Pray With Us: Seeking Comfort

I must admit, I am a creature of comfort. From my thermostat to my shoes I like to be comfortable. I spend my money on objects which I believe will bring comfort and spend ample time in the comfort of Nexflix-landia, mindlessly “resting.” I’ve made my faith easy, dangerously so. I’ve found myself denying the prompting of the Holy Spirit because it was outside of my comfort zone. My time with Jesus takes second to my rest.

I was recently convicted when I came across this verse:

“And a scribe came up and said to him, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’”
~ Matthew 8:19-20 (ESV)

The saving grace found only in Jesus is absolutely free, but it is not cheap! It even costs us comfort.

Do you find yourself seeking comfort at the expense of obedience in Christ? Has your faith become comfortable? Please join me in prayer.

Lord God,
Thank you for the peace and comfort found in you! Thank you Jesus that you sacrificed your comfort for me. Lord, help me to surrender my comfort for the sake of absolute obedience. Show me where I can find comfort in your presence, and not earthly distractions. May my life be used to your glory. Amen.

Pray With Us: Staying Diligent

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
‭‭~ Colossians 3:17‬

As school is coming to an end and summer begins, I am rejoicing! This is the first year I’ve homeschooled two children with the third at Bastrop High School, and taught a homeschool co-op class while working. I am more than excited that summer is here. My thoughts have immediately gone to… it’s time to relax, there’s no required homework, and no required teaching. Where’s the beach, the river, and when can I go camping? But in that same moment, I am reminded that it’s not time to lag behind in diligence, but to be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. (Romans 12:11)

Summer is a great time to relax and rejuvenate! However, it is equally important to remember to stay diligent in whatever the activity in which you engage, and do it with all your ability (Ecclesiastes 9:10). “Do not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.” (Hebrews 10:25) “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” (Ephesians 6:7-8)

I would like to encourage you this summer to relax and refresh your mind body, and soul, but do so by:

  • Getting into God’s word and building your relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Pray about how you and your family can serve the Lord this summer, and feel free to join us at one of our sites.
  • Plug into your local church serving and encouraging one another.

As you devote yourself to prayer, please continuously pray for Mission U-Too’s staff, leadership, and volunteer’s that God will give them many opportunities to speak about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pray With Us: Sharing Our Faith

“And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'”
‭‭~ Mark 16:15‬

As we approach this week in celebration of what our Lord did by sending His son Jesus to die for us, I would like to ask you to take a moment and pause in prayer for those that don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus and who God might want you to share the Gospel with.

We spend a lot of time inviting our friends, co-workers, and family to church in hopes that they might hear something from the message that would change their life, but how much time do we spend praying for God to make Himself known to them? Or even sharing the Gospel message ourselves with them? Jesus is about relationships and He works through those relationships to make Himself known to the world. So I want to challenge you as you reflect on the cross, who is He pressing on your heart to share the Gospel with? I am not saying not to invite those people to church, but don’t just invite them. We as Christians are called to share our faith with the world.

I would also like to ask you to join us in prayer for those we have the opportunity to serve each week. Pray that God would soften and prepare their heart to hear and receive the message of Christ. Pray for our volunteers to have the boldness and words that they need to share the Gospel message. Pray that when people show up to one of our sites that the presence of God is unmistakable and that those that are there would be drawn into a deeper relationship with our Father in Heaven. (Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 96:2-4)

If you have not had an opportunity to serve at one of our sites come out and see what God is doing. Here is a link to the locations and times we serve each week. And as you do pray for that one person God would like you to connect with and share your faith so that they might believe and be saved. (Matthew 28:18-20)

Pray With Us: Spring Cleaning

If you haven’t stopped and lifted your head from demands of everything or everyone all around you, I tell you, “Take a look at your surroundings, winter has come to it’s end and spring here!” And in Texas, it’s a short window of time before the squelching heat makes everything brown again. Spring is a time of new beginnings. The frosty gloom of winter is gone championing an abundance of warmth. Flowers are in full bloom. Grass is green once again, offering a vibrant contrast to the newly sprouted blossoms shooting up along stretches or highways. Don’t neglect to notice the picture perfect flower beds of the retired couple just a few doors down from you. I can always identify the houses of retirees when my wife and I are on evening walks around the neighborhood. As we stroll, I admire the beautiful landscaping and ornate flower beds, and think to myself, “I’m glad someone else takes care of that yard, “ as I smile and wave to older gentleman watering his picture perfect petunias.

