuente de Vida (Source of Life).

Below is a tentative timeline for the trip. Will you join us in prayer? Please consider printing this page and commit to pray as a family or LifeGroup!

Thursday (11/12) – Leader Workshop 

  • Pray for wisdom for the team members as they lead this workshop. (James 1:5-8)
  • Pray that the team will yield to the Holy Spirit fully and completely throughout the week.
  • Ask God to prepare the hearts of the Chilean Church – that they are receptive and attentive to what is taught and discerning as to how the Lord would have them apply it in their context.
  • Pray against any interruptions or distractions during this learning time.

James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Friday (11/13) – Evangelism & Afternoon Workshop

  • Pray for divine appointments at the market. Pray for the team to overcome language barriers as they share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the market.
  • A new culture, a different language, it is all a bit scary. Pray that the team members be bold in declaring the gospel.
  • Again, pray for the afternoon workshop with the leadership of La Fuente de Vida.  Pray that it would be a fruitful time of learning from God’s word together.

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching with all perseverance and supplication for all saints, and for me that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly, as I ought to speak. “Eph 6:18,19

Saturday (11/14) – Market Evangelism & Evangelistic Service

  • Pray for God to open doors during a time of sharing with people in a busy farmer’s market in the morning.
  • Pray that those who serve will have servant hearts, be led by the Holy Spirit and recognize open-door opportunities.  “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.- Col 4:3
  • Lift up the evangelistic service in the afternoon. Pray that God will lead His people past barriers that have kept their hearts from being ready to receive His Word.

Sunday (11/15) – Hurtado

  • Pray for safe travels as the team drives into the interior of Chile to the village of Hurtado (in the foothills of the Andes).
  • Pray for Jimena (who is leading a small group of Christ-followers there) and her continued ministry in Hurtado. Pray that she would run the race set before her with endurance. (Hebrews 12:1-2)  Pray that the team be an encouragement to Jimena and the small church.
  • Lift petitions to the Father on behalf of the unbelieving as the team holds an outreach workshop to the village  that evening.
  • Ask for boldness for the team members to speak in the name of Jesus and pray that the Spirit will provide them with words that communicate effectively in the Chilean culture and language. “Finally, dear brothers and sisters, I ask you to pray for us. Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes.…” 2 Thessalonians 3:1,

Monday (11/16) – Professionals Workshop

  • As weariness starts to arise, ask the Lord to renew the team’s strength to finish out strong. Ask the Lord to do away with any hindrance that comes in the team’s way.
  • Pray for the team to stand firm and clothed in the armor of God so that when the enemy sees an opportunity to hinder their ministry, they be able to fight it off with truth and victory. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Eph.6:10-11
  • Pray for open hearts during the professionals workshop. Ask the Father for unquenchable hearts that can’t be satisfied with success or money but with the living word of God. Jesus said to them,“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst-“. John 6:35

Pray for our missionary partners.

  • Finally, pray for revival among the people of Chile and ask the Lord to renew the strength of the missionaries that live in the country so that they are not discouraged.
  • Pray for Spirit given steadfastness and ask that God provides clear direction for their ministry.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.-Col 2:9-12

Mission Trip

The Comfort Trap

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” – Matthew 16:24-26

These aren’t easy words to hear, they are even more difficult to follow. Jesus calls us into a life that seems crazy to most. A life that is counter-cultural on every side – a life where we are told to literally “deny ourselves.”  There is nothing comfortable about following Jesus. Yet, as a culture, our addiction to comfort is palpable at times. This week, we pray together that God breaks that addiction of comfort and send us out for His purpose.

