Mission Devotional - February 6, 2016

Opening Prayer: Loving Father, teach me to love and care for those that need you today. Those who are passed over and do not feel love unless I love them for you. May Christ's love for others be felt through me today. In your name and by your power I pray these things. Amen. (Disciplines for the Inner Life by Bob Benson)

Scripture: Luke 4:16-21

Journal: What is your response to the Scriptures today? What is God saying to you? What is God asking of you? What is God calling you to?

Reflection: Ministry is service in the name of the Lord. It is bringing the good news to the poor, proclaiming liberty to captives and new sight to the blind, setting the downtrodden free and announcing the Lord's year of favor (Luke 4:18). Spirituality is attention to the life of the Spirit in us; it is going out to the desert or up to the mountain to pray; it is standing before the Lord with open heart and open mind; it is crying out, "Abba, Father"; it is contemplating the unspeakable beauty of our loving God.

We have fallen into the temptation of separating ministry from spirituality, service from prayer. Our demon says: "we are too busy to pray; we have too many needs to attend to, too many people to respond to, too many wounds to heal. Prayer is a luxury, something to do during a free hour, a day away from work or on retreat. The few who are exclusively concerned with prayer - such as Trappists, Poor Clares, and some isolated hermits - are really not involved in ministry. They are set free for single-minded contemplation and leave Christian service to others." But to think this way is harmful; harmful for ministers as well as for contemplatives. Service and prayer can never be separated. (Living Reminder by Henri J. M. Nouwen)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Mark and Mary are living in a Creative Access country. Mark is working for a U.S. corporation there as a "Tent Maker." Mark's work gives him unparalleled access to the local population. Pray today for wisdom for Mark and Mary as they lead a growing team. Pray for unity of spirit and vision, and that the Lord would use them for his kingdom, and that the gospel would take root across the land where they live.

IFES (Middle East) is reaching college students in the Middle East with the gospel through a ministry based in Dubai. Pray today for the leaders of IFES that they may boldly continue their work with the students.

Closing Prayer: Dear Jesus,
Help me to realize the many voices of hunger, the many sounds of thirst, the many cries of loneliness, the many callings of sickness and nakedness and imprisonment. Help me to hear in all of them something of You calling to me to become more than I am. More understanding. More compassionate. More involved. More like You. (Reflections on the Word by Ken Gire)