boy-with-bible-praying-1200x628-wycliffe-associates | accelerating-bible-translation

On that chilly November Sunday as we left the morning worship service, a dear friend walked up to us and thrust a small book into my hand. “Now,” he said in his deep voice, “You start reading this on December 1 and you will finish on Christmas day. It’s a devotional to read leading up to Christmas.” He continued by telling us that the writer was a retired journalist for our local newspaper.

And so I began reading, O Holy Night by Marian Rizzo. Yes, the devotions were written using the lines of the beautiful song we all know and love to hear during the Christmas season. She tells of that holy night, the brilliant stars shining, angels heralding, “It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth;”

Further along in the devotions she writes that Jesus became the world’s Savior. Jesus was born in lowly circumstances, He lived, He experienced all the temptations we experience, He suffered, He died—a very human death. Then, Jesus rose again to live eternally with God the Father. His resurrection promised all who believe will also have eternal life. When Jesus went to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit that God the Father promised, to live and abide within His children, never to leave us alone. Marian Rizzo emphasizes that Jesus’ birth is the beginning of the gospel—the story of Jesus.

As you read this email, Christmas is just hours away. As we celebrate, let’s remember that it’s all about the gospel. Jesus came to earth so that we can have life eternal.

For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son, 

that whoever believes in him 

shall not perish 
but have eternal life.

John 3:26 NIV

Pray that the gospel will be shared around the world, that hearts will be turned to God, and that people will place their faith in Jesus, the Savior.

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? 

And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? 

And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 

And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? 

As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 

Hebrews 10:13-15 NIV

Oh, pray for all those without the Word of God in their mother tongue. Pray for those who are waiting years, decades, even generations for Scripture in their heart languages. Pray that soon everyone will have access to the good news in their own language!

What other nation is so great 

as to have their gods near them 
he way the Lord our God is near us
whenever we pray to him?

Deuteronomy 4:7 NIV

Pray that we, Wycliffe Associates, will be able to answer “YES” to every language group who comes, pleading for the training and technology to translate God’s Word for their people, in their own heart language.

My friend, that means, Wycliffe Associates needs more believers, wanting all the world to have God’s Word, who will choose to generously give financially and will commit to pray daily for the ministry of Bible translation.

Please pray for those 700+ translation teams working through the Scripture passages, writing them carefully in their own language. Pray there will be joy in their hearts, praising the Lord every day as they begin to understand God’s Word better, because the words are now in their own sweet mother tongue.

My dear prayer partner, during this Christmas season let’s each one take time to remember those who have in just the last few months received a completed New Testament in their own language. Pray for the families reading in their homes for the first time about the birth of Jesus in Luke chapter 2. Pray for the pastors and teachers teaching from the Word of God—reading and praying in their peoples’ heart languages. How sweet that must be!

Thank you, dear friend, for spending time praying along with me this year for the ministry of Church Owned Bible Translation. When I think that in just seven years—since 2014 when the first Scripture was translated using the MAST translation methodology—over 500 New Testaments have been completed and are being used in the local church to preach and teach the good news of Jesus Christ—God has answered our prayers.

So, let’s praise the Lord, continually giving Him thanks, for answered prayer, for His great many blessings, and for His faithfulness. Praise the Lord that His mercies are new every morning and that His love endures forever.