  • Pray that we, at LifePoint, see and believe the truth of Jesus’ words: that “whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Pray that the Holy Spirit reveals the glory of God something to be desired more than our very lives on this earth.
  • Pray that God would remind us of the truth found in Colossians 3:1-4. Pray that as we are tempted by the enemy, or our own flesh, to live our lives for ourselves, we will remember and believe that our lives are not our own (we have died, and our lives are hidden in Christ). Pray that he would set our eyes above. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
  • Pray that we would “put off the old self, with its practices and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:9-10).  Pray that we would not be conformed to this world, but by the renewing of our minds, be transformed (Romans 12:2).
  • Pray that despite the discomfort that it may cause to live in sacrificial obedience, we would not deceive ourselves by being hearers of the word only. Pray that we would be doers of the word. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” James 1:22.
  • Pray that God would break the chains of comfort that hold so many in the places that they are. Pray that God would reveal all that we have as rubbish compared to His glory and that we would be joyfully obedient to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15
  • Pray that Holy Spirit would open our eyes to the eternal condition of those who do not know Jesus. Pray that we would see them through the eyes of their Creator. Pray that God stirs in us urgency. Pray that we are bold, despite our discomfort, to live as Jesus lived. “Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10
  • Why does it feel so uncomfortable to simply stop what we are doing and pray together? Because the enemy knows that our prayers, especially those rooted in scripture, are a weapon that he cannot stand against. For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”  2 Corinthians 10:3-5
  • Pray that we don’t stop by simply reading this through on our own. We ask you to print and pray through this with your LifeGroup, with your family, share it for others to see and pray. God, make us a church that earnestly prays for Your Kingdom to come… help us to pray together! And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42.

Praying for Stowe Mission

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:34-40

This week, we meditate on these beautiful and challenging words of our Savior. As we do, let’s spend some time in focused and intentional prayer for an incredible ministry in our city, Stowe Mission of Central Ohio. Every week, hundreds of volunteers serve and love the homeless and hurting in our city through the holistic ministry that you’ll find offered at Stowe. You can see for yourself some of what is going on and how you can become involved at Stowe Mission by visiting http://stowemission.org/.

Hunger Ministries

  • Community Kitchen & Food Pantry – 164,704 Meals Provided in 2014
  • CALL TO PRAYER
    • Pray that those that come through the doors at Stowe to have their physical needs met, also find their spiritual needs met through Christ.
    • LifePoint will be conducting a Bag Hunger campaign beginning on November 22nd. Pray that we would all be faithful to participate and help stock the shelves at Stowe. The Salvation Army, which helps to stock the food pantry shelves, is currently unable to contribute at this time. This leaves Stowe completely dependent upon local church partners to supply enough food for those that are in need of it. Pray that as our families come together to help meet this need that we do more than buy and bag groceries. Pray that God moves our people to GO to the center to love those that will receive them.

Outreach Ministries

  • Block Parties
  • Tutoring for Children
  • School Supplies Give Away
  • Coat & Blanket Give Away
  • Toy Check Give Away
  • Homeless Advocacy
  • Employment Education & Training
  • Human Trafficking Prevention / Intervention
  • CALL TO PRAYER
    • Pray that Stowe Mission is known as a place that does not only care about what happens in the Stowe facility, but in their community. Pray that they are a light on the south side of Columbus that the Lord uses to draw people unto Himself.
    • Pray that God would direct some of our LifeGroups to long-term, committed partnership in difference capacities at Stowe.
    • Pray for the potential multiplication of this ministry into different areas of the city – specifically the North side.

Health Care Ministries – 1074 Patients Served in 2014

  • Dental Clinic – 467 Patients Served
  • Vision / Eye Clinic – 178 Patients Served
  • Mobile Medical Clinic – 329 Patients Served
  • Breathing Association – 100 Patients Served
  • CALL TO PRAYER
    • On December 18th Stowe Mission will be opening a pregnancy ministry clinic that will provide pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and counseling for individuals that find themselves in a crisis pregnancy.
      • Their greatest need for this clinic to become a reality is a Volunteer Medical Director. Please pray that God brings the right doctor to this position.
      • Pray for Cindy, who will be the onsite director for this new ministry. Pray that God would grant her, and her soon to be staff of volunteers, the ability to speak truth and love to all that they come into contact with and that they would “take up the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:13) as they go into spiritual battle on behalf of vulnerable women and children in our city.
    • Pray that healthcare professionals would be equipped and empowered by the Holy Spirit to utilize their God given gifts, talents and expertise for the sake of the Kingdom. “Each of you should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” – 1 Peter 4:10
      • Stowe is praying for 1-2 more optometrists to volunteer some of their time to work at the mission. There is great need.
      • Stowe is also looking for additional dentists to participate in the mission. Additional dentist would allow for them to extend the clinic hours and serve more individuals without over-taxing their current volunteer staff.

