Jesus teaches us about the cost of following Him.
Trusting God in seasons of struggle is an active trust, not a passive one.
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Let us continue steadfastly in prayer for those that are being sent this month (some that are abroad as you read this).
Prayer Focus #1: Thanksgiving
- Praise the Lord for everything He has done, and is doing throughout the nations. Spend a few minutes declaring to Him his worthiness of glory and honor and power.
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” – Revelation 7:12
Prayer Focus #2: Open Doors
- As Paul asked the Colossians to pray, so we ask you to. Pray that God would open a door for the word of the Gospel to be proclaimed and received, regardless of the circumstances.
Prayer Focus #3: Wisdom
- As the Lord to give the teams wisdom as to how to spend their short time abroad with all wisdom. Pray that the few hours would have eternal impact long after the team comes back home.
Prayer Focus #4: Grace & Salt
- Pray that the teams would always be gracious in speech, seasoned with salt.
- Below is an incredible example (written by the Peru team that just returned home) of what it looks like when we allow the Holy Spirit to use us to speak grace, lightly seasoned with salt (truth) and a story for which we should give God glory!
Interestingly, this time in the villages is patron saint festival time. It is proving a GREAT bridge to sharing true stories of the saints and their “true love”. One such conversation was with Pedro – our host in Llacllín. Words cannot convey what God is doing in him, but here are some points:
– “Hmmm, I’ve never thought of the Christian life that way; to not just believe in Jesus but to try and follow Him.”
– “I want to call you a friend. I greatly enjoy our conversations and feel that it is healthy for my life.”
– “For the festival, my niece is coming in from Spain, and my nephew from New York. I think I want to have them share coffee with me and for me to share these stories and thoughts with them.” (after us suggesting him use the San Pedro festival time to share encouraging stories of Peter’s faith with his village.)
This occurred after he admitted that they only use the festival time as an excuse to drink and party. We replied that we have many similar problems with Christmas – to which he said: “Yes, we don’t think about Jesus then, either”. That confession (he literally said: “hermanos, hay una confesión que quería compartir con ustedes”) came after seeing that Peter’s life was defined by his confession of who Jesus was in Matthew 16 – a story that he had us tell him because it was his favorite (he loves rocks and loved how Peter was compared to a rock.). Best part of all, this entire conversation started when he asked the leading question: “What do you think of our festival? Some say we shouldn’t have it – what do you think?” Our reply: “We’re not here to judge you or your way of life. We are only hear to share stories about Jesus from the Bible.”
It was an INCREDIBLE moment that would have never happened had we clumsily focused on behaviors rather than hearts…
The harvest is plentiful, the workers few – pray for God to SEND us!
A team of 5 is headed into the Andes mountains this morning. Below is a list of specific prayer requests. Please remember to lift the ministry up to the Father throughout their time there.
Travel to the Mountains (June 21st)
- Pray that the Lord would go before them as they navigate the 6 hour drive through the mountains. Pray that there would be no vehicle problems. Pray for the safety of all on the team and others on the road.
- Pray that the Lord would use the long drive time for His glory. Pray for divine appointments with individuals as they travel and for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit as they interact with locals along the way.
- Pray for a great time of team discussion & planning. Pray that the Lord unites the team vision & purpose.
Inter-Village Church Meeting (June 22nd)
- Pray (Wednesday) for an inter-village church meeting that will be taking place. Followers of Christ from Cotaparaco, Tapacoacha, Alpacoacha, and LLacllín will all gather together for a time of encouragement and edification.
- Pray that long term relationships are formed out of this time and that mutual encouragement would continue to take place long after this week.
- Pray that the Lord would unite the believers in this region in vision and purpose. Pray that there would be no seed of competition, jealousy, or selfish ambition permitted to take root. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
- Pray for wisdom for the team as they facilitate this meeting.
Village Ministry (June 23-29)
- Pray for the villages that do have a gospel presence (albeit, very young believers). Pray that God would grow and mature some so that they may be able to “take solid food” and would then be able to teach others in Spirit and in truth. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14)
- Pray specifically that the Lord would give the team a greater understanding of how to bridge the gospel to a people who have long lived with an animistic worldview. Pray that God would show His great power as the Most High God, leaving no room for allegiance to idols or spirits. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. (Psalm 96:4-5)
- Pray for the villages where there is little to no gospel presence. Pray that as the team prayer walks and seeks opportunity to share good news that God would bring about the three W’s. Welcome (that they would be receptive and open to the truth of the Gospel), Warfare (that God would destroy strongholds and arguments raised against the knowledge of Himself), and Worship (that the people would come to know and worship the One True God).
