Do you remember those little “paint by number” kits that were popular years ago? I remember receiving one as a gift when I was a youngster, and that was a long time ago. The picture was of two horses, but unfortunately the finished product did not look like the picture on the box. I know the kits still exist in some form as my grandchildren received some “color by number” gifts for Christmas. However, the numbers were really, really small; or maybe my eyesight has changed with the years!
Some folks “pray by number”. That is, they pray certain verses of Scripture, claiming the words of a particular passage or using the words as a challenge to craft their prayers. Not a bad idea.
I would like to ask you, even if you are not part of the local CrossPoinTempe family, to “pray some numbers” with me. On this past Sunday I shared with the church some ministry goals and emphases as we strive to reach and impact our community in new ways over this next year.
I mentioned the numbers, 85282 and 85281. Those are the two zip codes that form the community around our church and to the north of our location. In those two zip codes, by the most recent numbers available, there are over 100,000 people, plus the “city within the city”, the Arizona State University campus with some 50,000 come and go residents.
I am praying that God will give us the plans, people, and faith to impact as many of the homes and families in those two zip codes as possible. In the pray I am using, here’s another number, the words found in the Gospel of Mark: “And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked with them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.” (Mark 16:20 NLT)
We need to go everywhere; that is obedience. We need to preach; not necessarily “preach”, but share the Good News and share, with intentional acts, the love we know that Christ has for all in our community. And, we can claim His “working alongside us”; witnessing His power, miraculous power, as we see lives changed.
Let’s covenant to “pray by the numbers” and “paint our community” with our mission statement: Giving living proof of a loving God to a watching world.
My new “numbers”: 85282852811620