“Calling Upon Jesus in Our Urgent Need!”
Week 12 - 100 Days of Prayer
June 12 – June 18, 2020
Time to Stop Worrying and Simply Trust
By Sikhu Daco
When my first child was born, I read everything I could set my eyes on about anything that could go wrong within the first few months of his life. After all, they say, “forewarned is forearmed,” right? He was a healthy full-term baby, with ten fingers, ten toes, and an excellent Apgar score. Yet as I looked upon his innocent face, I was suddenly struck with an unshakeable awareness of the fragility of life.
As my voracious reading progressed, I was introduced to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and I started down an internet rabbit hole. Each article I read, each personal story of losing a baby through SIDS served only to increase my anxiety about my inability to protect my little one. One moment I was reading an article counseling you to place nothing in the baby’s crib — not a blanket, nor a stuffed animal — because each item may lead to SIDS: The very next moment I would stumble upon a testimony from a mother who adhered to all the counsel offered to prevent SIDS but still woke up one morning to find her child lying lifeless in their crib.
What if that was my baby? What could I do differently to ensure that my family would never meet such a fate? Sleep was tiring as I would wake up at every movement, every coo, every change in breathing from my baby. As a loving wife who subscribes to the “sharing is caring” motto, I shared my anxieties with my husband, and the first night that our son slept longer than six hours, my husband woke him up just to make sure he was still breathing. You get the picture — we were a wretched ball of anxiety!
The more I thought about how powerless I was to protect my child from SIDS, the clearer it became to me how feeble all my efforts to secure the safety, protection, and welfare of my child were. In fact, I could not guarantee my own welfare, let alone that of a helpless baby!
Overwhelmed with a sense of my frailty, I turned to my mother, who turned me to Jesus. How did she do it? How can you ever rest again when there are so many mishaps to shield your child from?
The answer was simple: Trust in Jesus.
“Every time you put your child down to sleep, commit him into the hands of the God who never slumbers nor sleeps”, was her counsel. “Take him to the Lord in prayer and leave him there.”
My worrying about SIDS did not make my son any safer each night. It provided me with a false sense of “doing something” about my concern since I was expending much energy over it. But in reality, my worrying did nothing to help him breathe all night long.
So Jesus asked, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27). Your worrying does not solve the problem, it does not ameliorate the situation. Quite the contrary. Rather than contributing something valuable to the circumstance, it clouds your judgment, diminishing your discernment, and renders you less capable of handling the stressor – whatever the stressor may be.
You are worried about your finances. You are worried about your education. You are worried about your children. You are worried about your marriage. You are worried about your health. You are worried about the state of the world and the long-term effects of this COVID-19 pandemic. You are worried about the future and about where to go from here. You are worried about worrying too much. It never stops!
Here’s what Ellen White has to say:
“When we take into our hands the management of things with which we have to do, and depend upon our own wisdom for success, we are taking a burden which God has not given us, and are trying to bear it without His aid. We are taking upon ourselves the responsibility that belongs to God, and thus are really putting ourselves in His place. We may well have anxiety and anticipate danger and loss, for it is certain to befall us. But when we really believe that God loves us and means to do us good we shall cease to worry about the future. We shall trust God as a child trusts a loving parent. Then our troubles and torments will disappear, for our will is swallowed up in the will of God.” —Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 100, 101 (1896).
In a sinful world, we can be sure that challenging situations will arise. Worldly wisdom says the best way to be prepared for any calamity is to educate ourselves as much as possible — forewarned is forearmed. But when it comes to producing peace in the midst of the storm, knowledge is ineffective. The only forearming that is efficacious is to develop an abiding trust in the God who holds the minutest atom to the vast expanses of the universe in His hands. Thankfully, He is still in control!
Sikhu Daco is the Senior Editorial Assistant for inVerse — a new young adult Bible study curriculum developed by the GC Sabbath School Department. For over a decade, she worked in secular campus ministry after receiving her BA in Biochemistry and French. She also holds a MA in Religion with an emphasis in Systematic Theology from Andrews University. As a panelist on Hope Channel’s inVerse Bible discussion show, she gets to engage in her two passions for Bible study and ministry to young adults. Sikhu and her husband, Archie, have three boys, ages 4, 2, and 9 months.
Have you struggled with faith in times of crisis? Have you struggled with learning how to trust when all circumstances and all feelings seem to indicate that there is no good solution available for you? Why not ask God to give you more confidence and a stronger faith in His promises?
