One of the reasons I love Scripture is the absolute honesty found in its writers. In Ephesians 6:19, Paul asked prayer “also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.” Based on what I know about Paul, there are a lot of things I would imagine were necessary prayer requests—health, traveling mercies, peace among his ministry companions, burdens for the churches, etc. But I would have guessed that Paul, the witness to kings, religious leaders, Jews, Gentiles, friends and enemies would not lack in spiritual boldness while preaching. But boldness was exactly Paul’s request.
Paul’s request reminds me of something I read recently in Nik Ripken’s book The Insanity of God. I would highly recommend this book. Ripken tells the stories of countless persecuted believers across the world and how the Holy Spirit empowers their witness and advances the church in spite of persecution. Ripken interviewed one of those persecuted believers named Stoyan who said this: “DON’T YOU EVER GIVE UP IN FREEDOM WHAT WE WOULD NEVER GIVE UP IN PERSECUTION— AND THAT IS OUR WITNESS TO THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST!” Let us heed that admonition spoken from a bold, Russian pastor/evangelist who was severely persecuted in communist Russia.
I wonder if you would join me in praying for bold proclamations of the gospel from Mud Creek Baptist Church, our church leaders, our mission teams, and our outreach teams over the next few weeks. We have about 80 people going through our Carpenter’s Hands Ministry to Lewistown Montana beginning Saturday June 28 through July 19. We have a half dozen going to Honduras the week of July 5-12. We have roughly 20 or so people from our church reaching out to needy families with food and the gospel through our summer backpack program. And we have about 4,000 members involved with many thousands of lost people in their relational circles (jobs, families, neighbors, friends, classmates, and co-workers). Would you pray specifically for the following?
- That God would give our members and our mission teams the opportunity and the boldness to proclaim the gospel.
- That God would prepare the hearts of lost people all over the world to hear the message of the gospel.
- That lost people in Hendersonville, Montana, and Honduras would come to faith in Christ in the next few weeks.
- That the churches (Mud Creek, Central Baptist in Lewistown, and the numerous village churches we work alongside of in Honduras) would be effective in making disciples of those who do come to faith in Christ.
I look forward to posting some salvation stories based on your prayers and witness!
 Ripken, Nik; Lewis, Gregg (2013-12-02). The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected (Kindle Locations 4183-4184). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.