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May Prayers for Evangelical Christians
Paul's Reliance on Psalm 2 and "The Apostasy"
by Ed Vasicek
What is the background for Paul's statement in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, "Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction?" What does the term, "apostasy" refer to?
Perhaps the understanding of the term lies within the Jewish roots of our faith.
In Edward M. Cook's translation of the Psalms Targum, (a Targum is a Jewish paraphrase -- usually in Aramaic; it often adds additional content to the text, thus exposing the Jewish understanding of the text), we read the Jewish paraphrase of Psalm 2:1-2, "Why are the Gentiles disturbed, and the nations murmuring vanity? The kings of the earth arise and the rulers will join together to rebel in the Lord's presence, and to strive against his Anointed."
Could the interpretation of the 2 Thessalonians portion (below) be based on previous, Old Testament revelation? If so, the passage becomes more understandable:
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8).
Perhaps Paul's teaching is a Midrash (a teaching in the Jewish style) on Psalm 2 with additional expansions based on further new revelation. Thus the entire age (as implied by Acts 4:25-28) is an age when the kings of the earth rise up, but this "rising up" (apostasy) comes to a climax during the Tribulation when the kings unite under THE Antichrist (as opposed to the many antichrists that have littered history) and the Antichrist shows his true character by demanding worship (Revelation 13).
Instead of simply rebelling "against the Lord," (according to the actual Biblical text of Psalm 2), the Targum interprets this as "to rebel in the Lord's presence," thus alluding to the Abomination of Desolation (the act by which the Antichrist enters the Temple and demands to be worshipped as God) which takes place in the Temple! Throughout the Old Testament, the Presence of God (Shekinah) is said to dwell in the Tabernacle/Temple. So the Apostasy and the Abomination of Desolation are essentially the same thing. Thus Paul is stating that the Apostasy will take place, and then further defines as "the Abomination of Desolation."
This same Targum continues (Psalm 2:4-9):
The one who sits in heaven will laugh; the word of the Lord will mock at them. Then he will speak to them in his strength, and in his wrath he will frighten them.
I have anointed my king, and appointed him over my sanctuary. I will tell of the covenant of the Lord. He said: "You are as dear to me as a son to a father (abba), pure as if this day I had created you." Ask me and I will give the riches of the Gentiles as your inheritance, the rulers of the ends of the earth as your holding. You will shatter them as with a rod of iron, like a potter's vessel you will break them.
So what restrains the Antichrist (who is, in a sense, chosen from among the many antichrists dotting the world) from coming on the scenes? Although this is not as clear (and is a vulnerable theory), perhaps the "restrainer" (the one holding him back) is none other than the anointed king (the Messiah, Yeshua), but, more specifically, His request ("Ask me and I will give the riches of the Gentiles"). Until Jesus makes this request of the Father, the antichrist will be held at bay.
The idea that the apostasy is defined in Psalm 2 seems like a noteworthy hypothesis whether the Psalm actually gives us a clue to the identity of the restrainer or not. My hope is that others (who have the expertise and resources) would examine Psalm 2 in its Jewish context and see whether the Psalm is indeed key in Paul's understanding of the end times and the nature of our current era.
by Ed Vasicek
Thank You that Your Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the way, the truth and the life. He is the way to You, the way to forgiveness, the way to eternal life. He is not just a way, but the way. As He said, "no one comes to the Father but by me" (John 14:6). We do not walk down a path (a way) of rituals and achievements – no, Jesus Himself is the way. He is the truth; His Gospel is the only true Gospel. And He is the life; all other "ways" lead eventually to death. But His way leads to life, an eternal life that begins now and extends forever and ever.
Lord, help me to rest in You and in Your truth. I do not want to be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. I need to carefully develop convictions from Your Word and stick to them. I do not want to be among those Jude calls, "clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees without fruit and uprooted...wandering stars..." (Jude 12,13). Help me be settled in You.
But, Lord, even though You are the life, sometimes life in the here and now is not so easy. Lord, I have some disappointments and burdens in life. A few of them have hurt me and have left scars, including: __________.
I turn them over to You. Help me to find Your purpose and joy in my life. There are many things I cannot change, but I can share all my thoughts with You. Thank You that You do not stifle me or pressure me to "get over it." You do not penalize me for honestly expressing my feelings as some people do. You are a God Who feels with me.
I remember parents. Lord, parents are so important to those little ones entrusted to their care. May parents everywhere protect and train their children in humane and balanced ways. Help them to love their children, not to spoil them and to encourage them toward positive directions. We pray that Christian parents would prove to be consistent role models for their young ones. Send angels to protect them, I pray.