ACTIVE HEART CHALLENGE:
Worry, anxiety, stress, these are natural reactions when we are faced with difficult, uncontrollable situations. Think about your life, and your family. What are some things that make you worry for them? What are scenarios that cause you to be fearful?
Now open your Bible and try to find scriptures and stories that promise you peace and strength from God. Read them, write them out, memorize them, and believe them. Is there really anything that our God cannot handle?
Going Deeper - Additional Reading Suggestions for this week:
- “Peace, Be Still”, (Desire of Ages, ch. 35) by Ellen G. White
- “Surrender – The Secret to Perfect Peace & Happiness” by Gregory L. Jackson
Day 78 – Prayer Focus – Friday, June 12, 2020
- Pastor H.: Thank you very much for your prayers! My cousin and his wife are better now.
- An individual gave a substantial donation to help literature evangelists around the world during this time of crisis. Literature evangelists are finding new and creative ways to reach people with spiritual books despite the lockdowns!
- Pray for more faith and truth in God, especially during this time of crisis.
- Pray for God’s blessing on members who are operating taxis in Panama City, using them as mobile centers of influence. Half of Panama’s citizens live in Panama City.
- Pray for the upcoming Adventist Women Ministries small group evangelism in the Western Nigeria Union.
- Pray for your immediate and extended family members. Pray for those who do not know Jesus as their personal Savior yet to be drawn to Him and be converted.
Day 79 – Prayer Focus - Sabbath, June 13, 2020
“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.” – Jeremiah 17:14
“The paralytic found in Christ healing for both the soul and the body. He needed health of soul before he could appreciate health of body. Before the physical malady could be healed, Christ must bring relief to the mind, and cleanse the soul from sin. This lesson should not be overlooked. There are today thousands suffering from physical disease who, like the paralytic, are longing for the message, “Thy sins are forgiven.” The burden of sin, with its unrest and unsatisfied desires, is the foundation of their maladies. They can find no relief until they come to the Healer of the soul. The peace which He alone can impart would restore vigor to the mind and health to the body.” – Ministry of Healing, p. 77
So often we ask God to heal our physical illnesses, not recognizing that our most desperate need is spiritual healing first. Yes, physical maladies can at times feel more urgent and seem more painful than unforgiven sins in our lives, but make no mistake, nothing is more important than for our sins to be removed from us. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world [including your physical health] and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).
What is easier for you, to ask God for physical healing, or for a complete cleansing of your sins and power to overcome, especially your favorite sins? Are you willing to bear physical illnesses as long as you remain spiritually well?
Why not ask God right now to show you your need for spiritual healing today?
- God has provided ways for some of our Adventist hospitals to receive much needed personal protective equipment in order to treat COVID-19 patients.
- The AWR online evangelistic meetings have already attracted hundreds of thousands of views! God is reaching multitudes through the Internet in this time of crisis.
- Pray for a spiritual healing from sin, selfishness, and pride.
- Pray for an anonymous woman who has been under demonic attacks for 15 years.
- Pray for the ministry of a new Adventist addictions recovery center in Orlando, Florida, USA, which is helping to fight the opioid epidemic. Pray also for millions longing for freedom from addiction.
- Pray for the final night of the AWR online evangelistic meetings and for many to make a complete surrender to Jesus and the new learned truths.
Day 80 – Prayer Focus - Sunday, June 14, 2020
“The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.”
– Psalm 41:3
“. . . Christ is the same compassionate physician now that He was during His earthly ministry. In Him there is healing balm for every disease, restoring power for every infirmity. His disciples in this time are to pray for the sick as verily as the disciples of old prayed. And recoveries will follow; for ‘the prayer of faith shall save the sick.’ We have the Holy Spirit’s power, the calm assurance of faith, that can claim God’s promises. The Lord’s promise, ‘They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover’ (Mark 16:18), is just as trustworthy now as in the days of the apostles. It presents the privilege of God’s children, and our faith should lay hold of all that it embraces.” – Ministry of Healing, p. 226
God has the power to heal every sickness with one word. He has promised that all who believe in Him will be healed. Whether this happens in this life, or ultimately at the resurrection, is up to His discretion and perfect wisdom. We are encouraged to pray for the sick with faith in the Omnipotent Healer. Often we don’t consult His ability to heal until we have exhausted every earthly option first; and while it is important to do all we can to prevent illness and to treat it, we should always go to God first and seek His guidance as we deal with disease.
