Near to the Heart of God

Posted on: 
April 1, 2020

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though...

  1. Government authorities around the globe continue to ask that we not gather together
  2. Many businesses have needed to close; the global economy appears very unstable
  3. Our team members abroad cannot travel around or to the U.S.
  4. Our building plans have come to a momentary standstill with multiple unknowns

Job declared, “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” The test for us in this time: what will my response be to any of the above trials? Trials have the potential to make us stronger.

Let’s unite together in fervent prayer during this time! How should we pray? Let’s not pray timid uncertain prayers, but rather bold prayers that are full of faith in our Almighty GOD. The following three prayer requests are suggestions taken from the end of a special edition PrayerCast video that came out several weeks ago:

  1. The spread of the virus to end, while the spread of the Gospel accelerates
  2. Those suffering and fearful to find healing, comfort and hope in Jesus
  3. Gods daily grace for believers to tangibly demonstrate the love of Christ

All-Nations field members share these prayer requests:

From the Sungai team in Indonesia: Pray for the foundation, that we follow the best track in setup, and that God provides the right people to work in its formation and continuation, to facilitateour long-term presence here. Pray that we accomplish his purpose.

From the Madara team in West Africa: The lady I am replacing left on short notice because she has bad respiratory issues and is high risk. And there is absolutely nothing care-wise that could be done here. That means we did not have overlap as planned in May, so I have a steeper learning curve and more to do. We are needing to live in town next to the office because there is so much more for me to do now. Pray for wisdom as a team to know how to proceed. Working remotely here is very difficult due to poor connectivity.

From the Weno team in Benin: Many people are tired, fearful, hungry and seeking. Pray for the pioneers that will step across the line despising fear, shame, men's honor and the rest of the lies that hold them bound.

From the Mixtec team in Mexico: We need wisdom to know when to go back out to the village. With rumors that there have been suspicious cases here in the Spanish town we have chosen not to go out to the village to minimize risk.

From the MM family in Colombia: That we can use well our restricted language-learning and ministry opportunities currently, only whoever comes to our gate! Remember the poor and underprivileged as it gets more difficult for them, and wisdom for us relating to them.

From the DW family of the Colombia team, currently in the States and unable to return to Colombia: Our desire is to use this time in the States for growth opportunities: in our personal walks with God, growth as a couple and family, and in relation to our home church.

From the Mayangna team: Pray for the safety, life, and home of the Mayangna people. For Nicaragua's government leaders, and God's mercy for those caught in the middle of a bad situation. Pray for the translation team members, together now in Honduras: safety, water supply, and ongoing relationships. Praise for a profitable time the Sullivan's had with them there earlier this year.

Finally, we sign out today by borrowing a historical note from a different epidemic of the past century.

"Near to the Heart of God" was written in 1903 by Pastor Cleland McAfee during the Diphtheria Epidemic. Cleland's brother Howard's family lost two small daughters to Diphtheria within 24 hours' time. The family was quarantined, and could not receive guests to comfort them, nor could they leave the house to go to the funeral. What could be harder!

Heartbroken, Pastor McAfee sought God on how he could comfort his brother's family. God gave him the words and music for the following song which their church choir quickly learned and then sang beneath the darkened windows of the stricken home.

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God;
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.

—Joel Martin

  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10