As we have been reading and praying this week, it is clear to us that God's love for the nations far exceeds our own capacity, both to love all people and to tangibly meet their needs. Though God doesn't need us to accomplish the work He has set out to do on the earth, He humbly commands believers to participate, that, through blessings and sacrifices, we may share in the fruit of the Kingdom.
Submitting to God's will increases our faith and gives us great joy as we go about the patient work of living for Jesus among all peoples, both near and far. Reflect on your time this week and discuss the following questions with your community.
Were you faithful to pray each day this week and to fast together with the church on Tuesday? If the answer to either is "no," share why with your community. Do not let guilt and shame take hold. The goal of these 40 days is not perfection in following the "rules"; it's a communal attempt by the local church to beg Him in faith to sow vast numbers of seeds among the nations, that a great harvest would be reaped. Our foundation is God and His Word, and our goal is that God's will would be done through us. This community is for you and with you. Rest in that knowledge, and take a moment to encourage one another, whether you have succeeded in what you set out to do or have fallen short of the goal this week. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).
What has been the most difficult prayer point for you to pray or believe this week? Why? Which has been the most exciting or joyful prayer point for you to pray or believe this week? Why?
Share with your community any habits or rhythms you need to change in order to pray more faithfully each day and fast on the communal day. How will you as a community (or as smaller groups within your community) encourage one another and keep one another accountable to pray and fast next week?
God, thank You for the vision and mission You've given this church from Your Word. Please soften our hearts to love the peoples and nations of the world the way You love them. Keep us faithful to pray and fast for many to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Help us where we are weak, and increase our joy throughout this season. Amen.