“Calling Upon Jesus in Our Urgent Need!”
Week 13 - 100 Days of Prayer
June 19 – June 25, 2020
A Virtuous Legacy
By Frank M. Hasel
My grandfather, Franz Hasel, was an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister in Germany. Against his will, he was drafted into the army during World War II. Because my grandfather wanted to honor God’s commandments, including “thou shalt not kill,” he requested to serve in the medical corps and refused to use a weapon. But his request was not granted. Instead, he was placed into another unit as a unit clerk on the front lines. However, he took his conviction not to kill so seriously that he carried a wooden gun in his holster for the duration of the war. Although he thought he might die many times, God miraculously protected my grandfather time and time again. His inspiring story can be read in the book A Thousand Shall Fall.
My grandfather often told us a story that is not included in A Thousand Shall Fall. While serving in Russia, far from home, his unit was assigned to search through the houses of every village that the Germans had captured on their advance into Russia. They were ordered to search for resistance fighters, who would hide inside homes and attack the advancing German troops. They were told to immediately and indiscriminately shoot every person they found hiding.
One day, as my grandfather was carefully searching a house, he had a feeling that something was unusual. When he entered a particular room, he found it empty, but still had an impression that something was suspicious. When he looked under the bed, he saw a young man staring right at him. My grandfather knew that if he exposed this young man, he would definitely be shot. They locked eyes for a split second that seemed like an eternity. Then my grandfather got up, left the room, and did not report what he had seen. He had pity on this young man and spared his life.
Several weeks later, my grandfather was assigned to patrol an important railway track. His duty was to make sure that no resistance fighters bombed the tracks. He was watching alone when a group of Russian Cossacks rapidly charged at him on their horses. There was no way to escape. He braced himself for death, believing they would surely kill him.
The group quickly encircled him, but my grandfather was shocked when he saw the face of their leading commander. It was the same young man he had seen hiding under the bed in that house. They immediately recognized each other. The young Cossack commander pointed his gun at my grandfather and signaled to him, “I could kill you now,” he indicated, “but you were kind enough to save my life. So, I will spare your life!” Then he ordered his men to ride on. In God’s providence, the life of my grandfather was once again spared. His loving-kindness to that man and his faithfulness to God was returned to him. I’m so thankful for the virtuous life and the example of faithfulness and loving-kindness my grandfather left behind. This legacy can be ours as well.
There is something peculiar about faithfulness. Although you can be a little bit famous or a little bit rich, you cannot be a little bit faithful. Faithfulness has something exclusive about it that demands undivided attention. Either you are faithful 100 percent, or you are unfaithful. If you are faithful 95 percent, you are not faithful but unfaithful. Faithfulness requires total commitment. God wants our undivided loyalty and full, complete dedication.
In the Old Testament, we read the story of Daniel, who was thrown into the lions’ den because he was not willing to compromise his faith in God. When Daniel distinguished himself as a wise, dependable leader for the king, his enemies became envious and looked for ways to accuse him of wrongdoing. “But they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful” (Daniel 6:4, NASB). My hope is that our enemies (if we have any) and our friends, and all those who have been watching our lives in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis, will discover the same about us! May we be people who are known for the genuine loving-kindness we gently extend to others and may we be respected for our faithfulness in the daily things we do. And like Daniel, may we trust God to take care of us as we are faithful to His will. No matter what the future holds, let us be men and women who are kind to each other and who are faithful to God and His Word.
Frank M. Hasel, PhD, is a theologian and associate director of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Frank is also a best-selling author and the co-author of the current Sabbath School Quarterly ‘How to Interpret Scripture’. The story shared in this week’s devotional can be found in his most recent book Living for God: Reclaiming the Joy of Christian Virtue.
HEART QUESTIONS: How can you extend genuine acts of friendliness to those around you? In what areas do you find it difficult to be friendly to others and faithful to God? What are some specific ways that you would like to grow in your faithfulness? Daniel is a good example of how one man’s faithfulness to God influenced an entire kingdom. How might your friendliness help others see God’s true character and how might your faithfulness to God open doors to show His faithfulness to those around you?
