40 DAYS OF REACHING CITIES & COMMUNITIES FOR CHRIST: DAY 5 – INTRODUCTION PART 4
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28
(Ed’s story continues from yesterday)
Ed challenged the pastors to establish a perimeter of godliness in the city. The original group of pastors responded. They did this by meeting regularly for prayer, intercession and accountability. This was a positive beginning in a city where were 68 of the 70 existing congregations were the result of church splits. As the pastors met, God met with them. The Holy Spirit began to work in their lives and soon a deep bond of love had enveloped them completely. At one of those meetings, one of the pastors said, “I want you to know that I love you, guys. You have become an integral part of my life. I don’t think I can do it alone as I used to. I need you! I wonder if we could have the Lord’s Supper today?” Never before had the Lord’s Supper been celebrated outside of a local church, and it had always been for the benefit of the members of that church. Radical new ground was being broken.
Another pastor responded by saying, “If we are going to have the Lord’s Supper, I need to wash your feet. I have been so aloof and so proud in the past. I must wash your feet.” This act of sincere humility was quickly reciprocated by others in the group. Everyone seemed to be saying, “I want to do it first.”
Lacking the elements—since it was a totally unexpected idea—they used crackers and orange juice, which one of them bought at the small market next door. It didn’t matter. Never before had the cleansing blood of Jesus flowed in a more palpable way, nor was His body ever more tangible than when those sincere pastors passed around the cup with the orange juice and broke the crackers after having washed each others’ feet.
The feast did not stop there. Somebody suggested that they take an offering and give it to one of them who was facing financial difficulties. An open Bible was passed around in lieu of an offering plate, and less than $50 was collected. This amount was insignificant as far as money goes. However, like the fish Jesus cooked by the seaside to feed his hungry disciples, the money collected was a genuine expression of God’s provision. More than giving money, they had given themselves to each other. That was the day when the foundation for unity was truly laid down in Resistencia.
The circle quickly expanded and soon more than half the pastors in the city had agreed to reach the entire city for Christ.
Does a sovereign, all-powerful God need our involvement or not? Is prayer really important? If so, why? Our prayers can bring revival and healing. We can change a nation. Strongholds can come down because we pray. E.M. Bounds said: “God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil….The prayers of God’s saints are the capital stock of heaven by which God carries on His great work upon earth. God conditions the very life and prosperity of His cause on prayer.”
The answer to why prayer is important lies in God’s original plan when He created Adam and Eve. What God intended for Adam, He intended for the entire human race. He gave Adam and Eve and their descendants’ dominion over the entire earth and all creation. Genesis 1:26-28
Rev. Obadiah Swen
APPLICATION AND PRAYER FOR TODAY
1. Why does God need our involvement in reaching cities and communities for Christ?
2. What are the effects of our prayers?
3. Pray for the cities, communities, and business leaders, churches and Christians of Arlington and Fairfax Counties.
4. Pray for all of the Delegates, Representatives and Senators who serve in the Local, State and US Congress, that they will govern with God-honoring discernment and preserve the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
5. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what 1ve ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. — Romans 8:26