Volume. XXVIII, No. 11
Sunday, 15 September 2013

A Prayer for the Conversion of the Gentiles - Part 1


Since it is the will of our Lord to go evangelizing to all nations and make them disciples of Christ, it is also paramount for every Christian to pray with a missionary spirit for the conversion of heathens ranging from nearby towns to a far off land. Yet how shall a Christian pray with a missionary spirit that is also biblical and God pleasing? Many Christians may not expect to find guidelines of mission oriented prayer from one of the Old Testament passages. Howbeit, quite to the contrary, Psalm 67 gives the New Testament churches some profound insights and guidelines regarding a mission emphasis prayer. Matthew Henry says, “[Psalm 67 is] A prayer for the conversion of the Gentiles and the bringing of them into the church.” When a church as a whole prays for the conversion of Gentiles and takes an active role in the mission work, this enables the church to become a channel of blessing as God's blessing would flow in and through the church that actively engages in the mission endeavour. Yet before a church can become a source of blessing, she must pray that she would be worthy of becoming a channel of blessing, and it all starts from prayer: a prayer to request God to bless the church.
The Request for Blessing
Before an individual or a church can be blessed, a humble, soul search praying must be made to plead to God to have mercy upon them. The Psalmist utters with an opening request in his prayer in humble pleading for God's mercy, saying: "God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah." (Psalm 67:1). It is interesting to note that this phrase comes from the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6:24-26, where the High Priest of Israel, Aaron, would pronounce this blessing upon the people. The Psalmist knew that mercy is a premise for receiving God's blessing. One may need more mercy than another, but every believer needs mercy. The church as a whole needs God's mercy before expecting God to bless them. The prince of preachers, Charles Spurgeon, comments, “The best saints and the worst sinners may unite in this petition.” A church of God needs to be ready to receive God's blessing in order to be a channel of blessing. Nevertheless, this does not make us endorse 'prosperity theology' or 'name it and claim it' type of arbitrary and selfish demands or request. On the contrary, we ask for spiritual and God-centred and God honouring blessing. What is a spiritual, God centred and God honouring blessing? The Psalmist says, "cause his face to shine upon us". What is the meaning and implications of having God's face to shine upon us (Psalm 67:1 b)? This means to have the glorious face of God shining upon His people. And what is the implication of this? The implication is that God is well pleased with a person, not because of who he is or what he has done, but because he in Jesus Christ, His beloved Son, is constantly abiding and walking in God's truth. When this happens, an individual or a church is blessed beyond all measure, for there is no greater source of peace and power in life to have God's face to shine upon His elect people! Spurgeon says, “Why should he fret when God smiles? What matters though all the world should censure, if Jehovah countenances his servant. A look of approval from God creates a deep, delightful calm within the soul.” And only when an individual or a church is blessed before God, they can engage in the service of God and be a channel of blessing. The word Selah (Psalm 67:1c) is just a pause or musical notation with no real meaning in the word itself. Most commentators think it speaks of a reflective pause, a pause to meditate on the words just spoken. However, this pause should stir one to think about the greatness of God's mercy, God's blessing, and the approval of God's shining face upon a believer.
…...to be continued next Lord’s Day.
Preacher David Weng

More Lively Hope



*Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Bro Phil Surman. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Raphael Ng

*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm
*From this month, the Evening Service will start at 4 pm. All encouraged to attend.
*All members & regular worshippers are encouraged to join one of the Neighbourhood Bible Study groups, & to attend prayer meetings, various Bible Study classes & fellowship activities.
*Hospitality Roster for Dr Yoh Shirato - please show our kindness & hospitality by inviting our guest speaker for a meal. Roster on notice board.
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Bro Jason & Sis Tabitha Tan (Paris/Barcelona); Mr Tony & Sis May Zhang; Bro Agus & Sis Henny Wibowo & family (Adl); Sisters Shu Ai Cho (China), Christabelle Selvanayagam (Adl), Mary Ting (Melb) & Peng Ha Yeo (Adl); & others who are travelling. 
2. Successful surgery: Rev Edward Paauwe
3. Church Activities, in the past week.
4. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
5. Visitors & new worshippers.
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Pastor & Sis Myung Ki; Rev Edward (post-op recovery) & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev George van Buuren; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL), Margaret Pearson, Corinne Teng, Susan Varadi & Sylvia White; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Peng Cheong Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello; Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.
2. Special Prayer: Bro Len Pearson (Lobethal); Sisters Grace Gan’s father (healing) & Mavis Wong’s mother (salvation & post-op)
3. iSketch & Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & preparation for Ordination: Ps Hai Seng Lim.
4. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry
5. Cambodia Missions - Bro Sun Sokha & Ministry (Phnom Penh); Rev Srun Chivan (Sihanoukville).
6. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry
7. House of Hope (Cebu) - Staff & drug addicts
8. Ministry in New Life BPC (London) & God’s guidance for the future: Ps & Sis Ki.
9. Ministry in Hope BPC - God’s guidance for future - Preacher David & Sis Susan Weng. 
10. Journey mercies: Dn Wai Kin Wong (Bris/Adl); Bro Jason & Sis Tabitha Tan (Italy); Sisters Grace Gan & Mary Ting (Adl); & others who are travelling. 
11. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
12. Job - Bros Timothy Ngoma & Jonathan Liao (Syd); Sisters Xiao Hui Chye, Corinne Teng & Sharon Ying (Per); & others looking for stable jobs.
13. Australian Visas - Sisters Clara Sim & Sharon Ying (Perth - for PR).
14. Hope BPC - new Pastor; God’s wisdom & encouragement for 7th Session.
15. Year 12 students: for strength & encouragement in their studies.
16. God’s guidance & wisdom for New Australian Federal Government
17. AFG-YAF Retreat: Speaker - Dr Yoh Shirato; organizers & participants.



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