Last year, I became convicted about the lack of community ministry by my church and in my own life. Eventually, a small group of people began to feel directed toward a low-income neighborhood less than a mile from our church. After much prayer and many conversations, our church sponsored two events in December: a family Christmas celebration and a Christmas dinner.
My grandfather would sit surrounded with family and friends lounging in the shade of a giant oak tree, sipping sweet tea in the Alabama heat and holding everyone in awe of whatever story he was sharing. Pop was a storyteller; he had the ability to pull everyone out of life’s circumstances and into his story. A great storyteller engages listeners, leaving them eager to hear how the story ends. No matter how gifted the teller, everyone has a story. It may be their life story or the story of one pivotal moment when life changed completely. People have a deep desire to share their personal story.
The waitress paused and then answered, “Yes, could you pray for my hands and back? They are really hurting and I don’t want to go to the doctor.” We said we would pray for her. She was very thankful and came back many times to check on us. We got to know her better and learned she was working two jobs. As we left, we assured her of our continued prayer and gave her a card with our church information.
You can learn to weave witnessing into your life. There are no boundaries, no age limit, no special place, and no magic formula. Jesus’ last command before He ascended into heaven was for us to go tell others—in Jerusalem, right where we are; in Judea, our own country; in Samaria, those different from us, and in the entire world (Acts 1:8). If you are a true believer, then this is your job.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).
When young, I entitled a work of fiction “Don’t Die, I’m Laughing.” Many years later, after losing my best friend, a childhood friend, and two pets to death, I knew that title was wrong.I found myself slipping into a pit of depression, which scared me, because I’m not a person who stays depressed very long.
Telling God’s Story of Redemption to Those Who Haven’t Heard
Observe in a hospital for very long or eavesdrop as police officers correspond over their radios, and you’ll soon realize that there are many “worlds” that exist with their own codes and languages. The Christian world is no different.
Has your week of prayer emphasis gone stale? Do you need to cast a new vision for this important week? Praying for missions is a core value for Southern Baptists. It defines who we are and how we respond to the Great Commission. Your prayers this week are perhaps the greatest gifts you will give and the least costly. Here are some suggestions to make your emphasis visual, personal, and meaningful.
“Prayer from our partners in the United States is essential. Danny and I depend on it. God is the only answer to any situation we face, and He is the One Who helps us constantly. Sincere prayer on our behalf is one of the greatest things anyone can do for us,” stated Nancy Callis, missionary in Brazil.
Sometimes it’s difficult to have and sustain an attitude of gratitude to our Lord God Almighty, especially for those in prisons, homeless shelters, and assisted living facilities. An interactive worship service on gratitude can help people in those settings focus their hearts and minds on their blessings.