03 Sep Prayer and Mission
Posted at 16:14h in Prepare for Worship
Read: Mark 1:29-45
Last Sunday Pastor Ken preached, “The Kingdom of God is at Hand,” where we began to consider the message and authority of Jesus as he proclaimed the gospel, called his disciples, taught the Word, and casted out unclean spirits. This Sunday Pastor Jeremy will preach, “Devoted to the Mission,” from Mark 1:29-45. One of the things we find in this text is that the mission of Jesus was dependent upon prayer.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”
(Mark 1:35-38 ESV)
As you prepare your heart for our gathering, would you take time to pray that God would continue to advance his Kingdom in and through Crosspoint? Let these words from John Piper enlighten you further as you pray.
The connection between prayer and missions can be seen in a passage that doesn’t use warfare words but deals with the same reality, namely, John 15:16. Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
The logic of this sentence is crucial. Why is the Father going to give the disciples what they ask in Jesus’ name? Answer: Because they have been sent to bear fruit. The reason the Father gives the disciples the instrument of prayer is because Jesus has given them a mission. In fact, the grammar of John 15:16 implies that the reason Jesus gives them their mission is so that they will be able to use the power of prayer. “I appointed you that you should go and bear fruit . . . so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” This is just another way of saying that prayer is a wartime walkie-talkie.
God designed it and gave it to us for use on a mission. You can say the mission is to “bear fruit,” or you can say the mission is to “set the captives free.” The point stays the same: Prayer is designed to extend the kingdom into fruitless enemy territory.
From Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions, 2nd Ed., by John Piper, p. 49.
Song List for Sunday
This is Amazing Grace, by Shane and Shane
God is Able, by Hillsong Live
Let Your Kingdom Come, by Sovereign Grace Music
Great I Am, by New Life Worship
Jesus Paid It All, by Kristian Stanfill