Prayer and Calling
Translated by Allan Liang
We have seen in the gospel of Mark that there is no place in which Jesus does not preach, urgently desiring for the gospel spread among the world. Jesus, before calling his disciples, first went up to the mountainside, as was his custom, and prayed nightlong before the lord. (Luke 6:2, Luke 5:16, Matthew 14:23). Today, all the sons and daughters bought with the precious blood of Christ, we are to set ourselves apart and each day fall upon our knees in prayer and petition as we call upon the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus did as our example, let us imitate his ways. Let us reflect upon our prayer lives, evaluating the amount of time we spend in quality prayer. Prayer at night is an art that many within the church have not practiced. We are grateful that in this time of pandemic, the Life Quarterly magazine has initiated a 24 hour prayer relay, with thousands of participants, each contributing one hour of prayer. May God use this time of pandemic to revive our prayer lives. In the words of Doctor Song Shang Jie: “Prayer is for power to do God’s work, when prayer ceases, work ceases. The church faces her demise if prayer stops.” One day before his passing, he emphasized this once more: “Prayer, the work ahead of us is the work of prayer. Prayer at night determines the success of work during day time.” After praying through the watches of night, Jesus clearly understood the will of God. He proceeded to select among them 12 people, calling them apostles. (Luke 6:12 -13). The meaning of the word apostle is “the one sent out”, wholly possessing the power of the one sending them out, that is, Jesus Christ. The 12 disciples had a unique identity, having lived with Jesus, and witnessed his teachings, manner of living, his patience and his power. This enabled them to fully understand the grace of Christ, and allowed them to boldly preach of this grace. The Lord Jesus is God, able to call anyone according to his will to follow him. We are called to serve God because of his calling alone, not according to our external attributes of talent, knowledge and so forth. In the general sense, those sent by Jesus pertain to each Christian, for we are all his disciples, having been called so that we may proclaim the beauty of Him who called us from darkness into light. (1 Peter 2:9) Looking back at 2000 years of church history, the gospel has indeed been spread across the earth by the 12 disciples of Jesus and all who followed in their footsteps. The twelve tribes of Israel in the old testament along with the 12 disciples of Jesus formed the perfect number of those redeemed by God ( 12 ^2 *1000= 144 000 Revelations 14:2). Truly, every reborn son and daughter of God is a fellow heir in the fruits of the gospel, how grateful are we ! Please carefully read Mark 3:13-19, and meditate and pray about: I am certain about my calling? May God help me in this time of pandemic to truly experience the power of God’s word and presence, as well as imitate Jesus’ daily practice of drawing near to God. May God have mercy on his church and our brothers and sisters as we continue to pray for them.