TORONTO MID TERM TEAM UPDATE:
The team has had a great and busy week of ministry around the city. Many have heard truth through Bible storying and a face painting / henna ministry that is taking shape. Pray for continued boldness and discernment for the team as they serve and above all, pray that God’s love would be felt and understood among the people! Pray that Jesus be lifted high.
As the Chile team prepares to depart on Wednesday, let us be unwavering in prayer on their behalf! This trip will be special, as the team will spend two days in Hurtado, a small village town in the foothills of the Andes, about a four-hour drive from La Serena, where they will equip a small group of believers to equip others.
“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
- Pray that the hearts of the team members will be prepared to fully give themselves to the people of Chile & Hurtado.
- Staying behind when a family member goes on a trip is not an easy task! Ask the Lord to be with their families as they head to Chile. Pray that they have peace and all their needs are met while they are away.
- Ask for a hand of protection over their travels. Pray for smooth flights down to Chile and a good car ride up to Hurtado.
“8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:8-9
- Pray for the hearts of the people the team will come in contact with in La Serena. Ask the Lord to soften their hearts so that the seed of the Gospel will take root in their lives.
- The team will be working with Iglesia Bautista Fuente de Vida (Source of Life Baptist Church) in La Serena. Pray that they be a light in the community and ask that the Lord shield them from any schemes from the enemy.
“so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
- As the team heads to Hurtado for a few days, ask that God gives them discernment in every moment they are there. Pray for hearts that are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and for boldness as they share the Word of God with those in the village.
- Pray that as the discipleship workshop unfolds, the attendees truly understand the need to equip others for the advancement of the Kingdom. Ask God to do away with anything in their hearts that is not pleasing to Him and for discernment to distinguish between what is Biblical and isn’t.
- Pray for Jimena and her continued ministry in Hurtado. She faithfully continues to host house-church and will be helping the team enable the equipping workshops. Ask God to keep supplying her needs and pray that she finds encouragement in the team as she sows seeds for the Kingdom.
- Hosting a team is tiring and time consuming. Pray for the Wolf family as they get ready for our team to arrive. Ask the Lord to provide them with good quality time as a family and for time to rest and prepare for the upcoming week.
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
Run the race that is set before us…
When the road seems long and treacherous in front of us, perhaps seemingly without end… do we strive ahead with Hebrews like endurance or do we retreat to the safety and comfort of the known and safe? When we sense that God is calling us into a place unknown, do we joyfully lay down our earthly treasures in exchange for eternal treasures or do we circumvent God’s purpose for our life in exchange for the immediate gratification of temporal things that will not last?
For the next two weeks we will pray through this passage together. Let us be steadfast in prayer – for God to transform us into the church He wants us to be. Pray that He would use us to accomplish His great purpose. Pray that He would call out and send laborers from LifePoint into His harvest. As we head forward into 2016 and all that God has set before us… let us keep running.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
- The word for ‘witnesses’ in the original Greek text is the word ‘martus’ where we get our word for martyr. The author, in their encouragement, immediately draws attention to the great sacrifice of so many that have given their everything for the cause and sake of Christ.
- Pray that our faith in Christ and our passion for the heart of God would grow so great that we would count all that we have as loss for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
- Pray that we would be encouraged by stories of those that have given their all for their faith.
- Pray that God would replace our fleshly fear with relentless faith as we hear stories of our brothers and sisters that have been persecuted, imprisoned, oppressed, and even killed for their refusal to renounce their faith in Jesus. Pray that we would be emboldened by their faith. “And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” – Philippians 1:14
let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely
- Pray that we yield to the Holy Spirit’s activity in our lives. Pray that we do not grieve His conviction in our hearts but submit ourselves to His leading – even when it is painful or difficult.
- Pray that God would teach us to fight with the truth of His Word. Pray that God would increase our desire to abide in His Word, allowing Scripture to renew our minds, and transform our hearts. “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.'” – John 8:31
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us
- If walking in the purpose of God would be easy for the church than this encouragement would not be necessary. Our time on this earth is described as a race. We are His ambassadors, entrusted with His message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). The message that we have been entrusted with is one that saves and offends – it will be opposed. The Scripture is clear, we WILL need endurance. Pray that God teaches us to be steadfast, unwavering in our faith – and when it becomes difficult, that we would keep running.
- Pray that we would GO into the Harvest with hearts prepared to run with endurance. Pray that God would equip and prepare those that He will call and that LifePoint will send. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9
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.
