Historically, there has always been a strong synergistic connection between renewal movements and missions. Therefore it is not a surprise that we are beginning to see a passion for mission in the midst of the prayer “furnaces” which are being ignited in this country and all over the world. Could it be that God has reserved the most powerful forms of mission for penetrating the last frontiers of the Great Commission—the places we call the “hardest and darkest” on earth? What might happen if thousands of houses of prayer and healing rooms were to spring up throughout the 10/40 Window, in every major city and town throughout the non-Christian world? From what we know of history and Scripture, the world will never be the same.
Lifestyle of Prayer
There is a growing convergence of the prayer and healing movements with the frontier mission movement. There has always been a synergy between the two, but in recent years we have begun to see a passion for mission in the midst of the prayer furnaces which are being ignited all over the world.
This Month's Articles
How the 24/7 Movement is Poised to Make a Massive Impact on the Last Remaining Unreached People Groups
“In 1984, the number of 24/7 houses of prayer in the world was fewer than twenty-five. Today there are over ten thousand—and most of that growth has been in the last ten years; they are springing up all over the globe at a staggering rate.” Night and day or “24/7” houses of prayer have emerged in places such as Kiev, Bogota, Jerusalem, New Zealand, Cape Town, and Hong Kong, among many others. Despite the obvious challenges, 24/7 prayer centers are also emerging in nations like Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Indonesia, and Lebanon.
Since October of last year, C. Graham, a long time veteran of the U.S. Center for World Mission, has been leading a new weekly convergence-style initiative here at our Pasadena campus along with young people from the Ekballo House of Prayer. She and four of her young partners share their experiences in this interview on how they have been working not only to bring research and intercession together in a collaborative environment but also to join the generations in weekly prayer for unreached people groups.
The following is an interview by MF staff with John Lo, lead pastor of Epicentre Church in Pasadena, CA. In this interview we hope you will see that your local body can--no, MUST--have a prayer strategy at the core of all that you do, especially when it comes to kingdom efforts. "Prayer is the real work. It precedes, underlays, strengthens, sharpens, protects and fuels missions and missionaries. Living out Zechariah 4:6 means being able to hear his voice in prayer and doing what he says as key to mission to the people they work with."
Over the last 65 years of ministry, Every Home for Christ (EHC) has reached over 1.5 billion homes globally and received over 100 million responses to Christ through their outreach efforts in 216 nations. Their ministry is a profound case study on the effectual convergence of prayer and mission.
Hydrate began when two couples who had previously volunteered at Pasadena House of Prayer (PIHOP) and later went overseas for cross cultural ministry assignments. These couples desired to stay connected, so PIHOP leaders agreed to reach out and take one hour a month to prophetically pray for them. They enjoyed this type of ministry for many years via Skype and Hydrate has since spread to be a ministry blessing cross-cultural workers in many countries and coming from many denominational backgrounds.
Andrew Murray has pointed out that, according to Matthew 9:38, the number of missionaries on the field depends entirely on the extent to which someone obeys that command and prays out the laborers. If this scripture and Andrew Murray’s commentary on it are true and the church really understood the implications, then Matthew 9:38 would be on the fiery lips of millions of believers every day worldwide. I am seriously asking myself and all those who read here this question: “Have I merely taken Matthew 9:38 as a simple suggestion from the Master? And have I trivialized the main prayer request that Jesus himself made of his disciples?”
The decade of the 90s was an unprecedented time for massive prayer movements focused on praying for the last remaining unreached people groups of the world. I was caught up in the fervor of the times myself. As I have taken time to reflect on my own history, I have asked myself if there is any correlation between those prayer movements and the great explosion of evangelical growth globally during the same period. Is there something that we can learn from the connection between massive global prayer mobilization and breakthroughs at the frontiers of God’s global mission?
We talked with John Robb, coordinator of the World Prayer Assembly, about the impact of this gathering and his life-long ministry of facilitating national prayer initiatives. He shared with us some amazing stories such as this one: "We had been praying for Myanmar for many years, but nothing much seemed to happen. It was such a spiritually dark place, as well as being oppressed by its dictatorial government. In January 2011, 200 Christian leaders came together within the country and decided to include the children as part of their strategy for national transformation. They raised up many thousands of child prayer-warriors all over the nation, and within just a month or two remarkable developments began to happen in the political situation." Read on to find out what happened!