Lord, I pray for the nation of Kuwait. Thank You that about .6% of the population are born-again evangelicals. Yet, Lord, it is against the law to proselytize Muslims, so any work has to be done quietly. O, Father, we pray that true religious freedom would reign in this land and that many would turn to You. Bless the Jesus Film, radio and satellite broadcasts, and the testimony of those who know You. May the church grow five-fold over the next decade! May Your Spirit irresistibly draw people to Jesus in this land.
Thank You for InterAct Ministries which "exists to glorify God by fulfilling the Great Commission among unreached people groups.... [They] want to see a culturally relevant church in every community of the North Pacific Crescent." Thank You for their work in Canada, Alaska and Russia especially Siberia. We pray, O Lord, that You would provide harmony and empower the missionaries, provide for their needs and protect them. May they reap a harvest for Your Kingdom.
I ask You to help me be faithful to You today, in Jesus' Name, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
Thank You that You are our Brother. When You, God the Son, took on flesh and became a man, You entered creation by becoming a creature and You entered humanity by becoming human. Yet You were sinless in Your humanity. You called us into Your new family and now we will enjoy eternity as Your companions (Hebrews 1:9) and brothers (Romans 8:29). Not only are You always above us, but You will also be with us (John 14:3), enjoying our company as we enjoy yours. These truths are beyond my ability to imagine. Jesus Christ as my big brother – what a thought! Just as we respect the Father but also call Him "Abba," so we respect the Son, but also call Him "Brother."
My God, help me to fear You more than I fear people. Your Word says that, "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe" (Proverbs 29:22). Keep me from giving in to peer pressure or from compromising my faith because I want to please others. Help me to be considerate and kind to others, but help me to fear displeasing You more than displeasing them.
Lord, help me to bear up under the trials, disappointments, fears and tribulations of life including: __________.
Let me remember that You are developing my faith and that You often use difficult times to make me stronger in You. Though I admit that I usually hate such trials, I do appreciate what You have done in my life through them. My choice is to go through them with You or without You. I will go through them either way. I choose to go through them hand in hand with You.
Lord today, I especially remember those looking for a job. Open doors of opportunity and match the right person to the right job. Especially help those who work with integrity and have good character to find employment.
Father, be Lord of my finances. Help me regulate my money with Your wisdom.
Gracious One and Lord of the Great Commission, I bring the nation of Kyrgyzstan before Your throne. More than one half of one percent claim to be born-again evangelicals, a tiny representation of Your Kingdom. The nation is horribly impoverished and corrupt with all sorts of superstitious beliefs mixed with Islam. O, Father, raise up a people for Your Name in this land. Use them to lead the nation to honesty, prosperity, integrity and most importantly salvation. Do a work of Your Spirit here, we pray.
Lord, thank You for the ministry of Bibles for the World as they follow their "dream to give a free copy of the New Testament to all the families of the world in response to the commission of the Lord, 'the Gospel must first be published among all the nations.'" They have sent over 14 million New Testaments to individual homes in over 100 countries." Provide for their needs, give them unity and harmony and bless their work by empowering it with Your Spirit, I ask.
Help me to serve You today, I pray in the Messiah's Name, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
You are the Beginning and the End. You started the events of history; they came to a crescendo when our Lord Jesus died on the cross as a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) and then rose again, being boldly declared as the Son of God (Romans 1:4). But one day, the events of history will culminate in the return of Christ to reign and eventually a new heaven and a new earth will replace the current creation. And just as You were sovereign over eternity past, a time before time, we are now here to enjoy Your sovereign grace for an eternity future, a time after time. You are the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega.
Father, soon millions of young people will be graduating from high school or college, and they will scatter in many directions. Lord, from a human standpoint, our future is in their hands. May You reach down and draw these young adults to faith in You and commitment to serve You and others. Guide them as they choose careers, spouses and locations. We pray that this new young generation would surprise the world by turning to You and Your values and way of thinking. Help them to defy the agendas set by Hollywood and other anti-Christian value groups and instead to return to a Biblical faith and value system. Grant them great wisdom and insight, I pray.
I pray for my lost friends and family members including: __________. Father, please send Your Spirit to draw them to Yourself and grant them the repentance that leads to life. Lord, salvation is such a precious gift – I pray that they would receive it.