Week of Tuesday, August 4th
25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. – John 21:25
They are the last words written in the Gospel of John and a truth that we should never forget. If you’ve been in contact with anyone coming home from one of our recent trips, you’ll hear a similar story… God is moving… God is working… God is bigger than our “box”. We hear stories of God bringing new brothers and sisters into His family and stories of transformed lives. We hear stories of God softening hearts, preparing the way for His gospel to take root. We hear stories of how God has provided for, healed, and directed His broken, yet willing, people for the sake of Christ. We hear stories of our people wrestling with their call to “go” for much longer than 1 week – students and professionals awakening to the opportunities that already exist in their lives.
Not all of the stories are told through a rosy lens, however. There have been stories of difficult conversations & heartbreaking situations, of laborers tired and frustrated, of people afraid to reject allegiances of old. Stories of intense spiritual warfare, as the darkness is pushed back in places where it has claimed ground for generations. Let us remain steadfast in prayer, because the darkness is being pushed back! And this we know this to be true, the world could not contain the books it would take to tell of the things that Jesus did. And Jesus has not changed.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8
PRAYER FOCUS #1 – EYES SET ABOVE
- When we find ourselves praying for the nations, for people groups that have yet to hear the gospel, for God to send us into the world, where do we find our focus? On the Lord? On other people? On ourselves? Most likely, many of us have not even considered this question. However, it is so important consider as we allow God to shape and redirect our motivations, even as we pray. Only with our eyes set firmly on the things above (Colossians 3:2, Mark 8:34, Romans 8:6) will we be able to run the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1-2).
- When we consider the greatness of this week’s scripture focus, let our hearts respond with worship and adoration before Him. However, at the same time, pray that the Lord breaks our hearts for the fact that many have not heard the name of Jesus. One famous author puts it this way, “Missions exists because worship does not.” Pray that God would deepen our understanding of His purpose in the world, His worthiness to receive glory from every tribe and tongue, and missions is ultimately for Him and Him alone. Ask God to use that truth to fuel a fire in us, for His glory to be known and for worship to be offered throughout the earth. Continue praying for worldwide revival… and that it would begin with you.
PRAYER FOCUS #2 – ESCAPING THE COMFORT TRAP
- Several weeks back, we discussed how Jesus warned that as His disciples were sent, they were to be sent as lambs among wolves (Luke 10:3). Only a deep desire for the glory of God above all else will sustain us in the midst of persecution, oppression, and rejection. None of these things sound comfortable, yet Jesus warns those who follow Him to expect them. As we pray for the Lord to send laborers from our church body, we need also to pray that he destroys our desire for comfort.
- God equips and empowers His church for the sake of the gospel through the promised Holy Spirit. He always has and He will continue to do so. As we face uncomfortable situations, uncomfortable possibilities and opportunities for the future, pray that we would yield our lives to His leading and step in faith upon the waters of the unknown – keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and trusting Him with our whole lives. (Matthew 14:22-33)
- Pray for those within our church that are currently wrestling with the idea of going and what that would look like for their lives (maybe that is you). Pray that “whatever they gain, they would count as loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7)
PRAYER FOCUS #3 – READINESS
- Ask the Lord to give you a burning desire to know Him more. Not in an intellectual way, but in a deep and intimate way that affects how you live your life each day. We often ask to be “used by God.” This week, let’s pray even more so that we would be “useable.” Pray that as part of the full armor of God, we would fit our feet with “the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15)
- Believing in Jesus leads to proclaiming Jesus. Pray that God would increase our faith and destroy unbelief in our hearts. Pray that we would be a people that abide in Him deeply. Pray that the Lord would come against ways that our culture has lead to “privatized Christianity” taking root in our hearts and that we would live everyday as salt and light where we are. (Matthew 5:13-16)
17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” — Luke 4:17–21
This week, LifePoint has a team of 22 people working in Seville Heights, Jamaica where they have the opportunity to share the love and truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in both word and deed. We invite you to pray over the ministry that will take / is taking place.
PRAYER FOCUS #1 – LITTLE BLUE HOUSES
• The team is working to build 2 homes in and area called “the compound.” Pray for Lance &Beverly, the 2 that will step into their new homes at the end of the week.
