Ministry Prayer Items

Genesis 24:50-58

50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.”

52 When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”

55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you may go.”

56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”

57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”

“I will go,” she said.

DON QUIXOTE

Have you read or heard the story of Don Quixote? A rich middle-aged man read many tales about brave warriors and knighthoods. He believes that he is a knight, a brave warrior in armor named Don Quixote. Dressed in full armor, he rides his horse around the country, and everyone else laughs at him.

One famous adventure of Don Quixote is his fight with the windmills. He thinks a magician changed windmills into the giants to hurt him.

Others despise Christians like Don Quixote. They think our message of the mystery of Christ is foolishness because it’s beyond this real world. Christ’s Spirit gives us confidence in Him, and inspires us to tell others about Him. It makes us certain that what we believe is real and genuine because of our life has changed.

It says in 1 Corinthians 1:18-19, 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Without personal experience of the power of Christ, there is nothing to testify about Christ. Witnessing or testifying about an event requires personal awareness, exposure, and observation. When we witness for Christ, we testify and tell others about our personal experience with Christ.

It says in Zechariah 6:15, 15And you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God.

We come to know the Lord better and deeper as we obey His instruction. The more we obey, the more we understand His love for us, the more we have proof of our claim about Him, the more we obey. In short, personal experience, knowledge and obedience to Him would grow simultaneously together.

There are potential believers around us. Your classmates, officemates, bus-mates, customers, employers, acquaintances, or the persons who always come near you are potential disciples. We have to pray for discernment to know the right timing and witness to the persons God has prepared to believe.

Abraham’s servant testified about his journey, and God gave discernment for Rebekah’s family to believe everything he told them.

1. Discernment

50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.  51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.”  

Abraham’s servant has identified Rebekah to be the right woman for Isaac. He praised God for the success of his mission. He was very proper in his actions. He sought permission from Rebekah’s family to take her to Canaan. Her father Bethuel and her brother Laban discerned that his message comes from the Lord.

Is it easy to believe a stranger? Can you discern truth from fraud? God must have prepared their hearts to believe everything the servant has told them.

When Christ told us to go and make disciples, do you believe that He has already prepared the person He wants us to reach out and disciple? We need discernment when we share the gospel of Christ to know those who’ll believe.

Paul appealed in Colossians 4:3, 3Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ.

Please continue to pray, not only our leaders but for all of us, to discern the potential disciple that the Lord has prepared to join us in this church. We are glad when people pray and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior but it is much better to have believers join this church and grow into disciples making disciples.

Abraham’s servant was focused on his mission to get a wife for Isaac. To be assured that Rebekah was the right woman for Isaac, he prayed about his expectation. We should also pray that God would lead us to the right person who does not pretend as believer but sincerely follow Christ and His teachings.

It teaches us in Psalm 119:124-125, 124 Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees. 125 I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.

God’s laws, decrees and statutes are instructions for us to experience His care. We need discernment from Christ to understand such reality. Faith in Him dictates that His commands are instruction to express and share the best of His love and care for us. By faith, we obey and experience what He prepared for us. Then, that personal experience serves as proof of our testimony about Christ.

Toronto Van Attack

Witnesses testified of what they saw when a man deliberately drive a van into crowds in Toronto. A video footage shows the suspect shouted “Kill me,” the police officer replied, “No, get down.” When the suspect said, “I have a gun in my pocket,” the officer responded: “I don’t care. Get down.”

That tragic event illustrates how sinful nature wants destroy. The suspect harmed others and desired to be killed himself. In contrast, the police officer stopped him from doing more harm and did what was right and just in accordance with the law. We may not be enlisted as police officers but we have similar mandate to live a lifestyle according to God’s law.

Paul challenges us in 2 Timothy 2:3-4, 3Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

The moment we believe, we were enlisted as soldier of Christ. The police officer in the Toronto Van Attack was praised for doing what was right. We desire to be considered as good soldiers of Christ and please Him as our commander.

Abraham’s servant wanted to please his master. He was focused in his mission to get a wife for his master’s son. Abraham was more than a thousand of miles away. The servant could have easily escaped with the gold and silver of his master but he did not. He exemplified how believers should serve God faithfully.

