Next month are the Olympics in Italy February 10-26th, 2006. Our Girls in Action have been learning about the Olympics and praying for the NAMB missionaries that are going overseas to Italy to work at the games.
SBC Olympic volunteers will be manning handwarming stations and travel guides with the gospel message printed and distributed to travelers. The SBC are also handing cowbells to ring during Olypmic events. These cowbells are to send a message to the Olympian that someone is praying for them at that moment and watching for them. (My daughter remembered the cowbell story. She liked it because it is a message that people care as they are in the midst of their struggle to compete.) The Olypmics are such an opportunity!
Here are some things we’ve done in Girls in Action that I think you can do in church or Sunday schools to encourage prayer for the Olympics.
1 – Make and share Olympic Pins — Each Olympic season the “pin trading” excitement becomes just crazy. (I remember this from the Atlanta days.) The Southern Baptists have created a pin that says “Better than Gold.” We used the mock up of the pin and glued it on cardboard. We then used glue and glue guns to affix glitter, “jewels” and other exciting glittery things to the pins.
We hot glued safety pins onto the back of the pins when complete. The girls each made two – one to wear and one to pin onto an index card. On the index card they wrote a note inviting a friend to church and giving them the pin.
Sunday school classes can have Olympic pins of some kind and wear them to church and during the games as a remembrance to pray for the Olypmics and share what Southern Baptists are doing at the games.
2- Commit to pray for the Olympics — Every time you see an ad for the Olympics or hear about an Olympic winner — say a quick prayer for the SBC efforts.
Let’s agree to pray for several things in particular.
S aving Power of Jesus Christ to become evident in these games.
B less and multiply all efforts by the SBC to spread the gospel.
C hristian Champions from among the athletes — People can censor us but everyone wants to hear from a winner. When winners give glory to Jesus Christ his name goes around the world in praise as it should!
3- Remind people! Put reminders in the bulletin and on multimedia screens. Pray from the pulpit between now and the Olympics. Create awareness!
Today as I think of the trials for Christians in the world today, I came across this verse.
2And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. Deuteronomy 8:2
Sometimes we have struggles so that God may discern what is in our heart. When I am having a hard time — do I curse? do I stop praying? do I ignore His word? am I mean to my family? do I take care of my jobs at the church? do I follow God’s word?
I tell my students that life is a timed test. When we are struggling that is a major test — I would say what we do on difficult days is even more important than the easy ones. That is what shows our insides.
When the pot boils, the scum on the bottom bubbles up! May we be found faithful!
As we struggle, pray to be faithful. Pray with a renewed spirit for our missionaries. Read your Bible every day! Don’t blog until you read and pray!
Lord, please help us to be faithful when our days are difficult. Forgive us when we fail you and restore us to the joy of thy salvation. Thank you for loving us. Please be with our SBC missionaries during the Olympics and let there be a great harvest of souls during the Olympics. Lord, bless and multiply those who call on your name. We pray for you to doubly bless the Christian athletes and that they will use their opportunity in the spotlight to praise the name of Jesus Christ around the world over the airwaves. Call us to pray. Bless our IMB, IMB Board, Wade Burleson, and Jerry Rankin. In Jesus name. Amen.