Praying for Missionaries & Redemption from Idolatry
In a First Person on Baptist Press, Lisa Farrell says that God’s people must remain vigilant and mindful of the need to pray for missionaries and the people they are ministering to. And, God’s chosen people the Israelites had a habit of worshiping idols, though God had explicitly told them not to. Even Solomon, the wisest king ever by the gift of God, succumbed to foolishness and worshiped idols, leading his people to do the same.
In a First Person on Baptist Press, Lisa Farrell says that God’s people must remain vigilant and mindful of the need to pray for missionaries and the people they are ministering to.
She writes, “So we must be persistent in our unwavering prayer for these places and people. God has and never will leave or forget and He sees every person every day in these circumstances. He wants us to come to Him consistently and passionately to bring these places and people before His throne. He listens and sees.”
She reminds us that there are needs that go beyond a news cycle.
She says, “Staying mindful of so many people may seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. The Holy Spirit is ready to direct your prayers. Daily prayer requests like the ones you find on imb.org/pray will keep you from forgetting precious people. Media can certainly be used to direct your prayers, but don’t let it be your only source of prayer requests. The needs still remain, when news coverage fades. “
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God’s chosen people the Israelites had a habit of worshiping idols, though God had explicitly told them not to. Even Solomon, the wisest king ever by the gift of God, succumbed to foolishness and worshiped idols, leading his people to do the same.
God’s initial discipline and judgment for this rebellion was a divided kingdom, but neither kingdom really learned their lesson, and eventually they were conquered and led into exile. But until that time, both kingdoms fell under the leadership of mostly bad kings who did evil in the sight of the Lord.
The Lord knows that people following idols is hurtful not only to Him as the Creator but also to all His image-bearers. Idolatry is evil, a violation against God’s good instructions; but it is also foolish, senseless and purposeless. When we follow idols we exert energy toward something that will only turn to ashes, falling through our fingers like dust. Idolatry also leads us to misperceive God’s created world, ourselves and our role in it. This twisting of God’s good creation and order has dire and deadly consequences for us, others and the whole world.
Therefore, the Lord cannot abide our rebellion. Too much is at stake, both His glory and our well-being. God, who is slow to anger and abounding in love (Exodus 34:6), does all He will to draw us back to Himself. To ancient Israel and Judah, He sent prophets and made His law and goodness known. To us, He has sent Jesus because He desires that no one be lost in eternity.
Jesus’ work fulfills God’s covenant to His people to multiply them, to redeem them, to save a remnant and to call all nations to Himself. God always keeps His promises.
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