On Behalf of Those Who Are Strangers In Church Today

Jeff Sundays

“Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, comes from a far country for Your name’s sake (for they shall hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand, and of Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven Your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by Your name.” – King Solomon’s prayer in 1st Kings 8:41-43

 

Father, today I bring before you a similar desire to Solomon’s. Your people will gather in church houses and homes all over the globe today. We have our bibles, we have our spiritual connection with each other, we have happy songs to sing to You, we have, in so many places, our comfortable Christianity. Among us will be those who have never trusted Your Son, Jesus. Our words mean nothing to them. They cannot comprehend our doctrines. Our joy seems strange to those who have not yet tasted to know that God is good. Solomon said in his prayer to You that some of those who do not believe, but still would come to the temple he built for You, would arrive because they had heard of Your greatness.  These people have heard of Your power, Your mighty arm which works great and supernatural acts. Father, I believe that some will come to our churches today for that same reason. They have read in the bible of Your miraculous power. They have heard that Christians believe in a supernatural Savior who never changes. Someone has shared with them that God the Spirit will transform them into someone new – someone they were destined to be by You, but have never even seen an inkling of.  Some are coming today, Father, in order to see if You are really who they have heard You to be.

They will be looking a great deal at us, Your children, to discern the answer to their search. This fact sobers me this morning.

 

So make us loving to them.

Make us sincere with them.

Make us kind and welcoming to them.

Let those songs that are from us to You do something to them.

Speak Your truth through us to them.

If it is good to do so, let us cry with them as we pray over them.

If it is also good, put our genuine joy on display before them. Let us not be afraid to sing, shout, dance and leap with flowing joy.

 

Work powerfully for them through us. Heal them. Deliver them. Save them through the message of Your Son. Give us prophetic words of impossible knowledge so that they may have the secrets of their hearts disclosed. They will know then that there is an all-seeing God who works through His all-loving Church.

So help us, Abba, today. Help us, ourselves, to believe in Your mighty hand and outstretched arm. Help us not settle for the Westernized, evangelical pinstriped, buttoned down version of You. Be Moses’ God of thunder, Peter’s storm walking Savior, Daniel’s lion-lock-jawed deliverer and David’s Goliath-slaying captain in battle.

Remind us that You are big and strong today. Please ensure that we, Your own children, are convinced of this. And through us, open the eyes of those who do not yet see.

In Jesus’ name, amen.