Did you know that the Kingdom of God will not come apart from prayer? The unreached will never hear the sweet name of Jesus without the labor of someone's Spirit-led prayers. Regardless of how things may appear on the surface, nothing of eternal value is ever released without somebody, somewhere praying. Prayer is one of God's primary means of grace to achieve the desires of His heart. Our Lord has sovereignly chosen to govern His Kingdom by the simple law of asking and receiving. Prayer is not some human contrivance or scheme, it is the anointed strategy of God. King Jesus bids us, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives" (Matt. 7:7-8). God has ordained that all believers everywhere should expand His Kingdom through the work of prayer and intercession. Jesus has emphatically instructed us all to pray for His Kingdom to come (Matt. 6:10). (Smithers, David. “Apart From Prayer We Can Do Nothing.” www.awakeandgo.com)
The Bible reveals to us that Jesus was also passionate about praying for workers to be sent into the harvest field. In Matthew 9:37-38 Jesus proclaims: "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. "Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
This week I want to challenge you to grow in your conviction that apart from prayer we can do nothing by memorizing Matthew 9:37-38. I also challenge you to pray daily Jesus’ prayer for workers to be sent out the most unreached areas of the world.
There is a limitless amount of things going on in the world right now that need prayer, the problem is that we are unaware of 99.9% of them. We need to open a door for information about the needs in the world to flow consistently into our life so that we can have a steady diet of things to pray for. Information is like the food that a Christian needs to have a healthy prayer life. If you are starved for information your prayer life will look sickly and weak. Here are some practical ideas and resources to “beef-up” your prayer life:
1) Buy an Operation World Book or make it your home-page: www.operationworld.org. This website provides 365 days worth of information on the prayer needs surrounding the world.
2) Buy a world map and have it laminated and hung up in your room. This way you can write prayer requests directly on the map as they arise and erase and write new ones all the time! For a free map go to www.ehc.org.
3) Subscribe to a free weekly email, Global Prayer Digest: www.global-prayer-digest.org or Voice of the Martyrs (a free magazine): www.persecution.com to receive a constant up-to-date flow of information on world prayer requests.
4) To find out more on specific people groups in need of prayer visit these two sites: www.peopleteams.org or www.peoplegroups.org.
5) Both www.cnn.com and www.bbc.com are wonderful websites which cover world news that will enable you to be savvy on the latest happenings around the world.
6) www.joshuaproject.net highlights a new unreached people group each day to pray for. You can also add this feature as an application to your Facebook homepage!
7) Finally, here are fifteen general prayer requests. Try adding one of these suggestions each day by posting it on a mirror so that you are reminded often to pray for this request.
- For God to be glorified throughout the earth, among all peoples everywhere. Tell Him you want this to happen and tell Him what it will mean to you personally when it does
- That God would receive greater praise in the earth for what He is presently doing in the Church, and especially for all he will do through the Church to reach, save and fulfill unreached peoples around the world
- Pray for a missionary that you know of and their family
- For churches to be planted within every people group on our planet within this generation.
- For specific mission agencies that are working among the unreached
- For an awakened spiritual hunger among the billions (such as Muslims, Chinese, Hindus, Buddhists and secularists) who have yet to clearly learn of Christ, that they may have a new sense of the reality of God and an unavoidable desire to seek Him
- For international students to hear the gospel and return with the good news of salvation through Christ to their home lands
- For world leaders and governments, and for the outcome of world events. All of these can directly affect the free course of the Gospel within a nation and within a people group
- For major global issues which interrupt a world mission thrust. These issues are part of the moral darkness, which must be pressed back by the planting of responsible communities of disciples among the billions who have yet to hear. Such issues may include: global hunger, nuclear proliferation, political and economic oppression, and terrorism
- For God's people everywhere to see those nearby whose ways of living differ from them enough to cut them off from the regular witness of the Gospel; for us to see them and reach out to them
- For specific people groups who are beyond the reach of the Gospel. Ask God to give to churches world-wide the wisdom to know how to reach them
- That God would raise up hundreds of thousands of new cross-cultural messengers of the Gospel to be sent out in a variety of roles, by churches around the world
- Pray a passage of scripture that has to do with God’s promises toward the world. (like Ps 46:10, Ps 67, Ps 86 or 96, Hab 2:14, Rev 5:9)
- For all current efforts to research and formulate mission strategy, so as to effectively train and deploy a new generation of missionaries and self-supporting witnesses
- For God to raise up a new movement of "senders" world-wide people who know God has called them to send a new force of cross-cultural witnesses and who embrace that assignment with the same vision and sacrifices as those who go
Here are some accounts of students who took seriously the call to join with God in what He’s doing in the world through amping up their prayer life!
“For the past week or so my prayer life has ramped so much!! It went from an occasional "Thanks for this food" prayer to waking up before the sunrise and praying for a couple hours before I start my day. And I have seen God work so much through it! The first few times were awkward as it was just me rambling on and never listening to God. Now I start by reading scripture, preaching the gospel to myself, praising God, and then praying for my family, friends, the lost here on campus, and the nations. It's easy to have two hours fly by!” –Leigh
“I just finished the 15 days of prayer! It was very good. It taught me what I should pray for in the world and how I should pray for the world. Having to pray for one thing everyday made it more routine for me, too. Now, I check nytimes.com almost every day for updates on the world. I also pray every day for the world, and those daily newsletters really help me to pray for specific unreached people groups.” –Abigail
Take a minute to evaluate your personal prayer life. Is it as strong as you want it to be? Think about what hindrances keep you from praying for the world. Now make a plan as to how you are going to incorporate praying for the world in your daily routine. Be very specific in setting up your plan: set a time daily (i.e. 7:30-8:30 a.m.), the resource you plan to use (i.e.-operation world) and the person that you would like to keep you accountable to this plan.