I write today, on the Lord’s Day of September 18, 2011, asking you to pray for me personally. Unashamedly I request your intercession in your corporate worship today and in your private intercession as well. Why?
1. I am a simple servant of the living God, like you, and thus I need the prayers of all God’s people. Revelation 5:6-8 says:
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.
The metaphor used here is of a golden bowl full of incense offered to The Lamb on the throne—Jesus. These bowls are full of “the prayers of God’s people.” Your prayers add to the content of these golden bowls. I do not understand how this works and do not need to understand but I do need and desire your prayers. You are giving to me and to Jesus when you pray.
2. I struggle daily with physical distress in the form of an auto-immune disorder that I’ve endured for 13-plus years. This unseen illness sometimes leaves me almost hopeless and helpless to fight on. Recently I’ve had a very difficult struggle but the Lord has clearly spoken to me about developing a deep mental toughness through contemplation and becoming more quiet in his presence.
3. I believe, God willing, that the very best years of my mission are just beginning as the new missional-ecumenical cohort program gets started on October 4. (Go to www.act3online.com for more information.) This program and training has the possibility, in the ideas and the type of high-touch/high-tech teaching that I’ll use, to transform hundreds of leaders and through them to touch and change thousands more. I hope to see the fruit of this effort begin and the real fruit of it when I am at the feet of The Lamb in the church triumph many decades from now!
4. I do not promote ACT 3, but Jesus, the unity of his church and the mission he gave us to accomplish before the end of this age. This is not because I am so humble but rather because I am genuinely convinced this is the way the Lord wants it to be. I prefer to serve other leaders and will do this mostly without being in the spotlight. I once knew the spotlight and discovered that it was not such a big deal. In fact, it is not what you think it is I assure you. What really matters is seen in secret, and sometimes by little people with real faith, but not what people see in public and talk endlessly about in the media, Christian or otherwise.
5. ACT 3 does have specific needs but prayer is the divinely appointed, Christ-glorifying, means for meeting all those needs. Of this I have no doubt. Therefore, brothers and sisters please pray for me.