NORTH MINNEAPOLIS PRAYER FOCUS FOR 11/04/17: THE GOSPEL

Issue: God’s Will-The Gospel

We’ve been praying a lot about what’s going on in North Minneapolis lately. I’ve presented some statistics and needs to share with you about who we are and what’s going on in our lives as a people. Most of these needs are pretty general and differ in different places around the country (and world) as far as how poverty, sin, and religion are interspersed, but in reality there are issues like this everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you go there is a need for the gospel. There is also a need for the people of God to be a light there too. This is God’s will: the gospel will come to every inch of the earth and all the people that inhabit it for His glory. Sin wears different masks, but the problem is still sin. The effects and spread of sin is a problem God cares a ton about. He sent His Son to die so that it might be eradicated and people might be freed to be in relationship with Him.

 

NORTH MINNEAPOLIS PRAYER FOCUS FOR 10/31/17: ALL HALLOW'S EVE AND THE BONDAGE OF PAGANISM

Issue: God’s Will-All Hallow’s Eve and the Bondage of Paganism

Yesterday we looked at religion and how it differs from God’s will in His work of grace for salvation. Today, we will continue to look at the bondage of sin. God’s will is to free us, or save us, from this bondage. Religion ensnares men and women much like a net. Sin does this as well. Guilt and shame can wrap us up and keep us bound, but thanks be to God who has set us free from guilt and shame by taking both upon Himself on the cross! But before I get off on a praise rant, let’s jump into the history of Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve.

NORTH MINNEAPOLIS PRAYER FOCUS FOR 10/30/17: FAITH, NOT RELIGION

Issue: God's Will-Faith, not Religion

Yesterday we began praying for our neighbors who are under the bondage of various religions. We looked at some staggering statistics for a metro area of between two to three million people. Our prayer focus was for salvation to come. That is God’s clear desire, or will, for our neighbors. I want to go a little deeper into what a will is and look at what it takes for an answer to the prayer “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” to come to pass over the next week or so. Let’s talk about religion for a second to start our conversation.

NORTH MINNEAPOLIS PRAYER FOCUS FOR WEEK OF 10/29-11/04/2017: NORTH MINNEAPOLIS RELIGIONS

Issue: God’s Will-Salvation

Last week we prayed for all of the children living in North Minneapolis. This week we will pray for particular religious groups that are living or worshipping in North Minneapolis. The overarching prayer is that God be worshipped. We hope to see this occur as Christ rises in the hearts of the people in North Minneapolis through the preaching of the gospel.  Pray that God be preparing hearts (good soil) for the gospel seed, the seed of life , Jesus Christ. Pray for the Holy Spirit to come in power. Pray that our message is heard with the authority it demands because of the King who has sent us with it. Pray that men and women would be freed from the bondage of false religions. Pray that God would give us opportunities by providing gospel bridges (ways to turn normal conversation towards the gospel). And at the base of all of these prayers, pray God would give us hearts that grow to love our neighbors the way He does. We cannot do this work without hearts that love our neighbors. A gospel preached apart from love is a gospel founded on some other rock, not Christ.

PRAYER FOR NORTH MINNEAPOLIS 10/28/2017: NORTH MINNEAPOLIS KIDS

Issue: God’s Kingdom Come

Yesterday’s prayer is for the desire we have behind all other desires: God’s name be viewed, experienced, known, and believed to be what it is--holy. Today we zoom in on the first of two major changes that take place when that occurs. We are praying for God’s kingdom to come in the hearts of all Northside residents’ hearts, but specifically in the lives of the children who live here. It is not the primary item that we long for. It is a desire that flows out of the root of belief in who God is. Let me say it another way. When we see God as who He is (holy), then we want what that truth should naturally produce (that He be King over all that is starting with our lives and all that we have dominion/stewardship over). I’ll talk a bit deeper about that relationship and attempt to explain the way it looks beginning with a short summary of some Scripture on the two major kingdoms that exist today.

PRAYER FOR NORTH MINNEAPOLIS 10/27/2017: NORTH MINNEAPOLIS KIDS

Issue: Reverence for God’s Name

Today’s prayer is for the desire we have behind all other desires. We began this blog with several daily needs in the context of the challenges people in North Minneapolis face. God cares for our daily needs. He makes this clear all over the Bible. We may differ in personal opinion as to what is a daily need in regard to our opinion versus God’s, but there is no real argument from Scripture that God does not care for our daily needs. He cares about His children because of His character, His nature. It naturally flows out in all of His actions. But our desire, and arguably His desire, is that His name be viewed as it should be: Holy. Matthew 6:9 contains the prayer Jesus preserved for each of His disciples to pray. Our Father who is in Heaven, hallowed (holy) be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 

PRAYER FOR NORTH MINNEAPOLIS 10/26/2017: NORTH MINNEAPOLIS KIDS

Issue: New Birth

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,[a] you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”[1] Jesus makes things pretty clear about how you see the Kingdom of God. You have to be born again. The new birth is a divine act upon men whereby God plants the gospel seed by proclamation of His Promise (the gospel message) and the application of the Holy Spirit. Jesus also made it clear that there is no other way to be saved. You have to come through Him. He is the gate. He is the ladder. He is the shepherd. He is the King. He is the only way, the only truth, the only light. Salvation comes by no other name. But salvation does come. It comes by the name of Jesus. He is the perfect lamb, our sacrifice, who bore our sins on the cross and suffered the wrath we deserve so that we might reap the reward He deserves. And this message of His finished foretold work and His resurrection guarantee that those who believe in Him will be saved.

PRAYER FOR NORTH MINNEAPOLIS 10/25/2017: NORTH MINNEAPOLIS KIDS

Issue: PTSD

The Mayo Clinic defines PTSD as follows: “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.” WoundedWarriorHomes.org claims over 540,000 veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD. Think about that. Over half a million vets have been diagnosed with PTSD. That is 1 in 5 vets. That means there is potentially a larger number that have not been diagnosed. PTSD is not limited to veterans. People who experience or witness trauma or a life-threatening event are also susceptible of experiencing PTSD.

PRAYER FOR NORTH MINNEAPOLIS 10/24/2017: NORTH MINNEAPOLIS KIDS

Over the last few years living in North Minneapolis a few blocks away from the 4th Precinct police station, I have witnessed the pain of our people’s losses. There have been murders in our neighborhoods. There have been times unnecessary and unexplainable force have resulted in the murder of citizens by police. An already tense situation only leads to more dangerous encounters. When the community doesn’t trust the police and the police fear the community, we have a very big problem.

HE DID NOT ENTRUST HIMSELF TO THEM

After people witnessed Jesus' cleaning of the Temple, many believed. But their belief was not such that Jesus would entrust Himself to them. What does that mean? Why does it matter? How should we apply it? Mike Strong looks at John 2:23-25 and offers an appeal to trust He who is trustworthy even when our faith is lacking. 

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