Called to pray

Praying for the Hindu World

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With our current focus on prayer, we thought we’d remind you about the upcoming Hindu World prayer focus.

This year, the 15 days between October 8 – 22 is set aside to learn about and pray for our world’s over one billion Hindu neighbours. That time period also encompasses the significant Hindu Festival of Light (Diwali). A new annual Hindu World Prayer Guide is being produced to help Christians know how to pray for the people(s) growing up within this major and very diverse world religion.

Copies of the booklet can be ordered by emailing pray4hindus@missions.org.nz or you can print and send in this flyer.

Copies cost $8 a copy, with discounts for multiple copies.

For more information visit www.pray15days.org

We’re all called to Pray (Issue 32)

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In the latest Intermission we’re looking at the link between mission and prayer. Below you’ll find the introduction – we’ll post the articles from the magazine over the next few weeks. To receive the Intermission in the post fill in this form or email office@nzcms.org.nz

A group of us on a mission school, frustrated at our own apathy, committed to getting up at 6 in the mornings to spend two hours in prayer. It lasted one morning. And even then, most of us fell back asleep within ten minutes.

A problem with teachings on prayer is that they can amp up the pressure we’re already feeling. We all know that prayer is important, and many (many!) of us feel we’re failing in this department. Yet I’ve seen it time and time again: people make resolutions to grow in prayer… but they’re often so incredibly idealistic and unrealistic that they’re doomed to fail.

We’re not wanting to burden you with more pressure, but instead show that it really is possible to grow in prayer – personal time with God, prayer with others, prayer for others. So at the outset we want to make this clear: don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself, because when you don’t measure up you’ll likely give up. If you feel God’s inviting you to become a prayer warrior and pray for two hours every morning, start off with 5 minutes. Once you’ve mastered that, increase it to 7 minutes. God is far more gracious with us than we’re often willing to be. Incremental steps in the right direction are far better than giant leaps that last one morning!

To help us all grow in this area, this Intermission explores prayer as it relates to mission from a variety of angles: How prayer can lead to discovering our calling in God. How prayer and mission fit together. How prayer relates to being a family-on-mission. How prayer is different through stages of life. We hope this inspires you as you pursue God in prayer.

125 Years

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As you’ll see in this month’s Intermission, NZCMS deeply values prayer. In fact, we’ve been praying together for 125 years!

That’s right: on October 25 we’ll be celebrating our 125th birthday. Back in 1892 God’s Spirit was stirring something in our land. There was a restlessness, a sense that there was more for the people of God to step into, a sense that mission is much bigger than what we’d seen.

It was out of that space that NZCMS was born. Within 8 months of our founding we accepted our first missionary, Miss M L Pasley, for service in Japan. Della Hunter-Brown followed only two months later. Then in October, at the age of 66, Bishop Edward Stuart of Waiapu retired from his position and headed to Persia to serve for 16 years! By the end of the century, we’d sent seven missionaries overseas, and were supporting three working in NZ.

This rapid growth was birthed out of a movement of ‘ordinary believers’ who were committed to seeing the Gospel spread to all corners of the world. And no doubt, early on they recognised that prayer was the key to seeing this happen. It wasn’t long before 55 NZCMS branches were regularly meeting across the country to not only hear about mission, but to pray for God to be moving among the nations.

So as we celebrate God’s faithfulness to us over the past 125 years, let’s pause to remember that “We’re all called to pray.”

15 days of prayer for the Hindu world

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Over the past several decades, a movement of Christian pray-ers focused on the Muslim world has grown significantly. Especially during Ramadan, Christians around the world pray that God will move among Muslims, who make up about 24% of the world’s population. However Hindus, who make up 15% of the world, simply don’t receive the same level of attention, despite the fact that Hindus are often quite receptive to Jesus and the Gospel!

This year, the 15 days between October 8 – 22 is set aside to learn about and pray for our world’s over one billion Hindu neighbours. That time period also encompasses the significant Hindu Festival of Light (Diwali). A new annual Hindu World Prayer Guide is being produced to help Christians know how to pray for the people(s) growing up within this major and very diverse world religion.

Please pray that there will be a growing enthusiasm for prayer for the Hindu world! Also pray for this new Prayer Guide initiative: there is a need for further funding and promotion in order for this to take off.

For more information visit www.pray15days.org

30 Days of Prayer

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If you receive our mailings you will have received a flier about the ‘30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World.’ For over two decades Christians around the world have been praying for Muslims throughout Ramadan – their special month of focused prayer and fasting. It’s a time Muslims are seeking an encounter with Allah, and since the 30 Days of Prayer movement started, many Muslims have encountered the living Christ during this season. Prayer really does change things.

During my time with an Australian mission training centre, Ramadan was set aside to pray for the Muslim world. Once a day a call to prayer in Arabic was blasted through the sound system across our centre. Up to 100 of us would drop whatever we were doing to gather in the courtyard so that we could pray for a specific location or people group. I’m sure it confused our neighbours to no end, hearing a Muslim-sounding call to prayer coming from a Christian centre during Ramadan. But in those moments we took our attention off ourselves and paused long enough to get a glimpse into God’s heart for this group which makes up almost a quarter of the world’s inhabitants.

The question is: what will you be doing this Ramadan (27 May – 25 June)? Copies of the prayer booklet can be purchased from marn.org.nz

Thy Kingdom Come

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Archbishop Justin Welby is calling the global church to a season of prayer for more people to come to know Jesus. This season of prayer, happening over the 10 days between Ascension day (May 25) and Pentecost (June 4), is aptly called ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.

Archbishop Justin has said this about Thy Kingdom Come: “After Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples went to Jerusalem and prayed for the coming of the Holy Spirit. The vision behind Thy Kingdom Come is to do just what these first Christians did – to pray, in faith, that the Holy Spirit would come and lead the way in witness and evangelism.”

Few things are more important to followers of Jesus than prayer. It’s been a core principle of CMS since our very beginning in 1799, and we’ve recently re-emphasised it as one of the five missional postures we as the NZCMS family share. 

We encourage people to #Pledge2Pray through the Thy Kingdom Come website to show that you’re joining in the global wave of prayer and to inspire others to join in! Over the next few weeks the Thy Kingdom Come team will keep in touch, and send you videos and resources to encourage and inspire you. The Thy Kingdom Come website has a wealth of prayer resources for churches, individuals, families and children. There are all sorts of creative ideas to help you pray in new ways.

If you want to know more about Thy Kingdom Come, to get prayer resources or to commit to participating in the event, visit thykingdomcome.global

CMS UK has interviewed Archbishop Justin about this event, offering more insights into his take on mission, prayer and the world church. You can read the interview by clicking here.