United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 6

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 6

Prayer Focus

Pray for God’s clearest direction and His favor for IM as we look to the future.

  

Bible Study—Ezra 8:21-23

“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.”

This passage presents fasting in yet another light. The people are told to fast and ask for God’s guidance and favor for an upcoming journey. This is in a similar vein to two other fasts called for in Judges 20:26 and II Chronicles 20:3-12. In both cases, participants asked for God’s direction on a specific matter.

We at IM feel like we are on a journey…a journey with God as our leader and the final destination known. Yet, we do not know what lies ahead. God in His omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence is fully qualified to be our guide. It behooves us to constantly come before Him asking for direction and favor as we move forward on what is for us an unknown, untraveled route. Although, for us, the way ahead is unknown, we know it is not for Him.

Therefore, we need to reserve some time today to address God about the future ministries, programs, and activities of IM. We should demonstrate the attitude displayed in II Chronicles 20:12, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

 

Informing Our Prayer

The National Association of Free Will Baptists has charged IM with the responsibility of guidance, oversight, and administration of the efforts of Free Will Baptists outside of North America. This duty carries with it the probability of great pain or great glory, and sometimes both at the same time.

The IM board meets twice annually and they, along with the IM leadership, make strategic decisions to guide us in the near and not-so-distant future. We are fully cognizant of the fact that our view of what lies ahead is limited. Even our best efforts are skewed by our presuppositions about life, the world, politics, religion, and much more. We unquestionably know God can see every bit of the future and we, therefore, must lean heavily on Him to direct us in all we do.

 

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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 5

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 5

Prayer Focus

Pray for every partner of IM.

 

Bible Study—Esther 4:16

 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

The story of Esther has been told thousands, if not millions, of times. A God-fearing young woman goes before a godless king and makes a request that easily could have brought about her death. Without her high-stake request, the Jews would have been exterminated from the kingdom of Ahasuerus. One man, Haman, proposed this genocide because he felt Mordecai failed to show him proper respect. Out of revenge, Haman wanted to strike down hundreds of thousands of people.

Read Esther 4:16 and discover anew the challenges, courage, and commitment of this courageous woman. She told her Uncle Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” She determined the cause was worth her life.

What causes around the world stir you to prayer? Hunger? Disease? Immigration? Social injustice? Sex trafficking? Genocide? Persecution? What role does God want you to play in addressing one or more of the issues which move you?

Let’s follow Esther’s example and make bold requests of God. Why not write your own list of big, audacious, daring requests of God that pose great risk to you. Your risks may not include death…but it might. Go to Him with the spirit and determination of Esther, then wait on Him to act.

 

Informing Our Prayer

Several years ago, the IM leadership and board made an intentional decision to pursue interdependence as a core value. This commitment manifested itself in developing partnerships with agencies, individuals, and churches who share our vision of “laboring together to fulfill the Great Commission.”

It has been amazing to see God’s hand at work in bringing partners to IM. We know these partnerships offer us avenues of ministry we could not undertake without spreading ourselves very thin.

Let’s spend an enormous amount of time today praying for IM’s partners. Our partners can be classified in two categories: agencies and national churches.

