Prayer Focus: Past, Present, and Future

Christ offers a redeemed past and future hope to those living in unbelief.

“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind,  doing evil deeds,  he has now reconciled  in his body of flesh by his death,  in order to present you holy and blameless and  above reproach before him . . .” (Colossians 1:21-22 ESV)

Where can you find the past, present, and future in one place?

For believers in Jesus, all three can be found in these two verses.

In their past, believers were alienated from God, separated from him. Their hostile thinking towards him manifested itself in evil deeds. At one time they were disobedient to God (Romans 11:30). At one time they were darkness (Ephesians 5:8).

But in the present, Christ has reconciled them to God by taking on a body of flesh and dying for them. Believers are no longer separated from him. They no longer live in darkness but are now light in the Lord (Ephesians 5:8). Now, they have received mercy (Rom. 11:30). This is their present state and condition.

And something awaits believers in the future. “In order to” calls attention to the purpose of Christ’s reconciliation. One day, believers will be presented holy, blameless, and above reproach to God the Father. This picture of the future is true for all believers. What a glorious day that will be.

But sadly, this is not true for most of the world. Only one third of the world’s population call themselves Christians. Over two thirds do not know Christ. And one third has never heard the name of Christ.

The past, present, and future for unbelievers is the same. In the past, they were alienated and separated from God. In their present unbelief, their condition remains the same. If they continue in unbelief until death, they have no future hope to be presented holy, blameless, and above reproach. Instead, their future will be one of eternal punishment away from the presence of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9) and separated from him forever.

What will we do to introduce them to Christ?

This week, let’s pray:

“Father in heaven, thank you that my past was taken care of by Christ and I’m no longer separated from you. Thank you that my future is secure. But Father, the majority of the world remains alienated and separated from you. Please show me my role in reaching them.”

Prayer requests for reaching the unreached:

  1. Pray  for God’s leading as we desire to target a yet-to-be-named unreached people group as part of the Open Initiative.
  2. Pray for God’s Spirit to work in the hearts of North American churches to send more missionaries.
  3. Pray for God’s provision of resources to enable these churches to send.
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Bobby Hile

Bobby Hile was ABWE’s Director of Long-Term Mobilization. Prior to that, he served for 9 years as a senior pastor in Ohio and for almost 20 years with ABWE as a missionary in South Africa.