"But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3:17-18 (ESV)

Isn’t it amazing how God hears the cries of His Church and answers prayer?  God be praised! I’ve seen God faithfully answer prayer in my own life and in so many lives at Mercy Hill.  He is faithful to His Church.  But how does He do it?  How does God chose to answer those prayers many times?  Sometimes it’s through the miraculous and unexplained, but more often it’s through the stirring of His Church that needs are met.  I feel like sometimes we have a “genie” mentality in the way that we view prayer.  We pray; and magically, God does.  It’s almost as if we forget that He uses the hearts and lives of His Church to meet needs and answer prayer.  God’s love for His people drove Him to meet our deepest and greatest need through the brutal cross, and that same love should motivate us to meet needs around us - to the Glory of His name!

Today, as we focus our prayer on Justice and Poverty, here’s how we can pray:

Pray for justice and those in poverty in our city and around the world.  
Justice and poverty encompasses many different ideas and hurts: such as racial reconciliation, food and hunger issues, human trafficking, homelessness, genocide, global poverty, clean water efforts, and terrorism.  I realize these are heavy and very broad topics.  Do your best to be specific and intentional with your prayers.  Pray for God’s hand over our city and our world.

Pray for God to stir your heart and the hearts of His Church.  
God wants to use His church to answer prayers to the Glory of His name.  It’s a big part of our mission.  Ask God to open your heart to what He might be calling you to in the areas of outreach and missions.  Pray that the Church surrenders to our calling and lives boldly and selflessly to the Glory of Christ.  I’ve got a feeling that if we can do this we will see many answered prayers, especially in the areas of Justice and Poverty.  

"Love that consists only of words is utterly worthless, if it is true love, it must prove itself by kind deeds and gracious actions."  - C.H. Spurgeon

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