I don’t know about you, but missionaries are heroes of mine. Last Sunday night, Kent and Rachel McDowell came and shared about their ministry as missionaries to Russia. Maneuvering amidst a troublesome political climate, developing relationships in what they call their “sphere of influence” and what we call our FRANs (friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors), and always being ready to share the Good News of Jesus.
You see, I need to talk to missionaries frequently because they have not lost the primary purpose of their mission: to make disciples. Everything they do, every breath they breathe, every dollar they spend, every word they say or teach or preach, it all has the ultimate purpose of making hopeful, joyful disciples of Jesus. The calling that Jesus gave them as disciples is enough to propel them as missionaries.
Missionaries aren’t just the professionals. When Jesus rescued us, He brought us on into his work as ones who would be His witness from our neighbors to the nations, and in our case, from Denver to the nations, helping all know that He is enough. One passage that will propel our time together is found in Colossians 4:2-6:
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person (Colossians 4:2-6 ESV).
Three questions come from this, and here’s the first:
Will you pray for an opportunity to share Jesus this week? Few meaningful things happen in this life without intentionality. You don’t pay your bills without intentionally making sure you have the money, you know how much to pay, when the due date is. Even if you have it automatically withdrawn, you need to make sure you have enough money to cover it. You don’t get your homework done without intentionally doing it and doing it well. Coming to church took some intentionality: showering, putting on clothes, getting your Bibles and phones and car keys, getting in the car, etc.
So let’s realize that the same intentionality is needed for this. And it starts with prayer. We are praying for opportunities to tell people about who Jesus is, what He’s done, and what He aims to do in us. Paul writes to the Colossian church, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” The intentionality begins with prayer for you personally. Prayer increases that intentionality by making us alert to what’s around us, and more thankful for what God has done in us.
But we also pray that God would open a door for others to bring the message of hope and joy as well. That message is about what Jesus has accomplished as holy God in human form to come and rescue us and restore us to God’s original design of walking and worshiping him. Without this praying, we are not alert. Without this praying, our thank-o-meter registers very low. Without this praying, others are not covered as well.
Will you pray that opens a door for you to tell others about Jesus? Will you pray for the doors to open for others?