Church Ministries

  • Worship
  • Sunday School
  • Laotian Church
  • Fresh Start
  • CALL TO PRAYER
    • Pray that the church and chapel at Stowe continue to share the good news of Jesus Christ with their community. That they are bold “in proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord” (2 Corinthians 4:5) and do not grow weary of doing good. Above, pray that those that enter the church or meet the church on the street find the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

Let love be genuine, Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with on another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  – Romans 12:9-18

 

Peru: Praise and Prayer Report from the Field

From the Peru Team:

Highlights & Praises:

The team was able to visit believers in four villages (Llacllin, Pararin, Cotaparaco, Tapacocha).  On Sunday 11th, individuals from three of the villages (Llacllin, Pararin, Cotaparaco) joined as the body of Christ in a single church service. The Pastor from Llacllin (Alejandro) was bold in Jesus’s name, proclaiming unity, community and joining together as the body of Christ to reach others in the Andes’ Mountains! Alejandro used that experience to encourage his congregation at a church service in Llacllin that same evening.

God opened many doors…all in His time. Glory to God!!

1) The team visited Pararin with plans to talk to people and watch the sunset. Upon arriving in town, we found that there was no one around and the town was covered by thick clouds. We had searched out for Lorrdis, a lady who owns a store and made the decision to follow Christ a few trips back, but had no success after going to her house and store; she was nowhere to be seen.  After walking around for an hour, the team agreed to climb a hill over the city to pray. On our way back through town several of us were praying for Lorrdis to be around. We went to drop a few items off in the car, turned a corner and there she was!  She was beaming with smiles ear to ear; so vibrant and full of joy.  She welcomed us into her store and what followed was a Spirit led time involving scripture, testimonies, prayers, encouragement and tears. It was a very special time. When we left her store (after an hour or so), there was not a cloud in the sky, allowing the team to see His beautiful creation! Glory to God!

2) The ladies of the team were invited to the house of Alejandro (Llacllin’s pastor) to help prepare lunch with his wife, Fausta and Teresa (another believer).  This was a huge answer to prayer because we had been praying that God would break down barriers between the villagers and the team. They opened their home and their lives. It was such a wonderful time of vulnerability and encouragement.  The ladies were all able to share stories of God’s redemption in their lives and share in the goodness and grace of God as they spoke to how God used trials and hardships to lead them to the cross. Teresa had a testimony very similar to a lady on the team; what an incredible moment to realize that the same God had worked in a similar way as he drew two girls from different continents and very different circumstances to Himself.   

3)  In Llacllin, while the team was waiting in the municipal building for the mayor, a few members left in search for the school principal (to ask about visiting the school). The principal pulled up at the school on the back of the motorcycle immediately when the team went to find him, and was only there for five minutes!  Had the team not went out to speak with him at that time, we most likely would not have been permitted into the school.  Once again, God making the way.  As a result of going to the school, the team was able to share scripture, testimony and the story of Shadrach Meshach and Abednego to all of the students!  The Team was able to connect with Raul while at the school (he was saved on a prior trip).  He asked if the team could meet with him later that evening to pray with him.  As a result of meeting with Raul and praying with him that evening, the team was able to meet his mother and siblings and ask if he could go to church that evening. They allowed it and he was permitted to join the church for the following two nights.  

Specific Prayer Requests:  That God continues to move in the Ancash area of Peru; His body is unified among the villages, that there is one voice for Jesus and the people are brought together in love, through Christ. That God is glorified through this and people are drawn to Him.  35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

