Pray and Fast for God's Protection and Provision Out of Exile
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Written by India Gospel Outreach
Categories: Prayer & Praise
Though Ezra was written almost 2,460 years ago, I find him to be a good model for prayer for us at such a time as ours. After a long exile in a foreign land following a long and humiliating exile from God, Ezra’s people, the Jews, were heading back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, destroyed by the pagan Babylonians. The road home and the rebuilding process presented an array of problems only God could help overcome.
In Ezra 8:21, 31, we read that Ezra proclaimed a fast for the returning exiles that “God’s good hand” would go with them: “There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast so that we might humble ourselves before God and ask Him a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions…on the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and He protected us from enemies and bandits along the way.” (NIV)
For long centuries, the peoples of India have lived away from their true Maker. Many gods have captured their hearts, and they live far from their spiritual home. Through the cross and the Great Commission, God is calling them back home to Himself.
The ministry of India Gospel Outreach is one way God is using to facilitate their return. But the way back is filled with many dangers, both internal and external, to the safety of the returnees. Many spiritual bandits would rob them of what God intends for them.
This month, I invite you to join us in fasting and prayer for India’s return from spiritual exile and IGO’s mission in preparing the way. Let Ezra serve as a model for you in your daily prayers, for India and also for yourself and your own situation. We are all returning from exile, marching toward spiritual Jerusalem. May India, and we all, experience “the good hand of the Lord” on our return journey.
T. Valson Abraham
Ezra accomplished his mission of leading the people from exile and rebuilding the temple because of his diligent study and teaching of the Word of God, bringing about a spiritual reformation among God’s people. Let this spirit of devotion to God’s Word permeate each day of your prayers and fasting before the Lord.
King Cyrus, a pagan king, was used by God to return the exiled Jewish people to their homeland (Ezra 1).
Pray that God will raise up Cyrus-like leaders in India to help return India’s people from spiritual exile to their spiritual homeland (the Lord Jesus Christ). Pray for India Bible College and Seminary.
King Cyrus recognized his power came from a God greater than the gods of his people (1:2).
Pray that Cyrus-like leaders of India will recognize the God of the Bible, even if they may not know Him personally. Pray for Punjab Bible College.
King Cyrus recognized Israel’s God and decreed Israel’s peoples return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (1:3-4).
Pray for a new Indian government that will motivate Indian Christians and people like you to support a Great Commission vision in India because of it benefits Indian society. Pray that IGO will be ready for this opportunity. Pray for Mizoram Bible College.
God stirred Israel’s leaders and elders to return to Israel and raise funds to go (1:5, 6).
Pray for IGO evangelists and Indian church leaders for filling of the Holy Spirit with desire to fulfill the Great Commission. Pray that people will generously give funds for a Great Commission outreach like never before. Pray for Himachal Pradesh Bible College.
King Cyrus returned the articles stolen from the Jerusalem temple (1:7).
Pray that a new Indian government will recompense all Christian properties stolen or destroyed in various ways for non-Christian purposes, including through unjust taxes. Pray for Odisha Bible Training Center.
The returning exiles included members of Israel’s royal family, the priesthood and the Levites (chap. 2).
Pray for members of long-time Christian families with a renewed vision to build India for the gospel, who will rise above family tradition to do a new thing. Pray for Darjeeling Bible Training Center.
All the returnees returned to Jerusalem together, not separately, to protect one another from danger (chap. 2).
Pray for IGO and all mission groups in India to work in partnership together in their different tasks. Pray for Gujarat Bible Training Center.
The sons of Israel gathered together as one man to return to Jerusalem (3:1).
Pray for unity of purpose among IGO evangelists, their congregations and all of India’s Christians as they fulfill the Great Commission. Pray for New Hope Counseling Center in Kerala.
The priests rebuilt the altar and re-established the sacrifices as written in the law of Moses (3:2).
Pray for a faithful preaching of the Word of God by IGO evangelists and all of India’s preachers as never before. Pray for Karnataka Bible Training Center.
The people gave freely and generously to restore the destroyed temple (3:5-7).
Pray for a new generosity among Christ’s people in India to fulfill the Great Commission—training, sending, evangelizing, planting churches, works that uplift the poor and needy. For IGO, this means fulfillment of IGO’s Master Plan. Pray for Andhra Pradesh Bible Training Center.
Leaders came together to draw up architectural plans and strategy to rebuild the temple (3:8).
Pray for Spirit-filled men and women to rebuild India’s spiritual foundations in the gospel. For IGO, this means getting a Spirit-filled Director of Development. Pray for Jammu & Kashmir Bible Training Center.
