DAY 21: January 21

DAY 21: SPIRITUAL GIFTS: ENCOURAGEMENT

Kenneth Ulmer – Senior Pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, Calif

Encouragement is God calling upon us to do for others what He does for us. As Jesus was with us, and then God sent the Holy Spirit to be with us, so we are to be with one another. We are to walk alongside one another through life’s ups and downs, which requires a willingness. This act is a large part of the ministry of encouragement

This gift of exhortation is characterized by consistency in relationships. God told us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5, NKJV), and we are to model Him in all our relationships. Consistency doesn’t mean we always have the answers or solutions for someone else, but that our presence with them is consistently an encouragement and comfort.

Encouragement is not complicated, but it is a great challenge, and God is calling each one of us to encourage one another.

PRAYER POINTS

• Pray for the eyes to see those around us who could use encouragement.

• Pray for the grace to walk alongside others, and be present with them and whatever they are going through.

• Pray that we would be open to receiving encouragement from others.

DAY 20: January 20

DAY 20: SPIRITUAL GIFTS: HELPS

Rachael Jackson – Coordinator of unreached people groups for Foursquare Missions International

When Paul identified the spiritual gift of “helps” (antilēmpsis in Greek) in 1 Corinthians 12, he was highlighting the service that speaks as a means to render practical aid or support to someone who may be in need, particularly to the weak and needy. We see this demonstrated by Paul in Acts 20:35 when he said: “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

In this regard, the spiritual gift of helps directs us to a Spirit-empowered ministry of generous compassion and benevolent support toward those in need. It is in this kind of support that we see a transformation of circumstance—when God intersects a desperate situation and demonstrates His power in such a way that brings greater understanding and faith—and we confirm that our help does indeed come from the Lord.

PRAYER POINTS

• Pray that God would open our hearts to generously render “help” to those in need of assistance, particularly those who have been impacted by recent global disasters.

• Pray for opportunities to be agents of transformation for someone in need in your church and community.

• Pray for breakthrough for those in desperate situations, that they would call upon the name of the Lord for help and assistance. May His power and provision meet their needs!

• Pray that God would stir up in us the gifts that He has given us that may have been dormant in our ministries.

DAY 19: January 19

DAY 19: SPIRITUAL GIFTS: TONGUES + INTERPRETATION

Joyce Butron – Area missionary to Southeast Asia

A warm tropical breeze blew through the open windows of the church. The singing, praying and preaching seemed inspired, but I didn’t understand a single word. I dutifully stood, worshiped and prayed, though I could only guess at what was happening. Then, a word in tongues was given, followed by the gift of interpretation in English, a language I understood! God encouraged me in a situation where I was unable to understand what was being taught.

At Pentecost, tongues demonstrated God’s heart to speak in languages that everyone could understand.  Tongues and interpretation are an encouraging reminder that everyone needs to know that God speaks, and we can understand what He is saying. Today we need the complete expression of the Spirit and to value the gifts by making room for them in all our gatherings. Sometimes it is messy as we mentor others in the use of the gifts, so God has given us guidelines in 1 Corinthians 14. Welcoming the Spirit allows relationships with Him to begin or to deepen, transforming lives

PRAYER POINTS

• Holy Spirit, I welcome You into my heart and mind. I need You.

• Holy Spirit, move through me today with Your gifts to bring others into relationship with You.

• Holy Spirit, I invite You to move in my life and church the way You want to move, in all of Your fullness.

• Holy Spirit, I ask for a greater outpouring of the gift of tongues and interpretation in my life and ministry.

DAY 18: January 18

DAY 18: SPIRITUAL GIFTS: DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

Frank Greer – Area missionary to East and Southern Africa

Author James Goll identifies the discerning of spirits as “the God-given ability or enablement to recognize the identity—and very often the personality and condition—of the spirits that are behind different manifestations or activities.”

Perhaps it is not by accident that the gift of discerning, or distinguishing, of spirits directly follows prophecy in 1 Corinthians 12:10. This gift is crucial to determine whether a prophetic word comes from God, humans or the enemy. It provides us with a window into the supernatural, which is essential for maturing believers in today’s world. In 1 John 4:1 the apostle tells us to test (prove, analyze) every spirit to see if it is from God.

So, as we encourage our people to step out in prophetic gifting, let’s be ready to model this gift in a positive way that builds up, corrects and encourages our people to hear the Lord and test the spirits.

PRAYER POINTS

• Pray for God’s people to have a sincere hunger for the move of the Holy Spirit in our churches today.

• Pray for safe environments where spiritual gifts can be utilized in learning and growing situations.

• Pray for God’s people to have the ability to discern the difference between the authentic and the counterfeit in the spirit world.

• Pray for resulting maturity, growth and effectiveness in spiritual ministry for God’s people as they seek to be used by God.

DAY 17: January 17

DAY 17: SPIRITUAL GIFTS: PROPHECY

Helen Melahouris – Assistant to the President of The Foursquare Church (U.S.) and Administrator of the Foursquare Global Council

Paul’s encouragement to desire the spiritual gifts in 1 Cor. 14:1 is preceded by an essential mandate that must be the motivation for all spiritual gifts: “Pursue love.” That pursuit leads to an earnest desire for spiritual gifts. Why desire spiritual gifts? So we may love as Christ loves: pouring out abounding grace; bringing hope, healing, encouragement and deliverance; and stirring new life!

At the core of the gift of prophecy is the desire to deliver a divinely inspired word from the Lord to His beloved people. Jesus declared in John 12:49 that He did not speak on His own, but only what His Father had spoken. With the power of the Holy Spirit guiding us into all truth through the gift of prophecy, we can become messengers of hope. A word in season directly from our Father’s compassionate heart may turn someone’s bleak and stormy day into a radical encounter with the living, loving God of the universe.

PRAYER POINTS

• Invite the Lord to impact our hearts toward the pursuit of love, both in our worship and relationship with Him and with His people—those who know Him and those who have yet to come into His embrace.

• Seek forgiveness for those times we the church have sought spiritual gifts for our own sake, in pursuit of our own sense of importance.

• Ask for boldness to become messengers of hope through the gift of the prophetic by the power of the Holy Spirit, and invite Him to increase our awareness of His voice and our call to divine appointments.

• Plead for His presence and our awareness of His presence every moment of every day, so that we become vibrant kingdom agents in answer to Jesus’ prayer, “Thy kingdom come.”

DAY 16: January 16

DAY 16: SPIRITUAL GIFTS: MIRACLES

Jerry Stott – FMI area missionary to the South Pacific

The Bible is filled with miracles, sometimes directly from the hand of God and more often by His hand upon His people. Yet, today it seems many have forgotten that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8, NKJV). If the Old Testament is full of miracles, and the New Testament full of His followers walking in the miraculous, we should expect even more miracles today as we draw closer to His return.

Jesus gave His followers all that is necessary to fulfill His Great Commission and told us to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons” (Matt 10:8). This power was given to all believers through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Let’s step out, be witnesses, and watch the power of the Holy Spirit show up and touch lives for eternity.

PRAYER POINTS

• Pray for a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit to come on your life personally.

• Pray and ask for more of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to begin flowing through you.

• Pray for a greater boldness to be His “witnesses,” that more would come to Jesus in 2018.

• Pray for opportunities for the miraculous to show up as you bring the message of Jesus to the lost whom you encounter in everyday life.