“He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near” (Ephesians 2:17).
Some Christians get so excited about global missions that they forget all about their neighbors at home. Other Christians are so focused on their neighbors that they don’t think they have anything to give for the cause of world missions. The issue, in God’s eyes is not one or the other, but Global and local evangelism. Some use the term “glocal” to describe this unified (and Biblical) approach.
Jesus certainly viewed His ministry in this way. Though His first focus was on the Jewish people, he called them to fulfill their Abrahamic role of being a blessing to all nations by going to all peoples with the Gospel. In this way, the Gospel would tear down the barriers between Jew and Gentile and make one new man in Christ.
Paul described it to the Church at Ephesus by saying that Jesus preached peace to those who were far away…the Gentiles, and He also preached peace to those who were near…the Jews. The peace of Christ brings peace between ethnic groups and nations, and brings those groups in peace to God.
Our calling from God is to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor.5:18), bringing the peace of Christ to those who are near us as well as to those who are far from us. Our prayer life should reflect this dual emphasis. We should be praying for neighbors as well as nations.
–Adapted from Revolution on Our Knees: 30 Days of Prayer for Neighbors and Nations by Dave and Kim Butts. Click on the title for more information on this resource.
Gracious Father, Your love for all mankind is astonishing. Though You certainly deal with nations and people groups in different ways, Your love always shines through. I’m grateful for Your love in my own life. Help me to demonstrate this love in what I do and say, and especially in how I pray. May my prayers reflect Your love for those who are in my neighborhood, as well as for those who are on the other side of the planet.
Praise God that Jesus Christ is coming again to bring all things to perfection. Thank the Lord that you can anticipate dwelling with him in a new heaven and earth. Confess any attitudes or actions which are hindering the coming kingdom. Commit yourself to watching and praying, being ready for the coming of Christ. Ask that you may live in a way pleasing to God, so that he might say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:21).
Ask God to make his people generous in giving their time and gifts for the benefit of others. Ask that the love of Christ will be evident in the care Christians give to each other.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on title for more information about this resource).