AGENCY PARTNERS

  • Resourcing Christian Education (RCE) serves international Christian schools and educational ministries by assisting them in finding qualified teachers and staff. Three Free Will Baptist couples presently serve with this partner agency.
  • 1040i teams are devoted to giving life through water, health, and education in Morocco and Ivory Coast. This agency has provided hundreds of free surgeries for underprivileged people, constructed a bilingual school in Ivory Coast, and done much more to minister to the needs of suffering people.
  • Friends of India’s (FOI) major objective is to promote and preserve the ministry God has developed among Free Will Baptists in India. They provide funding for the work in India to build churches, purchase motorcycles and bicycles for pastors and evangelists, and other special projects.
  • Bridge Builders for Christ (BBFC) is a non-profit founded by a Free Will Baptist layman in Oklahoma. BBFC teams provide humanitarian aid while applying and sharing the teachings of the Bible. They have come alongside FWB ministries in Cuba, Mexico, India, Ivory Coast, and multiple other places.
  • Bible Mission Global (BMG) has partnered with IM since 2002. It has offices in several countries and is committed to winning people to Christ by serving with, for, and through local, Biblebelieving churches in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. They recently committed to placing Bibles in 100,000 Muslim homes over a period of five years.
  • Jungle Kids for Christ (JKFC) is passionate about empowering children in the jungle of Ecuador to break the cycle of poverty and abuse. In turn, these children share a message of transformation with others. They presently minister to 161 children at their school in the jungle area of Ecuador. This agency is backed by FWB businessmen and the school has several Free Will Baptist couples teaching there.
  • Village of Hope (VOH) in Uganda rescues former child soldiers, sex slaves, and their younger siblings orphaned by war. They provide a safe haven for healing and hope for a future. This agency was founded by a graduate of Welch College and IM is in process of providing a “missionary maintenance” man for the team.
  • International Training Alliance (ITA) exists to train and multiply leaders on mission globally. Dr. Jeff Turnbough is now serving as CEO of this organization. We have a two-year agreement with them to substantially help fund the CEO position as they seek to secure funding to finance their operations. Over the past few years, they have trained over 2,000 leaders from more than 100 countries.
  • English Language Institute of China/DBA Pinnacle is the agency we have partnered with for the longest period of time. They offer amazing opportunities for English speakers to teach in Asia and the Middle East. They have classes in some of the most prestigious universities of these creative access countries.
  • American Dream Center is one of our newest partners. The founder is a former Free Will Baptist missionary who served in Central Asia and Ivory Coast. The organization aids immigrants and refugees as they settle here in the U.S. They help people acquire necessary documents, learn how to do banking, go grocery shopping, etc. in their newly adopted country.

 

NATIONAL CHURCHES

  • SPAIN—A Spanish couple serves with our Malaga THP team. They are subsidized from this fund.
  • COTE D’IVOIRE (Ivory Coast)—Our main focus in Côte d’Ivoire is the Bible Institute at Bouna as well as church planting efforts by national believers. We do not pay pastors of local churches, but some of the funds do go to help church planting efforts. In particular, we also help put roofs on new churches after the national church has put up the walls. We presently have no IM missionary presence in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • BRAZIL— Only one IM couple serves in Brazil, Dr. Kenneth and Rejane Eagleton. The partnership funds in Brazil are primarily directed to leadership training efforts. Several Bible institutes and other training programs in the country need partnership funds to keep them functioning.
  • BULGARIA —Our team in Bulgaria consists of four couples. One of these is Bulgarian: Trif and Vanya Trifonov. They are recognized by the IM board as members of the team. They cannot raise money among the evangelical churches in Bulgaria. Our FWB churches there cannot provide adequate funding for them. Therefore, in collaboration with the team, we use partnership funds to cover the Trifinovs’ salary and outreach ministries.
  • PANAMA—For 50 years we had a strong missionary presence in Panama. In 2012, the national church announced it was ready to take charge of evangelizing the country. The transfer of all properties and ministries was officially made in January 2013. The departure of the missionaries did not diminish our commitment to seeing these works go forward. A main ministry focus is the Bible institute in Chame. The students cannot afford to pay the full tuition costs necessary to sustain the institute. We willingly offer financial assistance to the wonderful leaders as they continue to train other leaders and plant new churches.
  • RUSSIA—Over the past few years, at the advice of our colleagues and liaisons to ministry in Russia we have greatly diminished our financial contributions. It was felt the national church was capable of taking on more and more responsibility for outreach, youth camps, and other ministries. Therefore, our commitment at this point is to the ongoing success of the two Bible institutes in Russia. We praise the Lord the national church is capable of funding most of the ministries and programs.
  • CUBA—Our history in Cuba goes back to time of Pop and Mom Willey in the late 1930s. Their passion was winning souls, establishing churches, and training leaders. That ardent desire was passed on to those who followed. A strong emphasis on these three elements has kept the church alive and growing. We work directly through the directiva (executive committee) of the Cuban national church. The funds we send mainly assist the local church in running the Bible seminary as well as church planting efforts. We send the funds to the directiva and they are charged with determining where the funds can be used in leadership development and church planting.
  • INDIA—India, our first mission field, followed the establishment of Free Will Baptists as a denomination in 1935. Through the humble beginnings of Miss Laura Belle Barnard and the exceedingly long and fruitful ministry of Brother Carlisle Hanna, the work in India continues to expand. The needs there are great but so is the harvest. Over 17,000 FWB believers gather each Sunday to worship. For these ministries to continue, funding must be available for the church planters, the ministry costs, and leadership training. Brother Carlisle is the only IM missionary serving there and his account cannot bear the full responsibility for all the ministry needs in the country. Therefore, we must come alongside the Indian brothers and sisters and keep the church moving closer and closer to Christ.
  • CENTRAL ASIA —This relationship began in 2002 with a visit by several IM personnel to four Central Asian countries. We have a two-pronged involvement in this area. One is through Bible Mission Global and the other through the Baptist Union which is formed by local churches. The lion’s share of the budgeted funds go to the Bible institute in Almaty, Kazakhstan. A smaller portion is directed toward church planting efforts throughout the region.
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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 4

