Focal Passage: Romans 15:14-21, 30-33; 16:25-27
As I write this lesson, I only have two weeks more before taking a team to Jamaica. I cannot wait. As my fellow team members and I teach Bible studies, I tell the Jamaican women, “I pray constantly for the people of Jamaica, and one thought runs through my mind: Jamaica for Jesus, Jamaica for Jesus. There is no reason why the fire of revival in Jamaica can’t start here in Elim — and start with you!”
Each time I tell them that, they look at me with disbelief because they have such a hard time believing that God has a plan for their lives, and they can make such a difference in their world by living entirely for Him. I pray that they can see they can be Christ’s instruments in ministry, and can be so much more effective than I can, because, even though I love the people so much, and possibly am an “accepted outsider,” I am still an outsider.
Almost in the same way, when I tell church members of my work in Jamaica, and tell them that by their prayers, they can also be Christ’s instruments in the ministry in Jamaica, they also look at me with disbelief, or worse, with amusement. They think that they have to go with me, which God may very well call them to do, to have a part in His work. I so want them to know that by lifting me and the team members in prayer, they are part of my team. I want them to know that I don’t want to go to Jamaica without their prayers for me.
When I take a team to Jamaica, I leave a daily prayer guide so that people will know what we have planned for each day of the week we are there. We may not always follow that exact plan, but the point is that believers are praying for us whatever we are doing in Jamaica.
During one of my trips, we met a Christian sister in the marketplace in Montego Bay. We didn’t even expect to go to the market, but this woman met us and led us to her shop. After finding that we were sisters in Christ, she shared a terrible burden that she was carrying, and by trusting us with this burden, she found three women who have been praying for her for almost a year now. She needed prayer, and God sent us to her to pray for her.
For that, and for countless other reasons, I say, with Paul, “to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen” (v. 27).