“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:2-6).
We both remember teaching in Thailand several years ago, which required from one to three translators depending upon how many different language groups were represented. Sometimes the translator would not have a word for what needed to be translated, so much discussion would ensue to get the right meaning. By then, what we wanted to relate lost much of its effect. Sometimes the process of translation was long and involved, or so fascinating that we would forget what we had just said when it was time to move on to the next statement.
The apostle Paul knew that he must be clear when presenting the Gospel; otherwise, his message would not be received seriously. Likewise, every preacher sometimes struggles to make sure the message being preached is clear and relevant to those who are listening. Imagine preaching without the benefit of a translator in a language you are still trying to learn! We have heard many stories from those who have unwittingly used the wrong words while trying to impart a spiritual truth, only to have everyone begin to laugh, or get confused looks on their faces. Imagine the difficulty of trying to preach in the heart language of a group of people who desperately need to hear a clear presentation of the gospel. Paul’s prayer requests certainly apply to many missionaries today!
Amazing Lord, I am in awe at Your creativity! You have crafted an incredible world filled with colorful people, who are vastly different from one another in language and culture. Into these lands You have called Christian workers, many who preach Your word in a second language. Would You anoint these preachers for this crucial task, and help them to clearly proclaim the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost? Give them confidence that Your Holy Spirit will speak through them so that Your Name will be made famous in the smallest villages and the largest cities throughout the world!
–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.
Rejoice in God’s majesty, glory, and might. Thank God that in all things he works for the good of those who love him (Rom. 8:28). Confess any fear, worry, or anxiety you may be feeling about your present circumstances. Commit your day to God and rest in his good planning for your life (Prov. 3:5-6). Ask for his peace to remain with you throughout your day.
Pray that believers everywhere will walk in truth and unity. Ask the Holy Spirit to draw them closer to each other.
“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.” —Abraham Lincoln
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on title for more information about this resource).