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My Prayer Requests
by Tom Goodman
June 11, 2009

"If the college die, the churches . . . will not live long after it."

That was what the New England Puritan, John Knowles, wrote to Governor Leverett of Massachusetts back in the 1600s.

He was referring specifically to colleges that trained church leaders, and it's a conviction worthy of our own time as well.   A big part of supporting international missions should involve equipping local pastors and encouraging them.

As I wrote in this week's Winning Ways e-newsletter, next Thursday I board a plane for five weeks of mission service in Lusaka, Zambia.  The main purpose of my trip is to assist our seminary in its work of training pastors.

I'll stay in contact with Hillcrest happenings through the internet and Skype, and you can stay informed about my trip at my weblog, Get Anchored.

I won't be writing anything for LeaderLines across the next few weeks, but my request in this edition is for prayer.  I stand in good company when asking for prayer, because it was something the Apostle Paul often requested:

  • In 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 he wrote, "Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you."
  • In Colossians 4:3-4, he wrote, "And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should."
  • In 1 Thessalonians 5:25 he says simply, "Brothers, pray for us."
  • In Ephesians 6:19-20 he wrote, "Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."

Just a sentence earlier, in Ephesians 6:18, he had written, "Always keep on praying for all the saints."  Now he says, "Pray also for me."  He seems to be saying that every Christian needs to be on someone's prayer list, but every prayer list ought to include someone's pastor.

In fact, he even regarded the prayers of others as a sort of partnership with him.  He writes in Romans 15:30, "I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me."

There was something about intercessory prayer that actually created a partnership between Paul and the person who prayed for Paul.

So, how can you pray for me during my trip?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Safety and Health:  Pray for protection as I'm in the air and on the road, and as I interface with "bugs" my body doesn't normally have to fight off.
  • Stability on the Home Front:  Include Diane and the boys and my extended family in your prayers.  Their well-being is a big priority for me, of course -- and when their well-being is missing it's a huge distraction for me.
  • Travel Details:  It may seem trivial to pray for things like on-time connections and luggage arrival.  But considering that most of my teaching materials will be in checked baggage, I'd sure like everything to come off the plane at the same time I do!
  • Usefulness:  I want to be found useful to God in his work in Zambia.  Pray that the end result of my work would be that God's intended word would be conveyed -- in the classroom, in the pulpit, and in every conversation.
  • Growth:  I am preparing to learn, not just teach.  Pray that I will be a better disciple, pastor, husband, father, and neighbor through this mission trip.

I'll try to provide updates and photos at my weblog, Get Anchored.  Stop by the blog from time to time for "prayer prompters."  Thanks for your partnership!


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