I pray for the nation of Laos. Thank You that a little more than one percent of the people claim to be born-again Christians. O Lord, double that number over the next two years, I pray. We pray that persecution might stop completely and that the anti-Christian government and private citizens would recognize these rights You give to all particularly the right of religious freedom. Despite the dangers and lack of trained leadership, thank You that the church is growing. May Your Spirit change hearts and draw even the government leaders to faith in Jesus, I pray. Help the Christians to be shrewd and able to avoid persecution. When they cannot, grant them the grace they need, I ask.
Lord, thank You for Biblical Literature Fellowship and their "vision for spreading God's Word in the French language through the printed page.... BLF is unique in that it is possibly the only Christian publishing house with a vision for reaching Francophone Africa for Christ by means of literature to evangelize and disciple the Africans." Lord, use this branch of missions to under-gird other outreach ministries and use them to evangelize by simply getting Your printed Word out! Give the missionaries unity and harmony, empower them by Your Spirit, provide for them, their families and needed resources and protect them, I ask.
Lord, today is Yours. Remind me of that, I pray in name of Christ, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
You are the head of the church, Your body. Church leaders answer to You. Although some people think that having a perfect leader would make for a perfect organization, such is not the case. You are the perfect leader, but Your children do not always follow Your directives. Although most of us want to follow You most of the time, Lord, we fail so often. You are the head in the sense that You are the leader of the organization. You are also the head when we view the church through the illustration of a body. Just as a human head, containing the brain, directs the actions of the Body, so You want to direct the actions of the church at large and each congregation in particular. Help us never get away from the concept of being held accountable to Your authority by being accountable to Your Word.
Lord, I pray for our government leaders: our President and his cabinet and staff, the Senate, Congress, Judicial System, our Governor, state legislators and state officials. I pray for county and municipal leaders and officials. Father, fill these offices with those who will accomplish Your purposes. Help us to be able to practice and share our faith freely and peacefully.
Lord, I am thankful for many things three of which are: __________.
Lord, I empty myself before You so that Your Spirit may fill me. I find my strength in His power not my own. May Your Spirit control me today.
Your Word tells me that if I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive me those sins, and You will purify me from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). I accept responsibility for them and freely bring the sins Your Spirit brings to my mind now: __________.
Thank You for the European nation of Latvia. I am so grateful that Latvia is now free. As they recover from the harsh years under communism, may many turn to You. Thank You that 7.6% of the population claim to be born-again evangelicals. May that percentage double over the next decade. Provide training for Christian leaders and bless the broadcasts on radio and TV by Bible-believing Christians. Thank You for the blossoming youth ministries. May Latvia become a key base for evangelical Christianity in the years ahead!
I bless Your Name for the ministry of the Brazil Gospel Fellowship Mission. I am "grateful that there are over 40 established national churches with Brazilian pastors. Five Brazilian families are serving as home missionaries and one young lady is serving on the Amazon, all supported by Brazilian churches." May "the seminary, Bible institute, Priscilla Training School for Women and Theological Education by Extension...continue in the important task of training believers for service." Thank You for the "23 families and three single ladies serving as missionaries...in Northeast Brazil." Continue to expand and provide for this ministry, empower them by Your Spirit, grant them harmony and fruit.
Now help me to display the fruit of the Spirit today, I request in Messiah's Name, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
I speak to You person to Person. You care about me and the details of my life even though the purpose of my existence is to glorify You. You now indwell me. This is real. Help me to live in light of reality. There is no pretending here.
Lord, I have some specific requests to bring before You today. They are: __________.
I pray for Your children who are divorced that You would help them to go forward with Your hand in theirs. I pray for the children of divorced parents. Lord, the experts say that the scars remain for a lifetime and many children blame themselves for their parents' divorce. O God, You know the pain that children feel even if they do not express it. Please, Lord, help these children! And help adults whose parents were divorced. Help them persevere in their own marriage and not to panic at conflict.
Father, Satan roams about as a roaring lion. His demons network to accomplish maximum iniquity, to ruin whatever is good. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I take up the armor of God today. I put on the helmet of salvation. I am safe in the Savior's care having been redeemed by His blood. I put on the breastplate of righteousness, the perfect status You give me because You see me in Christ. I wrap truth around my waist. I love the truth and take no delight in lies, falsehoods, or exaggerations. I face the truth even if it is painful and humbling. My feet are ready to serve You in sharing Christ with others. I take up the shield of faith: I choose to trust You despite my doubts and despite my unanswered questions. And for my offensive weapon I wield the sword of the Spirit which is Your Word. I do not just own a Bible, I read it and meditate upon it. I replace lies and halftruths with the piercing truth of Your Word. So, Lord, bind the forces of evil in my life today.
