Thank you for your prayerful support for the work of Preaching around the world. This week Dwi Maria Handayani, our Director for Asia & the South Pacific, leads us in our prayer needs for the week ahead.
“Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him” (Lk 5:13).
My friend, who is infected with Covid-19, says he feels like a leper in the time of Jesus. He is socially isolated, feeling lonely and helpless. If only we all had the gift to healing, like Jesus! As we know, in the era of the New Testament, being a leper was shameful. In an ‘honor and shame’ society, such a person is at the lowest level. He was not only physically handicapped, but also socially ostracized and religiously deprived of the right to worship in the temple.
To this kind of person, Jesus reached out his hand, deliberately, and touched him — not in a hidden place, but in front of the disciples. Imagine what the disciples thought when they saw Jesus touching that man! Jesus not only healed the man from leprosy, but also from social discrimination. That person did not feel lonely anymore. He could re-enter society. There was no need to feel humiliated, or ashamed, because Jesus had touched him and healed him in public. His honor had been restored.
Today, there are many people who are suffering from Covid-19, feeling lonely and isolated. There are also many people who feel they are worthless, ashamed of themselves. Like Jesus did, let’s reach out, deliberately, to such people, touching them physically, emotionally and spiritually so that they may experience complete recovery.
Let’s remember to give thanks …
While many in-person seminars have been postponed, there are some countries which are able to offer secure training within their national Covid-19 restrictions. Pakistan is one such place. The Level 1 and 2 seminar held last week was a real encouragement. Facilitators and 65 participants from 15 different locations around the country attended. As Qaiser Julius, our Preaching Movement Coordinator, writes, “All the participants went back with a commitment to practice expository preaching in their local churches. Through these trainings we intend to develop a culture of biblical preaching across Pakistan.”
Please pray for the work in other places around the world…
Philippines: The Level 3 seminar, held over the four Saturdays in June, has led to the formation of three new preaching clubs — bringing the total in the country to 17. Remember Iljo de Keijzer and her team in your prayers and pray that these preaching clubs can become a place to learn together and to support each other.
Global: Pray for those preaching movements which have been paused, either because of the pandemic, or because of the political situation in the country. Pray that preachers in these places will remain faithful and not lose their enthusiasm, able to restart the movement when the situation allows. Also, remember those countries where the vaccination programme has yet to begin, like Bosnia & Herzegovina and Guyana, usually because of widespread corruption. Pray for resilience and perseverance in such difficult circumstances.
Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer!
The Langham Preaching team