O Christ, we declare this day that apart from you we can do nothing (John 15:5) but that with you all things are possible (Mark 10:27). You are stronger than the evil power that is working in all 195 countries of the world. And from the 44,000,000 in Argentina to the 57,000 in Greenland, from the coast of Senegal to the shores of Fiji, you are moving, calling, saving, shaping a community cleaving to you from every tribe and language and people and nation (Revelation 5:9). For 2,000 years you, the reigning God, have been saving and satisfying believing sinners through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Today there remain some 1,200 people groups dwelling in deep darkness with little to no engagement from those who claim they treasure Christ, yet the sovereign Savior came to slay the serpent far as the curse is found.
We are not seeking a lip service without heart change or words without action. We are pleading for your namesake, that you, God of heaven and earth, would raise up dads and moms, seniors and youth from this congregation and beyond who can labor with well-equipped hands and hearts in your fields, harvesting all those whom you have effectually called (Luke 10:2). Let your light shine into the darkness so that the darkness will not overcome it (John 1:5). Let Shiite and Sunni Muslims see the light of the Son of God. Let your Spirit blow among the Jews, moving them to embrace their Messiah Jesus. Let Hindus surrender to the only one and true God, and lead Buddhists to turn from their self-made pursuits in order to celebrate that there is a God and that in Christ you can save them. Help many who are bound up in various cultural religions, living in fear of spirits and in fear of death, to find the hope that Jesus is stronger and that he has conquered death forever for those who will believe. Let your saving power move, overcoming darkness far as the curse is found.
Keep the senders praying and giving and mindful of how important it is to hold the rope. And keep the goers faithful and dependent, bold and believing, upheld and supplied. They go out as sheep among wolves (Matthew 10:16); be the Shepherd they need (John 10:11). You promise that any who leave for your sake and for the gospel will also receive a hundredfold now in this time–houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions–and in the age to come eternal life (Mark 10:29–30). Thank you that we have been born again to a living hope that carries us through pain and loss, suffering and danger–a living hope to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us (1 Peter 1:3–4). Keep goers and senders alike confident that “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). You are our treasure and our supply, and you will never leave us or forsake us far as the curse is found (Hebrews 13:5). For the glory of One who reigns and saves we pray these things. Amen.
In a gospel strategy we are calling “25x‘25,” Bethlehem Baptist Church has committed to sending 25 global partners to unengaged peoples and to starting 25 new church plants by 2025. Bethlehem College & Seminary has joined this plan by prayerfully asking God to equip and raise up from our midst at least 50% of those who will go. We are now rejoicing in the Lord that he has called one of our soon-to-be seminary graduates and his family as the first of the 25 to go out for the sake of his name to take the gospel to peoples who at present have no person engaging them and for whom there is no missionary plan at work. Please join with us in praying….
- For provision and sustaining grace for Micah and Jess B. and their four children as they leave family and friends to enter into a multi-year team commitment to engage with the gospel peoples among the Himalayas who have never heard anything about Jesus.
- For the 25x‘25 mission––that God would continue to raise up singles and marrieds, fathers and mothers, seniors and youth who are willing to send well and go well for the sake of God’s name, whether through church planting or through reaching the unengaged.
- For God to show each of us, young and old, how we can contribute to his cause of bringing about “the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” (Romans 1:5).
- For God to fill us each with passion to see Jews celebrate the Messiah who came to serve them (Romans 15:8) and to see Gentiles “glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:9) and “hope” in Christ (Romans 15:12).