Thank you for your prayerful support for the work of Langham Preaching around the world. This week Mark Meynell, our Director for Europe & the Caribbean, shares some thoughts that lead us into a focus for prayer in the week ahead.
Waiting, waiting. It’s hard. Always. I can’t imagine that anyone finds waiting to be easy. Waiting for a vaccine perhaps? Or for quarantine or lockdown to end? Or for normality to return? But, of course, waiting is one of the lessons we must all endure as children and often it is just as great a challenge in adulthood. It seems we never grow out of needing to learn patience. Perhaps that is why it is an annual focus in the season of Advent.
Zechariah had to learn it in a particularly hard way. When there was a prophecy about the birth of his future son, he struggled to believe it. I’m not surprised. As he said to the angel, “my wife and I are both far too old!” He had clearly forgotten Genesis and the unlikely offspring of the patriarchs. But then he was struck dumb. This meant he had to wait several months before he could speak again. When his voice returns, he bursts into song. But the big surprise is that he spends more time enthusing about Mary’s son than about his own. Why?
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago). (Lk 1:69–70)
Jesus the rescuer. Zechariah has realised that his long wait to speak again was nothing compared to Israel’s expectations of a saviour. That didn’t take months. It took centuries! But the saviour still came, in God’s timing. The prophets were right after all. Waiting for our prayers to be answered is on a smaller scale. But still we must be patient. Our patience derives not from knowing exactly what God’s plan is like, but from knowing what God’s character is like. He is just. He is sovereign. He is merciful and kind. So we pray.
Please pray for the work across Europe and the Caribbean…
In Europe we see so much lostness, with the vast majority apparently turning their back on such grace. In countries like Haiti, we see such devastation and a people in such pain. But we pray. We don’t know the future. But we do know our God. And so we wait. We wait. We wait. But we are not idle. We pray.
Let’s remember to give thanks …
Lesotho: Ntšiuoa Rathabaneng–Hoohlo participated in the Women’s Forum in Cyprus in 2019. In October, she developed a workshop in which 27 women participated, from different denominations. They expressed gratitude in being able to learn about Langham and the importance of preaching clubs, together with the opportunity to practice what they had learned and to share the needs in their own ministries. Give thanks to God for this new initiative, under Ntšiuoa’s leadership and with the support of Joseph Morenammele, the preaching movement coordinator. As Ntšiuoa writes, ‘The intention is to have more of these workshops for women in order to encourage them and show them that they have a lot of potential to be true disciples of our Lord.’
Let’s pray for training seminars in various places …
Central America: The preaching movement coordinators from across Central America meet on-line on Monday, for a time of prayer, fellowship and planning. In the midst of it all, please pray that people will be encouraged, renewing their vision and gaining new skills for their roles.
Bosnia & Herzegovina: The next session in a Level 1 seminar takes place on Wednesday in the ‘Riječ života’ (Word of life) church, in Zenica. Slavko Hadžić is the facilitator and eight people from the church are expected. Pray that no one becomes sick, or that unexpected things happen that prevent participants, or the facilitator, from being involved in all the training.
Honduras: From Friday-Sunday, an in-person Level One seminar takes place in Siguatepeque, with 40 participants expected. Orlando Japas, Samuel Ulloa, Lucio Rivera and Betuel Ayes are the facilitators. Please pray for financial provision and good health for the entire group.
Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer!
The Langham Preaching Team