Religious leaders have taught us to memorize the prayer Jesus used as an example of how to pray.
He was responding to his followers when they got upset because John’s disciples knew how to pray but they didn’t. We were told to call that prayer the “Our Father” or the “Lord’s Prayer.” The implication is that it’s what Jesus prayed every morning. Since He wasn’t asking our Father to forgive His sins like He was forgiving people who had sinned against Him, I call it the “disciples’ prayer.”
His prayer instructions included what burst out of Him in Matthew 9:35-38. As He considered the combination of lostness and preparedness of the humans around them, He instructed his disciples again about how to pray. “Pray earnestly that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers into the harvest fields.”
If you are in Jerusalem and need money, pray for Israeli money, not rupees or pesos. If you have many demonized people around, pray for harvesters who have the gift of discerning of spirits so that you can tell when you have cast out the last one or not.
If all the believers around you are evangelists, pray for pastors and teachers and prophets to raise up the harvested when the evangelists bring them in. If you only have teachers around, pray for the rest of the particular laborers you need.
Nehemiah was quite likely comfortable in his government job in Babylon. Babylon means “gate of god.” I have been taught by Evangelical and Pentecostal theologians that Babel, and subsequently, Babylon, mean “confusion,” so I was calling this post “Leaving Confusion, Looking for Peace. While studying for the post, I discovered that Babal is the Hebrew word meaning confusion. They sound similar, hence the confusion…
SO, back to “leaving Babylon, seeking Jerusalem…”
Nehemiah was comfortable, but not at peace. He had learned that Jerusalem, the “City of Peace,” had been razed and its gates and walls had been destroyed. This broke his heart to the end that his employer noticed it and inquired about it.
Nehemiah shared his pain with the king. The king made provision for him to travel to Jerusalem under his authority and with his wealth and to restore the wall. In the process of pursuing the project, Nehemiah was insulted, falsely accused, attacked, and successful.
Stay wide awake to the things in the earth that break Yahweh’s heart. When you let Him break your heart with them, you will be trusted to change them.
One day, congregations will serve their members and their neighbors and their God by using the Holy Spirit’s empowerment of each member.
Evangelists will be spending more time with unbelievers than with church members. When they lead someone to Jesus, they will introduce them to the people who are gifted to teach and prophesy and pastor, in a culturally matched congregation – where the new people are “set in families” (Psalm 68:6). Those people will begin helping them to identify the place into which they are being called by the Holy Spirit.
They will instruct and inspire and encourage and challenge them to become Life-giving servants of the Most High God. They will trust them with important work before they are ready to do it. Every member will be engaged in the works of the Kingdom of Heaven.
And they will love each other.