Lord, the ancient nation of Lebanon needs a touch of Your Spirit. Only .6% of the population claim to be born-again believers and because of terrorism and hostage-taking many missionaries or foreign Christians left the country. Thank You that some advances have been made particularly in the realm of training church leaders. Father, multiply the number of believers five times over the next decade. In Your sovereignty, please create a safer environment and open hearts to the Gospel like never before. Remember that the temple was built from the cedars of Lebanon and shower this people with Your grace, I pray.
Thank You, Father, for Carver Foreign Missions and their ten missionaries who serve in Liberia. "The mission operates the Carver Academy which is an elementary and junior high school with 350 students and the Monrovia Bible Institute." Most of the teachers at these schools are graduates from Carver Bible College. O Lord, bless both Carver Foreign Missions and Carver Bible College. Use them in mighty ways, empower the teachers, students and missionaries by Your Spirit, provide for them and grant them unity and harmony.
May I have a blessed day, I ask through our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
You are the "heir of all things" (Hebrews 1:2). One day, everything will be put under the feet of Jesus Christ (Psalm 2:8). As God the Son, You have a right to everything, for You are the Creator. But Your human nature will also receive the blessing of being over all things. You, God the Son, emptied Yourself and took on human nature, submitting Yourself to the Father. One day, Your human and divine nature forever together as one Person, Jesus Christ, will be exalted when You inherit all things. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that You, my Jesus, are Lord.
Help me with my thought life today. Help me think positive and pleasant thoughts today, thoughts that please You. You want me to renew my mind not empty it. You want me to study Your Word and think of ways to implement it. You want me to get to know You better by filling my mind with productive thoughts, to reflect Your glory by cherishing and developing my mind and to love You with all my mind. Lord, help me appreciate and respect the precious gift of my mind. Help me bring every thought into subjection to Christ.
Lord, like everyone else, I have fears and insecurities that haunt me. I give them to You and ask You to help me constantly and repeatedly give them to You. Thank You that I can give You the same worries over and over again and You never weary of them; You want to be my constant friend, my constant counselor and my constant source of strength. There are no quotas, no rationing, not protocol that limits what is reasonable with You. This is true with human beings; I can wear people out and make them dread my presence if I do not restrain my requests, but not so with You. With You, the more the merrier!
Lord, help me to get to know my neighbors where I live or where I work or the school I attend. Teach me the importance of participating in my community as an avenue to benefit myself and a way to show love to others. Help me to socialize.
I thank You that 8.2% of the African nation of Lesotho is evangelical Christian. Thank You also for the large born-again presence in non-evangelical churches, almost 13% of the population. But, Lord, AIDS is also a big issue affecting 24% of the adults. May the evangelical church double within the next decade and may the many nominal Christians get serious about serving Jesus Christ.
Lord, thank You for Chinese Christian Mission which “has developed an international network of missions in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Philippines, Singapore, Canada and Australia.” Bless them as they seek to reach the “1.3 billion Chinese in Mainland China and over 70 million Chinese overseas.” Provide the power of Your Spirit, the finances and harmony within the mission to accomplish this awesome task. Send angels to protect the missionaries and we pray that persecution with China would be a thing of the past. Do a mighty work, we pray, among the Chinese people – as You indeed have been doing. May the Chinese people become the world’s leading Christian people group!
Bless my day, please, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
My Great Master in Heaven,
The Savior is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). I do not mean that You, O God, have a physical body; but in Christ we see Your deity veiled by the humanity of Jesus. As the old Christmas carol puts it, “Veiled in flesh the godhead see; hail the incarnate deity.” Through Jesus Christ, we see God in a way that we humans can understand.
Lord, I call You “Master,” for indeed You are and I am Your servant. But sometimes, Lord, I live like I am the master and You are my Servant! Or I hesitate and vacilate in my service. Help me to remember that it is about You, not me. What an easy thing to say, but what a hard thing to live. Like John the Baptist, help me realize that “He must increase and I must decrease” (John 3:30). Deliver me from a divided heart (Psalm 86:11), a real condition with which I struggle and a battle I sometimes lose.
Help me to resist temptation and the lures of the Satan today. He and his hoards are on the prowl, but help me not to be ignorant of his schemes. Help me overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).