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 4

Prayer Focus

Pray for national believers and leaders on each field. 

 

Bible Study—Acts 14:23

“Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.”

For mission works to be sustainable, leaders must be developed. First, we must know true leaders emerge. Missionaries do not select church leaders, God does. But true church leaders are those who embrace the call, giving themselves to live in obedience to the Holy Spirit to ensure the spiritual well-being of the local church and its commitment to fulfilling the Great Commission.

Paul and Barnabas knew the significance of prayer and fasting…they, too, were sent out in this manner. They saw it as key to the effectiveness of the appointed elders.

Please dedicate your time today in praying for the leaders of our churches outside of North America.

 

Informing Our Prayer

Missionaries will quickly tell you, outside of seeing the first convert come to Christ, a great moment in their ministry is when national leadership emerges. Even more exciting is when they see these leaders actually step up and take the reins.

On each of our fields, godly national followers of Christ are gifted leaders, respected by their fellow believers, and demonstrate God’s hand on their ministry.

We can’t present every leader on our fields, but below is a list of names supplied by our missionaries indicating the main leaders where they serve. Let’s take the time to pray earnestly for these men and women. May God use today to lead us to a greater commitment to pray for these chosen ones. 

Uruguay

  • Julio Figueroa—Pastor of the Renacer church in Melo; president of the Personeria Juridica
    • Pray he will be a positive influence and help prepare young leaders to assume leadership roles.
    • Pray he grows the vision of an autonomous national church free from dependence on outside help.
    • Pray he will continue his role as a peacemaker and leader in our denomination.
  • Ismael de Oliviera—Deacon and leader of Cristo es el Camino church in Rivera; president of the National Association of FWB, Uruguay
    • Ismael has a strong desire to see the national church involved in outreach and growth. He is a military guy and sometimes his personality and thought process goes directly against Uruguayan cultural norms. Pray he can promote his vision in a way that brings all churches to the table to work together.
    • Ismael is behind the push to emphasize Bible Institute training and is part of a committee to discuss the feasibility of a partnership with the Cuban seminary by bringing a Cuban couple to direct the institute.
    • Pray for encouragement, wisdom, and knowledge as he is at the helm of the national association.
  • Otavio Silva—Layman at the Emanuel Church in Montevideo
    • Otavio is a businessman and works in international finance. He has borne the brunt of the administrative process in bringing the Cuban family to the church in Malvin. He has gifts of administration that need to be shared with our pastors and leaders.
    • He has a desire to see the national church move forward with a unified vision. Pray he will be successful in motivating and assisting in this.
    • Otavio is the oldest, continuing member of our FWB church in Montevideo. Pray he will continue to influence our leaders.
  • Mauricio Leites and Alexander Machado—Deacons in Melo and Rivera
    • These are our two youngest/newest deacons. They are both under 30 years old. Pray for their growth as they preach/teach and serve in their local congregations.
    • Pray they will encourage other young people to service. 

