Mission Devotional - November 19, 2015

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, full of mercy and grace, thank you that you are our merciful and faithful high priest (Hebrews 2:17). Thank you that you do not treat us as our sins deserve, but pour out your divine mercy upon us instead. Therefore, may we always do the same. May we be merciful as you are merciful, because when we are being merciful, we are being like you. Amen.

Scripture: Matthew 5:7

Journal: How aware are you of your need for mercy? What impact does that have on your ability to be merciful? What does it look like to be merciful? Is that a word you would use to describe your life and relationships? If not merciful, what word would you use to describe the general attitude of your heart in relation to others?

Reflection: O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

I am impressed by my own spiritual insights. I probably know more about prayer, meditation and contemplation than most Christians do. I have ready many books about the Christian life, and have even written a few myself. Still, as impressed as I am, I am more impressed by the enormous abyss between my insights and my life.

It seems as if I am standing on one side of a huge canyon and see how I should grow toward you, live in your presence and serve you, but cannot reach the other side … where you are. I can speak and write, preach and argue about the beauty and goodness of the life I see on the other side, but how, O Lord, can I get there? Sometimes I even have the painful feeling that the clearer the vision, the more aware I am of the depth of the canyon.

Am I doomed to die on the wrong side of the abyss? Am I destined to excite others to reach the promised land while remaining unable to enter there myself? Sometimes I feel imprisoned by my own insights and "spiritual competence." You alone, Lord, can reach out to me and save me. You alone.

I can only keep trying to be faithful, even though I feel faithless most of the time. What else can I do but keep praying to you, even when I feel dark; to keep writing about you, even when I feel numb; to keep speaking in your name, even when I feel alone. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen. (A Cry for Mercy by Henri Nouwen)

Hymn for the Day

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 new workers to join Mekong Ministries to reach unreached people groups. The Black Hmong and Dong are the two groups they urgently need workers for. Pray today for the new churches started among the Tai Lue in Laos and that they will birth new churches this year.

Gospel Wave Media is a satellite and Internet ministry that produces, records and broadcasts Christian television programs to Central Asia. Pray today for Shohrat and his team as they share the truth of the gospel with Muslims.

Closing Prayer: Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever. - Psalm 28:6-9