Lord, help me to remember not to make decisions based upon my emotions. Help me not to confuse the emotional with the spiritual. Help me remember that, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26); instead, help me cling to Your Word and the direction given by wise fellow-believers. Help me be cautious and wise in making decisions and to weigh the long-term effects of my choices carefully and realistically.
Father, I remember the African nation of Liberia in prayer. Thank You that over 9% of the population claim to be born-again evangelicals while almost 5% of the population in other churches claim to be born-again. The evangelical church has its work cut out. With disease, language barriers and the effects of civil war – coupled with the tendency of people to blend Christianity with paganism – it makes for slow and tedious progress. O Lord, help the people of Liberia to respond to the Gospel in great numbers, doubling the number of believers over the next decade. But even more so, improve the quality of the believers. May Your Spirit hover over this land.
Thank You, Lord, for Christian Aid as they send “financial help to over 700 evangelistic ministries based in lands of great poverty or where evangelical Christians are a persecuted minority.” They “work among unreached peoples.... These missions...send out native missionaries” over 90,000 now on the field...plant new churches “over 52,000 each year...conduct evangelistic campaigns, broadcast on radio and TV, distribute literature and are training 40,000 new workers in hundreds of Bible institutes. They also provide assistance to victims of persecution, diseases and disasters.” O Father, empower this work by Your Spirit, provide for their needs, grant them harmony and effectiveness in the tasks to which You have called them, I pray. Protect them and direct them, my Lord.
Use me today, I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
Your Son, our Savior, is "God's Mystery" (Colossians 2:2). Jesus Christ, the God-man, is reconciling people to God and bringing both believing Jews and believing gentiles into one common body. Although this aspect of the Messiah's person and work was implied in Old Testament times, it was not nearly as clear as it is under the New Covenant. Jesus Christ has been revealed to be the great Reconciler.
Lord, make me a person of discernment, discerning even myself. Help me remember that my emotions are not necessarily the result of reality but rather my interpretation of reality. I can interpret the actions of others in the best personal light, or in the worst personal light, or somewhere between the two. My personal chemistry, the stresses of life, or even levels of sleep affect how I interpret things. Help me to distinguish between fact and impression, event and interpretation of event. Give me a love for truth.
Lord, I have requests to bring before Your throne today. Please intervene for the following needs, wishes and wants: __________.
Father, the qualities of faith, hope and love measure my maturity. Help me to grow in all three of these. Even though I acknowledge that love is the greatest of these, they are all three crucial and non-negotiable. Help me to produce works of faith, labors of love and to exemplify the steadfastness of hope (1 Thessalonians 1:3). You want Your children to be known by their love and I want to be faithful to that calling.
Lord, I pray for the North African nation of Libya. There are no opportunities in this land for open evangelism and only .3% of the population falls under the category of born-again evangelical. Secret police monitor to make sure evangelism does not occur and almost all of the Christians in the land are foreigners. O Lord, use radio, literature and Internet access to reach Libyans for Jesus Christ. May the number of Christians grow by twenty times over the next decade and may true religious freedom reign in this land. Hover over Libya, O Holy Spirit!
Thank You for Christian Missionary Fellowship whose purpose is "to evangelize the non-Christian people of the world." Today, CMF missionaries are seeking to keep up with modern challenges: "globalization, urbanization and the tremendous worldwide growth in the numbers of young people all present opportunities for ministry opportunities for visions of ever-improving ways to draw people into relationship with Christ and His Church. Another challenge is sharing the Gospel in countries considered closed and among people considered unreceptive. But wherever the unreached are, CMF wants to be there...whether as church planters, counselors, teachers, or entrepreneurs...our team members will be deeply involved in sharing their faith and establishing groups of believers." Yes, Lord, I say, "Amen” may it be so." Provide for them, protect them, grant them unity and harmony and may Your Spirit prosper their efforts. May You be glorified through them.
Now, today Lord, may You be glorified in my life, I ask in the Name of Jesus, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
God of Joy,
Thank You that Jesus Christ is my Horn Of Salvation (Luke 1:69). As an animal's horn represents strength, so You are strong. As the ram's horn, the shofar, was used to sound the battle cry, so You lead forth Your spiritual army of which I am a trooper. As the horn welcomed the feast of trumpets and the Jewish New Year, so You bring joy, celebration and happiness to those Who fellowship with You. You not only bring joy, but the joy of salvation, a joy for the long term – indeed, eternity! We look forward to entering the joy of our Master (Matthew 25:23); the coming of Christ like a shofar blast announces the joy awaiting us!