So many thoughts and emotions rush to my mind when I stop to reflect on the newness associated with springtime. One of the my most unforgettable memories of spring…spring cleaning. Yikes! I never understood the need for “spring cleaning,” as a kid. I thought my folks put a lot of unnecessary time, effort, and child-labor each year into spring cleaning. Now as a “responsible” adult (those who know me are laughing) I’ve got my work cutout for me because the warmth has woken the slumbering weeds in my yard, the fog of winter has cleared and revealed the mounds of junk under the carport, dirty windows remind me each time I look out them they are in desperate need of washing, and tired flower beds crying out for some t.l.c. This is just the outside of my house! There is plenty more to do inside.

With all of the physical cleaning going on in my life, its got me thinking about the need for some spiritual deep cleaning. I was reminded of a weighty verse a couple weeks back and it has spurred on a desire to take a close, ugly look at my spiritual situation and ask myself, “What’s next?” Philippians 2:12-13—Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,  13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. The continuation of working our my salvation with much fear and trembling is a weighty command that I fear many of us struggle to manage well on a day to day basis!

Work out my salvation!? I think a lot of confusion can come from this verse if we don’t approach it correctly. Paul reminds us in the verse leading up to this command of the humility Jesus lived while here on the earth. Jesus, God in flesh, emptied himself, took on the form of a servant, and lived obediently to the point of death; death on a cross. We are called to obey as disciples of Jesus. Paul is not suggesting that our salvation is based on our obedience, but we are to continually look inward with humble hearts and identify areas of sin. We are to strive to look more and more like Jesus each day we spend here on earth. This comes by dying to our selfishness, greed, lust, envy, forgiveness…feel free to insert your personal sin if I missed it. Paul suggests we take our sin seriously and we see sin as God does. We should hate sin.

This can leave us feeling overwhelmed or even hopeless if we stop here, but verse 13 offers a beautiful promise! God is working to fulfill his good purpose! We are not left in our sin to figure it out and overcome on our own. God is working in us to bring newness and to defeat the very sin that once kept us from Him. We simply need to present a humble heart and acknowledge our sin and allow him to work in us.

As you work the next few weeks or in my case months, to clean out and tidy up after a long winter, don’t forget to take clean up the most crucial part, your heart. I encourage you to join me as I take a look at my heart’s condition and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas if disobedience in my life. It is crucial to then take the next step and invite God to work in those areas. We don’t have to do it alone, and really we can’t. God wants us to allow Him to work in us.

Pray With Us: Sharing Christ’s Love

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
‭‭~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a‬

When we think of February we think about love. There’s no greater love than our Savior. What does it mean that God is love? Love is an attribute of God. Love is a core aspect of God’s character, His Person. All of God’s attributes are in perfect harmony. Everything God does is loving, just as everything He does is just and right. God is the perfect example of true love.

Pray for those around you. We are called to show Christ’s love. We live in a broken world. People are hurting and angry and always putting other people down and that’s because they’re putting themselves down. They don’t feel good about themselves. Lift them up and share Christ’s love.

Sharing Christ’s love can be hard to some. Especially to those who are broken and have no hope. Here’s a few ways you can share Christ’s love: Encourage, Be a Servant, Smile and Show Kindness.

Pray With Us: Hope in the Lord

“Love the LORD, all his faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.”
‭‭~ Psalm 31:23-24‬

So many times it feels like your simple perseverance in following Christ goes unnoticed. You quietly choose something in an act of obedience to the Lord, and you might feel alone in this decision or that the Lord doesn’t see this. Yet, this verse reminds us that He sees us and preserves those who are true to Him. The New Living Translation says, “the Lord protects those who are loyal to him.” We are protected, we are seen, we have hope.

As we kick off 2017, a year that is sure to bring a whirlwind of transition, let us take time to pray for strength and give praise for the hope we have in the Lord. Join us in praying for our leaders and those we serve this year. Below are some specific things we are praying over this month.

  • Pray for our country. With the inauguration of a new president last week, our country is not taking this new transition lightly. Our country is made up of people of all shapes and sizes, but the one thing that we all have in common is that we are loved by God (John 3:16). Pray for those hurting in our country, pray for unity and grace, pray that people would know they are loved.
  • Pray for our leaders. Regardless of who you voted for, our new president and the leaders in this country need your prayers. Mission U-Too staff and our volunteers also need your prayers as we lead those in our communities. Pray for pure hearts, gentleness, and wisdom for those that lead around you.
  • Pray for those in your communities. Your neighbor, the grocery store clerk, your best friend, those Mission U-Too serves. There are people hurting all around you. Take time to really see people and spend time praying for peace and that they would know and feel the nearness of God.

