Our Family Banner
“Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses and Aaron: ‘When the Israelites set up camp, each tribe will be assigned its own area. The tribal divisions will camp beneath their family banners on all four sides of the Tabernacle, but at some distance from it.’” (Numbers 2:1-2, NLT)
We are living in chaotic times. From rumors of war to wildfires, disease to racial injustice, record job loss and economic restructuring, this year we have experienced the destabilizing and unsettling power of chaos. It is at times like this that I am thankful for the order God provides during chaos.
In Numbers 2, God orders a census of the people of Israel following their liberation from Egypt. After the numbers are on paper, God commands the people to camp in a particular way. Their camp is broken up into four quadrants made up of all the people of the tribes of Israel. Each is to gather under their own banner, with the Levites (those called to serve God and maintain the tent of meeting) at the center.
This camp was more than a camp, it was a model of the entire world as it is meant to be. The people organized and covering all four quadrants of the globe, each maintaining their familial bonds, but each at peace with one another. At the center of all that is, there was the tabernacle, a tent of meeting where all the people were to come together and worship their God. And at the center of the tabernacle, there was the presence of God himself.
Though times change, God’s plan for the universe remains steady and constant: all of God’s people, gathered together in peace, under their banners cooperating, loving, coming together in a place where God is at the center of it all.
When we encounter the forces of chaos in this world, we can remain hopeful, because they do not get the last word. If we rally beneath our banners, in peace and harmony, with God at the center of it all we will find that in places of war, people will beat their swords into plowshares. In place of fires, people will learn to care for God’s amazing creation in a way that is ethical and responsible. In place of disease, there will be life and life abundant. In place of racial injustice, we can be a people who “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8b).
Whatever chaos life throws our way, we can find the peace of God that passes all understanding when we strive for peace with one another and center our lives on the Lord.
- Where do you see chaos in your world (either in your personal life or in the world as a whole)? How might it be affected if we were to gather together under our banners as part of the whole human family and were to face it together?
- Many of us come from families with crests or heralds that display colors and items that symbolize something important about our family. What colors and symbols might appear on our banner as part of the Stonecroft family? Why is it important that each family that makes up a part of our world has different banners with different symbols and colors?
- Who do you know, in your life, who is suffering from the effects of chaos in our world, and how can you invite them to stand under the family banner and see God at the center of our world?
Additional Scriptures on Order, with God at the Center of our Lives:
Philippians 4:4-7; 1 Corinthians 14:33; 1 Peter
Prepare for Prayer
During this season of social distancing due to the coronavirus, seek out others who you can connect with in prayer from a distance. Consider using a conference call line like www.FreeConferenceCall.com or video conference like Zoom. If you need help, please contact [email protected]
Spend some time thinking about what family means to you. Whether you had a loving family or a troubled one, we can meditate on…
Our focus for this month is: He is Our Family Banner
Read: “When the Israelites set up camp, each tribe will be assigned its own area. The tribal divisions will camp beneath their family banners on all four sides of the Tabernacle, but at some distance from it.” Numbers 2:2 (NLT)
Pray: Father God, You are our family banner, the Heavenly Daddy we raise to declare that You represent “home” to us. Thank You for being our family!
- That our spiritual and eternal family is with Him.
- As we raise the Lord as our family banner, we can be assured of His unconditional love and provision over us.
- His family banner demonstrates to a watching world peace, unity, sacrificial love, and forgiveness.
Pray for New Outreach Opportunities:
Read: Ephesians 1:5
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.“
Pray: Heavenly Father, when we think about our adoption, we feel so honored to have been forgiven, chosen, and loved by You. Help us to remember this extraordinary adoption into the family of God, and to live as daughters of the Most High King. O God, we thank you for going to great lengths to bring us into Your chosen family and for making us Your own!
- Praise God for the glorious grace poured out on us who belong to His family banner.
- Through His adoption we were chosen before we were even born, and this gave God such joy!
- Asking the Lord to show us how to most effectively reach out to others demonstrating what family means and how we might love others not in the faith yet by allowing them to belong with us. We pray that they too may find the One who chose and adopted them as His children.
Sharing Your Faith
Read: Ephesians 2:19 -20
“So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.”
Pray: O Father, we realize that we used to be strangers to You, and now we are citizens along with all other believers in Christ. We praise You for this special family home that You have created for us in Christ. Help us to remember to reach out to other women…women who we long to join with us in the family of God.
- Obedience to follow His leading in loving others to the family banner of God.
- Safe hospitality to others in need so that believers might be a reflection of the kingdom of God.
- Trust in our Abba Father Daddy to use our ordinary lives for His extraordinary purposes.
Pray for our Nation and Leaders
Read: Luke 12: 51-53
“Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against each other!”
Pray: For faith in Jesus to be of greater importance than even our genetic family connections.
- Our nation and world leaders to seek after the Lord and His Kingdom family.
- For local leaders and government to seek the peace and prosperity of the people as well as justice and safety of the people that they represent and serve. Pray for greater understanding among differences.
- Unity among those that are split apart due to social, political, racial, or religious injustices. Pray for those that are disillusioned by the systems that do not seem to be working, and instead turn to be comforted by hope in the family Kingdom banner of God.
Pray for the Stonecroft Family
Read: Psalm 38:11
“My loved ones and friends stay away, fearing my disease. Even my own family stands at a distance.”
Pray: God we thank you for the faith that we have in Jesus Christ that has brought us into this family banner of God. We know that this bond with fellow believers can be stronger than natural family ties.
- All Stonecroft volunteer leaders and planning team members to raise their family banner, for He loves us more than we can truly know, and though the coronavirus keeps women at a social distance, we can remember the family of God bond is even closer than our genetic family line.
- Women to understand that God is an ever-present help in these times.
- Eternal hope to come out of civil unrest and COVID-19 challenges that affect some more than others. God, please draw “lost” people to understand their urgent need for eternal hope.
With thanksgiving, we praise God that we can raise the family banner of God because of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
Prayer Stonecroft’s newest staff:
Devin Cundall – Operations Lead
- Pray that God will guide and direct Devin in his new role at Stonecroft to not only further the impact of Stonecroft ministry but to glorify Him through all that Devin does.
- Pray for Devin’s wife, Kristin, as she struggles with the challenges of transition to an empty nest. The Cundell’s have one in college and another soon to be in college. Pray that Kristin would be surrounded with support, encouragement and be lifted in times of sadness but also possibly shown new opportunities and communities to serve and be in relationship.
Pray for Stonecroft leaders such as Stonecroft Regional Administrators, District Consulting Coordinators, Regional Speaker Trainers, Regional Reps, Area Reps, Chairs, Prayer Consultants, and all outreach leaders that they will be reminded that they are sweetly enveloped into the family banner of God.
Pray for our international partners that they would also raise a family banner of God in all that they say and do. Please watch over our international family friends and care for their every need.
Share Personal Requests
Pray for one another’s supplications and remember that your heavenly Father cares about your every need and is a good and loving Father over all His creation.
Father, we thank You for this Prayer Connection time. As we celebrate what is means to be a part of the family of God, may we be reminded of your faithfulness, love, and supernatural adoption of us. You always have had our best interests at heart so that we might be more Christ-like. Amen.