ReFRESH® South

For Those Who Thirst For Revival

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Devotional for Day 30 – September 30, 2013

(Name withheld due to security reasons) Team Expansion, Asia
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Intention:
We know that He hears us.

Scripture:
“And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15 ESV)

Reflection:
He hears.

A Chinese hymn says, “Softly, softly listening. He is softly, softly listening. My Shepherd knows my voice.”

Our Shepherd is bending down to his lamb, our Dad leaning in to hear His child’s requests. He focuses His attention on us. No static obscures our voice. We don’t need to shout. As we ask according to His will, our Heavenly Father hears us.

We listen.

The hymn continues, “Softly, softly, listen. I will softly, softly listen. I turn my ear to hear my Lord’s voice.”

We quietly tune our hearts into the whispers of Scripture that the Spirit has breathed. This allows us to move into the place of praying “according to His will”. We can pray confidently using God’s own words, raising the souls of those He has laid on our hearts – though we may never have seen their faces – to the throne.

He answers.

“He is the Great Shepherd, the Lord of Life. My whole life I will follow my Lord’s voice.” The hymn rises to this triumphant conclusion.

The One we petition is no tin pot ruler, no wizard of tricks, but the Author of Life in whom all things hold together. We can fully rely on His ability, confident that “we have the requests we have asked of Him”. We have been given a blank check on an unlimited account. Corrupt national systems beyond His power to change. Ask big. He hears. He answers.

Pray this Prayer:
Heavenly Father, Great Shepherd of the sheep, we thank You for hearing us. Please guide us now to pray according to Your will. Please bring in the sheep still outside Your fold. Jesus gave His life for them, that they may also follow Your voice. You are well able to do this. We praise You for hearing and answering these prayers, which we bring in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.

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Devotional for Day 29 – September 29, 2013

Pastor Daniel Ko, Suwon Hana Baptist Church, South Korea
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Intention:
God can choose to send a great revival quickly when His people obediently pray and proclaim His truth.

Scripture:
Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city – a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. (Jonah 3:3-5 NIV)

Reflection:
When God planned a revival for the Gentile city of Nineveh, the first thing He did was look for a person He could work through. Jonah was that one so God shared His plan with him.
However, Jonah was not happy with this plan. Perhaps he protested, “Lord, destroying Nineveh is more reasonable than saving Nineveh. If Nineveh prospers, then the Israelites will perish.” So, Jonah arose to flee from the presence of the Lord by ship to Tarshish. God had a passion for Nineveh and chased Jonah in order to fulfil His plan.

Jonah found himself in the belly of a great fish and finally submitted to the plan of God. After that, something amazing happened. Jonah went into the city and on the first day began to proclaim the destruction that God would bring in 40 days (verse 3). Surprisingly, the people of Nineveh repented and turned their hearts toward God. Even the king of Nineveh heard about this amazing event, and he publicly proclaimed a fast throughout the country. Great transformation started in Nineveh.

Yes, revival belongs to God. But the question is, who is going to submit to God’s will and pray? Compare the time of God’s preparation for Jonah to pray for the revival to the time when revival really did happen. Revival is not difficult for God, but we will be that one person fully submitted to God’s will and ready to pray and obey?

Today, God is able to save people and bring revival, even in just one day. However, who is going to pray and submit to His will? Will you?

Pray this Prayer:
Lord God, we pray for revival in the great cities of our day. You’re looking for your ‘Jonahs’ to use them as instruments of revival today, as You did in Nineveh. Please forgive us for any times we have not cared about others or preferred your judgment rather than repentance. We believe You are a merciful God who desires that none should perish. We believe that You have the power to bring revival even quickly as in Nineveh. So we ask You to do that in our day in our city and around the world. In your great mercy we ask You to begin that today. Amen.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.

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Devotional for Day 28 – September 28, 2013

Carlos Scott, Mision GloCal, Argentina Past President of COMIBAM International and continuing member of World Evangelical Alliance Missions Commission
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Intention:
Jesus valued the individual who was in need – so must we.

Scripture:
“Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ So they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’ Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him.” (Mark 10:49-51 NIV)

Reflection:
As the Body of Christ, we have a common future and identity. This involves welcoming one another, forgiving one another, humbling ourselves, becoming less – not claiming superiority over another. Our identity and future show we have the same feelings and are unified in following the Father’s plans. It includes understanding our different cultures and helping each other – becoming open to others and doing what Jesus would have done.

The story of Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52), teaches us many lessons about evangelization, fellowship, integrity, and solidarity. Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Jesus showed He valued humanity by being available. The blind man’s answer, “I want to see,” was his response, and he was healed. It was a miracle of Jesus; his faith in Christ healed him. He decided to follow Jesus and there was transformation.