• Pray that through physical provision for these families, the Lord opens doors for the team to share how God has made the way, through Jesus Christ, to meet our greater spiritual need. Pray that the team would be bold in their declaration that our spiritual need far outweighs our physical need and that Jesus does not just make “good people better” but makes “dead people alive.” (Ephesians 2:1–10, Colossians 3:1–3)
• Pray that the homes that are built are representative of the light of Jesus Christ in the community of Seville Heights. Pray that Christ followers in that community are bold with their sharing of the love Jesus and that they will stand firm when the culture comes against them – that their light is not hidden under a bowl. Pray that those may see the good deeds done this week and praise not men, but our Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:13–16)
PRAYER FOCUS #2 – THE TEAM
• Pray that they would humble themselves in their ministry along side the Jamaicans. (1 Corinthians 9:19–23)
• Pray that the Holy Spirit would use them boldly and that they would be recognized as “ordinary” men and women who have been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
• Pray that God destroys fear and anxiety in those on the team and allows them to keep their eyes on the things that are of the Lord. (2 Timothy 1:7, Philippians 4:6–8)
PRAYER FOCUS #3 — MINISTRY
• Pray for the team as they conduct men’s and women’s Bible studies on the worksites in the afternoons. Pray that the seed of God’s word falls on fertile soil. (Matthew 13:3–9, 18–23)
• At this time, there is no local church in the immediate Seville Heights area that is actively engaging those who live there with the gospel. Pray that God would raise up leaders to make disciples and that God would multiply his church in Jamaica. (2 Timothy 2:2)
• The burnout rate of pastors in Jamaica is very high. Pray that God sustains them with an unquenchable and steadfast love for Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:58, Hebrews 12:1–2)
• Pray that there is no dividing line between the “haves” and the “have-nots”, especially within His church! (Matthew 25:31–46)
• Pray that those who follow Christ are “transformed by the renewing of their minds” and that the country takes notice of how the Lord changes lives and sets his children free. (Romans 12:1–2, Galatians 5:1)
• Pray for our ministry partner in Jamaica: IsleGo Missions. Pray that God would, by His grace, continue to give them wisdom as to how to best minister to the Jamaican people. Pray that God would sustain them through the good times and the difficult times. Praise the Lord for our partnership. (Ephesians 4:1–7)
1 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. 2 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.” 3 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. This passage was one that inspired us to set apart the last Tuesday (or another day of the week) of each month, to not only pray together, but to invite the church to fast together as well.
Larry McCrary expounds on this passage of scripture this way: “The Spirit spoke and gave the church very specific directions, which they obeyed. It was a very significant moment, because until this point in Scripture, a person’s call seemed to be more individual. Think about Abram, Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, the disciples, etc. Each of these men had a specific call from God and usually for a certain task. But in Acts 13, the calling came within the context of community. The Spirit, who indwelled the believers, united them with one another; and in community, the Spirit guided the church in the specifics of missionary engagement.”
LifePoint – let us be like Antioch.
PRAYER FOCUS #1 – MOTIVATION
- 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. (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)
PRAYER FOCUS #2 – DEPENDENCY
- Our culture thrives on the worldview of independence. Fasting helps us put that into a better perspective… a Biblical 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. (Duet. 8:3, Matthew 4:4)
- Pray that God would deepen our dependency on Him. Pray this for yourself individually, your family, and for us corporately as part of the body of Christ. That our souls would hunger and thirst for the Lord. (Psalm 42:1–2)
PRAYER FOCUS #3 – JOYFUL GOING & SENDING
- Continue to pray earnestly for God to SENDlaborers into the harvest. We encourage you to go back and listen to the message from June 14th that walked through this very same passage. (Acts 13:1–3)
- Pray through the characteristics of those that God uses for His Kingdom. Pray that we would demonstrate the same characteristics and would walk in the lordship of Jesus.
- God uses the diverse (1 Corinthians 12)
- God uses the unknown (Acts 11:19–21)
- God uses worshippers (John 4:21–24)
- God uses the hungry (Matthew 5:6)
- God uses the humble and dependent (Matthew 23:12, James 4)
- God uses the obedient (John 14:15)
- God uses people with a past (Acts 26)
- God uses the redeemed (Hebrews 9:11–14)
- We ask in faith that God will send, as he calls us to GO, pray that we send with joy!
Reminder — it’s the last Tuesday of the month. We invite you to join us in fasting as we pray (if not today, any day this week).
4 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 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 the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 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. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 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.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. 16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
While there is still a team in Peru who are in great need of intentional prayer on their behalf, most of our recent teams have returned back home safely. As talks of transformational moments and deepened understandings of God’s purpose in our lives and in the world commence – let us not forget to hold those up in prayer that are still working tirelessly, for the sake of the gospel, in the cities that we have left! This week, let us lift our prayers and petitions on behalf of our partners around the world. Let us both rejoice in the Lord with them and stand with them through their sufferings.