ACTIVE HEART CHALLENGE: It can be easy to publicly profess faithfulness to God in words and songs. However, it is often in the small things of life – when nobody is looking, or nobody you know is looking – that the genuineness of one’s faithfulness is put to the test. Ask God to help you see areas in your life that need to be worked on. Pray for Jesus to live out His life within you, and for the strength to choose the option of faithfulness when temptation calls.
“It is not a conclusive evidence that a man is a Christian because he manifests spiritual ecstasy under extraordinary circumstances. Holiness is not rapture: it is an entire surrender of the will to God; it is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; it is doing the will of our heavenly Father; it is trusting God in trial, in darkness as well as in the light; it is walking by faith and not by sight; it is relying on God with unquestioning confidence, and resting in His love.” – Acts of the Apostles, p. 51
Going Deeper: Additional reading suggestions for this week
- Ellen White, Christian Help Work
- Frank M. Hasel, Living for God: Reclaiming the Joy of Christian Virtue
Day 85 – Prayer Focus – Friday, June 19, 2020
- Lovesky J.: God put in my heart to share the 100 Days of Prayer messages, and within a day more than 500 people signed up to receive the messages from me through WhatsApp and a telegram platform. We pray every evening at 8 p.m.
- We do see the Lord giving blessings and wisdom to his church leaders and members all over the world to deal with the challenges of the pandemic and beyond. Finances, health, opening of churches, God is working through the storm!
- Pray for more faithfulness in your life, and for a heart that is always reflecting the kindness of Jesus.
- Pray for the Manna House, a wellness-center sanitarium in the U.K. which is planning to run a post COVID-19 convalescent program to reach people for Jesus through the health message. Pray for the needed government approval.
- Pray for the 1000 Missionary Movement Training Center in North Sumatra, as well as all missionary training institutions, to find ways to continue their ministry despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Pray for members who have lost loved ones to the pandemic, or for other reasons.
Day 86 – Prayer Focus - Sabbath, June 20, 2020
Promise of Hope
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”– John 14:1-3
“We have no home here; we are only pilgrims and strangers, passing to a better country, even a heavenly. Place your mind upon these things, and while you are doing this, Christ will be right by your side.” – Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, p. 293
Because of God’s mercy, grace, and loving-kindness, we have been given hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope for forgiveness and victory over sin, and the hope of eternal life. Satan and this world offer us countless reasons to give up on life, but in Jesus, “all the promises of God find their Yes in Him” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Will you choose to take hold of the promises of hope which have been given to you in God’s word and guaranteed to you by the blood of Jesus?
Will you ask Him to help you keep your eyes on the hope of His Second Coming and everlasting life with Him?
- Anonymous: We prayed for God to provide the means to build a church, and He worked on the heart of a wealthy businessman to donate the resources needed!
- COVID-19 cases are slowly decreasing in Europe and other places around the world. Hospitalization rates are getting lower even as countries open up again while maintaining social distancing and other regulations.
- Pray for Jesus to give you a fresh revelation of the glorious hope you have in Him.
- Pray for the conversion of your family members, friends, co-workers, as well as the many names that have been sent to the 100 Days of Prayer team.
- Pray for members who are struggling spiritually, physically, or economically to remain strong during various temptations and to look to Jesus for help.
- Pray for various churches and ministries in the South England Conference. Pray for financial miracles in order to plant churches and refurbish current buildings to better serve the communities around them.
Day 87 – Prayer Focus - Sunday, June 21, 2020
Promise of Joy
“The prospect of the righteous is joy.” – Proverbs 10:28a
“The soul that cherishes the love of Christ is full of freedom, light, and joy. In such a soul there are no divided thoughts. The whole man yearns after God. He does not go to men to know his duty, but to Christ, the source of all wisdom.” – Reflecting Christ, p. 114
Have you ever felt the ‘joy of the Lord’? The joy of being with God, of communing with Him through prayer and His Word? When you catch a glimpse of Jesus in His pure beauty, all the “fun” which the world offers fades into insignificance. Jesus, with His matchless charms will fill your heart with a joy that is literally out of this world!
Do you desire to experience heavenly joy? The joy of salvation, the joy of faithfulness, the joy of harmony and collaboration with God?
Why not ask God today to give you a taste of His joy by spending more time with Him in prayer and meditation of His Word?
