For years I traveled the world with (mostly) women I met on the internet. I oversaw Compassion Bloggers – taking groups of great writers overseas to see the ministry of Compassion International and then write about it in hopes of seeing thousands of children sponsored.
Most of the bloggers I traveled with were afraid, felt more pressure to write well than they ever had before, and wondered outloud if I meant to choose them. Are you sure you want me to do this? REALLY sure?
In five days I’ll travel to Kenya with Compassion Bloggers. Not as the trip leader this time, but as a blogger. And what a difference that makes! I’m feeling all the feels a blogger feels this time around…
Fear? A little.
Pressure? Quite a bit.
So I’m asking you to do for me what I once did for the bloggers I led. Pray. Please pray.
Because John 15:5 is pretty clear. Jesus says “apart from me you can do nothing.”
Here’s what I’m praying – and what I would be honored to pray for you as you face fear, pressure and inadequacy of your own this week.
As a nation, we’ve been a little self-absorbed and distracted lately, haven’t we? Politics and Facebook and politics on Facebook have done a number on us. We might be the least receptive we’ve ever been to the needs of people living anywhere else. We need – I need – a perspective and priority change. Or else we’ll miss the opportunity to change things (for eternity) for others around the world. So I’m praying…
“…God, work a great work of renewal in your Church, I pray. May we live for the sake of the salvation of the world, O God. May this land not be our land, but heaven be our land, and the gathering of your people from all the peoples in every tribe of the world be our passion and our burden. Put America down in our priority list, and put the kingdom of God up, and the name of God up, and the church of God up, and the reaching of the nations up…
Give wisdom to [us] so that together we might make the greatest possible impact to spread a passion for your supremacy, not American supremacy or Trump supremacy or Republican or Democratic supremacy. May it always feel like a heavenly orientation rather than an earthly orientation. Make us willing, O God, to submit ourselves to the lordship of Jesus, not to the lordship of any man who leads. We ask for your help. We humble ourselves under your mighty hand. In Jesus’s name. Amen.” – John Piper (A small excerpt from a (lengthy) prayer offered on Inauguration Day)
I struggle to know what on earth I should say. I struggle most when writing. And on a trip like this – when my heart will be whiplashed daily between the darkest despair and the brightest joy (and jet lag) – I’ll struggle mightily. I’ll be up late every night staring at a blank screen begging God for the right words to type. I’m praying…
“Light from light. Creation from chaos. Life from death. Joy from sorrow. Hope from despair. Peace from hate. All your gifts, all your love, all your power. All from your word…all gifts of your speech. We give thanks for your world-forming speech. Listen this day for the groans and yearnings of your world. In the midst of our stammering, speak your clear word of life in the name of your word become flesh. Amen.” -Walter Brueggemann • 1989
I’m not a afraid of airplanes, wild animals, eating weird food, getting sick… I’m afraid of failing. I’m not a writer. I write sometimes but, well, you know I’m not a regular. What I’m writing about this week is so important that I wish God would send someone else to do it. I’m praying…
“O Lord, my Lord, Thou has stooped to honor me to be Thy servant. My God, I shall not waste time deploring my weakness nor my unfittedness for the work. Who am I to argue with Thee or to call into question Thy sovereign choice? The decision is not mine but Thine. So be it, Lord. Thy will, not mine, be done. Lord Jesus, I come to Thee for spiritual preparation. Lay Thy hand upon me. Fill me with Thy power by the Holy Spirit, and I will go in Thy strength and tell of Thy righteousness. I will spread abroad the message of redeeming love while my normal powers endure.” -A.W. Tozer • 1950 • excerpt from “Prayer of a Minor Prophet”
This is important. Eternally. For Kenyans and Americans. So I’m praying…
“God, give us the nations, and do it in such a way that only You get the glory.” -David Platt
PLEASE pray with me and for our trip and team. I’ll be in Kenya July 1-9 telling stories and sharing pictures daily. Follow along at compassionbloggers.com/kenya2017
Thank you, friend.