In Acts 8, we find Philip proclaiming Christ to the lost people of Samaria—a place full of evil. The crowds listened to Philip’s words “with one accord,” and the Holy Spirit broke through the darkness. People were delivered from unclean spirits. They were healed from illness. Even Simon the magician turned to Jesus and was baptized, though there are questions about his sincerity. The Spirit of God swept through Samaria, and Scripture says there was “great joy in that city.” It was a victory for Christ and His kingdom.
The vast missions field of North America is just as dark as long-ago Samaria. Terrible violence and sexual perversion are regular topics on the news. Broken relationships and poverty fragment families. Long the voice of hope in our communities, churches are losing their influence. Approximately 75 percent of Southern Baptist churches in America are plateaued or declining. Many are closing. On average, 17 Southern Baptist churches shut their doors for good every Sunday, leaving underserved and unreached neighborhoods in cities across North America.
How can we respond? Prayer should be at the top of our list.
North America has experienced bleak spiritual periods before. In those times, God’s people have turned to Him in prayer, and great revivals have occurred. We often think, All I can do is pray. But prayer should be our first defense. Ephesians 6:18 urges us to pray constantly for the Lord’s people, interceding persistently on their behalf.
In prayer, we ask God to take control. We turn our concerns and anxieties over to the One Who can turn darkness into light.
On this first day of the Week of Prayer for North American Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, pray our missionaries across North America stay Christ-centered and Spirit-led in their efforts (Rom. 15:18–19). Pray God sends an abundance of laborers to reach millions of North Americans living in darkness (Luke 10:2). Pray you and your church will be on mission for Christ in your neighborhood (2 Cor. 5:14–15).
|Children:||Girls in Action / GA|
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|Children in Action / CA|
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|Missions Plan Book|
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