Praying for the Gospel to Advance

2020 will go down as one of the most unique years in history. A global pandemic, contentious US election, riots, and many other events made it feel like we were in the middle of the game Jumanji. It was a year we would like to soon forget, though it will stick with us for a while. 

Personally, I am looking forward to a regular work and school routine, more normal sporting events, and a full worship center on Sunday mornings. With so much to look forward to, I thought it would be a good idea to start this year’s devotions with five prayers for the new year. These prayers may not be specific to a new year, but they can help focus our hearts on what God may do, with or without a vaccine.

Our first prayer comes from a passage where Jesus is surrounded by people in need, much like so many are now. Jesus is early in His ministry but gaining popularity. Matthew shares the following event with us.

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38)

This passage begins with Jesus seeing the physical needs of people and having compassion on them. Yet He is also concerned about their spiritual state as He realizes they “were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” This condition can describe many people across the world, people we know, and maybe even ourselves.

So what is Jesus’ instruction to His disciples? Pray. Pray for God to raise up workers that would lead people into God’s flock. This doesn’t imply that we don’t act as well as pray, but the first and continual step is prayer. So, will you use the points below to guide you in a prayer for the gospel to advance?

  • Pray for a lost person God brings to mind, including an opportunity to share the gospel with them.
  • If you know any missionaries, pray for them.
  • Pray for ministries such as the Lexington Rescue Mission, that ministers to both the spiritual and physical needs of people.
  • Pray for an unreached people group, such as the northern Kurds in Iraq, to hear the good news of Jesus.
  • Pray, as Jesus taught us, for God’s kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10).

By Philip Jones

Philip and his wife, Stacy, have been attending Immanuel since 2015. They are blessed to be raising four kids. His passion in ministry is to help others follow Jesus through teaching, preaching, and personal discipleship.

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