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February 16th, 2010

Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus not simply with words

Jesus Painting in Church

Our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. – (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

When the gospel of Jesus is proclaimed, much more is happening than just the declaration in words of God’s grace in Jesus. Not only did the Holy Spirit inspire the truth of God’s message in Jesus we find in the Scriptures, but the Spirit is also at work in the proclamation of that message today.

The Holy Spirit is at work in this proclamation bringing conviction of sin (John 16:7-11), capturing the hearts of people in the story of Jesus (1 Cor. 2:1-5), and opening people’s minds to understand God more fully (Eph. 1:17-20). Think of times when the message of Jesus was powerfully proclaimed and you felt moved in powerful ways.

Too often we think of this as the result of a great speaker. But Paul admitted that he wasn’t a great speaker and reminded folks that the power of the message he proclaimed was rooted in the source of that message (the Holy Spirit) and the Savior that message proclaimed.

Let’s never forget the Holy Spirit power behind the message of Jesus.

Prayer : Forgive me, dear God, for the times that I have underestimated the power of the message of Jesus to transform human hearts. Forgive me for not praying for those who proclaim this message. Forgive me for not praying to have that message work powerfully in my heart. Open my eyes to see the Holy Spirit’s power at work in the declaration of the message of Jesus and bless those who proclaim it with your power and blessing. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

February 11th, 2010

Spirit and Love Driven Prayer

Spirit and Love Driven Prayer

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. – (Romans 15:30)

The Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we pray (Rom. 8:26-27).

The Holy Spirit  pours love into our hearts to give us hope and endurance (Rom. 5:5).

So it shouldn’t surprise us that the love we have from the Holy Spirit moves us to pray for others in their struggles.

Praying for others, what is sometimes called intercessory prayer, is a great gift empowered by the love that comes from the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives.

Paul wanted this Spirit and love driven prayer to focus on his desire to proclaim Jesus, something we’ve focused on for several days.

However, this Spirit and love driven kind of prayer can be offered for almost anything that another brother or sister in Christ needs.

Let’s remember that the love we feel for others and the prayer we are given by the presence of the Spirit are there to gift us and equip us to pray for others!

Prayer : Today, Father, I want to pray for a number of folks on my heart who face struggles of all kinds. Some are family members … some are friends … some are faithful servants of your Kingdom doing your work in hard places … some are grieving … some face tough times … some are making hard decisions … some have family struggles … some have great opportunities they don’t want to miss .. some are overcoming addictions … and there are many others. Please hear my prayer for them today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

February 11th, 2010

Empowering Proclamation

Holy Spirit Dove on Window

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. – (Ephesians 6:18-20)

When we open the book of Acts in the New Testament, we see the incredible power of the Holy Spirit to help the early believers to proclaim the message of Jesus.

Because the Holy Spirit lives in us and intercedes for us when we pray, we can pray in the Spirit, knowing that the Holy Spirit allows us to speak directly to God (Eph. 2:18) and intercedes for us beyond the power of words according to the will of God (Rom. 8:26-27).

While we often trust this intercession and access to God to convey our own heartfelt needs to God, Paul reminds us of another incredibly important gift given us when we “pray in the Spirit”: intercession for God’s people to boldly, fearlessly, and clearly proclaim the message of Jesus.

Why not dedicate time each Monday to praying for those who give their lives to proclaiming the good news of Jesus? (M is for Monday and Message of Jesus, Missionaries, Mission efforts, and Ministers of the Word!)

Prayer : Almighty God, please give all of us the wisdom and passion to know when and how best to share the message of Jesus with those around us. Today, however, I want to especially pray for those who are giving their lives to sharing the message of Jesus. I am particularly thinking of some that I know personally and ask you to bless them and empower them to proclaim Jesus fearlessly, clearly, and boldly. In Jesus’ name I ask your blessing on your servants of the Word. Amen.

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