  • Llacllin (active meeting of an evangelical church):
    • Pray for the church and the pastor, Alejandro.  Pray that they will live on mission in the village and neighboring villages, sharing Christ with others. Pray that the church would be willing to modify their service ‘program’ as the Lord leads, allowing God to shape their gatherings as He would choose.  
    • Pray for Raul: Raul is a youth believer whose parents don’t approve of him going to the church because he is out too late on school nights.  Pray that he is encouraged and that God softens his parents’ hearts.  Pray that other young believers (Miller and Ernesto) come alongside him.  
    • Bertha and her family: Bertha is an elder in the community who has great difficulty hearing / seeing / walking.  Therefore, she stays seated in her house all day.  Pray for healing and against isolation.  Within her family are believers and non-believers; pray for unity of their family and that they are drawn to God.
    • Church Building: Pray that God’s will is made known to Alejandro and the church on when / if / where to have a building.  Until that time, pray that God would unify them under the true meaning of what it is to BE the church and that they find peace and contentment resting in God’s timing.
  • Pray for Pararin (no active evangelical church):
    • Pray that God soften the hearts of the people in Para with receptiveness to His word.
    • Pray for Lorrdis: Appears to be the only believer in the village; light on top of the hill.  Pray that she he encouraged and comforted by God in scripture and through prayer.  That God brings other people into her life to lift her up.  That she stays strong for God in the face of adversity. Pray that God would direct her steps in regards to her job and living location.
  • Pray for Tapacocha (no active evangelical church):                                     
    • Pray that God soften the hearts of the people in Tapa with receptiveness to His word.
    • Lucho, Claudia and family:  That God continues to use them as a light in Tapa.  That they continue to reflect Biblical examples and stand strong in Christ against opposition (most recently to participate in religious ‘village wide’ events that are not God honoring).  Prayer for overall health of Lucho, his parents and Claudia (her heart murmur).
  • Cotaparaco (active meeting of an evangelical church):
    • Pray that the church in Cotaparoca is outward focused, not just in their local village but looking towards Tapacocha and Alpacocha.
    • Pray that the church sees people as Jesus does.  Pray against division, resentment, unforgiveness, gossip & slander.
    • Church building: God has blessed them with the money to purchase the materials for a building. Pray that it is used to further His kingdom….His will and not their own.

Chaos to Grace

*Remember the Peru team in prayer as they make their way home!

This week the LifePoint Church Worship team released a single that they recently wrote called Chaos to Grace. This song has been an incredible reminder of why we are praying that God uses us for the sake of His purpose to reach a lost and hurting world with the gospel.

That reason is Jesus.

We aren’t praying that God sends 100 people from our church into the nations for the sake of our name or for the sake of our glory or for our reputation… to say, “look what we’ve done.” As we cry out to the Lord, let the position of our heart be one that is fully pointed towards the One that we love – for His glory – He is deserving of worship, from every tribe and every tongue.

The depths of His grace, His mercy, His righteousness, His faithfulness, His love – those are the things that spur us on, that move us forward. He transforms us, makes us new. We “put off our old self, which belongs to our former way of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires” and we are renewed in the spirit of our minds to “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24) As we are transformed into the likeness of our Savior, by no work of our own – but by His grace alone, the Holy Spirit spurs us onward in obedience to Christ, as we understand our purpose IN HIM.

Sometimes as we move forward toward a goal (especially when the goal is as admirable as God’s mission in the world), it is tragically possible to be so busy working for Jesus, that we neglect Jesus, Himself.

This week, let’s pause as we pray – we encourage you to download the song and meditate on the truth within. Pray that the Lord helps us remember our first love, the love that moves Chaos to Grace… for His Name’s Sake.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.   2 Corinthians 5:17-21

 

You drew me up from the dirt

Stained and filthy, but called Your own

You took my identity of hurt

The tears I’ve cried

The hidden pain

You know all I’ve done

Yet claimed me as a chosen one

Hallelujah how can this be

By Your blood a wretch made clean

Chaos to grace

You have revived me

Now I will be still and know

You’re my fortress, I’m found in You

You cancelled the debt that I owed

My sin filled life

Has been made new

Even through all I’ve done

You’ve claimed me as a chosen one

I will not stop rejoicing in You God

In me Your praise lives on

I’ll never stop rejoicing in You God

In me Your praise lives on

I will not stop rejoicing in You God

In me Your praise lives on

Hallelujah how can this be

By Your blood a wretch made clean

Chaos to grace

You have revived me

From Chaos to Grace

Download the Song Here

Praying for “V” (Central Asia) AND the Peru Trip

Praying for “V” – Central Asia

This past July, we asked everyone to respond to the call to prayer issued by Jesus in Luke 10:2…

Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

We asked that you would join us in prayer (and at times, in fasting) that God would send 100 people from LifePoint, as laborers, into the field, for a term of 2 or more years.  This week, we rejoice that #1 has been sent.  “V” has arrived in Central Asia, where she will spend the next two years proclaiming the great news of the gospel and the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. Please keep “V” in your prayers. More to come on “V” very soon!

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written,“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” – Romans 10:14-15

_________________________

Praying for the Peru Team

Tomorrow morning (Wednesday), 4 folks from LifePoint will be traveling towards the Andes Mountains of Peru.  Below you’ll find a list of prayer needs, given to us by the team leader.  Please print this page and put it somewhere that you will see it everyday.  Let’s keep this team, and the ministry that the Lord has prepared for them, lifted up in prayer.

