Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I wrote this blog on December 23. Given that I do not know the future (other than the truth that God is sovereign and Jesus will return), I do not know if some great tragedy has befallen our church or our country or our world – a tragedy I should have written about instead of what I have written. I also do not know how we did financially in 2016 and how this will affect us as we budget and plan for 2017 and beyond. But today is a day of prayer so I write to help us pray.

In Luke 10:2 and Matthew 37-38 Jesus tells us to pray earnestly! Starting at verse 36 of Matthew 9 Jesus says, “When He saw the crowds He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest” (Matthew 9: 36-38 ESV)

These are verses which should grip the heart of every Christian. Jesus tells us to pray earnestly for something. Our Lord knows well the
self-confidence and self-understanding of the cities and nations of the world. He knows how easy it is for us to be intimidated, or to become callous, or to be overwhelmed. He sees crowds and He has compassion on the people. He sees His harvest – that there are many in the cities and nations of the world who will respond to the Gospel with saving faith. He does not see the problem as being in the cities and the nations; He sees the temptation of His people, the church, to withdraw into a Christian ghetto or cocoon. He tells us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.

First of all, then. Please consider memorizing either Matthew 9: 37-38 or Luke 10:2. Please consider praying as Jesus tells us to – every day. Please pray for me in this regard. I confess that I was in a season where I did not pray this. Pray that 2017 will be a Matthew 9: 37-38 year for Messiah.

Second of all, please remember our missionaries in prayer. Please remember Jeremy and Kendra and their children serving in Zambia with Operation Mobilisation; P & J and kids serving in Central *s** with Interserve and the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students; BC serving with Wycliffe Associates in *s**; Paul serving in Egypt with Youth With a Mission (YWAM); Steve and Stella serving in Nigeria; Richard serving in Ottawa and the urban centres of Canada with Love Ottawa and Together Canada.

Please remember these other missionaries with close ties to Messiah. Please remember Norma and Audrey with SIM in Angola; Robbie and Malia in Uganda; Aaron in Jerusalem with CMJ; Diana in London with Pioneers Missions.

Please remember family members of people in Messiah who serve as missionaries. Daniel Gilman’s sister Devorah who serves in Haiti and the Dominican Republic with YWAM; Neil and Cynthia Stephens’ daughter and son-in-law and children who serve and North Africa with Wycliffe. Please pray for Christian Mission Charitable Trust in India. Messiah’s Frank Johnson is on its Board. Finally, please pray for Messiah – Ottawa is a rich mission field.