The Ethne movement is building relationships of trust and cooperation, empowering field workers with cutting-edge strategies that actually increase fruitfulness, and mobilize focused fervent prayer. One of the earliest Ephesus teams to form focused on what is often called the most unreached island in the world. This particular location is the home of 49 unreached people groups of over 25 million people. In June 2010 the Global Prayer Digest featured the 49 unreached peoples of this island, partnering with the field personnel who had their feet on the ground to work with us and see what God might do in answer to these millions of prayers. Within a month of the GPD release the evidence was clear...
Very few people think that we are now in a war greater than World War II, and greater than any imaginable nuclear World War III. Or that Satan is a much worse enemy than Communism or militant Islam. Or that the conflict is not restricted to any one global theater, but is in every town and city in the world. Or that the casualties do not merely lose an arm or an eye or an earthly life, but lose everything, even their own soul and enter a hell of everlasting torment. (Rev 14:9-11) Until people believe this, they will not pray as they ought. They will not even know what prayer is.
In our role as mobilizers we desire to see the message of God’s glory among the nations being brought to each new successive generation. Typically the place where the world of missions and the university have crossed has been at the triennial Urbana conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Other ministries, like The Traveling Team, have traversed the U.S. university circuit to mobilize students into God’s global mission. New groups like the Circuit Riders and Movement 133 have recently come on to our radar. These groups are opening up new opportunities for the mobilization message to make inroads into new streams, especially here on the west coast of America.
Every Church-Planting Movement (CPM) and Discipleship-Multiplication Movement is also fundamentally a prayer movement. Fervently calling upon God in faith is foundational to the miraculous move of God’s Spirit. Of course, CPMs do not occur only through prayer; reproducing evangelism, discipleship, church planting and leadership development are all essential. But without a move of the Spirit, and thrusting ourselves upon Him in prayer, these latter elements are mere mechanics.
In October of 2012 the heads of state from every Middle Eastern country came to meet with the heads of state of every Latin American country in Lima, Peru. They brought with them thousands of business leaders who pledged to invest billions of dollars into Latin America. In addition to this display of investment power, they also brought their Islamic faith, making a point in the middle of meetings to stop and pray, while cameras broadcasted their piety throughout the continent. It is self-evident that with this financial investment will follow both political and religious influence, as this has been the case wherever Islam has been attached with business ventures. How should the Latin church respond to this challenge?
Single people have been crucial to the spread of the gospel historically. Nevertheless, singleness is not the first choice for many hoping to serve God in some capacity that advances his kingdom on earth. Those working alone suffer significantly more from loneliness, feelings of isolation, and burnout. Historically to address this problem, single workers were usually either sent out in pairs, or even matched by sending agencies and married before leaving. Though helpful, it has always been difficult to find other singles of like mind and calling to team up with as partners, on teams, or to marry.
Written by the friends and colleagues of Peter Kuzmic to honor his life, First the Kingdom captures some of the best practical thinking on how to apply the message of the kingdom in today’s world. Peter Kuzmic’s life and theology was shaped by the geo-political forces that roiled Eastern Europe in the 1990s. He was instrumental as an agent of peace and reconciliation following the aftermath of the ethnic conflicts that devastated his homeland in the former republic of Yugoslavia.
The 10/40 Window region is home to 3 billion Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus, the vast majority of whom remain with little or no access to the gospel in their language and culture. Over 90% of the world’s least-reached people groups are in this region, among which 50,000 people will die each day without Jesus. One answer to this spiritual darkness is a new initiative called Light the Window, which aims to equip 10 million believers around the world to pray and give sacrificially to reach 365 influential people groups in the 10/40 Window region.
During my 10 years in Haiti I was involved in numerous construction projects. On one occasion, I arrived a few days in advance of a larger team to finalize the foundation for a church school which was being 100% financed with US dollars. Although the local church had participated in the demolition of the old earthquake damaged building, they had yet to contribute even a small amount of money. Thinking I would further inspire local participation, I suggested the pastor take an offering from the church to help offset some of the costs of serving lunch to the workers. Although an offering was taken, no one from the church congregation gave any money.
Jesus said to pray without ceasing, but beyond early mornings and late nights of prayer, he demonstrated that prayer was primarily integrated within his life and ministry. Reading the Gospels, it is obvious that prayer is a moment-by-moment mindset that is to be integrated into a busy life! Several times throughout the New Testament Paul describes the burden he carries for the churches for which he prays. But, like Jesus, these prayers were interconnected with Paul’s life, calling, ministry and work. Paul was a pretty active guy, but he prayed in the midst of it. Perhaps this tells us more about prayer than we see at first glance.