Bulgaria

  • Trif Trifonov—Church planter, Eastern Bulgarian region
    • Pray for God to provide a church building as they have outgrown their current space.
    • Ask God to raise up faithful church leaders.
    • Pray he will not become discouraged in spite of concerted spiritual attacks.
  • Dimitar Rusev—Youth leader, Varna
    • Pray for growth and maturity in the faith.
    • Pray for faithfulness and a willingness to serve God in spite of pressure from family and society.
  • Martin Nikolov—New believer, Svishtov
    • Pray for compassion and love for others.
    • Pray he will finish the discipleship course and begin a pastoral internship.
    • Pray for willingness to serve in the local church.
  • Mitko Grozev-Ruse—Potential church planter, Northern Bulgarian Region
    • Pray for healing from disappointment from other “believers”.
    • Pray God will give him a desire to start a healthy church.
    • Pray he will demonstrate willingness to begin a pastoral internship.

France

  • Jean Charles—Châteaubriant; impetus for beginning Châteaubriant church; could become a pastor
    • Pray he will be able to eliminate certain habits that could keep him from being a pastor.
    • Pray he and his wife would be willing to get some training.
  • Cyprien—New church (JPense group); single, very faithful to the church; integral part of JPense; could become a pastor
    • Pray the Lord would give him a good Christian wife.
    • Pray he can get some strong training.
  • Sylvain—St. Nazaire (The only elder we have in this church at the moment. He really administrates the church as well as being responsible for the music.)
    • Pray he and his wife Stephanie will sense their importance to the church.
    • Pray for his three children who are struggling in their Christian lives. This weighs heavily on his heart.
  • Jonathan—St. Sébastien (This young man is part of the church council. He and his wife have been asked to assume more of the pastoral responsibilities of the church by their fellow council members.)
    • Pray for them to finish their studies well.
    • Pray the Lord will give them clear guidance as they consider their future ministry.

Spain

  • José Manuel—Pastor of a small mission work in Alcalá de Henares
    • Pray for wisdom and direction from God as the church looks for a facility to rent.
    • Pray for spiritual growth, conversions, and increased attendance of this congregation.
    • Pray for wisdom and direction from God as this mission church hopes to begin the process to legally organize.
  • Manu and Noemí—THP Worker in Málaga
    • As it relates to the family, please pray for their testimony, unity, and faith.
    • As it relates to the ministry, pray the Lord will open doors and we will be sensitive to the Lord to take advantage of opportunities.
  • Church Board of the Alpedrete Church
    • Pray for a clear vision to lead the church towards growth and the multiplication of the church.
    • A great team of leaders guide various ministries of the church. As the church looks to move towards complete local leadership (without missionary leadership), pray for people whose strengths are in the area of administration and shepherding to emerge.
  • Church Board of the Galapagar Church (also known as the Villalba Church)
    • Pray for wisdom as the church continues their search for a pastor. They have been without a pastor for two-and-a-half years.
    • Pray for the church board as they plan for the future of the church.

Japan

  • Kiyoshi Kojima and his wife Miho—Pastor of Iriso FWB Church, Saitama Prefecture (Greater Tokyo area)
    • Pray for his leadership for the growth and outreach impact of the Iriso church in the Sayama City area.
    • Pray for him as he works with the Tokyo area FWB missionaries in church planting projects, events, and paperwork assistance.
    • For his family—wife Miho and young son Keisuke—and their growth and blessing as a pastoral family.
  • Seichi Matsuda—Pastor of Taihei Chapel, Sapporo Japan; Leadership team member for the Japan Association of FWB
    • Pray for him to have wisdom, insight, and the favor of God as he pastors.
    • Pray for Pastor Seichi’s parents, Mr. Matsuda and Eiko, to have good health and spiritual refreshing as they work alongside their son.
    • Pray for his leadership role in the Japan Free Will Baptist Association national organization with monthly pastors’ meetings, national annual meetings, and media development for the JFWB association.
  • Pastor Keiichi Kimura and his wife, Sachiko—Pastor KitaHiroshima church (Sapporo area Hokkaido Japan); Head of the Japan Free Will Baptist Association; Vice President of the International Association of FWB; Bible instructor of the area Bible institute, Hokkaido Bible Institute
    • Ask God to give strength and perseverance as pastor Kimura and his wife navigate the different challenges that come with pastoring a flock in Japan.
    • Ask the Lord to provide a bigger building for their congregation as their current building has been stretched to the max for many years.
    • Pray for wisdom for pastor Kimura as he leads the Japanese FWB Association of 12 churches and his influence on the leadership team for the International Fellowship of FWBs.

