“At the time of the banquet the master sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.” (Luke 14:17)

This scripture is one of my 2023 favourites, and it really helps us understand why we must pray (and serve, but more on that in another post).

Did you notice that this one sentence is an invitation on top of an invitation? It is found in the famous Parable of the Great Banquet, in Luke’s gospel. The servant is being sent out to all those people originally invited to the banquet, with the follow-up second invitation, because the banquet is finally ready.

Staff from FEBC Indonesia visit a listener and pray for him.

The original or ‘first’ invitation represents the first time someone hears God’s ‘call’ to follow Jesus in their lives. That glorious time when we first realise that Jesus is Lord, and we are graciously offered eternal life (and we accept). The second invitation represents the moment we are ‘called’ home, when we pass away in this earthly life. One of Jesus’ many teaching points in telling the story is to highlight the crucial issue of not being distracted away from God’s wonderful invitation, by life’s other temptations.

THIS is why we must pray.

  • Pray for our FEBC listeners all around the world.
  • Pray for your neighbours right here in New Zealand.
  • Pray for ourselves. 
  • Pray that people hear the invitation to salvation and eternal life. That all would stay strong and focused, and true to the generous Lord who first called us to eternal life.
  • Pray we are all found ready and listening when our lives are over (on this earth), or when Jesus returns, whichever comes first.

This also gives us two obvious prayer points for anyone 1) that people hear God’s invitation; and 2) that people persevere in the life of faith.

It is also why Jesus’ last words in the parable seem so strong…

“Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.” (v.24) 

What he is saying is this – if people respond to the first invitation but then turn their back on God and put property, things and relationships before God, they will be tragically disappointed in the end. Perseverance is staying close to Jesus, growing and ever expanding in our capacity to receive his love, wisdom and power in our lives. Wonderful! It is worth it!

God bless, Kia kaha,

Matt Perry

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