Thursday – Drive up the mountains.  Pray for safety and provision, both for the drive and in the villages.

  • Pray that the team’s desires, expectations, and actions are in tune with His.  As we go into ‘all nations’ we do so as His vessels; representing Him, being bold in His name…willing to be ‘uncomfortable’, be ‘stretched’ for God’s kingdom knowing God is in control. He is the almighty God…Here NOW and moving in big ways.  Pray that this is not just a ‘temporary’ mindset while in Peru, but that it runs over into our everyday once the team returns home.  

Friday – Pray that God opens doors for the team to do ministry in the village of Llacin.  Pray that the villagers would be receptive to the word of God and that the team would not “proclaim themselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord” (2 Corinthians 4:7)  Pray that as the team prayer walks, they would sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and faithful to obey.

  • Pray that as God opens doors, we are discerning, and stand firm in the one whom “we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith” (Eph 3:12). Pray that this boldness is manifested in local believers, that they are willing to take a stand for Christ, to share and teach others.  29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants, to continue to speak your word with all boldness, – Acts 4: 29 – 31 

Saturday – Continued ministry in the village.  Pray that God would be welcomed and worshiped as the one, true God. Pray that He would be exalted and through the finished work of Jesus on the cross, many would come know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  Pray that the schemes of the enemy would be cut off and that the team would stand firm, having put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

  • Pray that God continues to tear down walls…in each individual team member, in the team as a whole, in our church and in Peru.  When people hear and read the words that are being shared, that it falls on fertile soil and people are open to hearing His words (not our words).  That God breaks down preconceived notions of cross cultural walls; both in us and the people in Peru  13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, – Ephesians 2:13-15

Sunday – Visits to two other villages.  Pray for Claudia and Lucho in Tapacocha and the church in Cotaporaco.

  • God loves and desires the people in Peru to love, draw/grow near to Him and share His love with others just as much as He desires that for us.  Pray for unity in the body of Christ, just not as a LifePoint team but as a larger body with fellow believers in Peru.  We are there to represent Christ and that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all…”  I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. – Ephesians 4:1-6

Monday – Drive back down the mountains toward Lima.  Pray for safety and a sweet time of reflection for what the Lord has done.

To God be the glory!

 

 

Mission Trip

Praying and Fasting for the City of Delaware

It’s the last Tuesday of the month.  We invite you to join us in fasting for one day this week as we pray together for the upcoming launch of our Delaware campus!

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2

Spend some time today and this week reflecting on and praising God for what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do in the life of our church body. As we prepare to celebrate our 11th anniversary as a church this Sunday and as we prepare for the launch of our 3rd campus, we find ourselves in an ever-deepening need of the Lord’s grace, mercy, wisdom and guidance.  Pray that we, in unity and wisdom, continue to run the race that is set before us with endurance and that all we do is for HIS glory, not our own.

Prayer Focus #1: The City

The city of Delaware has recently experienced rapid growth that has changed the landscape of the city. Over the past 10 years, the population in Delaware City has grown by 44%. With this change, there has been a great exposing of need, both physical and spiritual.

  • Pray for those in physical & financial distress: Pray that God would make us a church that can serve them well – that we would not “dishonor the poor” but “love them as ourselves.” (James 2:1-9)
  • Pray for those with great resources: Pray that those whom God has blessed financially would know and believe that every gift comes from God and would give back to Him freely. Pray that God would strike down the heart of the ‘rich young ruler’ (Luke 12:13-21) and that the chains of greed would be broken in our lives.
  • Pray that the Lord would use LifePoint (and other Christ following churches) to lead people to a real and true understanding of the Gospel. Pray that God would make clear his love and grace through the true intermediary, Jesus Christ. Pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal to hearts that salvation does not and cannot come from the works of man, but through the finished work of Jesus Christ alone. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 1 Timothy: 2:5-6
  • If you live in Delaware, would you consider grabbing your spouse / family / friend and prayer walking the streets of your neighborhood? Ask the Lord to prepare the way for His work and pray that He would be welcome in that place. Pray out loud and with your eyes open. You never know the needs you’ll see or the people you may meet.

