Monday, February 22, 2016

Intercessary Prayer

by Joy Casey,
Executive Director, Mission 1:27

I am in the midst of taking a fantastic class called Perspectives that gives an in-depth teaching on the world Christian movement. Spurred by one of the teachings, I have been mulling over something about prayer that brought up some interesting aspects I had not thought of before. You, too, might be interested since prayer is essential to Christ-followers but there is so much about prayer that is a mystery.

Rebellion Against the Status Quo
Have you ever looked at prayer as rebellion? I usually recoil from the word ‘rebellion’ because it has many negative connotations and I am basically a rule follower… but in the area of intercessory prayer rebellion is vital. How? Intercessory prayer is essentially rebellion against or the non-acceptance of the status quo. It is refusal to accept as normal that which is abnormal and completely opposite to God’s ways. Rebellion is wholehearted rejection of every scheme and agenda that stands against God. And we must be diligent to recognize the sometimes subtle acceptances that creep into our psyche. Becoming resigned to “life as it is” will cripple our prayer lives. Although we may feel powerless to change our broken society, we must remember that God’s power, realized through prayer, will overcome evil with good.

Do we accept the politically correct version of our world?
Other religions have taken resignation and incorporated it into their doctrine. Could it be because experientially they have found their gods powerless to affect change? Religions which stress quiet acceptance of the status quo disparage petitionary prayer. The Stoics believe in total acceptance of the existing world and asking for change is a bad thing. Buddhists and other Eastern religions hold a similar view, and the idea of “fate” in Hinduism imprisons millions of people in spiritual and economic poverty. Secularism, which we perhaps are more familiar with, says that life is disconnected from a relationship with God. We must come to terms with life and accept things as they are. Some believe God may be present and active in the world, but it is not a presence that changes anything. It is easy to adjust to the PC version of our world.

Petitionary prayer expresses the hope that life as it is encountered can
and should be different.

If we accept, however despairingly, that the situation is unchangeable, why would we pray? It is not that we are unaware of what is happening around us, but a sense of impotence leads us to resignation and acceptance of what is wrong. It is a truce with the world that is deadly to intercessory prayer.

“At all times we should pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)

Two huge impacts on people… let’s pray!
In a substantial area in Ethiopia where we are engaged in orphan care, family sponsorship, small business starts, kindergartens, church plants and evangelism, two devastating things have happened… one is man-made and one is the fault of El Nino. In very broad strokes, the Oromo tribe (Ethiopia’s most populous people group) is at odds with the prevailing government and their dissatisfaction has resulted in attacks on non-Oromo people living in Oromo territory. Just one week ago, anger erupted violently erupted in two areas where Mission 1:27 is heavily involved. The Federal police were called in to suppress the uprising, but not before non-Oromo people were threatened. Fundamental Muslim agitators took this opportunity to strike against Christian churches, non-Oromo Christian individuals and Christian-owned businesses. Many churches, businesses and homes were burned.

Prayer points
  • A mighty move of peace and rest by the power of the Holy Spirit
  • That the Good News would spread rapidly in the midst of crisis
  • Protection and favor over each individual situation (Psalm 5:11-12)

80% are farmers

clip_image002Farmers plant in the late spring just in time for the rainy season. However, this year the rainy season did not materialize and maize and teff (Ethiopian wheat) stood stunted and dry in the fields. There is little food for the table and even less for the animals. Harvest in the fall was bleak leaving no currency with which to purchase needed staples. Shortage of food caused by the drought brings a sharp increase in malnutrition, secondary ailments from malnutrition, escalating food prices, and a higher rate of school dropout. Household debt has risen sharply and dietary diversity has narrowed significantly. Children are separated from their families to either work as a servant in someone’s home or to live with a relative who is better off. Livestock, if they live, command lower prices at the market because of their deteriorated physical condition due to lack of water and pasture. To put inflationary food prices in perspective, the food budget for our orphanage increased 178% this past month.

Prayer points
  • Rains will come in their proper time to soak the earth
  • Provision for the hungry
We serve a big God who is an expert at finding a way where there is no way. We are helpless, but the Lord of the universe is not. Please pray for the nearly 10 million Ethiopians (75% of them Oromia people) affected by this terrible drought. Don’t accept the status quo and pray for Almighty God to intervene!

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right side, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

Friday, February 12, 2016

Drumroll please...

new name!
Today we're excited to announce our brand new name… Mission 1:27!

You may have noticed this name appearing on our Facebook, Twitter and websites in the last week or two and perhaps you’ve wondered what this is all about.

The work being done in Ethiopia – family preservation, small business starts, orphan care, adoption and Muslim evangelism – encompasses so much more than our old name implied. 

Mission 1:27 more accurately represents who we are in Ethiopia... bringing care and support in a variety of ways to the orphan and widow as commanded in James 1:27.

The people, the focus, and the motive for all we do remains the same.

For our ministry partners who give via credit card, nothing will change.

For those of you who send support with a check, please make payments to Mission 1:27 from now forward.

Our new website is currently under construction and we can’t wait to roll that out in the near future.  In the meantime, our and websites will remain active.  Family sponsorship and Gift Catalog purchases will be available as usual.

We are eagerly looking forward to following God and implementing His plans in 2016.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thank You for Giving!

It’s really an honor to promote our Gift Catalog as a way for folks to give.  What more meaningful way to spend your gift-giving dollars than on someone you’ll never meet but who will appreciate the gift more than most?

never repay

I thought you might be blessed to see what was donated via our Gift Catalog in the month of December:

15 portable water filters mean water free of parasites and bacteria
14 complete bed sets – frames, mattresses and bedding
5 bags of charcoal, used for cooking fuel
2 solar light bulbs
8 goats
4 new houses to replace dilapidated ones
6 soccer balls and 2 pumps
3 financial packages to help an Ethiopian family to adopt a child
1 surgery for a widow for things like cataracts or fistula repair
9 sets of food staples for a month
1 new set of clothes
1 new pair of shoes
5 bibles
1 audio bible
9 school packages – fees for one year, supplies and backpacks
1 Jesus Film dvd
$150 in emergency medical help
$250 in evangelist support

For our orphanage:
1 crib and mattress
15 cans of formula
4 baby swings
4 packages of cloth diapers
$540 general orphanage support

Several people chose to give toward the ministry’s ‘Greatest Need’, which is a huge blessing that allows us to address a variety of urgent needs.  We received $3595 in this category!

It doesn’t take us very long to distribute these wonderful gifts and we are always in need of your generous donations via the Gift Catalog.  If you’d like to give, you can do so easily and securely on our Gift Catalog webpage:
gift catalog button

We know that for many of you, this giving is sacrificial.  “Thank you” seems a very inadequate way to express how much your generosity means to those we serve in Ethiopia. We are grateful that God, above anyone else, sees your hearts and blesses you!

The generous will themselves be blessed
for they share their food with the poor.
Proverbs 22:9

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...