- Novo Tempo (Hope Channel affiliate in Brazil) is committed to 24/7 evangelism. The week before Easter is a special time for evangelism in the South American Division. When all of the churches were closed due to the pandemic, the leaders prayed. They decided to conduct a virtual evangelistic meeting with evangelist Luís Gonçalves which resulted in 30,256 requests for baptism! Surely God is able to work all things together for good for those who love the Lord!
- Anonymous: Through the 100 Days of Prayer readings I have realized my need for more of Jesus and less of me. I praise God for His love and grace towards me!
- Pray for a heart that is daily filled with heavenly joy.
- Pray for believers who are faced with various trials concerning Sabbath observance. Pray for their faithfulness to shine in the light of challenges and persecution.
- Pray for the Naga View Adventist College in the Philippines to remain viable despite COVID-19.
- Pray for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Day 88 – Prayer Focus - Monday, June 22, 2020
The Promise of Love
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” – Jeremiah 31:3
“A plan has been devised whereby the wondrous grace and love of Christ shall stand revealed to the world. In the infinite price paid by the Son of God to ransom man, the love of God is revealed. This glorious plan of redemption is ample in its provisions to save the whole world. Sinful and fallen man may be made complete in Jesus through the forgiveness of sin and the imputed righteousness of Christ.” – Messages to Young People, p. 137
God is love. When you open up to this reality and begin to see all He does through this lens of perfect love, your life will be transformed and become a reflection and a channel of God’s love. Every promise of God is a promise born from love. God, through His love, desires to make you a person of love!
Have you let God’s love do its work of melting all selfishness in your heart? Will you let Jesus, through His Word, redefine what true love feels, looks and acts like? Will you agree to the process of becoming a person of love?
- Francisca A.: The 100 Days of Prayer have helped me and my children to habitually pray every morning and evening. I praise God for this time of prayer. My daughter's friend came to visit and experienced it as well. She went to her home and convinced her family to have prayer every day, which they are happily doing now!
- Mike was really struggling during the lockdown. One day while looking for some programming on TV he discovered Hope Channel. “I need hope,” he said to himself. He started watching interactive Bible studies and other inspirational programs. He watched the entire series on Daniel, and another series on Revelation. As a result of his studies, he decided to fully commit his heart to Jesus!
- Pray for a deeper and fuller appreciation, reception, and application of God’s love in your life.
- Pray for Evangeline N., and many others who are struggling with cancer and various diseases. Pray for healing.
- Pray for newly baptized members who joined the church shortly before, or even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pray that the lack of Christian fellowship and church services will not overshadow their decision for Christ.
- Pray for the Hamilton SDA church in Canada. Ask God to bless the creative approaches to ministry at their ‘Really Living Centre’, which offers a community center, a cooking school, free oil changes, a smoothie bar, and indoor rock climbing.
Day 89 – Prayer Focus - Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Promise of Wisdom
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” – James 1:5
“The God whom we serve is no respecter of persons. He who gave to Solomon the spirit of wise discernment is willing to impart the same blessing to His children today.... When a burden bearer desires wisdom more than he desires wealth, power, or fame, he will not be disappointed. Such a one will learn from the Great Teacher not only what to do, but how to do it in a way that will meet with the divine approval.” – Prophets and Kings, p. 31
Jesus is Wisdom. He knows at all times which is the wisest course of action, the wisest counsel, the wisest way forward. Life presents us with many challenges, whether related to your vocation, your family, your ministry, we are always in need of divine wisdom. Praise God, He is more than willing to give wisdom to all who ask!
Do you desire to exchange the foolishness of your own thoughts for the wisdom which comes from God? Are you willing to accept God’s advice even when it goes against the “wisdom” of the world and your own ideas? Will you open your heart to Jesus’ wise counsels that lead to a life of righteousness and love?
- Enock C.: May glory and praises be rendered unto the Lord. During the lockdown we had a daily in-depth study of the book of Genesis as a family being led by our 27-year-old son. It was a great blessing to realize how rich the book of Genesis is. Now we have developed a culture of Bible study as a family!
- Robert C.: An intercessory prayer line was opened the whole week for an online evangelistic series I just finished for the Arizona Conference. Scores were baptized in churches, river and pools!
- Pray for divine wisdom to be made known to you as you spend time with God.
