“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19 NIV) As I began writing my editorial this encouraging verse from Hebrews was featured in my morning devotional booklet Our Daily Bread. I’ve been amazed at the timing of the daily Word from Our Daily Bread and another devotional guide, the Daily Texts from the Moravian Church. On most days, they seem very relevant to the day’s happenings. On one day recently the two came together to shape this article. We have hope in Jesus, and he’s in the details of our lives with nothing too big or too small for him. He’s intricately involved in orchestrating the events in our lives, giving us hope.
The primary reason for the existence of the World Mission Prayer League is that the unreached would experience the hope of salvation in Jesus’ name. This happens as his Church prays, as the Spirit leads with power, and through his saints who’ve answered the call, counting the cost. In that regard, there are untold numbers of professing Christians standing up for their faith who are being persecuted. This isn’t a new phenomenon, but the number of persecuted Christians is staggering and rising. On the Church’s calendar, November will feature prayer for the persecuted church, a subject highlighted in this month’s TIP. I encourage us to pray earnestly for those suffering for their faith’s sake. They need to experience hope in their suffering as much as those who’ve yet to experience that hope for the first time.
As the war between Israel and Hamas takes place and surrounding nations and groups position themselves, it’s easy to start worrying about its possible impact on our lives. One thing my wife remembers from our time with her cousin several years ago in Nazareth was that she would pray for the littlest things, like a parking spot, and watch how God answered her. It gave her hope that God was in the details. Following the start of this conflict in Israel, she tells us they’ve been spending up to five or six hours daily in the house of prayer ministry. She says that they see primarily young people coming to the house of prayer, experiencing God’s peace and hope, and becoming serious in their walk with God.
WMPL has an Associate Worker couple studying in Israel now who also sense God’s peace, although the air raid sirens and sounds of rockets are somewhat disconcerting. At this time, it’s generally peaceful in the location where this family with young children lives. They hope the war will end, peace will prevail, and life will settle down. Psalm 122:6 says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you!” (ESV) It implies that God will bless those who do. Interestingly, Jerusalem includes people on both sides of the conflict, and we know the only hope for peace is through Jesus Christ, our hope of salvation. As the risk level increases for our global workers in our areas of work and Christians worldwide who are in greater danger now than before this most recent conflict began, I ask you to take time to pray that they can rest in the hope they have in Jesus. Pray for those they are ministering to that the Holy Spirit moves in their hearts to step out in faith and receive the hope that is an anchor, secure, and free for all.
I remember one of the quotes from and the firm belief of Dr. Paul Pearson, one of my professors at Fuller Theological Seminary, years ago, “God often speaks through people on the periphery.” That belief has held up as I’ve seen how prophetic voices of people other than leaders have timely words that influence change. I’m hopeful we will continue to discern how he’s leading WMPL into the future as we listen to each other, discern his will, and plan our strategies in the days, weeks, and months ahead. We anticipate receiving a report in November from our Membership Engagement Team, who have been listening to the voices of our stakeholders about what various demographics understand about WMPL and what’s important to them. Thank you for taking part in this exercise. The Prayer League can take hope in that God is in the details, no matter how small or insignificant they seem or how challenging they are to overcome. When the turbulent waves of life begin to overwhelm us, we have a faithful anchor in Jesus, our blessed hope. “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8 ESV)