Jesus’ method was to open up to the needs of the other person. Faced with Bartimaeus’ cry, Jesus stopped, asked for him to be called, and asked the question, “What do you want me to do for you?” All these actions value the individual – not a method, ideology, or doctrine. Jesus simply opened up and showed interest in the other person. This is because fellowship, cooperation, integrity, and solidarity are about sharing life and valuing the other person.

Often, we do not want to ask, “What do you want me to do for you?” We are afraid the person will ask us something unexpected, or worse, something we do not want to give or do. Asking questions causes instability and discomfort. We prefer to be in control and manage our agendas. Bartimaeus was an outcast. He was considered a sinner, excluded from the covenant, excluded economically, excluded from the appreciation and esteem of others due to his blindness. Mark attributed value to him by stating his name. He was not a nameless beggar. This was very significant. We must learn to follow the way Jesus responded to each person’s need.

Pray this Prayer:
Father, thank You that You see us not only a people but as individuals. Your Word declares that You have engraved us on the palms of Your hands and that even the very hairs on our head are numbered. Thank You that Jesus, as the exact representation of Your being, showed this same love for people. Help us follow the example of Jesus in responding to needy, often neglected and rejected – as individuals. Forgive us for our preoccupation with big crowds and big statistics at the expense of the individual. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Devotional for Day 27 – September 27, 2013

David Rowsome, Prayer Coordinator, Canberra Declaration, Australia
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Intention:
Pray that we would boldly declare the truth of God’s Word when contending for a culture of life.

Scripture:
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV)

Reflection:
In contending for a culture of life, on issues such as abortion, Christians have had some limited success in using the appeals of secular society or the world. There are the different declarations of the United Nations which can sometimes win the day. There also is a growing body of medical research and scientific discoveries which can be used in different battles. Secular social sciences too sometimes can be used to support the Christian view on life issues.

While we can rejoice in every victory that seems to push back a culture of death, we must realize that written agreements and reasoned arguments by themselves won’t ultimately change hearts and transform lives the way that we want. What do we do if the UN changes its position or makes other conventions that promote a culture of death? What do we do with hardened hearts and minds that refuse to believe God is real and human life is sacred?

The above passage assures us that God’s mighty weapons are available to us while we contend for a culture of life. We need spiritual weapons to demolish spiritual strongholds. These weapons include God’s Word, prayer in the name of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, faith, hope and love. These weapons can break down proud human arguments against God that keep people from seeing God’s truth.

In all our contending for a culture of life we must prayerfully and unashamedly declare the unchangeable truth that “God created man in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). The declaration that every human being has intrinsic and equal value in the eyes of God is key to our victory.

Pray this Prayer:
Loving Heavenly Father, thank You that You created human beings in Your own image so that we could honor You and live in a right relationship with You. Your Word declares that we are Your workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). And so we want to honor You as our Creator with lives pleasing to you. Forgive us for our reluctance or embarrassment to declare the truth of your Word as we contend for a culture of life. Instead, may we put on the full armor of God, boldly praying in the Spirit, while using your Word the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18). Help us to take our stand against the spiritual forces of evil as we contend for a culture of life. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

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Devotional for Day 26 – September 26, 2013

Adapted from a devotion by Pastor Daesop Yoon, OPHIR (Orange Prayer House – Int’l Reach) New South Wales / Korean missionary pastor in Australia
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Intention:
Jesus prayed a prayer for the unity of all believers, the children of God. What should be our response to His prayer for oneness?

Scripture:
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:20-21 NKJV)

Reflection:
One of the biggest challenges for the Church today is how we might become one united family under one God, just as our God is an undivided Body of the Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ prayer in John 17 indicates that He desires that all believers on earth be included in the beautiful oneness of the family of God, their heavenly Father. The Bible describes the beauty of the unity of a family in Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”.

One reason why Jesus was lifted up on the cross was to gather all His children together under the grace of the Father God. It is the declaration that God Himself has completely removed all the barriers that prevent God’s children from coming together. The biggest barrier was sin and guilt. This then caused barriers like brokenness in human relationships; divisions and hatred among God’s people caused by their sins and unforgiveness toward one another. The cross is the declaration by God Himself that He has accepted all His children by paying the price for our sins and by forgiving all our transgressions.

Therefore Jesus’ prayer for oneness means we need to love and accept one another as we come into the Father’s house. Jesus has done His part of the oneness prayer by giving up His own life on the cross. Now it’s our turn to do our part. That is to nail our pride, our ego, our own agendas, our hurts and wounds on the cross and be crucified with Jesus and walk in a new life of unity with all of God’s children. His love is the perfect bond of this unity. (Colossians 3:14)

Jesus prayed, “that they also may be one in Us.” Yes, the Father will answer this prayer and we, as believers, can become one and be in His love and embrace.