- Pray for Adventist churches, schools, and institutions as they prayerfully, and carefully consider reopening measures.
- Pray for Adventist singles, to experience fulfillment in Jesus, and find a godly spouse.
- Pray for the Tokyo Adventist Hospital, which has been serving the city for more than 90 years. Please ask God to bless and grow their work that the people of Tokyo may find both physical and spiritual healing.
Day 90 – Prayer Focus - Wednesday, June 24, 2020
The Promise of Power
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
“I would that all could realize what possibilities and probabilities there are for all who make Christ their sufficiency and their trust.” – Letter 45, 1893, par. 33
God is omnipotent. Nothing is too hard, complex, or difficult for Him – the Creator of all reality. He chooses to use His power to help, heal, and restore. Because His words are power and life, all His commandments, directions, and instructions come to us with the promise to be fully realized in our lives on the condition of faith. Faith unleashes the promised power for faithful living.
Will you choose today to believe in God’s power having been made available to you by faith? Will you trust in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to supply you with the ability to do His will? Will you work with Jesus to live a life of healing, helping, and restoring?
- Sister D.: For years I have been encouraging my brother to go to church. Now, as we worship online, he joins us every Sabbath! Please pray that he will give his heart to the Lord, and God will make a way for him to get to church.
- Gem C.: We praise the Lord for many prayer leaders in the Philippines whose lives were changed during the prayer times. Initially, some of these leaders were reluctant to accept the call to be prayer leaders but now many have found so much joy in the faith. In fact, the online prayer sessions have become the source of their strength in this time of pandemic.
- Pray for faith in God’s promise to always supply the power to do His will.
- Pray for broken marriages to be healed, for reconciliation to take place between estranged partners, and for Jesus to become the center of every believer’s marriage.
- Pray for Sister T. from Tanzania, who is suffering in various ways because of her decision to become a Seventh-day Adventist.
- Pray for a new center in Belarus, which provides a playground, facilities for people with special needs, and more. Please ask God to bless and grow this vital outreach, and help workers introduce visitors to God.
Day 91 – Prayer Focus - Thursday, June 25, 2020
The Promise of Life
“. . . Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” – Deuteronomy 30:19-20
“The Life-giver will call up His purchased possession in the first resurrection, and until that triumphant hour, when the last trump shall sound and the vast army shall come forth to eternal victory, every sleeping saint will be kept in safety and will be guarded as a precious jewel, who is known to God by name. By the power of the Saviour that dwelt in them while living and because they were partakers of the divine nature, they are brought forth from the dead.” – Maranatha, p. 300
What a wonderful truth! God, the Source of all Life, is willing to give to all who believe the power to live a life of love, faithfulness, and righteousness on this side of heaven. But not only that, He also gladly bestows eternal life to His children, for them to live with Him forever in perfect health, bliss, joy and harmony! Praise Him!
Have you taken hold of the life-giving, life-transforming, and life-enriching good-news-reality that is available to you in Jesus? Are you looking forward to resurrection day, when all who believe will receive an immortal body to enjoy eternal life with our most precious, and loving God?
- Carme A.: I’m single, full-time mom of three boys, full-time student, working, and I am heavily involved in ministry in our church. Despite the massive demands on my time and strength, God is carrying me through. We have been doing the 100 Days of Prayer program virtually with the children, youth, and adults every day. The young are very engaged, praying and asking questions. Despite financial needs for schooling, I can praise God for teaching me so much and blessing me so much during this time of pandemic. I enjoy doing ministry!
- We praise the Lord that some mission workers in the Middle East are experiencing renewed spiritual strength. Some of them were far removed from the congregation due to discouragements and a lack of revival. But because of the online united prayer during 100 Days of Prayer, they longed to be part of a church community again.
- Pray for an experience of the abundant life which Jesus promised you.
- Pray for all Adventist immigrants, and for individuals who are living on visas, who, because of their legal status, have no access to government help during this pandemic. Pray that they will be provided with the necessities of life.
- Pray for all Adventists and non-Adventists who are infected by COVID-19.
- Pray for the Rostok School in Russia, which serves children with special needs, providing a loving, Christ-centered curriculum that brings joy to children and parents alike. Please pray for God’s blessing for this important ministry and its staff, students, and parents.