AFReG Call to Prayer
The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers in this era of COVID-19. This week, Tuesday, August 4, 2020, our theme is “Serving God with Excellence”.
Excellence means greatness—the very best. … Excellence is a quality that people really appreciate, because it’s so hard to find. Excellence is the quality of excelling, of being truly the best at something.
How often do we fulfill our tasks with excellence? We may want to, but things can get in the way. God is calling us as Christians, leaders or not, to a higher call; something we are going to do whether you are getting paid or not. What we do is an integral part of who you are, our core values in life, and our identity – even if it means sacrifice at times.
Ephesians 4:8 talks about Jesus ascending on high and giving spiritual gifts to men; meaning God’s people. This statement uses the Greek word anthrõpois, which is a general word for human beings. People, in other words, not only men.
The “daily grind” is a means to an end, but Christians are called to a higher calling. Whatever we do, “we do as unto the Lord.” What we do is a form of expressing back to God the gifts and talents He gave us.
Paul says God gave gifts and talents to men. In Peter 4:10, the Bible tells us that we are called to use our gifts to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace. Those are natural and supernatural abilities given to each Christian follower, but the general idea of blessing others also carries over to talents. God doesn’t give us anything just for our benefit, but the benefit of others.
In keeping with the biblical goal of spiritual growth and greater levels of maturity, we often find in scripture the call to excel on Christian character, especially in ways we can express love to each other. Spiritual maturity is a quest for building our character. There can be little progress in this if we don’t pursue excellence. Life can remain mundane and we will fail to reach our higher calling and potential, we will fail to develop our character, and we will fail to use the natural and supernatural gifts and talents God has given us while we live on this earth.
In Ecclesiastes 9:10 we are told that whatever our hands find to do, do it with all our might; for there is no activity, planning, knowledge, or wisdom in Sheol.
Having a spirit of excellence is vital therefore. It is about man’s doing, includes appearance, the look, and public presentation—essentially always willing to do our very best.
An excellent spirit, on the other hand, is from the inside-out. It is about being, not just appearing and doing. It is Christ shining from the inside and those on the outside can behold His glory. Therefore, it can be said that through an excellent spirit, we release and expand the Word and works of the Lord in the earth.
These characteristics in us, and the core values of our organisations—which also include ethics, respect, innovation, creativity, integrity, commitment, honesty, kindness, etc.—make known to others the Excellency of our God through our work. Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
We are to do everything with Excellence as to the Lord—Col 3: 23-25 (NKJV) And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Psalm 148:13 (KJV) Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
Repentance and Confession:
- Holy Lord, I praise you and thank you for your message today. I praise you for who You are and for loving me and giving me all the gifts, skills, talents that I have. I praise you for placing me in positions others can only dream of. Help me Lord to give continual glory and thanksgiving to you so that others may know that You are great and greatly to be praised, because of what they see in me.
- Lord I repent of secret sins, I know you see and know all things. Forgive me, as we of the nation of Africa and diaspora, have not used the resources you put on the earth for us, from the foundation of this world. I repent where resources have not been used to build the nations and the people of these nations. I turn today to walk in full integrity before you and before men. Please help me to repair any damage I have done in my life, to the nation, colleagues, friends, spouse, children, community, self. I pray I will walk in excellence before You in all my dealings.
- Heal my heart Lord, from all the abuse of my enemies as I seek to do Your will excellently. I bless them and will not curse them. I show them a better way, as I give honour to Your name and I pray Your loving kindness and forgiveness for them and their future. May they know You as their own personal Lord and Saviour, as I release them and all the pain they have caused to You.
- I pray for my wife/husband, and family, as I have not always been a good spouse or parent to them. Please help me Lord to show a more excellent way, and I humble myself to say sorry to them and ask for forgiveness. Please help us renew our relationship(s).
- Holy Spirit fill me again with fresh inspiration, vigor and verve, strength, resolve, compassion, ideas and strategies to also walk humbly before my excellent God; in excellence all the days of the rest of my life.
As a people of Africa and Africans in the diaspora, we commit ourselves to walking in excellence before God and declare that:
- WE PLACE A HIGH PREMIUM ON EXCELLENCE AND PURSUE IT WITH ALL WE HAVE AND ARE.
- WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO MATURE SPIRITUALLY, EXCELLING IN CHARACTER AND ESPECIALLY IN EXPRESSING LOVE TO OTHERS, BY THE HELP OF GOD.
- WE STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE IN EVERYTHING WE SAY AND DO, FOR THE HONOR AND GLORY OF GOD.
- WITH THE HELP OF GOD, WE STEWARD OUR GIFTS AND TALENTS WITH EXCELLENCE, USING THEM TO BENEFIT OTHERS AND TO ADVANCE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
- OPERATING IN THE SPIRIT OF EXCELLENCE, WE RELEASE AND EXPAND THE WORD AND WORKS OF THE LORD IN THE EARTH.