Mission Devotional - October 8, 2016

Opening Prayer: O Thou who art the only-begotten Son, teach us, we beseech Thee, to pray, "Our Father." We thank Thee, Lord, for these Living Blessed Words which Thou hast given us. We thank Thee for the millions who in them have learnt to know and worship the father, and for what they have been to us. Lord, it is as if we needed days and weeks in Thy school of prayer with each separate petition; so deep and full are they. But we look to Thee to lead us deeper into their meaning: do it, we pray Thee, for Thy Name's sake; Thy name is Son of the Father. (With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray)

Scripture: Luke 11:1-13

Journal: What happens within you when you think of God as your Father? How does your time in prayer help you to see him in that way? How does seeing God as your Father affect your prayer life?

Reflection: It is interesting that Jesus begins and ends this little instructional session on prayer with the image of God as our Father. Obviously he is trying to help mold and shape both our thinking and our practice. In fact, one always affects the other. What we truly believe about God will always determine our practice; and our practice, in turn, will always impact what we genuinely believe to be true about God. It is a continual loop.

Therefore, Jesus is trying to firmly establish the idea of the Fatherhood and the Father-love of God deep in our hearts, minds, and souls. Because this one image determines, to a large degree, how we see and relate to God. He calls on fathers to consider how they feel about their own children and to use that as a frame of reference for how God truly feels about all of us.

The way you feel about your own children - your deep love and affection for them, what you truly desire for them, and how you care for them - is only just beginning to scratch the surface of how your Heavenly Father, your Abba, feels about you. Your desire for them to be joyful and free and prosperous and happy and free from shame is just the beginning of what I desire for you. I am your Abba. I love you immensely. I care about every little thing that happens to you, every little detail of your life. Live in my love. Prayer is one of the main ways you can do that. When you pray to me as Abba it helps you come to see me as your loving Father. A Father who longs for you to be whole and peaceful and true to who you really are, who you were created to be. A Father who longs to see you being fruitful and giving and loving the way I am. A Father who longs for you to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are deeply, unconditionally, and eternally loved. I love you. You are my beloved and with you I am well-pleased.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Jeff and Ellen work among unreached people groups in two restricted access countries of Southeast Asia catalyzing Church Planting Movements. Pray today for the 3 new church plants that need your earnest prayer support for continual evangelistic efforts, encouragement, growth, and joy and strength in standing against governmental and registered church pressure.

Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) is committed to the evangelism of boys and girls through Good News Clubs, the Tennessee Valley Fair and any other means to reach the children of the Knoxville community. Good News Club is a ministry in which trained teachers meet with groups of children in schools, homes, community centers, churches, apartment complexes and just about anywhere the children can easily and safely meet with their parent's permission. Pray today for the families of the children that attend the Good News Clubs each week that they may know and understand the love of Jesus.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, reveal to us the Father. Let His name, His infinite Father-love, the love with which He loved Thee, according to Thy prayer, be in us. Then shall we say aright, "Our Father!" Then shall we apprehend Thy teaching and the first spontaneous breathing of our heart will be: "Our Father, Thy Name, Thy Kingdom, Thy Will." And we shall bring our own needs and our sins and our temptations to Him in the confidence that the love of such a Father cares for all. Blessed Lord, we are Thy scholars, we trust Thee; do teach us to pray, "Our Father." Amen. (With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray)