Finding Calcutta: Prayer and Our Calling

Mother Teresa in Prayer. Photo downloaded from

Questions as we enter the prayer closet:

  • How do we understand the role of prayer in seeking our calling with the Father?
  • In what manner do the prayers, spiritual direction, and ministry of Mother Teresa, offer some guidance as we seek to understand and live our own “calling by God.”

Spiritual Principles

  • Our calling is of the Kingdom and must be aligned with His purposes.
    • In the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:5-15), Jesus’ disciples are to taught to ask for the coming of God’s kingdom and that God’s will be done here on earth.
      • Matthew 6:10 “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
  • We must be filled with Him and His love to be enabled to work fully for Him and towards His ends; logically this means we must be emptied of ourselves and our own purposes.
    • Ephesians 3:14-21 For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
  • The evidence of our calling is our desires to do good works and the performance of those works.  Our prayers for each other should be to this end – that the evidence of God’s Kingdom is in each of us and that He is glorified by what we do.
    • 2 Thessalonians 1:11b-12  …we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Prayer is an integral part of our calling
    • Romans 12:11-13 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Guidance from the Life and Words of Mother Teresa and Mary Poplin‘s Finding Calcutta.

  • Prayer is our first work. — Mary PoplinFinding Calcutta. InterVarsity Press. 2008, 73.
  • It (prayer) binds them to God, reveals to them his will, and secures his blessing and protection all day long. — Mary PoplinFinding Calcutta. InterVarsity Press. 2008, 73.
  • Joining with others in God’s work. Co-workers whose physical disabilities prevent them doing the physical works of the Missionaries of Charity join the Society in prayerful support, personally connected to another — Mother Teresa. Come Be My Light – The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta. Doubleday. 2007, read 146-148.

In closing . . .

  • Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it (3 John 1:2-3).

    • The good reports flowing from your classroom and research locations are a great blessing (Thank-you for your post Kelly). Please keep sharing praises by email, messaging, etc. Feel free to share praises in the comments section below.
    • I encourage you to continue to walk with and wrestle with the Lord an individuals and gathered communities of the people of God in a particular locations, being the salt, light, and leaven of the Kingdom of God. To God be the glory!
    • If the Emerging Scholars Network can pray/intercede for you, your department, your campus, and/or your field in a particular manner, please let us know.

Next post in series: Finding Calcutta: Jesus’ Call to Us – “Follow Me.”

“Finding Calcutta” Cover

Note: Genesis of the series:  You’ll notice the influence of  Head, Heart & Hands, Os Guiness’ “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life,” and “Why Christian Apologetics?”* As with the Head, Heart & Hands series, the material is drawn from an adult elective at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (EBIC) facilitated by Kevin Milligan in coordination with the author speaking for ourChristian Scholar Series (an EBIC-ESN partnership). In Spring 2011, Mary Poplin spoke in Pittsburgh, South Central PA, and Baltimore as part of an ESN partnership with Undergraduate Ministry and Graduate & Faculty Ministry. To God be the glory!

*To skim or not to skim: A ‘case’ study of “Christian Apologetics” and Why Christian Apologetics – Hell on  Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for the Biblical Faith (IVP. 2011). More posts on topic coming.

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Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!

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