Monday, May 23, 2016

1 Kings 8:22-23, 41-43 Missional Prayer for Outsiders

KEY TEXT: 1 Kings 8:41-43 "Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name's sake (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.

KEY THOT: Solomon’s prayer for foreigners is a great example of missional praying. Missional praying is focused on outsiders of the faith, who have heard of the Lord’s name but are not yet part of God's covenant people. Missional praying asks God to extend his grace towards such seekers to answer their prayers. The goal is that they may “know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel” (v.43). However, missional prayer must go hand-in-hand with missional preaching, otherwise how can outsiders “hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm” (v.42). Praying for outsiders must be accompanied by sharing God's word with them.

Missional praying and missional preaching are two pillars of a missional NT church. We can't have one without the other. Our warfare is spiritual, so our weapons must be spiritual: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Cor 10:3-5). 

Together, praying and preaching have "divine power to demolish strongholds."  The Church, like Israel, is not called to escape the world but to engage it—to pray for it and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with these outsiders so that society may be transformed through the Gospel. It's not enough to "stand up" for truth; truth must be proclaimed so that the unchurched may become part of the kingdom of God where truth and freedom prevail.

Many people are held in bondage to demonic strongholds of anxiety, fear, bitterness, demonic oppression, mental confusion and physical addictions. They need to hear the Gospel so that they can be set free from these strongholds. And we cannot be playing church when we know we have the means to set them free. 

Like Solomon, let's turn our prayer and word ministry outward towards the outsiders and become missional Christians. 

Father God, what an amazing God who will answer any prayer uttered to You, for You are no respecter of persons, whether they are insiders or outsiders. Your Spirit calls peoples all over the earth to worship You and to fear You name. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your comments.