The priests led the people in singing and praising God for what He has done and was about to do (3:9-13).
Pray for a spirit of praise and expectation for what God will do in the days ahead in India. Pray for Tamil Nadu Bible Training Center.
Adversaries arose to hinder the rebuilding, alarmed by the perceived threat to the status quo (4:1).
Pray that God will encourage training centers, evangelists, congregations and all believers during times of opposition and not be alarmed when it comes, as it surely will. Pray for Hyderabad Bible Training Center.
Some adversaries pretended to support what God’s people were doing, but wanted to destroy the work (4:2-3).
Pray for discernment and strength to recognize the enemy’s subtle tricks to hinder India’s spiritual return from exile and cause division and confusion among believers. Pray for the Asha Kirans (Schools of Hope) among children of the slums and villages of Punjab and Odisha.
Adversaries slandered the Jews as rebels, temporarily halting the rebuilding of the temple, but prophets of God encouraged them (4:23-5:2).
Pray for staying power in the face of opposition through prophetic voices appointed by God for the time. Pray for India Bible College and Seminary.
Adversaries challenged the official authority of the Jews to rebuild the temple (chap. 5).
Pray for wisdom to counter adversaries who challenge constitutional rights of evangelists and believers to declare the gospel and expand gospel frontiers. Pray for Punjab Bible College.
Cyrus’ original decree authorizing the return of the exiles and rebuilding the temple was found. Dire penalties for those who tried to stop it (6:1-12).
Pray for the Indian government’s vindication of Christian’s right to evangelize and plant churches, with penalties against those who twist the clear meaning of the Indian Constitution. Pray for Mizoram Bible College.
The temple was completed and dedicated (6:13-16).
Pray for completion of IGO’s Master Plan, and the plans God has given to all likeminded groups. Pray that all will glorify God, and all of India will be reached by the gospel. Pray for Himachal Pradesh Bible College.
The people confessed their sins to God with a great sin offering. The pagan king granted them
Pray for a humble heart of all God’s people. Pray for honest confession of sins to God that brings renewal and wins the hearts of the pagan culture around us. Pray for Odisha Bible Training Center.
Ezra the priest was skilled in the law of Moses. He went to Jerusalem to bring about knowledge of the law and practice it among the people (7:1-10).
Pray for IGO President Valson Abraham and others in positions of leadership who preach the Word, to inspire others to practice the Word in faith and action. Pray for Darjeeling Bible Training Center.
Ezra the priest won the favor of King Artaxerxes. He won financial benefits from the government (chap. 7).
Pray that the government will lift taxes and remove other harassments that have had detrimental effects upon IGO construction projects and other mission costs. Pray for Gujarat Bible Training Center.
Ezra recognized this kindness was a direct intervention of God (7:27-29).
Pray for favor from the hand of God, even from government officials who do not know Him. Pray for New Hope Counseling Center in Kerala.
On his way to Jerusalem, Ezra proclaimed a fast and invoked the protection of God. He did not ask the king’s protection (8:21-32).
Pray for the Lord’s physical protection from every enemy that would prevent the return of India from its spiritual exile. Pray for Karnataka Bible Training Center.
Ezra managed well the money and goods entrusted to the Jews (8:33-36).
Pray for godly wisdom in handling all the resources He gives to IGO. Pray for Andhra Pradesh Bible Training Center.
Ezra was informed of worldly practices among the people, even among the priests (9:1-4).
Pray for purity among the people of God, that they not betray their calling for lesser things. Pray for one purpose—to fulfill the Great Commission. Pray for Jammu & Kashmir Bible Training Center.
Ezra prays and confesses the sins of his people (9:5-15).
Pray for a healthy fear of God’s sovereign righteousness and judgment, with regular confession of personal and corporate sins to keep His favor upon IGO and its partners. Pray that IGO evangelists will regularly confess their sins and the sins of their people before the Lord. Pray for Tamil Nadu Bible Training Center.
The people come to Ezra to confess their sin and to remove it (10:1-17).
Pray that God will convict each of us as His children of any sin that comes between Him and us, and that we will take concrete actions to remove it and maintain His favor. Pray for Hyderabad Bible Training Center.
Among the sons of the priests are those who polluted themselves with pagan ways (10:18-44).
Pray for purity, especially among Indian Christian leaders, trainers, those with callings to evangelize and plant churches. Pray for the Asha Kirans (Schools of Hope) among children of the slums and villages of Punjab and Odisha.