Kenya

  • Jackson Lasakwel—Main leader; an ordained pastor; lead trainer for the Kenya team of leaders.
    • Pray for his family: wife Justine and four children—teens to toddler.
    • Ask God to provide encouragement as he trains new leaders.
    • Ask God to help him and his family adjust as they move to the Sesia area.
  • Frances Lekarkarauli—Leads two worship gatherings; hope to ordain him soon; wife, Mama Mbaisi, and five kids—teens to newborn; a faithful man who is growing daily in Christ
  • Jonathan Leodip—Leads one worship gathering; one of our guards; family with six kids.
    • Pray God will lead him to become more serious about the ministry.
    • Ask God to give him a shepherd’s heart for the people.
  • Suruai Lentaam—Assistant leader at one of our worship gatherings; miraculously saved from a cobra bite 18 months ago gave him a desire to serve God as a way of saying thank you to Him
    • Pray for his sweet family and five kids. He is a very busy man in the community and is always helping others in need.
    • Pray for him to mature in his walk with Christ.
  • Eunice Lelenguiya—Main female Samburu helper; a widow of many years, even though she is still young; loves the Lord and loves teaching the Bible to women and children; has three sons she will soon leave to move to Sesia
    • Pray for her as she adjusts to living away from her sons.
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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 3

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 3

Prayer Focus 

Pray for every country where IM missionaries serve.

  

Bible Study—Jonah 3:5-7

“So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:”

God used Jonah’s preaching, although done reluctantly, to strongly convict the people of Nineveh of their sins. They were so convicted they believed in God and “called a great fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. … By the decree of the king.” They would “not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing.” Unlike Jonah, they did not deal with a bad attitude. They turned to God and sought His forgiveness and mercy.

 

Informing Our Prayer

What country where IM missionaries serve do you find most intriguing? How much do you know about it? Will you set aside time to learn at least three things about each country where we have missionaries?

How many fields can you name without looking them up? Please write those down, then go find the others. This information can be gathered from the missionary maps/posters, prayer cards, our website (iminc.org/missionaries/countries), and directories.

Try to answer three questions to prepare you to pray specifically for each country:

  1. What is the major religion? You might want to add a few more in this category so you pray with understanding about the resistance this religion has, or does not have, toward Christianity.
  2. What percentage of the population is Christian? It might do well to find out the percentage of “evangelical” Christians in particular. Joshuaproject.com is a good resource for this information and the question below.
  3. How many unreached people groups are in this country? Pray God will call missionaries to go to this (these) group(s).

As you gather this information, allow God’s Spirit to help you uncover the most important elements of each of these areas. Then spend an extensive amount of time praying about what you have discovered.

IM missionaries serve in:

  • Brazil
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
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  • Bulgaria
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
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  • France
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
  • India
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
  • Japan
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
  • Kenya
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
  • Spain
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
  • Uruguay
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
  • USA
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________

 

 

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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 2

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 2

PRAYER FOCUS

Pray for every IM missionary and ask God to call more missionaries.

 

BIBLE STUDY—Acts 13:2-4 

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.

Through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the church at Antioch saw something in Paul and Barnabas they otherwise may not have known. During a time of prayer and fasting, He made it clear these two men—Barnabas and Paul—were His choices to advance His kingdom in that region and beyond.

Perhaps we can comfortably agree these men were the first missionaries sent out by a local congregation. These men were unmistakably the right choice.

We need to ask God to work among Free Will Baptists to tap on the hearts of many young people and direct them to join in on the primary task we have undertaken: to “labor together with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.”

 

INFORMING OUR PRAYER

We all agree our missionaries need our prayers. When was the last time you prayed for every one of them by name? This is an opportune time to do just that.

If you have a mission directory, map, missionary poster, or a set of prayer cards let it serve as your reference to pray for each missionary. You can also visit IM’s website (iminc.org/missionaries) and see their pictures as well as their bio, prayer requests, and news.

 

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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 1

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 1

PRAYER FOCUS

Pray our Free Will Baptist people will become more aware of and sensitive to the needs of others, both at home and around the world.

