The Jesus’ Advent encourages prayer for our missionaries. Israel was under brutal Roman rule. The religious leaders of Israel were looking for the Messiah who would establish His kingdom, of which they assumed they would be among the principle leaders. In contrast God comes to an unlikely assortment of kingdom representatives: [1] to Mary, a virgin, [2] to Joseph, a God-fearing man who takes Mary to be his wife even though she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit, [3] to shepherds in a field, and [3] to wise men from a distant lands who have followed a star. Even a godless Roman emperor has a “bit part” by sending Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, the town of messianic prophecy. Angels fill the sky singing “Glory to God”! Religious leaders in Jerusalem direct Herod to Bethlehem when the Magi arrive asking for the King. While Herod’s rages… while Caesar remains ignorant, God’s missional plan will not be thwarted. Similarly, today, God is present in many small and insignificant places in the world through many small and insignificant people. Brutality is the meme of daily newscasts. Christians are persecuted and martyred. But Jesus’ kingdom continues to its predestined end.

Pray for God’s people to be attentive to His call and who are bringing the good news of Jesus to “insignificant places”. Pray for God’s leading in their everyday activities as they move about meeting many different kinds of people. Pray for daily renewal of their personal faith through reading and prayer. Pray they see God’s glory in the lands where they are, despite oppressive governments. Ask God to give His people courage and strength as they deal with injustice, poverty, disease, and the strongholds of the evil One.

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest upon his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice…for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen”. [Isaiah 9:6-11 NLT]