True followers of Jesus experientially know: ‘God rarely does anything apart from answer to prayer’. Of all the things His disciples could have asked of Him, they pleaded with Him for one thing: ‘Lord, teach us to pray!’ This was because they watched His habits, understood His heart and had discovered where His power, and theirs, was located – in prayer! (Lk 9:1; 11:1)
We live in a ‘culture of entitlement’, wherein each one feels that others – be it the government, the church, our family or just about every one – owe us something. Here’s my question: Why should I hear the Gospel twice, when there are massive faith communities worldwide, who have not heard it even once?! As church members we may ask: ‘Well, what can I do about that?’!
Now, there happens to be something each one of us can do and as followers of Christ MUST do for MISSIONS – Pray or a better word, INTERCEDE! Let’s face it, often our prayers are like shopping lists and for the most part self-centered. Allow me to highlight TEN reasons, with Biblical basis, as to why we MUST supplicate for our Missionaries, especially those working among Unreached People Groups, UPGs: ethno-linguistic groups with no indigenous Gospel witness. Selflessly praying for people to come to know Christ:
1. Produces glory to God: Humans are created in God’s image & for his glory. In prayer, we seek this for God and work toward this end. (Hab.3:2-4)
2. Pleases God’s eyes and heart: Father God desires to see all people turn to him, and praying for this, brings him great delight (Ps.86:9-10; Acts 13:47)
3. Promotes his name over all the earth: If the Gospel must be preached to the end of the earth, we must first go there via our petitions. (Mal. 1:11)
4. Presumes & acts on God’s will: This is one thing we can presume, so dare to pray, for God is not willing for anyone perish but all come to him (2Pet. 3:9)
5. Prioritizes God’s kingdom: This is what Jesus asked us to say in prayer and when we do so for missions, we are seeking his kingdom first. (Mt. 6:33)
6. Portrays what ‘Church’ really is!? Jesus described the Father’s house as a ‘house of prayer’ for the healing of nations (Mk.11:17). Is our church this?
7. Provides opportunity for our priestly call: As a royal priesthood we offer prayers for the unsaved to know the only true God, in Christ. (Jn.17:1-4)
8. Powerfully serves as a weapon against our enemy: Satan mocks our preaching & programs but trembles at the weakest of us praying (2Cor.10:4)
9. Proves implicit obedience to Christ as Lord: Jesus’ solution for the shortage of harvesters is his directive to his disciples to pray! (Mt. 9:36-38)
10. Positions us as a G-A-P person: God is still looking for intercessors who stand in the gap for people they love to be spared from judgment (Ez. 22:30)