 

BIBLE STUDY—Isaiah 58:6-7

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 

It is imperative our relationship with God and man, as well as our motives, be properly aligned before entering into a time of prayer and fasting. The prophet Isaiah presents us with a totally unique perspective of what a fast should be like.

A prayerful and precise study of this passage will reveal unique motives and actions comprising an acceptable fast before God. 

 

INFORMING OUR PRAYER

For most of us, the challenge we face is not a lack of desire. We desire to see the needs of people met. We want to see them come to Christ. The real obstacle is a lack of basic knowledge of the real and felt needs of the world in which we live.

Let’s take a quick glimpse at some of the realities of today’s world. As you fast and pray, present each of these needs to God and ask Him to reveal how He wishes us to respond individually and collectively to these needs.

Please consider the following information about the 7.6 billion inhabitants of the earth:

PHYSICAL NEEDS

  • 5 billion people lack basic sanitation—They lack clean water, the means to properly dispose of garbage, proper sewage disposal, etc.
  • 8 billion are undernourished—These men, women, and children do not have a proper diet and, in many cases, do not have access to essential food and water.
  • 6 billion individuals are without sufficient housing—They do not have protection from extreme heat and/or cold, rain, wild animals, etc.
  • 3 billion live in abject poverty—These individuals subsist on less than $1.25 a day.
  • 3 million people die each year­­—Almost nine million people die annually in the country of India alone. That means 151,000 people enter eternity each day in India. Nearly 45,000 (approximately one-third) of these men and women have never heard the gospel…even once!

EMOTIONAL NEEDS

  • 300 million people in the world suffer from depression
  • 70% percent of pastors constantly fight depression
  • 71% of American pastors suffer from burnout
  • 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 12 is on an antidepressant medication
  • 1 in 4 women in their 40s and 50s are on antidepressants
  • Suicide ranks as the 10th leading cause of death among Americans.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students.                                    

SPIRITUAL NEEDS

  • 6 billion people live without religious freedom—This number includes some countries that do not necessarily persecute Christians but set up legal structures to stop the advancement of the gospel.
  • 2 billion people have no access to a Bible—Many of us have between five and ten Bibles in our homes. Yet, several billion individuals do not have the possibility of even seeing one page of Scripture.
  • 1 billion people declare no religious affiliation—This number comprises atheists, agnostics, and those who have abandoned the church; 88% of these individuals state they are not looking for a religion.
  • 1 billion people in the 1040 Window have no gospel witness—This area of the world is made up of 57 countries from 10 degrees to 40 degrees north of the equator spanning from West Africa to East Asia.
  • 7,103 unreached people groups—A people group is made up of people who share a common language, culture, religion, beliefs, etc. An unreached people group refers to these 7,103 people sharing these common identifiers without a solid gospel witness among them.

 

 

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What’s Next?

Clint Morgan

What’s Next?

Have you ever passed through an experience and longed to repeat it? No matter how diligently we pursue it, an exact encore experience is an impossible feat. That is how I feel about our 30 Days of Prayer and Fasting. To some degree it feels incomplete even though we set a precise time for beginning and ending. I found myself wondering if we should have set a longer period for prayer and fasting. But then again no one is being told when to, or not to, fast and pray.

Time marches on and life’s experiences along with it. Scripture tells us to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:15-16). What does this mean exactly? The word redeem comes from two Greek words that mean from out of, and to purchase. The word time is drawn from the Greek word kairos which is not attached to minutes and seconds but more the idea of the right time or opportune time.

Without getting too bogged down in an analysis of this passage, we can deduce a strong driving principle. God calls us to make the very best use of the time entrusted to us.

What better way to spend our time than in fasting and prayer? Sure, few people have the possibility of spending every waking minute praying and fasting. In fact, no one does! Therefore, in the face of the many opportunities, distractions, and obligations that eat up our time, we must make time for two of the Christian disciplines that are foundational to our daily walk, work, and ministry.

We should all be challenged to redeem the time by setting aside more days for personal fasting and prayer. I can say without hesitation the needs, challenges, and opportunities of ministry keep on coming and this means the necessity of prayer remains a constant.

Did you miss the opportunity to participate in October’s prayer and fasting emphasis? The information will remain on our website. Feel free to use it at any time.

