Mission Devotional - November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Day - November 23, 2017

Opening Prayer: O how we look forward to that day, O God, when people of every tribe, tongue, and nation will be gathered together before your throne, worshipping you with one voice. It is what our hearts - whether we know it or not - most deeply long for. Amen.

Scripture: Revelation 7:9-12

Journal: What is your vision of how and where prayer was intended to happen? What is the communal nature of prayer? What is your experience of it? How will you strive to make prayer a more corporate practice in the days ahead?

Reflection: Prayer requires community. Prayer is not possible outside of, apart from, or in spite of the praying community. God calls his people to come before him and hear his word, to obey his commands and receive his blessings. We hear that call and come. We bow our heads and close our eyes. We pray. We open our eyes, look around and see, sometimes to our great surprise, that others are there also.

The assumption that prayer is what we do when we are alone - the solitary soul before God - is an egregious, and distressingly persistent, error. We imagine a lonely shepherd on the hills composing lyrics to the glory of God. We imagine a beleaguered soul sinking in a swamp of trouble calling for help. But our imaginations betray us. We are part of something before we are anything, and never more so than when we pray. Prayer begins in community. (Answering God by Eugene Peterson)

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

A and B are serving in a Creative Access country. Their family is building friendships and seeing them mature as A. continues to teach at a local university and serve the teachers and students there. Pray today for this family as they grow relationships and share the gospel with friends, teachers and students.

Church of the Redeemer in Maryville is one of Cedar Springs' newest church plants. Pray today for Pastor Dave Strunk and those that are now attending services each Sunday at Alcoa High School. For details, visit churchotr.com.

Closing Prayer: Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 7:12)