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
The Weaving of God
Let’s join the weeping poets by the river of Babylon praying for God to restore the glory of Israel.
God’s answer to their prayer for restoration of the temple and Israel is mind-boggling. What happened to the nation of Israel? He created a new Israel, one that included the Gentiles as the people of God. What about the temple? He sent his only Son to be the temple. Look how God used the captivity, this seemingly unfinished story, to prepare for the coming of his Son and the birth of the church:
God used the destruction of the temple and the removal of the Israelites to Babylon to create the synagogue structure, a precursor to the local church. If temple worship had continued uninterrupted, the early church would not have had a model for local congregations. They learned to worship God without a temple.
The Old Testament canon was organized during this time. Severed from their land in a virtual spiritual desert, the Israelites clung to their scrolls. That gave the early church the category of Old Testament, which in turn created the New Testament.
God purified Israel of mixing with other religions.
The dispersion of the Jewish people provided a base from which Paul and others could easily spread the gospel.
Israel was forever purified of outward idolatry. Never again would the Jewish people worship idols. Monotheism became permanently central to Israel. This is the foundation of Christian thought and Western civilization.
Because the Jews became devout monotheists, they got upset when Jesus claimed to be God. When Jesus claimed to be the unique Son of God, the high priest tore his robe and delivered Jesus up to be crucified.
God was weaving a spectacular tapestry through the suffering of Israel. Without the Babylonian captivity there would be no Israel, no cross, no Christianity, and no Western Civilization. Haggai was right. The glory of the new temple was greater than Solomon’s.
But the Jewish poet who wept by the rivers of Babylon never saw the end of the story. Like all the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, he lived with the story unfinished in his lifetime. He lived by faith.
Come Quickly, Lord Jesus
The first time I took Kim with me on a speaking retreat, a little girl came up to her as we were finishing dinner and asked, “Why don’t you speak?” Kim leaned over her speech computer, which was propped on the table, and typed, “I will have a beautiful voice in heaven.” We walked away with tears in our eyes.
Living in the unfinished stories draws us into God’s final act, the return of Jesus. While we wait for his return, it is easy to predict the pattern of the last days. The book of Revelation pictures a suffering church, dying as creation itself is unraveling. Through suffering God will finally make his church beautiful and reveal his glory. In the desert you see his glory. In the last days the bride will be made beautiful, pure, waiting for her lover. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
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 patience and perseverance for each of these missionaries. Pray that God would use them to make disciples AND He would use them to multiply churches!