This series focuses on praying for our Native American brothers and sisters, particularly those living on reservations.
[These devotions come from Jesus Culture's "Faith for Your City" Devotion Series with some alterations]
Need to start at the beginning? Read Week 1 here.
"How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible for you too, Bethsaida! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have long ago put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on themselves, to show that they had turned from the sins!" (Matthew 11:21)
When Jesus went to preach and demonstrate the Kingdom throughout the cities of a region, He wanted everyone to be saved.
When people pray for a whole community of people (or for a whole reservation) to be transformed, what are your first impressions?
Maybe you think, "Yeah, right, that's expecting a little too much. We don't want to set the bar too high." But Jesus wanted to draw everyone to Himself as He demonstrated the incredible love of God. So why shouldn't we dream big?
And when Jesus did not see cities completely changed from the raw display of God's love and power, Scripture tells us that Jesus was disappointed. "The people in the towns where Jesus had performed most of his miracles did not turn from their sins, so he reproached those towns." (Matthew 11:20)
Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum were the towns where Jesus had worked the hardest, but whose people had responded the least. If Jesus expected to see entire cities get transformed, then so should we.
We have been given the authority to pray for community-wide revival.
Through the preaching of the Gospel and Baptism, the Holy Spirit calls and gathers believers to Christ and His Church. The Spirit is working among people of every nation and language. For this reason, we pray for the continued outpouring of the Spirit and for the fulfillment of His sanctifying work.
But, there will be obstacles.
Many Native people, especially those who experienced and remember the trauma of residential schools, reject Christianity.
Again, we can look to Paul as an example. He was good at shaking up cities and communities with his dedication to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to unbelievers. He truly wanted to go where God was leading him and frequently it got him into trouble. Yet, he kept going!
God wants us to obediently go where He leads, regardless of obstacles. He wants us to be a catalyst of change on reservations. Though we may run into resistance, we can continue to plant the seeds of faith in these communities.
As we pray for the Native peoples, take the time to listen to God's leading. We are a part of God's plan to reach the world with His Good News.
Jesus, show me where You want seeds of your Good News planted on [your reservation/city]. Lead me so that I can make an impact in the work of your Kingdom and can influence those around me to see You and Your love. Expand my small thinking and help me to believe that entire communities will be saved and set free. Complete transform [your reservation/city] and make it new.