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Going Further Together

Clint Morgan

Going Further Together

THEME VI: PRAYING ABOUT PARTNERING

DAY 22: Going Further Together

An African proverb states, “You can’t wash your whole body with your right hand.” I can picture some of you giving that serious thought. Perhaps your first reaction is “I know I can do that!” Well, can you possibly wash your right arm with your right hand? Nope! Even a double-jointed person cannot accomplish such a task.

We, as humans,—and, dare I say, especially us men—tend to attempt to take care of our problems by ourselves. We convince ourselves we don’t need input from others to work through life’s daily challenges. 

If our financial picture is bleak…our job overwhelming…our relationships falling apart…our health failing, we generally do our best to ignore it, hide it, or fix it…all on our own. 

I can’t speak for others but, I can tell you without hesitation, I have found I simply cannot fix some problems without help from other sources. I praise the Lord for those who often rally around me in a time of need.

I want to thank my family, friends, and colleagues who have come alongside us and helped carry the burdens, overcome the obstacles, and encouraged us to press on. Thank you for being sensitive to the needs and being willing to step up and help wash my right arm. I am sure we could not have made it this far in this journey without the help of our dear family of God. 

As we pray today, let’s ask God to lead us to someone who is facing difficulties in their life’s journey and then ask Him what we can do to help them…then pray for the strength to do what He asks. 

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Where Do Free Will Baptists Fit?

Clint Morgan

Where Do Free Will Baptists Fit?

THEME V: PRAYING TO BE THE AGENCY HE WANTS US TO BE

DAY 20: Where Do Free Will Baptists Fit? 

Where do we as Free Will Baptists fit into God’s master plan for reaching the lost? Some would argue God has exactly one task for us, and nothing more. I’m not sure we want to go so far as to say that. This would lead us to conclude that, like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, we are intricately cut and with only one place we can fit. If we do not find the one precise slot to fill it leaves a hole in God’s plan that cannot be filled and we live in sin from that point on.

This may sound contradictory, but I believe God has a precise slot He wants us to fill. However, if we do not fill it, He will cut another piece. If we miss that particular opportunity, recognize our failure to listen to His voice, and repent of it, I am convinced He reshapes us and provides another place for us to serve. The children of Israel supply us with a plethora of examples of failing to follow God’s instruction, repenting, and restoring His guidance, and being used to bring honor and glory to His name.

I do not want FWB to go through that cycle. We can pray diligently, listen attentively, and obey completely. We can ask Him to show us precisely what His role for us is as we labor with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission. We can pray to obey His directives.

As we move swiftly to the future, let us collectively ask God where we as FWB fit into His plan. What role has He reserved for us? If we ask, He will show us. Then it is up to us to fulfill that role(s).

Pray today that we as God’s people in the FWB denomination will seek to know and do what He has planned for us in fulfilling the Great Commission. 

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Who Will Go to the Hard Places?

Clint Morgan

Who Will Go to the Hard Places?

THEME IV: PRAYING TO KNOW PRECISELY WHERE TO GO

DAY 19: Who Will Go to the Hard Places?

How many times in your life have you been asked, “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?” Most of the time we here answers like New York City…Paris, France…the Grand Canyon…Hawaii….

Have you ever heard someway say, “Oh I want to go to North Korea…Somalia…Iraq…Syria?”

We have to face the bare truth: people in these not-so-attractive places are in desperate need of the gospel. Many, if not most, of the people in these lands have absolutely no idea who the biblical Christ is and what He has sacrificed for the sins of the world—including them. Does the mere fact that these are high-risk areas strike them from God’s list of those who are in need of redemption? Absolutely not! 

We have a great challenge and task before us. We can’t call people to go to Hawaii or to Syria, but God can and will. 

The fact is, business people in search of earthly riches; wickedly mean, power-hungry leaders; and soldiers fighting wars they did not start often find themselves in some of the toughest places in the world. Each of these is driven and pulled by forces other than the Creator God. Do we believe obeying Him is greater than pursuing riches, ruling lands, and fighting wars? 

Pray for the countries and people groups most resistant to the gospel and ask God to call laborers into those hard places. 

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