Dear Friends

Thank you for your prayerful support for the work of Preaching around the world. This week Michael McGowan, our Consultant for the Francophone World, leads us in our prayer needs for the week ahead.

Is any among you weak? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him … the prayer offered in faith will make the weak person well” (James 5.14, 15)

Yes, of course I know this is not the traditional translation of these verses. Is any among you weak? Not necessarily sick, or ill — but weak? And yet I believe this is correct. Many years ago, struggling to understand this passage, I suddenly saw that the word that is almost universally translated ‘sick’, or ‘ill’, can also be translated ‘weak’. For me, this made perfect sense. James is not suddenly talking about healing for the sick, something he mentions nowhere else in his letter. No! He is writing to Christians who are suffering and he knows that some are now so weak in their faith, they feel they cannot go on. So James encourages them. What should they do? They should go to the leaders of the church and ask for help.

Whether or not I’m right about this, there is an encouragement here. Some of us may be persecuted and the pressure is becoming too much to bear. Others may be physically sick. Others are confused. But if we see that we are weak, we should look for prayer and support from the church. We must not be too proud to do this. For then the Spirit of God will raise us up.

Let’s remember to give thanks

The movement towards online communication and training was not something we expected 18 months ago. Zoom, WhatsApp and other media platforms have moved to the centre of so much of this ministry. While in-person gatherings remain at the heart, it has been a joy to see preaching movements gathering online — and even across borders. As a result of online training, preaching clubs have begun in Kazakhstan, Moldova and Georgia — while participants are also connecting in Azerbaijan. We give thanks for the encouragement of this growth during these challenging times.

Please pray for the work in other places around the world

Central America: The preaching movement coordinators from Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama meet on Monday on zoom, facilitated by Dionisio Orjuela. Please pray that this time of prayer, evaluation and planning will bring encouragement, renewing their vision to begin a new semester amidst all the challenges of the pandemic.

East Asia: Under the guidance of Mee Fang Njoo, preaching clubs are being established in Sarawak, with 15 participants, and in East Timor, with 10 participants. On Friday, these two preaching clubs will gather on zoom. Please pray that their time together will be enriching and encouraging.

Colombia: In Latin America, they invest in a small number of people with ‘a special grace for preaching’. They call it their ‘seedbed project’. We are praying that it will spread across this ministry. On Wednesday, these 17 preachers from various cities in Colombia will gather online with 8 facilitators — and with Jorge Atiencia, Mercedes Quintero, Luis Miguel Huertas and Dionisio Orjuela as the expositors. Please pray that the Lord transforms their lives with this encounter and helps them grow in their love for the Word and for the Lord of the Word.

Costa Rica: On Saturday and Sunday, 36 people from across the country will gather online for a Level 3 seminar, focused on the Psalms. Edner Porras asks us to pray that the teach will be ‘*dynamic and effective*****’ and that they will be blessed with a strong internet connection.

Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer!

The Langham Preaching team