PRAYER FOCUS #1 – CARIBBEAN
- LifePoint has partnered with IsleGo Missions for several years in their work throughout the Caribbean. Pray that God would sustain D & C as they lead IsleGo Missions. They steadfastly walk along so many and are great mobilizers for the Kingdom.
- Pray that the Lord would continue to lead them in wisdom. “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)
- Pray for Pastor M & the church he leads – a church that truly understands the depth of what it means to pick up their cross daily and follow Jesus. (Luke 9:23)
- Pray that they would continue to “…run the race set before them, with endurance, looking after Jesus…”. (Hebrews 12:1–2)
- Praise the Lord for how He has sustained them and through their obedience, multiplied His church!
- The IsleGo staff in Jamaica.
- Pray that God would touch them deeply with the truth of His grace and their need for Him. (Ephesians 2:8–9)
PRAYER FOCUS #2 – CHILE
- Pray for the W family (all 8 of them)! Pray for Bryan & Deana as they long to fulfill their roles, as both missionaries and parents, to the glory of God.
- Pray for La Fuente de Vida (partner church). They are a young church (about to celebrate one year). God has given the leaders great vision to multiply into areas that are unreached with the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Pray for Pastor Nilo and their leadership as they continue to refine their strategies and structure – that they would build their church upon the rock of Christ and nothing less.
- Pray that they would increase in both number & maturity. “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28)
- Pray for the village of Hurtado and Jimena, a resident & church planter in the village. Pray that God would push back the darkness and the very young church would be a bright light that draws people to Himself. “…a city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14–16)
- Pray that those living in Hurtado would turn away from idols and false gods and turn to the one true God in repentance.
PRAYER FOCUS #3 – TORONTO
- Pray for Sanctuary Mississauga and the work that they are doing in their incredibly diverse neighborhoods. “Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” (Psalm 96:10)
- Praise the Lord for bringing several children to a saving knowledge of Jesus this past week. (Matthew 19:14)
PRAYER FOCUS #4 – UGANDA
- Pray for the Fulks family as they fulfill a new role at a school in Kenya this Fall. Pray for John as he balances that with his role as Dean of Academics at Global Theological Seminary (in Uganda) and his role as father.
- Pray for the faculty of GTS as they train and disciple their students in the truth of the scriptures. “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 for the students of GTS who sacrifice much for their studies. Pray that God would bring provision to their families.
- Pray for Cyprian and his church LifePoint, Njeru
- Pray for Egessa and his church Vision Baptist
PRAYER FOCUS #5 – PERU
- Pray for the small church in Cotaporaco – that they would be strengthened in truth and be a light to those around them.
- Pray that local believers would fulfill their role in completing the great commission and be witness for Jesus in their “…Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
- Pray that many lost will hear the gospel and respond in repentance and faith. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 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. 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 5:17-21
Most of us, as we begin reading the passage above are familiar with verse 17. We hear it quoted, see it on t-shirts, journal covers, and fridge magnets. It’s a beautiful truth and one that speaks of the incredible, miraculous work that God does in those that follow him. Colossians 3 speaks to the truth that those of us that are in Christ have died and our lives are “hidden with Christ in God” – we are called to put off our old self and put on the new self, created in His image.
However, when we read just a few more verses, we see that on those t-shirts and fridge magnets, the beautiful truth is often cut short. God’s transforming work in our lives is for a purpose – His purpose. This week, let us continue praying together, as a church, that God would send 100 people from our church body over the next 10 years into the nations to be His ambassadors.
PRAYER FOCUS #1 – OUR IDENTIY & PURPOSE
- Spend some time praying that God would deepen your understanding of who you are in him (Ephesians 2:8-10)
- As a follower of Christ, you have great purpose in this world – you are called make disciples. There is not greater purpose available to us. Pray that the Lord would reveal to you any self-defined purposes that are conflicting with his divine purpose for your life.
PRAYER FOCUS #2 – OUR RESOURCES
- As you pray this week, ask the Lord to expand your understanding of what it means to be a missionary. How can you leverage the gifts and talents, your work or school, your retirement for the sake of the gospel both at home or abroad?
- Pray that God would open your eyes to new ways that you live on mission for the gospel more intentionally in your everyday life.
PRAYER FOCUS #3 – 5 CITIES
- This week, spend some time praying for these 5 specific cities. Pray that the Lord would send laborers. Pray that the Lord would send some from LifePoint as laborers.
