NCFI CARES: K is for Kingdom

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K is for Kingdom

Jesus’ final prayer with his disciples included all Christian’s throughout the ages. He says, “I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me…” (John 17:20). These eternal words remind us that we are part of the larger body of believers. We are not just individual Christians who attend a church, belong to a denomination, nor connect through an international ministry, like NCFI. Instead all Christians throughout time are connected through Christ for the purpose of building the Kingdom. Verse 21 & 23 of John 17, says “I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.” In other words, the world looks to the unity of Christianity as a testimony of God’s purpose in sending Christ. This gives me pause for thought. For the unity of Christianity is not very cohesive. Thus, I agree with E.M. Bounds response to Jesus prayer in John 17 and wrote the following edict:

Pray for God’s people, for their unity, sanctification, and glorification. How the subject of their unity pressed upon Jesus! Today’s walls of separation, EMbounds prayeralienations, riven circles of God’s family, warring tribes of ecclesiastics—how He is torn, bleeds, and suffers anew at the sight of these divisions! Unity—that is the great burden of that remarkable high priestly prayer. “That they may be one, even as we are one.” The spiritual oneness of God’s people –that is the heritage of God’s glory to them, transmitted by Christ to the Church.”

May the Lord open our hearts to pray for unification of the Holy Spirit throughout the global Christian Church and open our hands to extend across denominations to demonstrate the redemptive work of Christ.

(EM Bounds in The Reality of Prayer, p. 305)

NCFI Cares: W is for Word

W is for Word reminds us to fill our prayers with scripture. Even though the Bible contains many prayers, like “Our Father” in Matthew 6 and the “Lord is my Shepherd” from Psalm 23, there are great prayers in the Epistles. Paul’s prayer to the church is Colossae found in Colossians 1:9-12 is one, as is Ephesians 1:17-20.

We can also use specific verses and teachings to fill our prayers with truth and God’s will.  Many of us are familiar with New Testament passages, so here are a few from the Old Testament. Guidance: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). Faithfulness: “So realize that the Lord your God is the true God, the faithful God who keeps covenant faithfully with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

We can also use scripture to praise and worship God! “The Lord is my strength and my song he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him.” (Exodus 15:2). The richness of God’s word fills both our work and our conversations with God.

EM Bound motivates our prayer to take on a new meaning with God’s word with the following bold teaching:

Unless the living forces of prayer are supplied by God’s Word, even earnest prayer, though it may even be strong and noisy in its urgency, is, in reality, flabby, lifeless, and empty. The absence of living force in praying can be traced to the absence of a constant supply of God’s word to repair the waste and renew the life. Those who would learn to pray well must first study God’s Word, and store it in their memory and thoughts. (The Necessity of Prayer, p. 79)cf2e1-ncficares_3bloglogo