2023 June Prayer Corps

Last month, we had the joy of visiting a long-standing member of the World MAP family (and a dear friend). This saintly widow, who is 92, shared with us her recent thoughts about whether or not to continue teaching her weekly Bible study. This is something she had done for decades, but she wondered if it still had purpose in the Lord.

When she asked the Lord about it, His response was, “stay in the traces.” This brought to her mind historic days when people traveled by horse-drawn wagons. Over time the wagon wheels dug deep ruts that hardened into what were called “traces.” A good driver would make sure his wagon wheels were firmly in the traces, allowing the horses to pull the wagon straight to the desired destination.

Our beloved sister in Christ understood that this answer from the Lord also included this promise: As we are faithful in obedience to whatever the Lord asks of us, in the power and leading of the Holy Spirit, He will produce His ‘destination’ of a crop of eternal fruit in the lives of others (Gal 6:9,10)
The “New” Normal?

The normal state of our world is now – and frankly, always has been – in varying levels of tumult, chaos, wars and the persecution of the godly. Our world still, “lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1Jn 5:19), whose demon-filled strategies are often welcomed with open arms.

In North America, the Church has seemed to be in a very long hiatus from the ‘normal’ conditions of which the rest of the world is painfully familiar. However, it appears this time of freedom, ease and abundant prosperity is – for better or worse – coming to an end.

Yet we also realize that regardless of what hell has planned in partnership with the schemes of broken, sin-filled people, those will be hollow, short-lived triumphs. And the powers of hell know this (Rev 12:12), desperately seeking to do their worst while they still can.
Fixing Our Eyes

We are daily bombarded with ideas of how to secure ourselves, our savings, possessions, etc. We are told what we should think and believe, or face dire consequences. The never-ending fear tactics of our news and media try to manipulate us into following their ungodly agendas, or freeze us into helpless immobility.

But remember this: The things we allow to fill our eyes (and ears, and minds) will have great influence on our lives, relationships, activities and hearts. Thus, it is imperative that we keep our focus on what is eternal and unchanging, staying “in the traces” and not being distracted from our primary purpose and calling in such tumultuous and deceptive times.

To that end, here are some essential, foundational truths on which we can stake our lives:
  1. We have a home, our eternal dwelling place in heaven already secured for us, purchased by the precious sacrifice of Jesus our Savior (Jn 14:1-4).
  2. Right now, in this life, we are already receiving an unshakeable Kingdom, with all of its privileges and responsibilities (He 12:25-29).
  3. So, with our eternity set and our present life empowered by our King, we are more than able to fulfill our heavenly assignment: “Our Father’s business,” which is our Savior’s last command, and is now our most urgent priority and mission! (Jn 4:34-38; Mt 28:18-20).
Stay the Course, Win the Race

With our spiritual eyes and hearts focused on God’s unchanging truths, we CAN
successfully and fruitfully navigate these days! Let’s look at some ways we can avoid “jumping the traces” and get taken off course in these critical times:

  • Hold fast (He 10:23). Keep your grip strong upon Jesus and upon biblical truth. Do not succumb to compromising genuine faith or convictions to accommodate the ever-shifting sands of a lost and sin-filled culture. Only the truth of God’s Word and the Person of Jesus can truly set the captives free!
  • Fear not! (2Ti 1:7). The devil loves to stampede people with fear – right off the edge of a cliff! God’s Word reminds us 365 times (one for every day of the year) to not fear or be afraid. Coincidence? You decide J.
  • Run with endurance (He 12:1,2). The older I get, the harder this seems. UNTIL, I remember I am not finishing the race in my own strength or ability! God’s grace is always sufficient to fulfill what He calls us to do. And, I keep in mind that Jesus is at the finish line, because the race has already been won! So let’s run toward Him alone.

It is good to be reminded that, for every Christ follower, winning the race of life does not mean crossing the finish line first. Rather, it is measured by our willingness to do all that God asks of us, and then trusting Him with the results. Oh, and of course it includes bringing as many people across the line with you in salvation, presented to Jesus on that Great Day!     

1. Indonesian Presidential Election
As the largest Muslim majority of any nation in the world (270 million), Indonesia’s upcoming presidential election is critical. At stake are economic policies, social issues, religious issues and even regional stability in southeast Asia.

The election is strongly divided, with one side very radical, calling for an entire Islamic state. This would put the minority Christian population (5.6%) in daily danger. The other side appears more moderate, approaching governance with allowance for religious diversity.

Please pray:
  • For the Spirit of God to be poured out mightily upon all the people of Indonesia.
  • For Christians there to boldly and effectively share the Gospel with all.
  • That God’s peace, wisdom and kindness would rule over the election cycle and its aftermath.
  • For encouragement, strength, wisdom and grace for the Christians, and especially the pastors leading their congregations.

2. Continued prayers for…
  • Ukraine: peace, protection, deception unmasked, provision for refugees.
  • Sudan: cessation of hostilities, a new government, expanded opportunities for the Gospel.
  • Syria: Desperately needed food, water and medicine, a new government committed to help its people, protection for refugees.
3. World MAP
We ask for your ongoing prayers this month in spiritual preparation for two World MAP Pastors’ seminars in Zambia in July! We are expecting 250 pastors, drawn from outlying areas with the greatest need, to be joining us. Please pray for the team, the pastors, the travel details and anything else that the Lord would put on your heart. We know your prayers will pave the way for God’s best and highest to be fulfilled!

Also, Shepherd’s Staffs are still en route in large quantities for distribution in Brazil, West Africa, Central and South America and more! Please pray for the logistics and safety of these shipments, and for provision to cover the costs.

A team continues their diligent work on a Nepalese translation of The Shepherd’s Staff (a fully volunteer effort). Understandably, this is a very large undertaking at 1,000 pages. Thanks for praying for them!

There is lots more going on at World MAP, so we appreciate your prayers for us more than we can say. Thank you!
No matter our age, experience, perceived abilities or giftings, God’s grace is sufficient for each day and for each assignment from Him. As we commit to “stay in the traces,” He will strengthen, guide and enable us to bring a mighty harvest unto Him, all to the glory of the One Who stayed faithful and gave His all for us.

Finishing His race with you,
Dr. Frank and Wendy Parrish,
World MAP
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