January 12, 2009

Depending on God Through Prayer

I admit it—I have a hard time depending on God. I know that I’m supposed to trust in Him for ACFAR’s success. I will even write and talk about our ministry’s dependence on Him. Nevertheless, all too often I try to handle establishing ACFAR in my own strength. I think: “What else can I do to raise awareness and support for our ministry?” “Have I done enough?” or “How can I be more productive?” I tend to keep busy, believing that the launch of ACFAR will only happen if I can get enough done.

Now you can see my problem plainly: There are far too many “I”s in the above paragraph. Where is Christ in my thinking and planning? Instead of placing my confidence and trust in Him, I can too easily succumb to worry and doubt. Maybe you’re even surprised to read a missionary writing this way. But I’m not a perfect Christian—I continue to struggle with sin. And sin is exactly what to call my lack of focus and trust in God.

PrayerAs 2009 begins, this truth has become all too evident to me. How is my Savior calling me to respond? Not by sitting back and doing nothing. No! What I need to do is keep what I’m doing in perspective. I am serving Christ, and I should not get so caught up in my work that I loose sight of my purpose in working. I seek to glorify Christ through the defense of His truth!

With this realization in mind, by God’s grace I intend to devote far more time this year to prayer, to communing with my Lord. I’m struck by the words of Jonathan Edwards:
“[P]rayer is but a sensible acknowledgment of our dependence on him to his glory. As he hath made all things for his own glory, so he will be glorified and acknowledged by his creatures; and it is fit that he should require this of those who would be the subjects of his mercy. That we, when we desire to receive any mercy from him, should humbly supplicate the Divine Being for the bestowment of that mercy, is but a suitable acknowledgment of our dependence on the power and mercy of God for that which we need, and but a suitable honour paid to the great Author and Fountain of all good.”
The future of ACFAR is not in my hands; it’s in God’s. What a wonderful truth! And by being united with Christ, I’m able to ask God to bless our ministry with confidence: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Will you join with me in prayer? If so, then please sign up to receive our e-mail ministry updates. I treasure every fellow believer who has come together with us to strengthen the church against error and win cultists to Christ in East Africa!

With just five months to go, we still have a long way to reach our required goals, and the challenges facing African believers are far more numerous and difficult than I can summarize here. But I can confidently say that only God can provide what’s needed for us to move to Uganda and launch the Center’s work there.

It may not be easy to depend on Him during the coming months, but it’s not hard to see that this process will bring me closer to Christ. And for this I praise God!