Pray this Prayer:
Father, we thank You that You have forgiven all our sins by allowing Jesus Christ to die on the cross. We believe Jesus paid the price for our sins against You, which was too big for us to pay with anything we have. And yet, we see the little debts of our brothers and sisters and find it difficult to forgive. We see the little differences of our brothers’ opinions of the interpretation of Bible verses and stand apart from each other. Therefore, we are divided and do not experience the power and beauty of the oneness of the God’s family. Father, we repent and turn to You and Your heart of grace and love. Help us in our weakness. We are poor in heart. Come and help us with your Holy Spirit. Bond us together by Your love. Amen.

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Devotional for Day 25 – September 25, 2013

Margaret Whyte Dravikula of Scotland and Fiji, formerly missionary in the South Pacific
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Intention:
Who is there to stand in the gap and intercede for the nations, for the lost, the poor and needy and the unborn?

Scripture:
“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV)

Reflection:
In the days of Ezekiel, God was looking for a godly leader who could stand in the gap and intercede for the people. Jeremiah had a similar search and could not find one (Jeremiah 5:1-6). Isaiah also failed to find an intercessor. Isaiah laments that “The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no-one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene.” (Isaiah 59:15-16 NIV)

Praying makes a difference. Prayer changed the dynamic and invites the Lord to get involved. Prayer opens the gates, the windows and the doors for the Lord to act. We may feel like our small prayers do not count for much. But one righteous person standing in the gap could have saved Jerusalem from destruction (Jeremiah 5:1). God will work because of one! (James 5:16)

Standing in the gap is more than praying for those who have not yet heard the gospel. As Isaiah 59:15 shows, intercession is also about interceding for social justice. This was one area where Israel went wrong. They did not stand in the gap for the poor and needy and they oppressed the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow (Ezekiel 22:7). Living out the gospel we believe calls us to care about the needy in our cities.
Intercessory prayer is not passive, it is active. When our hearts break for the nations who are dying to a lost eternity, when we live alongside those in need and see their poverty, when we think of the unborn children not given a chance to live, we can stand in the gap. We can make a difference. We can pray.

Pray this Prayer:
Dear Lord, thank You that when we come to You in honest prayer on behalf of others that You hear. Help us to deeply feel the needs of the nations, spiritually and physically. Help us to get alongside and stand in the gap for those who need You and are born into cultures who have never heard the good news. We also pray for those who need justice and relief from poverty and crippling debt, for those suffering hunger, disease, war and famine. We intercede for the widows, the orphans and the fatherless and for those who have never had a chance to live. We invite You to act on their behalf. Thank You for hearing our prayer. Amen.

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Devotional for Day 24 – September 24, 2013

Adapted from a devotion by Sue Tinworth, PIPES (Partners in Prayer and Evangelism)
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Intention:
Our sensitive repentance is an imperative in our passionate pursuit of intimacy with God. He draws us gently and encompasses us completely.

Scripture:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NIV)

“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what You were pleased to do. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to me, all You who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ ” (Matthew 11:25-30 NIV)

Reflection:
The more pure hearted we become, the more we see God. It is our Father’s will that we know Him as His sons and it is our privilege, through grace, to repent from everything that separates us from Him. When we rest deeply in His fullness and fix our gaze upon Him, we become more like Him. All obstacles, all that separates us from Him, all that is not love, in us, dissolves in the light of His glory. Then, others can see our Father and be drawn to His loving kindness.

Pray this Prayer:
Heavenly Father, You are my Beloved. All I am I offer you. Consume me, that only what pleases You remain as my gift to You, Jesus, that this beloved but needy world might see You and know You as Lord and Savior. Convict us and grant us repentance, worldwide, so the nations may be transformed and experience the abundant life that brings glory to You.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.
1. Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
2. Pray for the lost to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
3. Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.
4. Pray for the ReFRESH conferences, Sherwood and our part in seeking revival in our country and the nations.

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Devotional for Day 23 – September 23, 2013

David Bereit, 40 Days for Life
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Intention:
Pray that God will awaken in His people a full awareness of the abortion crisis, and that they will respond to His call to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Scripture:
“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?” (Proverbs 24:11-12, NIV)

Reflection:
Abortion has become the leading cause of death worldwide, ending the lives of more than 42 million babies around the world every year. More lives are lost annually to abortion than to war, hunger, cardiovascular disease, or AIDS. Every child that dies is precious in God’s sight – made in His image and likeness. In addition to the millions of babies who perish, millions of women are harmed each year by abortion. Some are killed by abortions, many are physically scarred, and all of the millions having abortions are wounded emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

No different than Christian persecution in China or genocide in Darfur, once we become aware of a grave abuse of human rights anywhere in the world, we can no longer say we didn’t know. Lives are at stake, and we are called to respond.

