Psalm 67 is the perfect Psalm for prayer for the week of our Missions Conference. God was wonderfully good to orchestrate it all together, for I neither planned nor prepared what Psalm we would pray through this week. John Piper’s book on missions, Let the Nations Be Glad, comes from this psalm.
Psalm 67:4 (ESV)
4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
I’ll never forget the first time I read the opening words of the first chapter of that book:
“Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more.”
Do you really desire the nations to worship God? What about ISIS? I can swallow the fact that ISIS kills people because of what they ARE. I can understand them killing Christians simply because they are Christians. That’s what we signed up for, and Jesus promised that some of us as believers would die that way. I can see the honor of God in the martyrdom of his children. But for the life of me, I can’t handle them killing people because of what they are NOT, because they are not sworn adherents to the ISIS regime. I get angered and enraged. But ISIS is part of “the nations” to which our psalm eludes, and so for them I pray, struggling through those prayers each Tuesday morning.
I’m thankful that the Nunezes are with us this week. Marco and Gwendolyn don’t face the same challenges as do our brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq, but their challenges are real nonetheless. They face betrayal, lack of funds, lack of help. They face discouragement, at the least, in their humble attempts to serve God so that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations (Psalm 67:2).
Please be in prayer for them and for us as we seek to help them do what God has called all of us to do. We want “the peoples” to praise the Lord. We want the glory of the Lord to cover the “ends of the earth” as the waters cover the sea. Pray for Ciro, Pascual, Tono, Vincente, Thomas, their wives, children, and little church families. Pray for them with the ultimate hope that one day missions will cease because everybody on this earth is worshipping and praising the Lord. Pray that God would use them and us to that end.
For Jesus’ sake!