Lord, help me to be a good steward of money and the material things of this life. Help me to support my local Bible-believing church by attending, serving and giving. Help me remember that, "Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand" (1 Chronicles 29:14b). I offer You my time, my treasure and my talent. Help me to be an example to others of those who "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another." Help me not seek in material things what I can only find in You.
Your Word encourages me to confess my sins. Although my relationship with You is secure, my fellowship with You vacillates. My iniquities can distance me from You (Isaiah 59:2). You faithfully forgive my sins when I do so and You cleanse me from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). I confess them now to You: __________.
Help me read and understand my Bible, O Lord. Help me read portions that may not seem relevant right now believing that Your Word will somehow nurture my soul. Help me also realize that I need to prepare for challenges that may not be apparent right now. Help me to study the whole counsel of God. Help me renew my mind, not abandon it!
Lord, the small European nation of Liechtenstein has only 33,000 people. Yet only .4% claim to be born-again evangelicals. There is only one evangelical congregation in the whole nation. Lord, work in this land and quadruple the number of believers there within the next decade, I ask.
Father, bless Partners International "a global ministry that works to create and grow communities of Christian witness in partnership with God’s people in the least Christian regions of the world." Thank You that they train nationals to reach their own country or nearby regions. "By training church planters in subjects ranging from the Bible to income-generating skills, they are equipped to face the challenges of mission outreach among more than 390 people groups." Lord, bless the ministry of this mission; may the mission's leaders and the national workers experience harmony and unity of purpose, provide for them and empower them by Your Spirit. Help the national workers to be faithful stewards of the faith of the Bible. Protect them, motivate them and lead them, I pray.
Lord, help me to live in light of Your presence today, I pray in the Name of Yeshua. Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
Your Word describes Jesus Christ as "the Power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24). Of course He is much more than that. He is God in the flesh, He is the Second Adam, He is the Savior – and a host of other descriptions fit Him. But He is also the Power of God. Although He seemed to be weak in His death “He was led like a lamb to the slaughter” and suffered the pain, humiliation and indignity of death on a cross what appeared to be weakness was actually power. For by His submission He ransomed us, doomed Satan and provided the foundation for a New Heaven and a New Earth. It was soon apparent that His weakness was not weakness at all, as He arose powerfully from the grave!
Lord, when I am down and depressed, help me not to feel guilty about that. The Psalmist did not feel guilty when he cried, "Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD" (Psalm 130:1). Depression and feeling blue are part of life. Even Jesus is described as "a man of sorrows" (Isaiah 53:3). There is "a time to weep and a time to laugh" (Ecclesiastes 3:4). But do not let me think that my depression will last forever, that I am a complete failure, or that I am defective. Lord, those are lies from the devil and I claim the protection of the blood of Christ. Help me put on the helmet of salvation so that my thoughts become guarded!
I pray for my lost friends and family members, including: __________. Father, please send Your Spirit to draw them to Yourself and grant them the repentance that leads to life.
I pray for Christians who are straying from their first love or compromising their walk with You. Rekindle the faith they once professed and help them fervently love the Savior once again. Remove their boring view of serving You and help them see the adventure and fulfillment of walking daily in Your light. Stir up their hearts and help them make the routines of godliness a part of their lives. I especially remember: __________.
Lord, thank You that .4% of the population of Lithuania claim to be born-again evangelical Christians. Father, I would love to see that number multiply tenfold over the next decade. But the work is slow. Thank You for the freedom to share the gospel and thank You for the growth that has occurred, but I pray, Lord, that the pace might grow. Provide for trained leaders and more missionaries to work this field. May Your Spirit open hearts to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Lord, bless Christians in Action, an "international, interdenominational and transcultural evangelical missionary society with ministries in 21 countries. Its 300 ministry personnel with the goal of planting indigenous national churches carry out personal evangelism, discipleship and church planting. Other activities include short-term evangelistic teams and medical and dental clinics in needy areas." Fill them with Your Spirit, grant them harmony, protection, provision and much fruit for their labor.
Now help me keep You in mind today, I request in Jesus' Name, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
Jesus Christ is called, "The Wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24). Lord, those who refused to believe often viewed Jesus as foolish, a friend of tax collectors and sinners, and One who was out to create chaos and anarchy. After His resurrection, His disciples preached that Jesus came to give His life on the cross as our atoning sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the world. But the preaching of the cross was foolishness to them that perish, but to us, Jesus Christ truly is the Wisdom of God.
