A Call to Prayer
Dear Partners in Ministry,
Recently, tens of thousands of Christians from across the nation gathered in Washington, D.C. for a Prayer March. Coming from far and wide they assembled together in the nation’s capital to pray for the nation.
This is wonderful. While some of our cities burn, Christians come and pray.
The greatest lessons I have learned about prayer have been discovered in Africa. Even in this pandemic, millions of Africans are calling out to God. I have found a much greater emphasis on prayer in Central Africa than in America. African Christians often pray with joy; their prayers are not shopping lists. Their prayers are often filled with passion, repentance, and expectation.
Africans often come to church to pray. Usually, I do not ask Africans, “Where do you attend church?” I ask, “Where do you pray from?” Many church services are started with long seasons of prayer; everyone prays at the same time standing up! Even during this pandemic, some of my friends in Africa have been holding all night prayer sessions.
I want you to pray for TCWM. God has given us time to plan for the future. Now we are better prepared to make disciples. What is TCWM doing to encourage prayer?
- We have a monthly prayer calendar online. Go to trinitycwm.org and click the “Resources” tab and then “Prayer and Praises.”
- We have two weekly prayer sessions through the use of Zoom, one for our board of directors and another with our African partners.
- Here in Dahlonega, we have a prayer trail at our headquarters.
- Our students in Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda are praying for us and look forward to the reopening of Trinity Biblical Institute. Many are praying for a revival in America.
- We have many prayer partners. I want you to become one.
- Through our radio station, we regularly call people to prayer.
- Each day we sponsor an evangelist to come and pray for the patients at our clinic.
We need to do much more.
A Powerful Story
Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of the elder children, Albrecht and Albert, had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.
After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines. They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg. Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht’s etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.
When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht’s triumphant homecoming. After a memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, “And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you.” Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and he said softly, “No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look… Look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother… for me it is too late.”
More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer’s hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer’s works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office. One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother’s abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply “Hands,” but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love “The Praying Hands.”
My mother painted a reproduction of Durer’s famous “Praying Hands” and here pictured to the right is this reproduction my mother made. What can you do for our nation, the church of Christ, and world missions? Most of you have already given. You can pray! Prayer is often the real work of missions.
Peter W. Anderson, Executive Director
Doug McNutt, Deputy Director