- Kuala Lumpur
Rejoice with the Chile team as we welcome a new brother in Christ… Guillermo. “The harvest is plentiful….”
JAMAICA PRAISE REPORT
- 2 homes were built this past week. “Little blue houses are somewhat like tiny houses but not nearly as luxurious. They are 10 x 14, 2 doors, 3-4 windows (windows and doors latch for security), a tin roof, wood walls and floor, made with a lot of love. It provides security, safety from the elements, dignity and significance to families who have not had either for some time. Mostly they bring HOPE to people we love very much!” – Dusty Cooper, Founder of IsleGo Missions
- God continues to open doors with the men of Jamaica. For the first time ever, our team held Bible studies on the worksites. The team reports that there were many spiritual / gospel conversations.
- Continue to pray that God would give the men in the area a deep understanding of grace.
- Praise the Lord that three people accepted Christ as their Savior (2 ladies from the worksite and one man at St Ann’s Bay Infirmary).
- Praise the Lord that deeper connections were made between those from LifePoint and the Jamaican locals on IsleGo’s staff.
Before the next TenTwo comes out on July 21st, there will be three different teams departing to take the good news of Jesus Christ throughout North & South America. Let’s continue to cover them in prayer and unite in “making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
PRAYER FOCUS #1 – CHILE TEAM
- The Chile team will be focusing much of their time participating in children’s ministry alongside our partner church, La Fuente de Vida. Pray that the gospel is communicated in a way that is understandable. Pray that the good news is received with childlike faith by children and adults alike. (Luke 18:15-17)
- Pray that God would bring unity quickly between our team and the Chilean church leadership.. Pray that they would all walk in “humility and gentleness” as there is “one body and one Spirit” (Ephesians 4:1-7)
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would use them boldly and that they would be recognized as “ordinary” men and women who have been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
- Pray that love and humility abound as the team has the chance to encourage the leaders of the church throughout the week. (Romans 12:1-8)
PRAYER FOCUS #2 — TORONTO TEAM
- The Toronto team (comprised of 19 high school students and adults) is working with one of our partner churches, Sanctuary Church Mississauga. Pray that the Lord would open doors within the incredibly diverse populations of Mississauga & Toronto and that the team would have the opportunity to plant the seed of God’s Word among many that have not heard the gospel. Pray that the Lord would prepare the soil for those that will receive that Word. (Matthew 13)
- The team will be participating in an outreach among many people unreached with the true gospel. Pray that God would remove blinders from the minds of the unbelievers and that God would reveal truth to them in a powerful way and that they would come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:4, John 14:6)
- Pray that God would do a mighty work in the hearts of the students participating in this trip. Pray that he would call some to a life of missions abroad. Pray that they would experience how the Holy Spirit equips and empowers the church for the sake of the Kingdom. (Romans 10:14-15)
PRAYER FOCUS #3 — PERU TEAM
- This month’s Peru team is in conjunction with OSU – New Life (a member of LifePoint is leading the team). Pray for God’s wisdom in terms of what ministry needs to be done while they are in the villages. Pray that they would walk in love, by the Spirit, yielding to his leading, bearing much fruit. (Galatians 5:22-26)
- Pray that local believers are strengthened and encouraged to move forward in teaching sound doctrine and that the church would multiply throughout the Andes Mountains. (2 Timothy 2:2, 2 Timothy 4:1-5)
On the heels of Luke 10:2, we see a sobering reality that cannot be separated from the call to prayer that Jesus issues to his disciples.
2 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. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. – Luke 10:2-3
We are rejoicing in the fact that over the next 6 weeks, there are over 40 short-term missionaries being sent into 4 different countries by LifePoint. We are rejoicing that in just a few weeks, we get to send one member of our church body into an unreached area of the world for 2 years.
In light of this, let us not lose sight of the truth that Jesus speaks next: ‘Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.’ As God calls out laborers to go from our church body, let us cover them in prayer! As God sends us out (across the street or across the globe), we enter into a battle for the very souls that have yet to hear and understand the saving grace found in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:12).
“The invitation of Jesus is a revolutionary call to fight for the heart of humanity. We are called into an unconventional war using only the weapons of faith, hope, and love. Nevertheless, the war is no less dangerous than any war ever fought. And for those of us who embrace the cause of Christ, the cost to participate in the mission of God is nothing less than everything we are and everything we have” – Erwin McManus
PRAYER FOCUS #1
- Consider the cost of obedience in following Jesus. Read the words of Jesus as they appear in Matthew 10:16-22.
