Mission Devotional - December 12, 2016

Opening Prayer: Help me, Lord Jesus, during this season of Advent, to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Amen.

Scripture: Luke 18:1-8

Journal: How is your prayer linked to your level of faith these days? What determines your faithfulness to the practice of prayer? When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? Will he find it in you?

Reflection: "Always pray and do not lose heart." What a great admonition for the season of Advent. Yet, it is much easier said than done. It is so easy to allow our circumstances to control and determine the state of our hearts, rather than our practice. "Practice comes first in religion," wrote Thomas Kelly, "not theory and dogma." In fact, what we are learning from neuroscience these days is that what you practice, you become. Our practice - watching and waiting and praying - must not be determined by our own perceptions, agendas, and demands, but by an unflinching belief that if we continue to ask and seek and knock and beg, God will, in his own time and his own way, eventually come. Then we will be able to answer his challenging question, "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" with a resounding YES!

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Tim and Barbie K. are currently working to translate the Bible into the "Makori" language. Their goal is to see a "Makori" church effectively using its own translation. Barbie works at a fistula center in their area. Pray today for their friend and colleague Pastor "Barnabas" who is discipling three new believers and teaching them to read the Bible in "Makori." He is also working with them to find them apprenticeships in a trade that they can take back with them to their villages so that they won't be dependent on their (unbelieving) families for everything.

Beatriz and Gustavo Fuentes lead the work of Young Life in Mozambique. Beatriz first encountered Young Life in Brazil and became a Christian through that encounter. The Fuentes moved to Beira, Mozambique in 2010 and began building relationships with teenagers there to introduce them to Jesus. Pray today for the Fuentes and the students they are reaching through Young Life.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to pray always and never lose heart. Amen.