Items For Prayer And Praise
“I believe in sacrificial giving (as well as from abundance) for God so loved me that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for my sins. It cost God everything – and He gave Jesus because of His love for me. My giving, therefore, must also cost me something, although I can never repay Him for what He has done for me. I am praying and fasting for revival in myself, in my congregations and in my country.” So writes a Methodist Church pastor who ministers in South Africa.
This brother surely expresses the heart attitude of many of you faithful friends who stand with us in Herald of His Coming ministry. You gladly give as generously as you can for love of our dear Lord. Again and again our hearts here at Herald headquarters are cheered and challenged as we read your letters telling us of your prayers for us, and enclosing your gift. Maybe you are one who writes little or nothing, but your gift comes month after month without fail. It is a clear witness of a heart generous toward God and eager to share in His work.
I am reminded of one elderly lady from the southland of our country who wrote, “I want to help people who can’t help you at all; I read about them overseas. I don’t know how much longer I can help. I am 79 years old and when I can’t sell brooms and mops, I can’t help then. Pray for me!” This lady took over the selling of brooms and mops when her legally blind husband, who had been going door-to-door with brooms and mops, passed away. Her gift had taken considerable time to collect. It represented many weary steps on the sidewalks of her city. But the gift she had to lay at her Savior’s feet was amazingly generous, considering her humble life and circumstances. It seemed to us an especially sacred gift, one only the Lord could measure. And actually, only He can measure every gift, for He alone knows the life and the circumstances. His reward will be fair and full.
The pastor mentioned above speaks of praying and fasting for revival. Remember how Paul wrote commendingly of the Macedonian Christians first giving their own selves and then their gifts? (2 Cor. 8:1-5). Fasting and praying is a way of giving ourselves to the Lord. Many of us are going to have to give generously of ourselves in fasting and praying for revival if we are to see the mighty move of God so greatly needed in this hour.
It costs the flesh to spend time and effort in fasting and praying. There are many appealing things the flesh would rather do. By the Holy Spirit we must mortify the flesh again and again if we are to have time for fasting and praying. Bill McLeod speaks (see article, "Our Greatest Need Today") of spending time during the night to seek the Lord for revival. This is not an easy thing to do. The heart must be unselfish and in earnest in order to do it.
How we all need to obtain grace from the Lord to do what we can while we can for our worthy Lord and Saviour! Costly, yes. But how unfathomable the reward, when God moves in response by bestowing His presence, when souls are saved, when Christians are filled with unspeakable blessings from above. God help us not to squander our best on that which will in the end be wood, hay and stubble, when there are gold, silver and precious stones to be gained if we will pay the price! (1 Cor. 3:12-13).
There are young people who are in the process of making decisions that will affect all their future life as well as their eternity. They especially need our prayers. God is calling some to yield cherished dreams and plans in order to follow His bidding along another line. Only slightly less than they do all of us need prayer. Everyday life for every one of us presents opportunities when we are faced with Christ-or-myself decisions. Let us pray for all saints everywhere to receive from God the grace to be worthy of His calling, choosing always those things that please Him, to His praise and glory.
Help Us Spread the Gospel!
The opportunities are great. This week we began sending to the library of the national headquarters of the YMCA in the Philippines. Numerous workers will have access to the messages. One involved in the production of radio broadcasts that cover many countries wrote from Africa asking to receive Herald literature to help in preparation of the broadcasts. A Bible Institute official in Romania wrote to say that the Herald literature is “a great addition to our students and library.” Also, daily there are requests from individuals in this country and abroad wanting to begin or continue receiving the papers. Families, churches and communities are affected.
It is your gifts that make it possible for us to respond to these requests. It is your prayers that endue the messages with the precious power from above that makes them life-giving and spirit-receiving. How can we express the tremendous privilege and the solemn responsibility we as Christians have to be workers with God in spreading the Gospel? Let us be sure we do not fail to do what He is asking of us. Costly? Yes. But we repeat – how unfathomable the reward if it brings God in His glory and excellence! Let us aim for nothing less.