Do you believe in God’s power to heal? Do you trust that He knows best when to heal, and when not to heal? Are you willing to surrender your life into His hands in times of health so that you will remain faithful in times of sickness? Will you accept His healing when it comes in the form of a lifestyle change?
- The Adventist church was able to recruit over 10,600 digital missionaries within just a few days. As a result, Adventist Bible study content is trending and appearing at the top of the list in search results on Google and YouTube.
- In the Philippines, hundreds of young people are praying in massive prayer groups and prayer chains online. Revival and miracles are taking place!
- Pray for more faith in the healing power of God. Pray for power to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
- Pray for Adventist schools around the world as they are faced with the fallout of COVID-19 and need to find creative ways to be able to continue teaching and keeping their schools running after the summer break.
- Pray for the Gabon Mission as they are doing a Bible conference live on Facebook and YouTube until June 26. Pray that the Lord will lead the program and touch the hearts of those who are listening to it.
- Pray for Sister D.’s family’s spiritual healing and restoration. Her husband has multiple myeloma and is weak in faith. Her children have left the church and embraced unbiblical lifestyles. Her parents are disabled due to illness.
Day 81 – Prayer Focus - Monday, June 15, 2020
A Healthy Mind
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
– Romans 12:2
“Both the physical and the mental powers, with the affections, are to be so trained that they can reach the highest efficiency.” – Counsels on Health, p. 445
A healthy mind depends to a great degree on what your thoughts continually dwell on, your diet, exercise, and healthy relationships.
There are scientifically proven links between what we eat and how our diet affects our mental capacities. A plant-based diet, more fruits and leafy vegetables, can, amongst other things, positively affect our brain health. Also, what we choose to consume with our eyes and ears, as well as what we continually think and talk about, greatly impacts our mental state.
Do you choose to think about heavenly things, upon themes of righteousness and holiness? Do you engage the brain in activity focused on God’s Word and will? How is your diet looking? Is there room for improvement in order to have a healthier mind, ready to engage in spiritual activities? When was the last time you had a deep, meaningful conversation with somebody? Why not ask God to guide you in the process of gaining better mental health starting today?
- In many places lockdown restrictions have been lifted and people are able to get back to work again. Also new COVID-19 infection numbers have dropped in many countries around the world.
- Elden Ramirez (president of Montana conference): In the month of March tithes were not where they had been. We brought the situation to God in prayer. We received four donations that made up the shortfall! Everyone was expecting April to be low too. However, April 2020 had the highest tithes given in the last 10 years! God provides for His work to continue!
- Pray for a healthy mind and the ability to choose to dwell on righteous thoughts.
- Pray for the church’s mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The insecurity from rebel groups and the general political instability are negatively affecting the mission of the church. Pray for God to break through the darkness and evil and bring a mighty revival of godliness to the people of this region.
- Pray for the urban center of influence in Battambang, Cambodia. It includes a gym, a vegetarian restaurant, a playground, a chapel, health education, music education, and a language school. Pray for God’s blessing on this multi-faceted approach and ask Him to grow the ministry and bring the people whose hearts He has been preparing.
- Pray for newly baptized members around the world, who have given their lives to Jesus during this time of global crisis.
Day 82 – Prayer Focus - Tuesday, June 16, 2020
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
– Galatians 5:16
“If the power of indulged appetite was so strong upon the race, that, in order to break its hold, the divine Son of God, in man’s behalf, had to endure a fast of nearly six weeks, what a work is before the Christian! Yet, however great the struggle, he may overcome. By the help of that divine power which withstood the fiercest temptations that Satan could invent, he, too, may be entirely successful in his warfare with evil, and at last may wear the victor’s crown in the kingdom of God.” – Counsels on Diet and Foods, 167.
Sin has and is disrupting our lives on all levels. Sin brings imbalance into our lives and leads human beings to go into extremes. In the area of diet and lifestyle this results in various health problems that have negative effects not only on us, but also on others.
Only in the daily connection with the Holy Spirit can we find the strength and ability to become temperate in all things.
Will you choose today to ask God to enable you to be temperate in your diet, your use of time, your media consumption and your overall lifestyle? Will you take hold of His grace and trust in His ability to give you victory as you rely only on Him?