- Pray that God would give you the kind of faith that would stand strong in the Lord despite hardship.
- Pray that we would be a church that counts all things as loss for the sake of the gospel. Pray that God would call more people from LifePoint to move into hard places to see the “light of the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ” known. (Philippians 3:7-8, 2 Corinthians 4:4)
- Are you willing to suffer for Christ? Read and pray through Mark 8:34-35.
PRAYER FOCUS #2
- Pray for those that are preparing to Go over the next month (and year). Pray that they will be clothed in the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) so that they may be able to withstand the “schemes of the devil.”
- 22 to Jamaica
- 7 to Chile
- 18 to Toronto
- 4 to Peru
- 1 to Central Asia for 2 years
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would equip and empower those going as He empowered Paul who “proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ – with all boldness and without hindrance!” (Acts 28:31)
- Pray that God destroys fear and anxiety in those going and allows them to keep their eyes on the things that are of the Lord. (2 Timothy 1:7, Philippians 4:6-8)
PRAYER FOCUS #3
- Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who face severe persecution every day for the sake of the Gospel. Pray that they would be steadfast in their faith, despite their circumstances, knowing that God is a good, all-powerful shepherd. Author Nik Ripkin puts it this way, “According to Jesus, faithful obedience, in every case, will cause persecution. Generally, the greater the response to the activity of God, the greater the persecution… Sheep living among wolves may, in fact, be slaughtered, but those slaughtered sheep may also (by God’s grace) be used to accomplish holy purposes.”
- Praise the Lord that HE IS MOVING amidst great persecution!
- Pray for strength and endurance for those that are at risk of losing everything.
- Read through Matthew 5:2-12. Ask the Lord to reveal to you how you can pray for those persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.
Rejoice in the truth that those suffering for the name of Jesus are not doing so in vain! Pray that those who live in persecution are comforted and encouraged by the truth of God’s Word. (2 Corinthians 4:7-18, Hebrews 12:1-2)
This week as we pray together, let’s continue to look at a parallel passage of Luke 10:2. Read through Matthew 9:35-38 again.
35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:35-38
As we discovered last week, we should consider and respond to this call to prayer obediently, compassionately, earnestly, and urgently! This week we’ll focus on the second two responses.
Let us respond earnestly: “therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Jesus wasn’t asking us to throw out an occasional, fleeting “bless all the missionaries” prayer. The word he used to convey how we should pray for laborers to be sent literally means to desire, to long for, to ask, to beg. Jesus was sent to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). As His followers, we need to take a spiritual inventory – do we find our hearts being moved towards earnest prayer for the very ones that He came to seek and to save? Warren Wiersbe once said, “When we pray as He commanded, we will see what He saw, feel what He felt, and do what He did.” This type of earnest prayer only comes from a heart united with and transformed by the very heart and compassion of Jesus.
PRAYER FOCUS #1
- Ask the Lord to break your heart for the things that break His. Think about where you work, where you go to school, where you work out, where you eat. Think about what you see on the news. Now ask yourself whom do you see around you? How do you see them? Does your heart judge them, or does your heart break for them? Ask the Lord to break any judgment and to help you see them through HIS eyes. Pray that the Lord would stir in you an earnest desire to see people know and follow Jesus.
- Pray that God would remove the blinders from the minds of those who don’t yet know Him (2 Corinthians 4:4). Recognize and praise Him that only He has the authority and power to do so (Matthew 28:28) and acknowledge that we are completely dependent on Him to make His gospel known (John 15:5).
- John 10:10 says that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy: I came that they may life and have it abundantly.” Ask the Lord to reveal this truth to you in a new way. Ask Him to help any unbelief lingering in your heart (Mark 9:23-24). Ask Him to deepen your understanding and conviction of this truth in your own life to the point that you cannot keep it to yourself, but rather are overcome with a desire for others to know it too.
Let us respond urgently: The harvest is PLENTIFUL, but the laborers are FEW. As Jesus commands us to pray that laborers are sent, He speaks with an urgency that we cannot ignore. The word He uses in regards to sending laborers means to command or cause one to depart in haste, to compel one to depart, to lead one forth or away somewhere with a non-violent force which he cannot resist. Are you praying with urgency that God would send laborers? Are you praying with urgency that God would send you? We can listen to the many voices that say, “be careful what you pray for!” or we can listen to the ONE voice that matters that says, “be careful to pray!”
PRAYER FOCUS #2
- Pray that God would send from our church body!