Prayer Focus #2: OWU

Over 1800 students join the population of Delaware each year to attend Ohio Wesleyan University. Pray for these students. Pray that the Lord would draw them to a local Church body where they can hear the word of God proclaimed and that students that do follow Christ would be bold in their sharing of their faith on campus.

  • Pray for those involved in a growing atheist movement on campus. Pray that the Lord would convict those that have rejected the very idea of His existence and would lead them to repentance and faith.
    • Pray that God would destroy and remove the blinders that have been placed by the enemy and that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ would be seen. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
  • OWU has an excellent international student program, drawing students from all over the world (including several countries that are closed to the gospel). Pray that God would make a way for LifePoint to engage the international population with gospel conversations.  Many of these students will return to their families and their countries – pray that they return with the word of God and a relationship with Christ.

Prayer Focus #3: LifePoint Delaware Campus

The first interest meeting will be held in just a couple of weeks.

  • Pray for the leadership:
    • Pray for Kale and Morgan as they prepare for both the campus launch and parenthood.  Pray for strong community around them during this time.
    • Pray for those that will go with them in varying degrees of leadership and involvement. Pray that they would “walk in a manner that is worthy of their calling, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3)  Pray that the Lord would sustain them in His steadfast love and that the Holy Spirit would guide their every step.
  • Pray for provision:
    • Pray that God would grant discernment and wisdom to find the location that He is preparing for the church to hold their weekly gatherings. Praise Him that He already knows where that is.
    • Pray for all of the necessary resources that will be needed in the campus launch process.
  • Above all, pray that God would use LifePoint to expand His Kingdom. That the Lord would open the door for gospel conversations throughout the city and that the people of LifePoint would boldly and humbly proclaim His truth and love to our neighbors, our co-workers, and our friends.

Prayer Focus #4: Pray that many from the existing LifePoint campuses would be called out to GO to Delaware for the sake of His Kingdom and that they would take that step of obedience joyfully!

Praying for Mumbai

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands and they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” – Revelation 7:9-10

Mumbai, India – a place where waves of western traditions drown the millennial rituals of a traditional India. Located in the state of Maharashtra with a population of over 20 million, Mumbai is the largest city in India. Globally, it is an economic and cultural powerhouse and although millions of people have migrated to Mumbai for a better opportunity, it is also known as a major prostitution hub where 200 women are sold into sex trafficking every day. With over 1,900 slums all over Mumbai, the needs of such a great city are endless. Let us respond to this great need for prayer together this week.

Prayer Focus #1: Human Need and Suffering

It is estimated that there are more than 200,000 victims of the sex trade, over 100,000 street children and nearly 300,000 AIDS cases in Mumbai. With over half the population living in the slums of Mumbai, they are no stranger to crime, pollution, disease, poverty and unemployment. As a result of this, many find little to no hope in their lives.

  • Pray that the hope found in Christ is proclaimed among those that are suffering and pray that those who hear, believe. Ask God to send laborers into the slums to bring the word of God into their suffering hearts.
  • Pray that victims of human trafficking are set free from their bondage. Ask God for healing and restoration in their broken hearts.
  • Pray for the government of Mumbai to take action against human traffickers and for justice and truth to reveal itself.

Prayer Focus #2: The Unreached

There are at least 73 different people groups that remain unreached and unengaged with the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the city. Many, specifically those in many Hindu caste groups and the Mahar (who are Buddhist), have very little opportunity to hear the gospel. Caste barriers present a huge challenge for the gospel to be proclaimed and received.

  • Pray the promise and purpose of God would prevail, despite those barriers.
  • There are 2 million Muslims currently residing in Mumbai with very little outreach among them. Pray for laborers to be sent to work among them. There is also great need of Scripture being translated into their heart languages and dialects. Ask God for national believers to help translate Bibles to languages that need it.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. – Psalm 96: 3-6

Prayer Focus #3: September

For most Hindus, this month is dedicated to festivals that celebrate the god Ganesha, who according to Hindu mythology was born around this time of year. He is celebrated as a god of success, wisdom, and prosperity who protects and removes obstacles from one’s life.

  • Pray that people would come to knowledge in the saving grace of the One who offers true hope. Ask God to show the people of Mumbai that He is bigger than any other god.
  • Pray for a thirst in their hearts that cannot be quenched by any ritual or festival, but can only be satisfied by the living water of the word of God. “Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirst again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” – John 4:13-14 

Prayer Focus #4: Pray that some from LifePoint would be called out to GO!