O, Lord, please help the hurting, the emotionally wounded and the devastated. Strengthen those stung by disappointment, encourage the demoralized and bind up the emotionally wounded. Especially help: __________.
Lord, help me to be moderately organized. For some folks this comes naturally, for others, it is contrary to who they are. But balance is the key. Help me to be moderate in all things and to experience that part of the fruit of the Spirit known as self-control. I know that the playing field is not level and it is easier to control myself in some areas than others, while other people may struggle in areas that seem easy for me to control.
Father, I remember persecuted believers everywhere. Many thousands have died for their faith over the last few decades and the war of abuse continues. Help believers in countries where persecution is part of government policy – or where the government encourages others to do the persecution and looks the other way – to be especially wise at averting it. Help those who cannot avoid persecution without denying Christ to be strong and firm. Empower them for the trials that await them. We pray that the persecutors would themselves be won to Christ and that persecuting nations would be won over to the idea of true religious freedom. We pray especially for Sudan, China, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Viet Nam – the Muslim and Communist world in general. Lord, please intervene as Your children suffer and die for the Gospel.
Sovereign One, I pray for the small European nation of Luxembourg. Only .3% of the population claim to be born-again evangelical Christians. Help efforts to translate the Bible into Letzebueresch, the native language of most residents. Create an appetite for the true God by Your Spirit, O Lord. May the evangelical church triple over the next decade!
O Lord, bless Evangelize China Fellowship whose mission is "to present the whole gospel for the whole person in the whole world in order to fulfill the great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. 'ECF' stands for the three major Ministerial approaches of ECF, Inc. namely: evangelism, charity and fundamental education." Lord, such a monumental task! With well more than one billion people in China, ECF has a mighty task. But You are an Almighty God. Empower them by Your Spirit, provide for them, protect them, grant them a spirit of unity and harmony and give them the wisdom that comes from above. Send angels to guard them.
Now, Lord, help me complete whatever tasks You have for me today, I pray in Jesus' Name, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
Your Son is the Beloved (Matthew 12:18) in whom You are well pleased. You are only well pleased with us when we are in Christ by faith because those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:8). Father, You have delighted in Your Son from eternity past and You delighted in Him when He emptied Himself to become a man. You were please with how He lived and You were satisfied with His death as a complete sin offering. You, the Spirit, and He Himself all had part in His resurrection and He ascended up to heaven to sit at the place of honor, Your right hand.
My Master, I am tired of being in a hurry. I hurry to pray before a meal with my family because it is so hard to get them all at the table at once. I hurry to work in some prayer time. O Father, help me better budget my time, to learn to say no and to live at a more leisurely pace. Help me to be more concerned about pleasing You than making other people happy or avoiding their complaints. Help me live a balanced life based upon a reasoned mix of events and adapted to who I am, not who the workaholics, over-energized, or guilt-driven are. May godly reason and balance tame the wild monster of extremism and frenzy.
Lord, I am thankful for many things, three of which are: __________.
Lord, I empty myself before You so that Your Spirit may fill me. I find my strength in His power, not my own. May Your Spirit control me today.
Today I remember the Anhui Province of China with its 63 million people. Thank You that anywhere from 3 to 12 million people in this region claim to be Christians, most of them evangelical. O Lord, persecution by the government sometimes gets intense, and we pray that 1) the persecution might stop, 2) that the persecutors would be won to Christ, 3) that You would give the Christians wisdom to evade persecution and 4) that You would strengthen them when they are persecuted. May the church continue to grow and grow in this province. May Your Spirit continue to hover over this nation!
Thank You for Helps International Ministries whose purpose is "to strengthen and equip evangelical Christian ministries in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, worldwide, by providing various 'helps' as found in 1 Corinthians 12:28...a faith supported missionary sending agency and a service mission to world missions.... HIM provides services to assist the body of Christ in various areas of need such as: Bible teaching and leadership training in overseas seminaries, Bible colleges and pastors' conferences, church planting in areas of unreached people groups, Christian counseling, short-term mission trips and evangelistic events for teens and adults, short-term medical mission trips abroad. HIM assists with financial support of national church leadership, Bible college faculty and other national Christian workers and organizations as approved by the HIM Board of Directors." Bless this work, O Lord. Give them harmony, wisdom and the empowerment of Your Spirit.
