Monday, March 03, 2014
Today’s Topic: Don’t Quit
Today’s Text: Colossians 1:9-10 (ESV) 9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
On Saturday my wife and I attended a wedding in Duluth, Minnesota. It was no ordinary wedding. The mother of the bride and the mother of the groom wore almost identical dresses that had been made for them 5000 miles away. The groom, the groomsmen and the father of the bride also wore suits that were custom-made in the same location. They were transported to the wedding by the groom and his entourage from Sierra Leone, Africa.
The bride and her family are friends of ours from a previous ministry partnership. But it goes much deeper than that, and the story of our relationship emphasizes the importance of prayer partnerships.
Twenty-one years ago, as a part of a sermon series on prayer, I challenged the adults of the congregation to connect with one of the children or youth in the church and adopt them as a prayer partner. I had hoped that the connection would lead to a life-long relationship of prayer support and encouragement for each of them.
I really can’t remember how we decided to get the adults and youth connected, but I do remember this – a 12-year old girl named Christie standing in front of me and saying that she would love to be my prayer partner. That moment began a relationship that has lasted for 21 years, and will continue.
It was such a joy to be a part of Christie’s wedding day. For the past several years Christie has been serving with Jonathan House Ministries ( http://www.jonhouse.org ) in Sierra Leone, Africa. It was there that she met James, and together they will now serve the Lord as husband and wife. We had such a precious time watching two cultures come together in a wedding ceremony that honored the Lord Jesus Christ.
It had been clearly stated by the groom that their married life would always honor God, and that the morning after their wedding night was not the time to start skipping church. So we had church. Following breakfast, two of the African pastors conducted a worship service for the family and friends with the bride and groom in attendance. We sang, we prayed, and we heard God’s word on the subject of love. Then, in a moment of honor that will rank with one of the top moments of my life, I was asked to close the service in prayer, blessing the couple as they begin their life together.
After a few comments, I had the couple kneel in front of me, surrounded by the African pastors, parents, family, and friends, and we laid hands on them. I cannot tell you what a joy it was to pray over my prayer partner Christie and to realize that after 21 years of praying for her I was now praying with her.
Christie has grown into an incredible woman of God, and has married a man who is passionate about Jesus Christ. Together they will serve Him for the rest of their lives, ministering to orphans half a world away.
Thank you Jesus for connecting us and for Christie’s faithfulness to pray for me. Thank you for the privilege of praying for her, and for your faithfulness to answer those prayers. She knows your will and has your wisdom. She is walking worthy of you. She is pleasing to you. She is bearing fruit in all of her work. She is growing in her knowledge of you. Thank you Jesus for letting me be a part of her life.
Don’t quit praying for people, especially the ones God has put in your life. You will experience great joy as you see God answer your prayers in their life.