Welcome to our prayer devotions
Psalm 100 encourages us to ‘enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise’, and this is foundational to everything we do at MAF.
Every flight begins with prayer before take-off because God is, and always will be, at the centre of all we do.
As we begin this series of monthly prayer devotionals, it seems fitting to ‘enter in’ with thanksgiving and praise, to focus on who God is and what He has done – expectant of all He promises to do.
We hope you find the monthly prayer devotionals both inspiring and challenging. It is our prayer that you will increase your knowledge of God’s power, His love and His plans for the world we live in.
As we partner together, let’s do so expecting God to hear our prayers and answer them and that His power and glory will be known here on earth as they are in heaven.
Thank you for journeying with us to see help, hope and healing across the nations. Remember, your prayers go even further than our planes do!
19 May 2017
In 2 Chronicles 20:1-3 we read of the reaction of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, when he received word that an alliance of three vast armies were coming to attack. Understandably, he was terrified.
A faithful man of God
King Jehoshaphat was a faithful man of God, devoted to the ways of the Lord. He had strengthened Judah to stand against attacks from Israel.
He had sent out teachers and priests to declare the word of the Lord.
He had appointed Judges, telling them to ‘always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart’ (19:9 NLT).
He was a good man. He didn’t deserve this. Yet he found himself under attack.
When we find ourselves facing undeserved opposition, we can become overwhelmed and adopt a ‘Why me?’ attitude. We can even get angry and blame God.
A call to pray
King Jehoshaphat, however, chose a different response. He called a national prayer meeting, asking his people to fast.
As the people gathered, he prayed, ‘O LORD, God of our ancestors, You alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against You!’
He fixed his eyes on who God is, rather than focusing on the impending attack.
He remembered what God had done before: ‘Did You not drive out those who lived in this land when Your people Israel arrived? And did You not give this land forever to the descendants of Your friend Abraham?’
And he brought his problem to God – admitting his own weaknesses and vulnerability.
Do we do this?
Dependency on God
Often our great dependency on God is revealed in times of opposition; in those times when we’re unable to keep fighting alone.
The story continues with the Spirit of the Lord coming upon a man called Jahaziel. He spoke the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s... stand still and watch the Lord’s victory.’
When we come together to seek God, He encourages us and guides us.
What they did next was incredible. They worshipped!
We don’t worship in response to His presence – His loving presence responds when we come before Him in worship
King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah knew the secret of lifting their hearts above their troubles and entering into God’s presence. Their response provided a channel for God’s power to operate.
Psalm 22:3 reminds us God inhabits the praises of His people. We don’t worship in response to His presence – His loving presence responds when we come before Him in worship.
Verse 22 of 2 Chronicles 20 tells us that at the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies to turn against each other, and all were killed.
Sweet fragrance of affection
The fragrance of our affections, our praises to the most high King, repels the darkness of the enemy – bringing God’s light, love and redemption in its place.
- There is power in our praise and worship.
- There is power in our responding.
- There is power in our standing.
Paul and Silas knew this power as they sat chained and beaten in a dark, dingy cell. Their choice to pray and worship, despite their circumstances, saw the earthquake come, the doors fling open, the shackles fall off and – more poignantly – through choosing to remain where they were, salvation come to the prison guard and his family.
- There is power when we join together to pray for the work and people of MAF.
- There is power when we share stories of God’s provision and breakthrough.
- There is power when we declare the promises of God to restore the land.
- There is power when we admit our weakness and dependence on the Lord.
Power of praise
For further encouragement on the power of praise, check out this short testimony from MAF Pilot Israel Neale.
As you ponder the power of praise and worship, ask the Lord to direct your prayers to one of the countries in which we serve.
Seek His heart for the people of that country, our partners and for the MAF staff serving there. Let’s stand together for the things that are yet unseen, giving glory to our King!
Share what the Lord has spoken to you with our Prayer Communications Leader, Victoria Fagg by emailing her so we can join you in praying for those God lays on your heart – praising Him for all He intends to do.
16 July 2017
‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
The tragic events over the last few weeks will forever be etched on our minds.
The senseless bombing of a packed arena in Manchester and the vicious attack in London resulting in the death and injury of so many innocent people, reminds us of the vulnerability of human life and the devastating effects of someone’s choices.
At such times, many question the existence of a loving and powerful God as they search for reasons and answers; the poignant question ‘why?’ hangs heavy in the air.
‘Where is your God in all this?’ is something we’ve all heard at times – a question we don’t always know how to answer.
Was the same question asked when Jesus, nailed to the cross, took His last breath?
The King of Kings who was coming to save the world was dead. Confusion, heartbreak and despair consumed His followers. Doubt and fear crept in. Self-preservation overtook Peter as he denied Christ.
The story wasn’t over
Yet that was not the end.
The death and resurrection of Jesus is an illustration of triumph over tragedy, light out of darkness, life from death. It challenges our understanding of what power and authority look like; rooting us in the truth that Love always wins.
Love wins little by little with every act of kindness, each selfless choice, every bold decision to serve.
In the midst of loss and bewilderment, as the stark reality of what happened in both Manchester and London gradually unfolded, we witnessed the unity of people standing together to support the community.
In all the heartbreak, we experienced something of God’s presence.
In many of the developing countries in which MAF serves, tribal conflict, false beliefs and superstition result in loss of life.
Changing a culture is possible, but it takes time
In Papua New Guinea (PNG), a measles outbreak has led to innocent women and children being accused of witchcraft. But God is at work.
With MAF’s help, missionary Anton Lutz and a young woman called Nes Mark have been confronting accusations of sorcery head on. Through the work of an intervention team including missionaries, pastors, a police commander and public servants, communities have been renouncing their tradition of attacking those believed to be harbouring evil spirits. Unfortunately, despite the churches efforts to combat false allegations, lives are still being lost in PNG.
When Dr Rosie Crowter attempted to teach the women of PNG about TB and malaria, she found that everyone believed the diseases were caused by witchcraft and evil spirits.
So, to combat these beliefs, Rosie adapted her workshops to bring God’s Word. She is helping to change people’s mindsets by teaching them who God is and what He says about sorcery and death.
In Papua, it was the Word of God, alongside missionaries placed ‘for such a time as this’, that helped save the life of little Emma Grace who, because of false beliefs, was left to die shortly after being born.
The only book to be translated into the native Moi language was Exodus 1, but this was enough for missionaries to share with Emma Grace’s father the story of the Hebrew midwives who, despite Pharaoh’s orders, saved the Israelite boys from being killed. God softened the man’s heart and the family now follow Christ.
Let faith arise
God is at work in this broken world. His ways are not our ways, but His Word brings revelation and renewal. Let faith arise as we ask the Lord to reveal His hand at work in the little things – giving us eyes to see, ears to hear and the courage to be His hands and feet in a world that desperately needs us.
- Romans 12:2 reminds us not to conform to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. As we find ourselves with questions we cannot answer and despair in our hearts, let’s ask the Lord to renew people’s minds throughout this troubled world; setting them free for fear and superstition.
- Pray for Anton Lutz, Nes Mark, Dr Rosie and others doing the Lord’s work, asking for protection as they continue to challenge false beliefs in Jesus’ name.
- Pray specifically for Pastors and Christians in remote communities who are the first line of defence for those accused of acts of sorcery.
- Give thanks for MAF’s ability to reach remote and isolated communities – enabling emergency medevacs, missionaries and the Word of God to reach those most in need.