- Jay W.: “I prayed specifically for God to open opportunities to connect with my neighbors during this time of pandemic since I don’t really know them. God answered my prayer and I have been able to establish a connection with them. I know He has a plan for their salvation!”
- In early April Adventist World Radio in collaboration with the Moldova Union held evangelistic meetings on Facebook, YouTube and Zoom. Twenty-eight local pastors in Moldova began broadcasting on these media outlets. As a result we now have over 25,500 names of people we are following up with, and over 40 people have signed up for baptismal classes!
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to develop in you temperance in all things, especially when it comes to appetite, media consumption, and sleep.
- Pray for the church in northern Uganda. The Adventist message is being broadcast via radio, which is seen by other denominations as an attack. Pray that hearts will be melted and many will find the truth!
- Pray for the homeless ministry in St. Louis, USA. Pray for all who are involved in this ministry to be a Spirit-filled reflection of Jesus as they serve the homeless.
- Pray for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Day 83 – Prayer Focus - Wednesday, June 17, 2020
The Importance of Nature
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
– Genesis 2:15
“Christ loved to gather the people about Him under the blue heavens, on some grassy hillside, or on the beach beside the lake. Here, surrounded by the works of His own creation, He could turn their thoughts from the artificial to the natural. In the growth and development of nature were revealed the principles of His kingdom. As men should lift their eyes to the hills of God and behold the wonderful works of His hand, they could learn precious lessons of divine truth.” – Ministry of Healing, p. 54
A majority of the world’s population now lives in cities and urban settlements. Surrounded by man-made, artificial structures, breathing polluted air, and bombarded with constant noise, it is hard to have quiet, reflective time with God and to enjoy His wondrous works of nature. However, spending time in nature refreshes the body and mind!
How much of your time is spent in artificial surroundings or looking at digital content? How often do you take the time to appreciate God’s created nature? Why not make it a point from now on to schedule in regular time in nature to commune with God and learn from it spiritual lessons?
- Stephen A.: I praise God for the 100 Days of Prayer. The daily devotions have given me the opportunity of praying with my 9-year-old son.
- Anonymous: The 100 Days of Prayer have challenged me to a closer, more faithful walk with God. I really struggle with a variety of issues, but I can see that victory is possible in Jesus. Praise Him!
- Pray for open eyes to see the spiritual lessons in nature. Pray for God to show you ways to spend more time with Him in nature.
- Pray for missionaries, front-line Bible workers, and our Global Mission Pioneers who serve around the world in some hard territories.
- Pray for churches that had not have church growth in a long time to experience a revival for mission.
- Pray for the General Conference leadership as they seek ways to best support the local churches around the world during this pandemic.
Day 84 – Prayer Focus - Thursday, June 18, 2020
A New Start!
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19,20
“Without a knowledge of health principles, no one is fitted for life’s responsibilities.”
– Ministry of Healing, p. 271
God is highly interested in our overall well-being. He desires to not only be consulted when we experience health problems, but He is willing to help us learn how to prevent many of today’s common health issues and strengthen our immune system. This is why He has given us simple principles that go a long way. These principles are: Healthy nutrition, regular exercise, clean water, sunlight, temperance, enough fresh air, proper rest, and trust in God.
You might already be familiar with these principles, but are you practicing them? Why not take hold of God’s health principles, and with His Spirit’s help, learn to practice all of them?
- Bernard O.: We praise God. He gave us strength to do an evangelistic mission in Kitale, Kenya, amidst this pandemic. We were able to minister to the entire town. Many Bibles got distributed!
- Anonymous: I want to praise our God! During this lockdown I was able to watch various Adventist sermons from around the world online. One testimony really impacted me. It was from a man who was a homosexual and God delivered him. I had been battling a secret sinful addiction for a long time, but after hearing this testimony I knew nothing is impossible with God. I prayed, and prayed, and God gave me victory! Hallelujah!
- Pray for the willingness and ability to implement all of God’s natural health principles in you and your family’s life.
- Pray for an Adventist deli in Kingston, Jamaica which combines veggie sandwiches with Christian books and a children’s corner. Please ask God to bring the right customers, and to pour out His love to them through the workers there.
- Pray for God to awaken in all Adventists a deeper interest in the prophetic writings of Ellen G. White.
- Pray for a support center for families with autistic kids in Porto Alegre, Brazil. It is operated by volunteers dedicated to providing an open environment of fellowship. Pray for God’s guidance, and His Spirit to work through the volunteers to reach the community.