This is an article from the November-December 2022 issue: Effective Strategies and Roles for Reaching Frontier Peoples

Bringing Back the King of Kings

Adopting a Frontier People Group in Prayer: God’s Supernatural Means for Mission Breakthroughs

Bringing Back the King of Kings
An increasing number of us in the prayer and mission movements believe we may well  be  in the run-up to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ! He told us to watch for the signs of the times to know when that will be. Perhaps the most important sign is that the ethne, the ethnic people groups, mentioned in Matthew 24:14 and 28:19 could each soon have a movement to Jesus among them, perhaps even by 2030 to 2033 as several world evangelization and Bible translation efforts now predict. What a time to be alive and to serve the returning King of Kings!
In the meantime, we need to greatly multiply and expand both the prayer and mission efforts to ignite movements for Him in every Frontier People Group (FPG)—those least reached of all Unreached People Groups (UPGs), with virtually no followers of Jesus. Of more than seven thousand UPGs, there are less than three hundred FPGs over one million in size—a total population of 1.6 billion people. Joshua Project maintains the list of these largest FPGs at These three hundred FPGs are the most strategic to reach first because the movements to Jesus that develop within them will likely overflow to smaller, neighboring UPGs and FPGs as the power of disciple-making, church-planting movements is unleashed.
The prayer and mission movements need your help to get churches, prayer groups, youth, and children’s ministries worldwide, through their denominations and networks, to systematically adopt each one of these largest FPGs, even by this year’s end. Jesus commanded that we pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His harvest field (Matt. 9:37–38). Prayer is the powerful supernatural way Jesus gave us to send forth workers, even to the least reached places and people groups! Prayer adoption of each of these three hundred largest FPGs by multiple ministries will produce an explosive, synergistic leap in this decade toward accomplishing Jesus’ command to reach all ethne. The seven- minute video Understanding the Remaining Mission Task ( provides a helpful overview of what remains do be done in this all- important mission of the Lord. Another important 10-min video is “Why Pray for the Largest Frontier People Groups?” (
Printable prayer cards for each of these largest FPGs are available on Joshua Project ( pray/cards/frontier/4). These cards can be enlarged for the wall of a church or prayer group’s meeting place, or given out as bookmarks for members' Bibles as a reminder to pray regularly for workers and movements to Jesus in the people group they have adopted. Joshua Project has many wonderful resources for learning more about each people group, and adopting entities can do further research and network with others who adopt the same FPG. A new web platform ( will further facilitate the formation of digital prayer communities adopting the same FPG for ongoing prayer.
We would deeply appreciate your help in getting this challenge out to any churches, prayer groups, youth, and children's ministries you  are  in  touch with. In our experience it is best to assign just one FPG to each ministry entity, attaching a prayer card for that FPG with your request, until one or more churches or prayer ministries take responsibility for each of these three hundred Frontier People Groups. They can be asked to pray for just the coming year, then to renew that commitment or shift to another people group if they like. Please ask each adopting entity to let you know of their commitment so you can help us track what is happening and we can connect adopting entities with field teams where possible, and share how their prayers are being answered. One agency gathering information on adoptions is AIMS ( They can assist with adoption, research,  prayer and connection with those on the field seeking movements to Jesus among these FPGs and other unreached people groups.
Let me close with  this  testimony  to  the  power of praying for a Frontier People Group. At the beginning of the 1990’s, I asked two churches in my hometown to adopt a Central Asian people group with only two known followers of Jesus. One I had been privileged to lead to the Lord myself in an evangelistic event in southern Russia. The other I met on a visit to the country where their people group lived. The rest, as far as we knew, were all Muslims.

The Adopt a People Clearinghouse had just printed a beautiful prayer card about this people. Members in both of these churches began to pray, and we begin to see God work as He promised in Psalm 77:14, “You are the God who performs miracles; You display your power among the peoples.”

Shortly after these churches began to pray, our city and the capital city of this people group began a sister-city exchange of musicians, composers, and other cultural programs. The symphony orchestra of their country then scheduled a concert  the  night before their independence celebration from the Soviet Union. My \grandfather was the Dean of Fine Arts at our university, and a well-known local composer, and his music was chosen for the concert. My parents could not go, so I was chosen to represent him.
At that concert, in that Central Asian nation, the conductor asked me to say a few words about my grandfather. I told them about his search for God through his composing, and we read his favorite Psalm—Psalm 23. The conductor, musicians and audience (including government officials) were all Muslims. Yet they were historically a shepherding people, and loved my grandfather’s music and Psalm 23!

I later learned that my remarks were  included  with the concert on national radio! A strategy coordinator with a heart for this people group had also come with me. This gave him an open door (and office) to bring in university lecturers and agricultural development experts who were all followers of Jesus. They eventually led hundreds to Christ, thanks be to the Lord!

God gave amazing favor in answer to the prayers of ordinary believers back home! After the concert, the conductor asked if I could come back the following year for another concert of my grandfather’s music. I agreed to do so.

As we sat in the audience waiting for the concert to begin, the conductor asked, “Now, can we have John Robb come up to the mic and tell us about God?”  I followed up on what I had said the year before, and again they seemed quite open and receptive. One of the songs sung during that concert, “What is this glory?,” my granddad’s touching Christmas piece about the shepherds welcoming the birth of Jesus.

It has been said that you can preach to Muslims and they might kill you, but you can sing to them and they will love you! I am still breathing, so that is apparently what happened!

What an illustration of the power of focused  rayer to release breakthroughs among unreached people groups! Jesus stressed prayer as the essential foundation for mission breakthrough when He said: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field” (Matthew 9:37–38). God owns the harvest, and sends out the workers.

However He has chosen to wait upon our prayers before He sends out the workers He has chosen and gifted. Herein lies the mystery and potency of prayer for people groups who have still never heard the Gospel. That is why the most strategic thing we can do—as instructed by the Master Missiologist Himself—is to pray and enlist others to do so.

In the run-up to His return, let us take up Jesus’  command, to pray for workers to be sent out to all Frontier People Groups and birth movements to Jesus. Let us exercise the supernatural prerogative of prayer for mission breakthroughs!


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