God’s heart is bigger than what we can ever imagine; He cares for so many people and about so many injustices. Yet His desire in the midst of all those troubles and for all those people is one: reconciliation to himself. Reconciliation is the very essence of what Jesus did on the cross, breaking the power of sin and darkness that kept us from so that we may have relationship with God.
During intercession this week, the two groups of students and staff went in with no agenda, no topic for which to intercede, but with just hearts open to hear what God wanted us to pray for. Sometimes this can be daunting, because the thought runs through your mind, “what if we all hear different, unrelated things from the Lord? Does that mean we’re not hearing correctly?” In one intercession group we were faced with this. As we asked God what was on His heart this is what we got:
Missionaries/Workers of the Harvest
Nigeria and Niger
We had to regroup and decide whether we would ask God to give us new things for which to intercede, or if we would trust that He was truly asking us to pray for these things, and trust Him to show us how these connected, so that we would all be in unity. That is when I had the impression that God was speaking the word, “hope.” God began to show us as a group that all of the things He initially spoke to us were people He cares about and they need hope, which is only truly found in Christ. As for the missionaries, we were to pray for them because they are carriers of this hope.
Sitting there, I was amazed that while we were concerned that our impressions needed to align in a linear way, God’s heart is so big that all those things, though they seemed random, all came under the same desire: “I want them.”
In that light, even praying for missionaries made more sense and had equal importance. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul describes the true mission of the Christian:
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation… Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. (2 Cor 5: 18, 20, emphasis mine)
With so many injustices in the world, so many people suffering, and almost 3 billion people who have never even heard the name of Jesus, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and ask where to go, where to invest our time and energy. But the important thing is not what we choose to get involved in or where we go, it’s knowing that ultimately whatever we do, wherever we go, we are called to one thing: the ministry of reconciliation.
Our time of intercession ended with one of the students reading a verse that God had spoken to him: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. (Isaiah 9:2). And when we reunited with the rest of our class, it was only slightly surprising to hear that God had prompted them to pray into Jesus’ words that we are the light of the world, and that we would be strengthened, emboldened, and encouraged to show Christ to the world.
There is no doubt, God is calling and pursuing the lost, despairing, and discouraged ones back to the one true hope, love, and light: Himself. As His ambassadors we have the privilege and honor to bring this good news to those people, and witness the beautiful uniting between the loving Father and his children.