Prayer and Partnership: The Legs for the MissionTuesday, June 22, 2010
I think the greatest and simplest ways that Jesus showed us His love was and is by praying for us and partnering with us.
First, He left heaven, where He counted it no big deal to be equal with God. He took on the form of a servant, being born as a baby like all of us, living in a human body like the rest of us, hungering and thirsting like we've all done, sleeping little as many of us have experienced, bleeding and dying like we all do. And He did it all in order to become like us, to learn obedience like we have to, in order to be able to identify with us, in order to be able to help us when we're weak. This is called partnership.
Second, before He went back to heaven, He spent His last evening in prayer for those who were His disciples. He prayed that we'd be kept from the enemy's grasp. And He prayed that we would all become as unified together as He and the Father were, so that the world would come to know Him as the Savior. He prayed for our protection. He prayed that we would be sanctified by His word and His truth. He prayed that we would know the Father's love for us just like He knew it. This is called prayer.
So it seems that the two most simple ways in which we can put legs on the gospel in order to run faster and farther into the world for the sake of the mission is partnership and prayer.
"Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back on the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important" (Galatians 6:1-3).
That's exactly what Jesus did. And that's exactly what partnership with other people looks like. Thus, this is what the gospel looks like. When we live like Jesus and do life like this, I can't help but believe that we will experience the kind of results on our mission that Jesus experienced on His while He was on this earth.
"Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because..." (Rom. 1:8). "I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus" (1 Cor. 1:4). "Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God's people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly...I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him" (Eph. 1:15, 16, 19). "When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father...I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit..May you experience the love of Christ..." (Eph. 3:14-16, 19). "Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ..." (Phil. 1:3-5). "We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God's people" (Col. 1:3-5). "We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. As we pray to our Gd and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 1:2, 3). "Dear brothers and sisters, we can't help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing" (2 Thess. 1:3). "I always thank my God when I pray for you...because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God's people" (Philemon 4, 5). "Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere" (Eph. 6:18). "Never stop praying" (1 Thess. 5:17).
This is exactly how Jesus prays for us. Which means this is exactly how we ought to pray for one another. When we pray like Jesus and live life like this, I can't help but think that the blessings we experience on our mission will be the same as the apostle Paul and Jesus Christ did on their mission.
The mission is a journey. A journey requires walking and running. Walking and running requires legs. And the legs of the mission are partnership and prayer. Run with these same legs Paul and Jesus used, and we will find the same success in our mission as they had. Keep it simple.