52 When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 

Many eastern cultures practise giving gifts or dowry to the family of the bride. Other culture requires the woman to give dowry or wedding gifts to the family of the groom. Abraham’s servant testified that God blessed his master abundantly. He gave gifts of gold and silver from Abraham to Rebekah’s family.

The positive response of Rebekah’s family to the testimony of the servant is the very situation we desire to happen. We want our family and relatives to believe the gospel of Christ. Rebekah’s family discerned that the message of the servant was from God and they believed his testimony.

It says Acts 16:31, 31Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.

Many among us are still hoping for our family circle to believe in the Lord eventually. We have to keep praying for them, and be aware and observant of spiritual development. When Rebekah’s family believed the servant’s message, it illustrates how God cares about the spiritual development of our relatives, too.

2. Development

54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”  

God must have prepared Rebekah and her family so that they offered generous hospitality and welcomed Abraham’s servant and his companions into their home, and believed the servant. God must have made the servant and his companions comfortable to eat, drink and spend the night in Rebekah’s home.

Such development points beyond what humans can control. With scams, frauds, and deceptions increasing rapidly in this generation, one has to be very cautious to entertain people. It’s one problem we face when we go door-to-door.

Door-to-Door Deception

It has been reported that some residents in the St. James area are concerned about door-to-door deception after someone tried to sell them water treatment systems. A stranger tried to sell a water treatment solution. He tells about copper and chlorine in the water and want check it out. The man claimed to be connected to the city of Winnipeg but failed to produce the identification.

Tim Shanks, the city of Winnipeg’s manager of water services said, “At any time, we don’t sell anything door-to-door. The city doesn’t endorse or require or recommend any kind of additional treatment at that point of use. If city employees make door-to-door contact, they should be carrying photo identification, wear city-created uniforms and drive a city vehicle.” Concerned consumers can report suspicious activity to the Better Business Bureau, Winnipeg Police Service or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Door-to-door witnessing was effective at some point. We can have similar strategy. But we can also learn from the experience of Abraham’s servant. He did not go door-to-door and asked about Abraham’s relatives. Others may dismiss it as coincidence, but faith in God dictates that God has coordinated the place and time for Abraham’s servant to meet Rebekah and her family.

God knew if we are focused and intentional in our mission to make disciples. Aside from praying for discernment and awareness of possible spiritual development around us, we have to pray for right and genuine decisions when we share the gospel, and not just simply decision out of politeness or courtesy.

3. Decision

55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you may go.”  56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”

The following morning, Abraham’s servant asked permission to return to Canaan but Rebekah’s family wanted them to stay a little bit longer. The servant said, “Don’t detain me,” why? Perhaps, family members and relatives of Rebekah gathered in her home that morning. Because of the imposing number of people, the servant may have felt like Rebekah’s family hesitated to let her go.

57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” “I will go,” she said.

When Rebekah decided to go to Canaan, it proves again that she was prepared to accept the challenge of new lifestyle. That is the kind of spiritual development that we need to discern when we go and make disciples. Truly, God wants everyone to be saved but He has prepared certain individuals to be saved.

Paul wrote 1 Timothy 2:1-6, 1Petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.

It would have been very favorable to believers if government authorities are practicing Christians who live by the teachings of Christ our Lord and Master. Abraham’s servant exemplified how to live by the will of his master. He respected the authority of Rebekah’s parents when he sought permission to take her back to Canaan. Whether they agree or not, he properly asked for their decision.

Great Banquet

Many among us love banquets. The Lord Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a great banquet in Luke 14:16-24, 16“A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’”

Do we not experience similar reasons and rejections when we invite people to accept Christ? Sharing the gospel is invitation to the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb of God. The Lord knew that there will be people who reject us. He is praying for us and for those who would decide to believe in our message.

The Lord Jesus prayed in John 17:18-20, 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. 20My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.

Keep praying to be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Don’t be pressured about results. Pray and wait until you sense the empowerment of the Spirit of Christ. You will certainly be glad to testify about Him without pressure.

As we go out and testify about Christ, remember to pray for discernment, development and decisions to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.

<‘)))>< ltsii/2018 ><(((‘>

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