Monday, March 18, 2013

Pray for Greece

Week of March 18-24, 2013

Grace + Gratitude + Glory = Goodness
I was asking the Lord how to pray for Greece and the above formula came to my mind. I ask the Lord to put the formula into my heart so I may know how to pray.

Grace - unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
Gratitude - a feeling of appreciation or thanks
Glory – 1) great beauty and splendor : magnificence       2) state of great gratification or exaltation
Goodness - the quality or state of being good 

The history lessons tell of the former glory of Greece. Early Greece developed into a higher educated civilization than the nations around them. The people valued man’s ability to reason and would freely let men express their opinions. This led to innovations of engineering, a more peaceful civil society and appreciation of art which resulted in influencing other cultures. Actually I believe this was God at work to prepare the Greeks for the Gospel. They had an open mind to hear foreign views.

Acts 17:22-24 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:  “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 

We see that the Apostle Paul was able to reason with the Greek wise men because they were open to hear the Gospel and some embraced it. Then what happened as Greeks accepted the Gospel the glory shifted from the secular to spiritual. The Greeks begin to send missionaries into all the then known world.  The Greeks had advanced merchant shipping throughout the Mediterranean Sea and this made it easy for missionaries to go to other lands. From the first through fourth centuries the Gospel was greatly enabled by the Greek infrastructure. 

1.    Let us pray for the return of the former glory of Greece. Let us pray that Greece would be repositioned to the place of taking Goodness/Good News to the world again.
2.    Lord, we know You are ready to bestow Grace upon the Greeks once again. Your loving-kindness is there and all they have to do is accept it. Let us pray for the present day Greek Christians. May they dig up their past history and celebrate how God had used them to spread the Gospel.
3.    Let us pray that a healthy Gratitude would arise in the Greek churches. May they be thankful for the legacy they have in history. May they be re-taught the Glory they had; especially the spiritual glory. Lord, help them to understand that their glory was designed by You. Lord, help them to realize it was Your Glory working through them.
4.    Let us ask the Lord to release His Glory once again through the Greek people.
5.    Let us pray for the Greek Orthodox churches. They are very aware of how Greece was used to spread the Gospel; but they still have it in an old wineskin. Lord, help them to un-cap the old wineskin and pour the Gospel into a new wineskin.
6.    May new wine come forth. In the production of wine, grapes must be smashed so the sweet juice can come forth. We see that through the present financial crisis, riots and racial tension Greece is being smashed. Let us pray that Greeks would repent and be humbled so they once again can pour out the new wine.
7.    Lord, thank You for Your Grace that is available to Greece. May they develop an attitude of Gratitude so they may see Your Glory once again. May there be fruits of Goodness coming out of Greece to bless the world.

Among the marble walls they sat and read God’s Word.
They read Isaiah, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
Tears came forth as they thought of peoples that had not heard the Word.
Their hearts were stirred and they knew their prayers were heard.
They went down to the sea and booked passage because the prophets had confirmed.
They followed His glory and many never returned.
We may not know their story but their crowns lay before the throne in Glory.

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