 

Pray With Us: The Reason for the Season

“And this is the testimony that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his son.”
‭‭~ 1 John 5:11‬

Jesus is the reason for the season! What a promise He has given us. God gave us His son Jesus. What a great time to rejoice in the Lord and to show His unconditional love this Christmas season.

Let us encourage you to set aside time during the busy holiday season to get into the Word and meditate on the reason for the season, Christ’s birth. And share His love with others. Bring people the joy that you have in your heart by serving others and sharing the gospel.

Romans 6:23 says “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” What a great gift we have been given. I pray this Christmas season that you are reminded of what Christ has done for you.

For so many that we serve this time of year it can be quite difficult as they struggle to provide for their families, so I ask that you join me in praying that they would set aside the struggles of this world and focus on the gift of salvation.

Pray that we would go forth and proclaim the truth that needs to be heard and received by the lost.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Thank you for your prayers this holiday season! Merry Christmas!

Pray With Us: Powerful Prayer

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”
‭‭~James 5:16

Prayer is powerful! The church is made up of those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and have received eternal life. Now as a non-profit, Mission U-Too doesn’t consider itself a church, but a way to reach people who have not yet put their faith in Jesus. The church is referred to by Paul as “the bride of Christ” (Eph. 5:25-27, 2 Cor. 11:2).

What this means for Mission U-Too is that we are often a gateway for people to get involved in a local church. Many people that come to the different sites don’t know Jesus and view the church as an uncomfortable place to be. Please pray that God would continue using Mission U-Too as a place to win hearts to Jesus as well as getting them involved in a local church! This is why we continuously pray for multiple churches to be involved at each site. Different people connect to Jesus through different types of churches. But we are all part of the one true church as the bride of Christ and it’s so important for all of us to push into that at a local level.

Being connected to a church helps us grow and mature spiritually, more importantly teaches us how to have our own one on one time with Jesus. As such He reveals to us how to pray and what to pray for, and this is powerful (James 5:16). So this holiday season as many families come together, some joyous and some broken; Pray that your own spiritual walk would have an effect on those around you for God’s Kingdom. He desires everyone to become a part of His Church, therefore we need to continue praying that Mission U-Too as an organization and as individuals continues reaching as many people as possible for the glory of His Kingdom.

Pray With Us: Wrestling in Prayer

“Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.”
‭‭~ Colossians‬ ‭4:12‬

As Epaphras wrestled in prayer for the Colossians we ask that you would pray for us to fulfill our purpose and calling. We need intercessors, we need you to pray for us as we continue to reach the people that Jesus has called us to reach.

As you intercede in prayer for us this month, pray for us in the following areas:

  • Pray for our leadership teams, our staff, and our board. That God would protect us as we go out into our communities, meeting people where they are and sharing the Good News with them. Pray for wisdom and discernment in not only ministering to those we encounter, but also for where God has us going next. Pray for us as we grow and develop new leaders as we prepare to reach more people, communities, and states.
  • Pray for the people that show up to our sites each week. For their hearts to be softened and receptive to receiving the Gospel. Pray for their physical needs to be met as well as their social and emotional needs. Pray for those that are dealing with addiction, isolation, homelessness, hurt, and that they can find rest and salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for provision. As you know it takes time, money and resources to operate a ministry. God knows exactly what we need and we are trusting Him to provide for those needs. So we ask, that you pray for provision and that God’s will be done and that He would do far more than we could hope and imagine for His glory.

 

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Prayer Request: Michele & Adrian

by Christine Farquhar, Mission U-Too Bastrop North Site Coordinator

We are reaching out to the Mission U-Too community and asking for prayer for this Bastrop couple.

Michele has a rare form of brain cancer. About four months ago she had the tumor removed from her brain. Unfortunately, during this intensive surgery she had a stroke. Because of this she lost her speech and the ability to walk.

Michele’s husband, Adrian, has diligently served Michele for the past couple months, but he is struggling with depression and their difficult situation. And understandably so. He also has not been able to work because his wife needs full time care. They are currently homeless and have been staying in a hotel room, but are needing to find a permanent residence very soon. Adrian is also struggling with making right decisions. He said, “I continue to come every week because it’s the only positive influence I have.” I asked him this past week how his walk with Jesus is, and he replied that some days it’s good and others not so much.

Please pray for both Michele and Adrian, as she continues rehabilitation and as they seek out permanent housing. At Mission U-Too this past week she cried and cried with me as I held her in my arms and prayed for her. Pray for encouragement and that they would draw close to God during this difficult situation.