Our next series of Monday Morning Devotions will focus on praying for our Native American brothers and sisters, particularly those living on reservations.
We ask, as you go through this series, to research your closest Indian reservation, and pray specifically for those people. (Here is an interactive map to help. And here is a list you can sort by state.)
Though this series specifically mentions Native peoples living on reservations, we can't forget that nearly 80% of the Native population live in cities. If you live in a big city, you may want to pray for the Native community within your city. Likewise, Native Alaskan Villages and Hawaiian Homelands need your prayers.
[These devotions are based on Jesus Culture's "Faith for Your City" Devotion Series]
A Heart for Natives
Abraham said, "Please don't be angry, Lord, and I will speak only once more. What if only ten are found?"
He said, "I will not destroy it if there are ten."
Abraham had a heart of mercy for people. We see it when God told Abraham that he had to deal with the wicked people the two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham's first thought was to plead for mercy for those that did not deserve judgment.
Abraham pleaded with God to "spare the city" for the sake of fifty innocent people (Gen 18:24-25). God could not have agreed more. In fact, God would have even spared the city for the sake of only ten innocent people.
As Abraham pleaded with God, he learned more about God's heart for mercy and justice.
It was Abraham's desire to see the innocent people of Sodom and Gomorrah live and thrive, just as it was Jesus' desire to free us from the punishment of our sins. It is now our job to share the Good News of that freedom with all nations.
NativeMinistry.org states that almost 80% of Natives living on reservations have not heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus died 2,000 years ago. The first Bible was printed almost 600 years ago, and you can now carry it with you on your phone. The first Christian Europeans settled Jamestown more than 400 years ago, and we live in a country where "In God We Trust" is printed on our currency.
And yet, there are still Native people in the U.S. who have never heard the Word of God.
Earlier in Chapter 18, Abraham is promised a son, and Sarah laughs. As we move forward in prayer for the Native people, many will laugh or criticize. Centuries of failed evangelism and mistreatment of Native peoples have built a barrier within many communities that, to some, seems impenetrable. (Learn more: here and here) But just as the traveler responded to Sarah:
"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (Gen. 18:14)
Jesus, thank you for loving the Native people of [your closest reservation/city]. Bless this community with an outpouring of your love and kindness, both from within and from outsiders, that leads all Native people to see Your goodness and turn towards you. In Your name, Amen.