Unreached People Prayer Cards
A Tool to Mobilize Prayer That Is Bringing Results
The one essential ingredient required in order to bring about a world- wide movement to reach the unreached and establish a church for every people by the year 2000 is prayer. Frank Kaleb Jansen and the Adopt- A-People Clearinghouse have come up with a unique tool to mobilize this essential prayer. The story of the first prayer-card on the Turkmen and the astounding results are told here. There are now three other cards available covering the Kashmiri, the Bihari, and the Thai. Three more are in production on the Uzbeks, Uighers, and Fulani. Current plans are for 72 people prayer cards that eventually will be distributed by Dayspring Cards throughout the United States. --Editor
C. Peter Wagner, well known missionary, speaker, author and professor at Fuller has, as if he does not have enough to do, taken on a new task in the Body of Christ. He is the leader and coordinator for the "A.D. 2000 - United Prayer Track." The diagram for networking the globe in prayer through the different movements and organizations would already now exceed the space available for this article. He writes:
"Most Christians will acknowledge that prayer is somehow needed for effective evangelism. Few, however, have actually seen enough cause and effect relationship to build the strong faith that prayer really works. Few can suggest specific models for making it happen."
As I have become more deeply involved in the global movement relating prayer to world evangelization," he goes on, "my faith in the awesome power of prayer increases almost daily. It becomes clearer and clearer that the real battle for world evangelization is a spiritual battle."
Referring to Clinton Arnold's book, Powers of Darkness (InterVarsity) he agrees that: "If Paul were to summarize the primary way of gaining access to the power of God for waging successful spiritual warfare, he would unwaveringly affirm that it is through prayer " (p.158)
As a dramatic example of the power of prayer to open the door to an unreached people group, C. Peter Wagner in an article in "Ministries Today" for July/August, tells the story of a prayercard for the Turkmen in Turkmenia, a republic in the newly formed Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
The story is exiting and encouraging for us at the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse because we produced this card. That, however, is the tiniest part of it, but it proves that God uses many parts of his body to see a task accomplished.
Let me share the story as it pertains to me. It really goes back to 1983 when I was making what has become known as the Prayer and Mission Map. There I listed the 3.5 million Turkmen among those 81 ethno-linguistic people groups with less than 1% Christians adding up to 1.67 billion individuals. The Turkmen were listed as having 0.00% Christians. One knowledgeable person I talked to said: "I know every Turkmen believer--I know both of them"!
John Robb of World Vision, coordinator of the AD 2000 Unreached Peoples Track, has seen clearly the need for massive mobilizing of intercession if the vision of the movement is to be accomplished--"A Church for every people & the Gospel for every person." He asked me some time back to help develop tools for the prayer warriors in the spiritual battle for the Unreached Peoples, and he even provided the basic funding to do it.
We agreed to go for the megagroups (now 72) listed on the Prayer and Mission map as priority one.
As I prayed and labored over his request, a simple solution came to my mind-- Greeting Cards! The average American woman buys 50 cards a year, and supermarkets all over the country have set aside more shelfspace to this product than any other single item. It is an industry bigger in sales than the music industry.
If we could create something as beautiful and appealing as the best of these cards and have only one percent of the evangelical Christians buying one card for the purpose of praying, we would have raised an army of 300,000 prayer warriors !
It soon became an obsession to me to present the unreached people groups with all the dignity and beauty they surely have in God's eyes. They are not exotic animals or beggars of charity. They are lovable human beings: they are family.
The first picture that passed the rigorous scrutiny of the editors was one of a Turkmen child. Little did I, the photographer, the lawyer, nor the gorgeous little Turkmen girl know what her Mona Lisa smile would cause. As she silently stares at you, her inscrutable, dark brown eyes become a Macedonian call lingering in your mind for a long time. She might be nameless to us, but not to God. Is her name written in the book of life? I pray that it is!
I do not know when prayer started for the Turkmen, but I do know that God has had to wait a long time for his Church to see this hidden harvest field.
What I do know is that suddenly in these days the dam has broken and the water of life is flooding into the dry desert-land. Several agencies have established their work, the New Testament is printed, the JESUS film distributed, relief work and health work is started, educational programs and radio programs are on their way. Cultural exchange is taking place, businesses and joint ventures are being started by Christians and Muslims. The gospel is presented on national radio and TV.
Several Churches in North America have adopted the Turkmen and are preparing their "tentmakers" to go. More than 4000 people now are using the prayer card as a tool in their united and concerted intercession for this unreached people and the workers that plan to reach them.
Have our prayers suddenly moved God's heart to be concerned about the Turkmen, or is prayer the two- way channel of dialog that He needs to move OUR hearts?
He could have sent a legion of angels to battle the principalities and powers, the rulers over the minds of the Turkmen, but He has chosen, out of His love for His creation, to partner with and work through His children, His body on earth.
He does not need a military force nor money. He only asks us to approach Him in Spirit and in Truth, and to present to Him our bodies as temples for the Holy Spirit. Therefore no plan or strategy can serve His purpose if it is not born and sustained in prayer.
For security reasons many things cannot be told yet, because the baby church and the life of our brothers and sisters would be put in jeopardy. Therefore we challenge you to become more than a spectator or an interested reader about what God is doing among the unreached peoples today. Whoever you are, mission executive, retired missionary, housewife or businessman, you are now called to join the harvest-force on the frontline--as an intercessor.
With this as our credo, the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse is boldly proceeding with its plan to produce profiles and prayer-cards so that God's temple can be a house of intelligent, informed and targeted prayer for all nations.
What Can You Do?
As these cards are being developed and marketed, there are a number of things that you can do to make sure these cards have their desired impact.
- Photographs of unreached peoples that display their beauty and dignity are needed as dozens of cards are produced. Look through your files and see if you have a wonderful picture that is truly excellent in quality. If you have something that could be used, please contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse. 1605 Elizabeth St., Pasadena CA 91104. or call 818/398-2282.
- Purchase quantities for your church or friends and encourage them to use these cards to pray specifically for an unreached people group. You may use the 1-800-MISSION line to order.
- Purchase a quantity to use as Christmas cards or simply to send personal greetings. There is a place on the card just for that purpose.
- Send them to your denominational or mission agency leadership and ask them if they would like to use these cards to promote prayer within their constituency.,
- These prayer cards are customizable. An agency or missionary can place a picture or logo on the back panel. If interested contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse.
Frank Kaleb Jansen is the Executive Director of the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse, 1605 Elizabeth, Pasadena CA 91104
Fill out the order form on page 47 or call 1-800-MISSION (1-800-647- 7466)