New Year Prayer Guide

Day 20

A Testimony for Your “Town”

P. Douglas Small

God’s Word for Today

Read John 4:28-30, 39-42 (or the larger passage John 4:1-42)

Thoughts for Today

In the wonderful story of the woman at the well, the disciples leave Jesus and go to town for food. When they return, they are shocked that he is in a conversation with such a woman! Gently, Jesus has been probing her spiritual thirst. She has been holding forth on her religious views, somewhat open and somewhat resistant. “Would you give me some water,” he requests of her, putting her in the position of control. “How is that you, a Jew, would ask water of me, a Samaritan?” He is either an uninformed Jew or a non-practicing one. “I could give you water…” he says to her. The conversation dances between the natural and spiritual, her empowered position and his probing of her spiritual hunger. Finally, she pleads, “Give me this water!”

Who knows how long Jesus persisted in the tenuous conversation. Long enough for the disciples to go and come from town. He engaged. He built a bridge. He showed sensitivity. He refused to be offended. And finally, she is open. “Go call your husband!” There is more conversation. “You have had five, and the man you are now with, you are not married to…” Her response now is sudden. “I perceive you are a prophet!” This is a conclusion that His disciples have not yet reached. He is a holy man of God. No, He is ‘the’ holy man of God – the Messiah. She drops her water-pots. Goes into the same settlement to which the disciples went. They returned with vittles; she returns with the village. She woke up the town.

What has to happen to us in order for us to drop our water pots, break out of the routine of the ordinary, and spontaneously become an advocate for the Messiah? Are we not thirsty enough for the living water? Too content with this world? Have we, like the disciples, become strangely familiar with Jesus, without knowing ‘who’ He really is?

It’s Time to Pray

  1. Ask God to ignite a new fire in you to tell others, and to reveal the people in your “town” who may already be prepared to respond when they hear your story. Is your “town” the people who knew you in your “before Christ” days? Ask God for the boldness to share your story!
  2. Who needs Christ in your city? Who, if they became believers, could affect the city?
  3. Review your prayer list.

Prayer Exercise

Intercede for gangs, for the homeless, the displaced, and unreached ethnic groups in your community. Make a list of people whose relationship with God is in doubt. Gather a small group of people and each of you go to some corner of the community, some gateway. Drive a stake of prayer there. Connect with one-another by cell phone. Mark off the city. Pray for a revival between the stakes.

Pray for an Unreached People Group: Mahratta of India

The religion of the Mahratta is Hinduism. They usually worship Shiva as their family gods, and consider Shivaji as their leader, and fiercely defend their culture, language and history. Pray that their traditions and myths would no longer be enough and their hearts would seek the one true God.