Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!
Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer.
Below, you will find the following:
an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,
3-5 key prayer requests for each week,
a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,
and a new missionary family each day to support.
Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!
We’re closing in on the end of this book. We are in the final part, Part 5: Praying in Real Life.
Part 5: Praying in Real Life
Chapter 32: Unfinished Stories
In the stories I’ve told in this book, we can see God weaving a tapestry. In my experience, as we abide in him, he usually shows us what he is doing. But sometimes he doesn’t. Job is the most famous example. Job never knew why he suffered. In this chapter I want to deal with a particularly difficult set of stories: the unfinished, the ones with sad endings, the seeming tragedies. We live in many overlapping stories, most of which are larger than us. Each of us will die with unfinished stories. We can never forget that God is God. Ultimately it is his story, not ours.
Sometimes the participants in the story don’t get to see the end. This was the case for the children of Israel after the Babylonian invasion in 586 BC.
Israel was in agony. “By the water of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion” (Psalm 137:1). The Babylonians had destroyed the city of Jerusalem, tearing down the walls and leveling Solomon’s temple. They killed the sons of the king in front of his eyes, blinded him, and led him away in shackles. The young men – such as Daniel and his friends, the future of the kingdom – became eunuchs in the service of the Babylonian king. Even their names were changed. The kingdom of Israel was gone; their king was gone; and the kingship was gone. For all practical purposes, Israel ceased to exist. So, by the rivers of Babylon they sat and wept.
The return from captivity didn’t help. In 520 BC at the dedication ceremony for the makeshift temple they’d thrown together, the older people wept when they remembered the magnificent structure that Solomon had built. Haggai the prophet told Zerubbabel, “Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? It is not as nothing in your eyes?” (Haggai 2:3).
The Israelites’ only hope was a few words from the prophets. At the same dedication Haggai prophesied,
In a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all the nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in and I will fill this house with glory … The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former. (Haggai 2:6-7, 9)
Every person who heard these words died without seeing anything happen. In fact, their children and grandchildren died. For five hundred and fifty long years, nothing happened. God was present but silent.
Nevertheless, the children of Israel didn’t stop hoping and praying. The opening scene in the gospel of Luke is a prayer meeting. When Zechariah went into the temple to burn incense, “the whole multitude of people were praying outside” (Luke 1:10). What was God going? How had he answered their prayers?
WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:
Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community. This week, pray for the following five prompts:
Easter: Easter week is just one week away! Last week we prayed for the many people that will come from the community to attend our Easter services who do not normally attend here. This week let’s pray for the gospel message that will go out. Pray for the Spirit to be moving even now, in the hearts of those who will hear the gospel this Easter, whether at Woodlands, or another Bible based, Christ focused church. Pray that many would come to know Christ and accept Him as their Lord and Savior this Easter season!
Volunteers: As we continue to move into a season of ministry wrap up, let’s remember the army of volunteers that support all of the ministries at Woodlands Church. Pray for perseverance for all of our volunteers to finish out the year well. Praise God for the good work and jobs well done by these servants! Pray that the fruit of their labor would be lasting!
Life Groups: Pray for life groups as they, too, finish up the ministry year. Pray for groups to continue through strong to the end. Praise God for the meeting, supporting, and praying for one another, and also pray that these groups would encourage spiritual growth and maturity in those involved.
Wisdom: As we continue in the series Forks and Fences, let’s pray for wisdom. Pray that God would pour out His wisdom on us as individuals and also as a church body, that He would convict and move us to obedience through the power of His Holy Spirit.
SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:
Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff.
The verse for this week is 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 in the CSB translation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.” He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:
Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary/country/region/movement for whom to be praying. Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry. If you are interested in learning more specifics, please contact Whitney Swenson.
Over the last few weeks, we have worked through our list of missionaries via their countries or regions. Would you lift each of them up individually, and as a collective group of disciples and disciple-makers!
Pray for joy in the midst of suffering and kindness in the midst of slander for each one today! (see names on Monday’s post)