- To help launch new campuses
- Into hard places through our city & nation
- To the nations
- Pray that God would stir up urgency in us all – as individuals, as LifePoint Church and as His global church to reach those who have yet to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Pray that God would bring worldwide awakening and revival and ask how He wants to use you in the midst of it. Pray that the Lord would awaken us to the truth in 1 Corinthians 5:17-21. Pray that the Lord sends us as His ambassadors.
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SPIRITUAL GIFTS SURVEY
College and young adulthood is a time of new opportunities. You live in a new place. You make new friends. You study new things. You start a new career. And, to be honest, you most likely are facing questions that you have never had to answer before.
We believe that this is going to be a major transformational time in your life. The question is: what are you transforming into? As you approach this gigantic intersection of people, cultures and ideas, you will have to make choices. What do I believe? What things are truly important? How am I going to live out my Christian faith?
We have a communities of both college students and twenty somethings who study God’s Word together as we try to answer the questions that life is always confronting us with. We invite you to come check it out. It truly is an amazing thing to engage God’s Word with people you can live life with, who aren’t afraid to ask big questions because we know we have a big God.
In November 2007, a team of 9 people from Lifepoint Church visited Peru for the first time. We now partner with 3 other local Ohio churches in discipleship of the unreached and the unengaged in the Andes.
For more information contact Kristy, or call the church office.
A FEW FAQ’S
When are the 2018 trips?
May 29 – June 19, 2018
Late Summer – TBD
What is the approximate cost?
The approximate cost of the trip is $2000. If you are LifePoint Member, WOW will pay up to half of that cost. Trip cost includes round trip airfare to Peru, housing, transportation and all food (with the exception of travel days). Trip cost does not include passport fees, vaccinations or souvenirs.
What will we be doing in Peru?
Potential activities include:
• Widespread evangelism efforts (such as Jesus film showing, skits at village schools etc.) As well as 1-on-1 evangelism or prayer time with people you come into contact with
• Discipleship of believers in the villages.
• Recreational play time with village children (soccer and volleyball)
Where will we stay and what will we eat?
Housing: In the villages, the team stays in village residences or town office buildings. Teams typically will sleep on the floor, in sleeping bags while in the mountains. In Lima, teams stay in a beautiful hotel with private bath.
Food: In the villages, meals are prepared by the team using a portable stove unit. Foods you can expect are much like what is eaten in the USA. In Lima, there is a huge selection of restaurants to choose from, including many American chains (TGIF, Chiles, Starbucks)
How will we get around the city / villages?
In Lima, the team travels by taxi or by foot. The villages in which LifePoint works are several hours from the city atop some of the most beautiful parts of the Andes Mountains. Professional drivers are hired and the team will take vans or trucks up into the villages.
What else will we do?
You will have the opportunity to shop at local shops and markets, tour local museums / catacombs.
In October 2007, Lifepoint Church began a partnership with a local church in a suburb on the outskirts of Havana, Cuba. Our team works to assist the church there with construction and painting in several of their mission churches throughout the city, helps to train new pastors and leaders for the future growth of the church in Cuba and builds relationships with many people in the city who do not know Christ in a personal way.
For more specific trip details, or if you are interested in being a part of what God is doing in Cuba, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A FEW FAQ’S
When are the 2018 trips?
Teams will be traveling once in early 2018. Please contact email@example.com for details.
What is the approximate cost?
The cost for the Cuba trip is usually around $2000/person (up to half of the trip cost may be paid for by the Wide Open World Fund for qualifying Lifepoint members) which includes round trip airfare to Havana, housing, meals, local transportation, ministry projects/materials, day trip activities, departure taxes, fees, insurance on you and your baggage, and a trip facilitator/translator to accompany the group for the week. The cost does not include souvenirs and one noon meal while in Havana.
What will we being doing on the trip?
Typically we will spend our time doing light construction work on the development of a mission church during the day and building relationships through worship and teaching/discipleship ministry at the local church in the evenings.
Where will we stay?
We usually stay in a local bed and breakfast in Old Havana with private bath and meals prepared by local Cuban cooks.
How will we get around the city?
Usually by bus or van driven by local drivers. Sometimes by coco taxi or by foot.
What else will we do?
While we are in Cuba we will take part in some tourist activities, like a day trip tour via coco-taxi of Havana to see the beauty of this great island nation, we will go to the historic cannon ceremony overlooking the harbor, and we will also do some sight-seeing in and around the capital.
What is a typical day’s schedule like?
We usually work on ministry projects in the morning through early afternoon and are involved in church events most evenings and on the weekend.