After a little more than a month away from the blog, I am coming back to finish the series, "What is a 'Missions-minded Church?" Thank you for your prayers while I was away ministering with our Adelphos missionaries in the Amazon jungle of Peru and Colombia. There is a 5 part report on that trip on the Adelphos-USA Facebook page. Please use the link and go look at it. God richly blessed, even in a time of sickness that I suffered during the trip.
This is part 5 of our 7-part series.
We have already seen that a "Missions-minded Church" is:
Part 1 – A LOCAL CHURCH.
Part 2 – A Church that TEACHES AND PREACHES THE BIBLE.
Part 3 – A Church with INTERCULTURAL EXPERIENCE.
Part 4 – BUSY IN THE MINISTRY
These blogs are written to share with you, the reader, my burden and philosophy of missions Missions is very dear to me and it breaks my heart to hear people talking about being “missions-minded” but not having a biblical foundation for that statement.
It is my prayer that you are challenged and blessed by these thoughts. Yes, I am still learning, but I hope that we can journey together toward acquiring the mindset and the heartbeat that God has for worldwide evangelism and church planting.
Today’s message is profoundly important, but doesn't need a long explanation. So in a shorter post, the simple idea that I wish to share is that “A Missions-minded Church is…
A PRAYING CHURCH
“…and as they…fasted…” (Acts 13:2)
Fasting in Scripture always indicates a seriously dedicated prayer life. The more I get involved in missionary work, the more I am convinced that the work of missions is the work of prayer!
I have decided that I will not take time to explain my thoughts. In one of his lectures to his students, Charles Spurgeon said, “He who quotes not, shall not be quoted.” And so I would like to quote some other people and what they have to say about the importance of prayer in the work of world-wide evangelism and church planting.
“Every work of God can be traced to some kneeling form.” - D. L. Moody
“Prayer is the mighty engine that is to move the missionary work.” - A.B. Simpson
Here’s several from Andrew Murray:
“Without prayer, even though there may be increased interest in missions, more work for them, better success in organization and greater finances, the real growth of the spiritual life and of the love of Christ in the people may be very small.”
“The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history.”
And a few from John Mott:
“Every other consideration and plan and emphasis is secondary to that of wielding the forces of prayer.”
“Prayer alone will overcome the gigantic difficulties which confront the workers in every field.”
“If added power attends the united prayer of two or three, what mighty triumphs there will be when hundreds of thousands of consistent members of the Church are with one accord day by day making intercession for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom.”
“The missionary church is a praying church. The history of missions is a history of prayer. Everything vital to the success of the world’s evangelization hinges on prayer. Are thousands of missionaries and tens of thousands of native workers needed? Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send forth laborers into His harvest.”
“If you are ever inclined to pray for a missionary, do it at once, wherever you are.” - Mary Slessor
“The history of missions is the history of answered prayer. It is the key to the whole mission problem. All human means are secondary.” - Samuel M. Zwemer
“Brother, if you would enter that Province, you must go forward on your knees.” - Hudson Taylor
“We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer.” — Wesley Duewel
“The evangelization of the world depends first upon a revival of prayer. Deeper than the need for workers; deeper far than the need for money; deep down at the bottom of our spiritual lives, is the need for the forgotten secret of prevailing, worldwide prayer.” – Robert Speer
“When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do. And so on. But when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do.” – Dr. A. C. Dixon
Catch the idea? There is probably no single element more important to the success of missionary work than that of prayer of everyone – missionary, missions agency, AND EVERY MEMBER of the sending and supporting churches.
And in several passages we can see the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit sharing his heart on the matter of the missionary prayer:
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me,
that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly,
as I ought to speak."
"Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance,
to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak."
2 Thessalonians 3: 1-2
"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course,
and be glorified, even as it is with you:
And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith."
A “Missions-minded Church” is a PRAYING church – lifting up their missionaries before the Lord. And although there are many requests we can bring before the Throne of Grace, we pray especially for free course of the Word of Lord; for souls to be saved, baptized, and discipled; for God to be glorified; and, for safety and boldness for the missionary himself.
Is this your prayer life your missionaries?