The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few! With a whopping population of more than 20 million people, Mumbai needs laborers to bring the true word of God!

  • Ask God to show you ways in which you can help reap the harvest in Mumbai.
  • Pray that hearts that feel the calling to go be strong and courageous and that any fears and barriers preventing them to answer the calling be taken down. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”- Acts 1:8

PRAYING FOR SHANGHAI

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob; who hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. The LORD will reign forever, your God. O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD! – Psalm 146

Let’s unite this week, praying these words over the city of Shanghai. Shanghai is the largest city in China and a global financial hub, toting a population of over 14 million people. The city has a multicultural flair that exists in few other places in China. You’ll find a unique blend of cultures, from modern to traditional, from western to oriental. The city is dotted with new skyscrapers and old Shikumen architecture effortlessly combined to create Shanghai’s skyline. It’s a blend of old and new in every way, creating immense opportunity for the Gospel of Jesus to be heard.

Prayer Focus #1: National Believers

  • Praise God that His Church is growing at a staggering rate throughout China.  Most of this growth is within the majority Han Chinese – although minority groups have experienced growth as well.  Praise the Lord that His purposes prevail above all and amidst extreme persecution and suffering the Church was refined and shaped.
  • The church in Shanghai lives under the rule of oppressive government regulations that forbid them from meeting together, practicing, or expressing one’s faith. Pray that the Church, which still operates underground, would be strengthened encouraged and would continue to grow at an unprecedented rate. “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.” (Psalm 121:1-3)
  • China remains officially atheist with over 70 million communist party members.  Pray that an increasing amount of party members come to faith in Christ and that they will be a redemptive force within government.

Prayer Focus #2: Marketplace

  • Shanghai serves as the most influential center in East China, from an economic, financial, international trade perspective.
    • Pray that the Lord would send laborers for His kingdom through the means of the marketplace. Pray that marketplace professionals would be awakened to their potential to take the name of Jesus where many have still never heard. Pray that the Lord would equip those already working in Shanghai and would send others.
    • Pray that those that travel to Shanghai, short and long term, would be equipped to share the gospel in the context of their work as the Holy Spirit leads, “putting on, as shoes for their feet, the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15)

Prayer Focus #3: Labor Force

  • Pray that the God, in His justice, would loosen the shackles of greed and corruption and act on the behalf of the oppressed and exploited in Shanghai. Pray that “…He defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!” (Psalm 72:4)
  • Pray that those that hold positions of power would encounter the Lord, through Jesus and be changed.

Prayer Focus #4: Pray that some from LifePoint would be called out to GO!

Praying for London

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:3-5)

Nearly ten million people call London home. This week, let us be faithful to pray for those that reside in this great city.

Prayer Focus #1: The People

  • Multi-cultural pluralism has quickly risen to be the foundation of London society. Minority religions (predominantly Islam), astrology, new ageism, old-world paganism, and occultism have grown in popularity.
    • Pray that the Lord would reveal Himself as the One and Only True God. Pray that people would come to a saving knowledge of who Jesus is. That He alone is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6) and that He came “to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

Prayer Focus #2: The Church

  • Pray for awakening for the Church in London. England has for centuries been described as a Christian nation. However, today’s landscape – including that of it’s capital, London – is experiencing a shift towards nominalism, pluralism and hostility towards faith in Jesus. This plays out in both the general public and the media, threatening the freedom to express one’s faith.
    • Pray that the Church in London remains steadfast in prayer and love amidst growing hostility. Pray that the church would endure and continue to love despite hatred aimed at them. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
    • Pray for the God of all grace to Himself, “restore, confirm, strengthen and establish” the Church and those that follow Him in the city. Pray that the Lord would use faithful men and women “who humble themselves under the mighty hand of God” to bring about revival in London. (1 Peter 5:6-11)