Now empower me to serve You today, I ask in the Messiah's Name, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
My Wonderful God,
The Savior is sometimes referred to as “The Bridegroom” (John 3:29). As a bridegroom anticipates being with his bride, so the Lord Jesus Christ is waiting to enjoy His bride – the completed church – forever. One day, we will all be with Him, celebrating the marriage supper of the Lamb and enjoying our destiny as Christians. Like the ancient bride in the Middle East, the bridegroom will come at an unexpected time to literally sweep the bride off her feet and carry her away to a banquet at her father’s home, so we wait to hear, “Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” (Matthew 25:6). Just as a groom would build on a room to his father’s house for him and his bride, so our Lord Jesus is preparing a place for us in glory in His Father’s house (John 14:2-3).
But Lord, right now, I am not in Your house. I am an alien and stranger, Your ambassador, bearing testimony to Your grace in a world that, by and large, rejects You. So help me to be in this world – to participate – but not to be “of the world” – to become corrupted by it.
Help me to resist temptation and the lures of the Satan today. I put on Your armor by faith, so that I may do battle for You as a faithful soldier. I claim the victory because greater are You, Holy Spirit, Who is in me than he who is in the world – the devil (1 John 4:4).
Father, I have some personal health concerns including: __________.
I also pray for the physical, mental, or spiritual health of others including: __________.
God, I pray for the European nation of Macedonia once part of the former Yugoslavia. This has been a pretty bleak area for the Gospel to penetrate; only .2% of the population professes to be born-again evangelicals. Thank You, that though small, the evangelical church is growing. O Lord, whet the appetite of the people for You; help them taste and see that the Lord is good. Thank You for the new Bible translations and it is my prayer that people would eagerly procure and read them. May Your Spirit grant the repentance that leads to life for many here; may the church double over the next five years, I ask.
Lord, thank You for the bold ministry of Exodus International “a nonprofit, interdenominational Christian organization promoting the message of "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ." Thank You for the over “120 local ministries in the USA and Canada...over 150 ministries in 17 countries.” Thank You for this ministry which guides Bible-believing churches to, on the one hand, extend the Gospel to all and, on the other hand, maintain that homosexual practice is wrong. We pray that many would find freedom from the power of homosexuality through this and affiliated organizations. Empower the workers by Your Spirit, empower their clients as well and provide for, protect and grant great success to this ministry.
Now, Father, help me to check in with You throughout my day, I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
by Ed Vasicek
Kindly King of Kings,
Your Son called Himself “The Bread of God” (John 6:33) and “The Bread out of Heaven” (John 6:32). Just as bread feeds the body, so He feeds the soul. The bread that fell out of heaven, the manna, was freely given, as is the Savior. The manna sustained daily life, but the eaters were soon hungry again. But Jesus feeds the soul in such a way that it never need hunger again. Bread is used to refer to daily sustenance, food in general. Without it, we perish. So without Jesus Christ, our souls are doomed to a Christless eternity. He is the Bread that came out of heaven, the Bread of God.
Lord, help me to take seriously the command to “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Lord, when I am burdened, I want others to help me, but do I reach out to help others? Am I looking to be an encouragement, to pray with another, and to show in some clear way that I care? I know Your Word doesn’t have this verse just to take up space, but it is a very real responsibility you have given to me and all believers.
I pray for my lost friends and family members, including: __________. Father, please send Your Spirit to draw them to Yourself and grant them the repentance that leads to life.
Lord, like everyone else, I have fears and insecurities that haunt me. I give them to You and ask You to help me constantly do so.
Lord, help me to get to know my neighbors where I live and at work or school. Teach me the importance of participating in my community as an avenue to benefit myself and a way to show love to others.
Father, I am so grateful to hear of how well the Gospel has been received among the people of the African nation of Malawi. Thank You that over 20% of the population claim to be born-again evangelicals. Thank You that You are working in mighty ways. Help leadership training to improve. May the seminaries and colleges take a firm stand for the fundamentals of the faith. Help the believers there reach the Muslim people groups with the true Gospel of Christ. May the evangelical church grow by 50% over the next decade and may the believers there exemplify maturity. Help the church address the growing AIDS crisis.
Lord, I remember Missionary Gospel Fellowship whose purpose is “to reach the unreached in North America with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. MGF missionaries have ministered from the southern tip of Florida to the hills of South Carolina and Georgia to Chicago’s bustling Muslim community...riding the range with the cowboys in Montana, counseling Mormons in Idaho, evangelizing in New Mexico and Texas, or training nationals in Mexico.” Father, grant the workers harmony among themselves, provide for them and their families, empower them by Your Spirit and give them great fruit for their labor.
Now help me to have a fruitful day and to stay alert for doors You may choose to open, I request in Christ’s Name, Amen.