New Year Prayer Guide

Day 9

Restitution

P. Douglas Small

God’s Word for Today

Read Matthew 5:23-24 and Mark 11:25

Thoughts for Today

Years ago, the town in which I live, Kannapolis, had one of the largest cotton mills in the world – tens of thousands were employed by Mr. Cannon. When pay-day came, unregenerate men would gather at ‘gambler’s rock’ high in the middle of the mill-village. There they would wager their wages away and drink themselves silly. Their families would suffer. Into that drunken party came an uninvited preacher –Harry Whittington. He talked to them, sometimes preached to them. And at gambler’s rock, one night, an old-fashioned revival broke out.

As a result, men went home changed. They stopped drinking. Their wives noticed the difference. Across the mill-village, indeed, the whole city, the change spread. Suddenly, in the ‘Mill Store’ workers began to appear with lists of items they had stolen, asking for permission to pay for the goods ‘on-time.’ Language changed. Sensitivity to others exploded. Consciences were pricked. Mr. Cannon, the veritable owner of the city, summoned Preacher Harry Whittington. Gambler’s Rock was given to the preacher and a church was built on the site. It became, in the early 1900’s, one of the largest Pentecostal congregations in the nation – the Elm Street Church of God.

What moved Mr. Cannon was the sincerity of acts of restitution. To say one had changed was different than exacting a penalty by making a matter right! This was proof of change, the fruits of repentance. Cannon would often worship at the church and eventually help them build an orphanage – and more.

Is there someone, somewhere who needs to know about the change in your life? Who needs more evidence than words? Should repentance be more measurable? What happened to the teaching of restitution and the fruits of repentance?

It’s Time to Pray

  1. Ask God to reveal any relationships you may have that need reconciliation or forgiveness. Pray for those people today.
  2. Ask God what He wants you to do today to apply what He has revealed. What actions will you take?

Prayer Exercise

Go to work early and find a quiet place to pray. Walk and pray, if possible. Invite God into your workplace and into your work. Look for other Christians who might share such a vision. Begin to pray together. Respect company policy, but do so without disobeying the Great Commission. Few businesses and employees will resist prayers for blessing. Ask God to bless the place and the people.

Pray for an Unreached People Group: Chenchu of India

Alcoholism is a serious problem for many of the Chenchu. Their addictions allow them to temporarily escape from the reality of their difficult lives. Pray that find the permanent source of peace.

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