Prayer Focus #3: Immigration

  • Immigration remains both a massive challenge and opportunity in the United Kingdom. There are an estimated 600,000 to 900,000 illegal immigrants in the country, many of them residing in the greater London area.
  • This huge surge in immigration has certainly brought many difficulties to the city. However, it has also brought a share of blessings.
    • Pray for the many Christian missionaries from the Americas, Africa and Asia that have moved to London. Pray that their ministries would abide in Christ and bear much fruit. Pray that those that hear the Word of God would believe. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed” And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
    • Pray for the many unreached people groups within reach of gospel-orientated churches throughout London. Pray that the hearts of Christ followers would be softened toward the “stranger” and they would reach out in brotherly love in the name of Jesus. “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:1-2) And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
    • Praise the Lord that despite growing hostility towards Christ followers in the city, the church is growing among many ethnic minorities. Multi-ethnic churches are sprouting up and seeing new followers of Christ from among largely unreached peoples. Pray that God continues to lead people to plant new gospel centered churches in the most unreached parts of London and that a church planting movement sweeps through the city among all nations and that shouts of joy would resound from the peoples (Psalm 98).

Prayer Focus #4: Pray that some from LifePoint would be called out to GO!

Mission Trip

Pray for Kuala Lumpur

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:9-14

As we continue to pray as a church for the world, keep asking God for worldwide revival, and for Him to continually stir us to respond to His call to SEND, WELCOME, and GO. Pray that His Spirit will teach us to pray unceasingly for His saints across the globe. “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” Eph. 6:15

This week, we will pray for the people of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pause and ask God to give us hearts of compassion for our brothers and sisters in this major global city. As you read and pray through the following prayer focuses, earnestly and humbly plead with the Lord to build up His Church in Kuala Lumpur (“KL”), and to strengthen those who already belong to the faith.

Prayer Focus #1: The Church

  • Malaysia is divided between East Malaysia (an island) and Peninsular (West) Malaysia. Christians living in Peninsular Malaysia, where KL is located, experience more religious restrictions. Promoting the gospel to Muslims (which include ALL ethnic Malay people) is illegal, and there are restrictions on Christian literature (including Bibles in the official Malay language).
    • In light of these preventative laws, ask the Spirit to fill the believers in Kuala Lumpur “with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col. 1:9).” Pray for spiritual training for church leaders. Ask God to grant understanding of the Scriptures, and to provide the necessary resources for spiritual growth and encouragement.
    • Pray for fruitful discipleship of young believers. Ask the Lord for a special blessing on the youth that will one day be leading the church in KL. Ask the Spirit to give them a special love and yearning for His Word. (Ps. 119:103)
    • Malaysia is undergoing some recent political turmoil and public mistrust in their government. Pray that as corruption is unveiled, people would be drawn to Truth and the “light of the gospel of the glory of Christ would be revealed (2 Cor. 4:4).” Ask the Lord to use His church to offer a better Way. Pray also that the hearts of those in leadership would be humbled, and they would turn to Christ, repenting and receiving His gift of grace. “He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:13-14).”

Prayer Focus #2: Ethnic Malays

  • Islam is Malaysia’s national religion and claims 50-60% of the capital’s population. All ethnic Malays are automatically considered to be Muslim. As it is illegal to renounce or leave the Islamic faith as an ethnic Malay, those who have chosen to follow Christ risk fines, imprisonment, or death threats.
    • Malays are one of the largest unreached people groups in the world, and they are hard to reach in Malaysia since the religious and political lines of Islam overlap for them. Pray for the church in KL to diligently “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work (Col. 1:10).” Pray that believers will continually live by the Spirit, and seek His activity in their daily lives and in their interactions with coworkers, neighbors, and family members. Pray for the church to be discerning, strategic, and bold in their attempts to reach this spiritually isolated population (Acts 4).
    • Pray for the believers who have turned to faith in Christ and turned away from the Muslim faith. Let’s pray these words over them: “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light (Col. 1:11-12).”

Prayer Focus #3: The Nations

  • KL is the most populated city in Malaysia, with over 7 million people in it’s greater metro area, making it one of the fastest growing regions in Southeast Asia. The city is a hub for business and culture. Major people groups are the ethnic Malays, Indian, and Chinese. But the city is also home to many unreached and un-evangelized people groups from all over the world, many of which come as laborers.
    • Pray that believers in KL would seek to reach the unreached that God has brought directly to their city. Pray that churches will intentionally minister to the marginalized immigrant workers as they WELCOME them in Christ’s name.
    • Plead with the Holy Spirit to stir these unreached nations to seek the Way, Truth, and Life, and to give believers opportunities to build relationships that lead to gospel conversations. (Luke 10:19)