Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 18 (Day 18)

We've had quite a tour of Africa, haven't we? I can almost hear the drumbeats, feel the dust from the desert, smell the fish cooking on the coast. Over the past week, we've sought to have God's heart for this continent that is anything but "dark" - instead, it is filled with life and love and lessons for us from the vibrant church that exists there. As we have considered the unfinished task in Africa, I hope that God has spoken to some of us about praying regularly, going, or giving to those serving there.

We wrap up our Africa journey today by considering some challenges. Please read "Major Great Commission Challenges" on page 40, then return for our prayer time.

Today's prayer requests are few, but the depth of the need is anything but limited. We cannot overstate the importance of these "big three" challenges in Africa: Islam; a fuller understanding of Christianity; and the cities. The need to pray for Muslims and the cities is spelled out pretty clearly, but why does Operation World emphasis the limited number of evangelicals in the four major areas of Africa?

According to OW's definitions in Appendix 5, evangelicals regardless of denomination adhere to all of the following truths:
  • Jesus is the only source of salvation, validated by the crucifixion and resurrection
  • Personal faith and conversion with regeneration by the Holy Spirit are essential
  • The Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the only authority for faith and life
  • Believers are called to biblical witness, evangelism, and mission that brings others to faith in Christ.
For God to truly transform Africa, breaking the bondage of animism and Islam and changing the structures of society to become truly just and right, these four elements are essential. The "social Gospel", meeting needs apart from the message, won't do it. Neither will a veneer of cultural Christianity and faith rituals. Africans - like all of us - need transformation. The church needs to realize its Biblical calling to be on mission. To have four main areas of the continent with fewer than 1% evangelicals means that in those areas, the church needs to be awakened.

As we pray today, let's remember these three main areas and trust God to finish what He's started in Africa. Also, as we wrap up our time "in" Africa, let me encourage you to seek God specifically for your part in His plan for Africa. If you've been quickened by these needs, perhaps God would have you commit to praying, giving, or going to Africa. Afew resources to get you started follow my prayer for today.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, Your presence is so real. We love the assurance that as we walk in obedience to the Great Commission, Your presence is with us. I know that the church in Africa feels Your presence, Lord, and they need You to reach down and minister to some big needs today. Lord I ask that You guide the church in Africa as they reach out to Muslims and as they face the challenges that comes from growing cities. We come against the enemy's schemes in these areas, Lord. Where evil abounds, let grace abound much more. Lord, the church needs Your touch as well. Awaken the church in areas where they have not embraced the fullness of what it means to follow Jesus. Raise up preachers who will lift up the cross and stand on the truth of Your word, who will stress personal conversion and the Great Comission. Lord, transform the church and then through her, transform Africa. We know this is not too big for You, Lord. We trust You in this. We love You and we thank You for the heart You've given us for Africa this past week. Please guide us to be fully obedient as we walk out what Your heart for Africa should look like in our own lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.

- - Prayer calendars for the unreached in a few key African countries.
- - Amazing research tool for digging deeper
- - Committed ongoing prayer for the continent
- - Focuses on the annual event, but also includes urgent alerts and prayer points for countries on an ongoing basis
- - Ongoing prayer for the people groups of Africa.

Are you already part of what God is doing in Africa? If so please comment with any additional resources that you would recommend.

No comments: