Many people initially are not interested in or resist hearing about Jesus until they have personally received loving care from His followers. The compassionate care they are given makes them receptive to hear about Jesus and come to love Him, too. Through this edition of By Prayer we will be praying for relational ministries that extend compassion in the name of Jesus. Some offer medical help or training, others help improve agriculture, relieve hunger, or teaching basic skills. Meeting these simple life needs often opens the door to introducing spiritual health in a saving relationship with Jesus. Thank you for partnering by prayer to compassionately reach out through these tireless workers to those who do not yet know Him.
Praise for good adjustments the family is making in their move from Bolivia to Chile, and that they have found a small church to call home. Pray for them as they build friendships with colleagues and others. Pray for Luke as he has assumes the role of SIM Chile director at the end of July and continues learning about the challenges and opportunities facing the Chilean church. Pray that God will give both Luke and Priscilla wisdom, strength and perseverance to face the challenges of starting over in a new country.
Asha came to love Jesus because Carol helped medical workers fly to her village to treat her sick child. The theme of this edition of By Prayer is about the people behind the scenes that help this kind of story become a reality. Those who make sure medicine is on hand, keep planes ready, maintain computers, acquire supplies and keep equipment in good working order are all essential. Others recruit and train new workers and care for staff and retirees. Carol and others working in cross-cultural ministries are thankful for the support that keeps them on the field reaching people like Asha with the love of Jesus. Thank you for helping provide this support by prayer.
Teachers can influence with an eternal impact. Throughout this edition of By Prayer we will pray for people in a variety of settings where leaders are teaching, training, equipping, mentoring and more. As you pray for these requests, reflect on leaders who have influenced you. Thank God for them, and thank them if you can. Emulate them. Pass on to others the things you learned from great teachers. Lift up the gifted trainers, educators and administrators who are passionately passing on what they have learned to others who will do the same. May we all have teachable hearts, continually learning from our heavenly teacher, by prayer.
We invite you to join us in this March and April prayer calendar to read about and pray for SIM’s commitment to share the gospel where it has not been heard. We will explore some uniquely nontraditional forms and settings for sharing Jesus. Emerging missions is sending missionaries from the global church. Business is a way of sharing and showing the gospel. Children are hearing this good news through sports, camps, and Bible clubs. Is there a way you can use a new approach to reach people near you with the gospel? Let’s advance the kingdom together each day of the calendar, by prayer.
Discipling disciplers is a priority because it is Jesus’s mandate to His followers. SIM partners with thousands of local church leaders who are being equipped and empowered to disciple others effectively, helping them grow in faith and establish deep roots. They are discipled to make disciples. Yet this effort is not just for pastors and missionaries. It’s something all of Jesus’s followers around the world are instructed to do. Our discipleship and spiritual growth happens in dependence on Jesus as we follow Him diligently. Who is God leading you to disciple? As you pray over the next two months, listen for how God’s voice is directing you to a person or group to disciple, by prayer.
As we interact with the written Word of God, we experience the Living Word of God and are able to respond to the gospel. Literacy ministries help ensure many are able to pick up the written Word of God and encounter Him when no disciple of Jesus can be present. Literacy ministries take many forms: foreign language classes, translation and transliteration, literature development, and simply learning to read and write in any language. This edition of By Prayer will guide us to pray for many literacy ministries helping people understand written words so they can read and respond to God’s Word. Thank you for supporting these literacy ministries, by prayer.
Some of Jesus’ final words were, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always…” (Matthew 28:19–20 NIV). As followers of Jesus Christ being changed by the power of the gospel, we are to make disciples of Jesus who learn to obey and follow Him. This begins with those closest to us in our marriages and families, in our neighborhoods and churches, rippling out to the nations. Over the next two months, we will pray for a variety of ways individuals and churches around the world teach, model, and aid in this disciple-making mission Jesus gave us. Thank you for your investment in making disciples, by prayer.
Jesus often ministered to the marginalized and those considered at risk. Matthew 9:36 references Jesus’ compassion for those “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Throughout this edition, we’ll be praying for some of the harassed and helpless, people suffering from famine, tempted by or escaped from the sex industry, wrestling with the stigma of having had Ebola, battling HIV/AIDs, or struggling as refugees. Regardless of the prayer request topic, all are connected to the work of communicating the gospel of love, acceptance, and new life in Jesus Christ to those who are living and dying without Him. This task is still urgent and the workers few. Jesus’ words in Matthew 9:38 still ring out, “Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers…” Thank you for your gospel work, by prayer!