As we pray – and as we work to end the worldwide injustice of abortion – God will hear, and He will move mightily. I have witnessed this first hand. From just one hour of prayer around an old wooden table in Texas, God birthed the 40 Days for Life movement, which has since grown to more than half a million volunteers in 501 cities around the world over the last six years. 7,536 lives have been spared from abortion, 38 abortion facilities have gone out of business, and 83 workers have experienced conversions and quit their jobs in the abortion industry.

All because God’s people acknowledged the abortion crisis … and were willing to rescue those mother and babies at risk.

What can God do through YOU, as you pray – and work – to end abortion?

Pray this prayer today:
Lord, help me to see all children as you see them – as precious, unique gifts made in your image and likeness. Break my heart over the loss of these babies through abortion.
Help me resolve today to never be silent when human life is at risk. Help me to do everything I can to rescue those at risk of abortion, and to work until that day when no more women cry, and no more children die from abortion. I ask this in your most holy name, Amen.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.

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Devotional for Day 22 – September 22, 2013

Adapted from a devotion by Lynne Bartholomew, Southampton Vineyard Church, United Kingdom
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Intention:
In the beginning God made the heavens, the earth and people. He made everything beautiful. He was and is delighted with what He has made.

Scripture:
“A voice crying in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low, the uneven ground shall become level and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.” (Isaiah 40:3-5 NRSV)

Reflection:
When God created the world His intention was clear. It was to be filled with people who would be responsible on this earth, walk in fellowship with Him, and live for His glory. Humbly and willingly serving our Maker in this way, all would live in peace with Him and each other.

How far we have strayed. We have sinned against His commands, wronged one another, poorly stewarded His creation, polluted our rivers, and put our selfish will above His perfect will. Yet all this pales into insignificance at what has happened to our souls and minds. The fallen world has misled the hearts of His people, blinding us to His will, leading us to live according to greed, corruption and selfishness. Instead of beauty we see injustice, poverty, slavery, and lawlessness. The grace and joy of the abundance life in Christ is replaced with the grime of our sin.

Yet He loves us with an unending, caring devotion. The LORD has not given up on this world or its people and neither should we. What He began in creation, He will bring to completion. He longs to forgive, renew our hearts and minds and bring us into His will.

Pray this Prayer:
Mighty and wonderful God, we have fallen so far and failed so pitifully. Forgive us we pray about the part we have played in allowing our culture to sink so low. Forgive us for the unborn lives lost through abortion, the poor, widows, and fatherless neglected in our cities. Forgive us for the poverty, starvation, death and decay we see all around us. May we become instrumental in bringing renewal to the world. We ask this, oh Lord not because we are good, but because You are faithful. Amen.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.

1. Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
2. Pray for the lost to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
3. Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.
4. Pray for the ReFRESH conferences, Sherwood and our part in seeking revival in our country and the nations.

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Devotional for Day 21 – September 21, 2013

Adapted from a devotion by Pastor Jim Botomani Mbewe, Malawi Assemblies of God, Malawi
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Intention:
God is calling on us to pray effectively.

Scripture:
“Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged.” (Luke 18:1 GNT)

Reflection:
The parable of the persistent widow told by Jesus (Luke 18:1-8) presents us with helpful insights on effective intercession.

The woman comes from a lower status. She had no name in the society. She had no money to pay a lawyer. She had nothing to show. She was completely desperate. The woman had no possibility of a solution to her case except the judge. Likewise effective prayer comes from a desperate person. She was someone with no possibility of a solution elsewhere except from God. Effective prayer presents a believer with his vulnerability and his weaknesses before God. Effective prayer overcomes all forms of self-sufficiency. It comes from a person who empties himself of dependence on his own knowledge and abilities to allow the righteousness of Jesus and the Spirit of God to take over his prayers (Romans 8:26-27). Through such effective prayer, God receives all the glory. In this kind of prayer, He has no competitor.

The woman was denied justice on several attempts, but she did not give up. She kept on knocking on the door of this wicked judge and kept pleading with him. Effective prayer does not give up on God. Unlike this wicked judge, we have a caring and listening Heavenly Father. Though, at times, according to His most Holy and Wise Counsel, He does not answer immediately, but deepens our relationship with Him. He does so to help shift us from being transactional in our approach to being relational. Jesus connects the persistence of this woman with her faith and says to His disciples, “Now, will God not judge in favor of His own people who cry to Him day and night for help?” (Luke 18:7 GNT) Effective prayer focuses faith on Christ, not on us.

Pray this Prayer:
Father, we thank You that You are a loving and caring God! We humbly present ourselves as we are. We confess all forms of self-sufficiency in our praying and our lack of desperation. We allow You to take over. Redirect us and help us overcome all slowness and slackness. We ask You to help us pray with persistence in the power of the Holy Spirit! In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.