Weekly Devotionals – 5 February 2024

When Jesus sent His disciples to the towns and villages to preach the gospel, He gave them specific instructions on what to do (Luke 10:1-11). When visiting homes, they were not to barge in and preach the gospel but first say to them, “Peace be to this house!”
“Shalom” is a Jewish way of greeting others by blessing them with God’s peace. As we seek to share Christ with pre-believers in this Year of Soul Winning, let’s make it a habit to pray a blessing for them and for their families, in sincerity, in faith, and in Jesus’ name. Do this even before seeking to share the gospel.
I have found that most people won’t reject a prayer of blessing. In addition, praying a blessing breaks down mental, emotional, and spiritual strongholds and opens a door for sharing the gospel later. More importantly, you and I are priests of God (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:5-6), chosen to minister to man. We minister to man by teaching God’s Word, interceding for them, and blessing them in God’s name (Numbers 6:23-26).
So, how can we pray a blessing for a pre-believer? While interacting with him, listen and be attentive to the problems, needs, situations and concerns that he or his family is facing. Maybe he is having a stressful time at work, studying for an exam, or caring for a family member with special needs. Maybe he is concerned about his future or is worried and upset about a particular situation or relationship. Perhaps he is unwell or struggles with a chronic medical problem. Take initiative and offer to pray for him. At an appropriate point in the conversation or before leaving, say to him, “May I pray for you?” or “If you don’t mind, I would like to pray for you.” Even if he has no apparent need, you can offer to pray for a blessing of good health, safety, joy, and peace. Pray for him in his hearing so he will associate positive changes in his situation to God’s answer to the prayer.
The Chinese New Year festivities kick off later this week. You will be visiting relatives and friends and meeting people at gatherings, many of whom are pre-believers. It is customary to greet one another with “Happy New Year” or “Gong Xi Fa Cai”, essentially a blessing to them. Why not add to this by saying blessings that are more customised to the needs of the people you meet and do this by praying these blessings for them in faith, in Jesus’ name? Then, if opportunity arises during or after the visit, share the gospel with them. And don’t do this only during the New Year season; do it regularly, as often as your pre-believing contacts share their needs or concerns with you.
Take heart, Lighters, for when you pray blessings for pre-believers, the Lord will back you up. For Jesus said, “If a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him” (Luke 10:6). And He also said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:18-19a). So go in faith and confidence with the authority of the Lord.

Monday: Revelation 1:5b-6
 …To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 
Tuesday: Numbers 6:23-26
“Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Wednesday: Luke 9:1-2
And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 
Thursday: Matthew 28:18-20
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Friday: 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 
Saturday: John 20:19
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 
Sunday: Ephesians 6:23-24
Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

All scriptures are quoted from the English Standard Version (ESV).
By Pastor Yong Tai Tong