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Daily Prayers for Evangelical Believers
December 20
by Ed Vasicek

Lord,

Christmas is approaching. Soon we will celebrate the birth of our Savior and His first coming. Lord, the Magiís gifts teach us much about that first coming.

Jesus is King, as represented by the gold. Jesus is God and is to be worshipped, as signified by the gift of frankincense. But He would also be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, as represented by the myrrh. Although myrrh was sometimes used as a perfume, it was also used as a drug for those in pain.

This tells us that Jesus was born to die that we might live. His painful death on the cross was accepted by the Father as a sweet sacrifice. Jesus came not only to set an example, to found the church and to teach, He came to give His life as a sacrifice. As He put it in Mark 10:45, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Praise Your Name!

Lord, I empty myself before You so that Your Spirit may fill me. May I find my strength in His power, not my own. May Your Spirit control me today.

First John says that if I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive me those sins and You will purify me from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). I confess the sins I am aware of now and I ask Your Spirit to search my heart. (Pause to admit them to God.)

My Father, pride is such an awful thing. That I constantly need to remind myself of Who You are. Familiarity breeds contempt, or so they say. But I do know that it is possible to get too familiar with You. There is such a difference between becoming familiar and getting to know You better which breeds respect. For the more I learn about You, the more I marvel.

Today I pray for the massive nation of Russia. O Lord, how complex this land is. On the one hand, religious freedom has been greatly expanded since the fall of Communism; on the other, some of those gains are being lost. So many millions have died in concentration camps for their faith, O Lord. May those days never return! But now the government and particularly the Orthodox Church is promoting intolerance of other faiths. Less than 1% of the population claim to be evangelical and the challenges are many. Lord, may Your Spirit sweep across this land and draw a large number of people to saving faith, I ask. Give the church wisdom.

I pray for MECO, Middle East Christian Outreach. Bless them as they seek to nurture evangelism, discipleship, servanthood and prayer within evangelical Middle Eastern churches. Their burden is to reach the main "21 cities with populations of over a million people, including some of the world's largest: Cairo (10m+), Tehran (8m+), Istanbul (8m+), Baghdad (nearly 5m), Alexandria (3m+) and Ankara (nearly 3m)." They are also burdened to work among "the refugees meeting physical needs...demonstrating God's love and grace." O Lord, bless this mission's work. Empower them with Your Spirit, grant them harmony among themselves, safety, wisdom, provision and great fruit for their labor.

Dear God, I commit my day to You, in the Savior's Name, Amen.

Pastor Ed

Correction suggestion: Find a typo or a confusing sentence? Please send corrections to church@highlandpc.com.

If you are interested, you can find more information about the missions organization(s) noted above.

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Highland Park Church
516 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, Indiana, USA
765.452.1779
church@highlandpc.com