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Mission Devotional - November 17, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord, you are my lover, my longing, my flowing stream, my sun, and I am your reflection. - Mechthild of Magdeburg

Scripture: Song of Songs 2:5-6

Journal: How do you think God sees you? How do you think he feels about you? What are his words of intimacy and delight to you today? What are yours to him?

Reflection: Teresa of Avila once wrote that the Song of Songs is the Lord teaching the soul how to pray. Thus, our role in prayer is to make the bride's prayer our own. For this is the kind of language in which God longs to hear the soul speak. Therefore, there must be a radical shift in our perception of what it truly is to love and be loved by God. Ecstatic delight in God's presence is not merely the preserve of mystics, and therefore inaccessible to ordinary people living among the commonplace realities of everyday life. Prayer as passionate seeking, as desolation in the absence of the beloved and rapture in finding him - this kind of prayer is not only possible for all of us, it is the kind of prayer that God, himself passionately in love with us, wants to hear. (Sacred Space 2016)

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Vitaly and Oksana Voinov live in Moscow, Russia. Vitaly is working with the Institute for Bible Translation (IBT) in Russia/CIS as IBT's director. IBT has been serving the non-Slavic peoples of the former Soviet Union for four decades by translating the Holy Scriptures - Bibles, New Testaments, individual Bible books, and illustrated Children's Bibles. Pray today for Vitaly and his family.

Since 1986, Mission of Hope has ministered to the people of various counties in Kentucky and Tennessee from which 80% of the residents no longer have jobs in the coal mining industry. This is their 21st year for their Christmas Campaign. From their first campaign helping 150 children in 1996, they are preparing to help over 18,000 children and their families this year with food, hygiene, new clothing and new toys. The 2016 Christmas Campaign Blue Barrel Collections begins tomorrow, Friday, November 18 and continues through Monday, December 5. Pray for this campaign and all of the children and families that will be reached.

Closing Prayer: I am faint with love for you, O God. Come now and cradle my head in your tender and loving hands. Wrap your arms of love around me and take me into your warm and intimate embrace; that I may know your love and that you may know mine. Amen.