Then we consider the Great Commission found in Mathew 28:18-20, it’s apparent that God has a plan to save his people from among the nations of the world. The picture of Revelation 5 further validates this reality of a global people gathered from among the nations of the world praising God. However, 42% of the world is unreached with the good news of Jesus. How do we get there? Consider what Alexander Strauch once said:
Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, believed that if money could motivate the merchants of England to cross life-threatening oceans and enter the interior of China at great personal risk of loss of life, could not the love of Christ motivate missionaries to do the same for the sake of the gospel?
The answer is that God is sovereign and he will save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21), but our God has also called us to pray for the nations and go to the nations with the message of the cross. We must be resolved to pray earnestly for the nations and look for opportunities to engage through our local churches and connected mission agencies.
Each week we as a church gather for worship, and just prior to the call to worship by the public reading of the Scriptures, we have what we call a “Missions Moment” with our church family. This is organized and led by David Crowe—our pastor for missions. He chooses a nation from around the world and provides the statistics pertaining to the Church of Jesus Christ in that particular location and other challenges to the spread of the gospel among that particular nation. We then join in praying for God to strengthen his Church there and to raise up more pastors and local churches who will labor faithfully with the gospel of King Jesus.
What is our aim in this type of weekly prayer gathering? Our aim is to see our church engage in praying specifically for the Lord’s Church in various lands across this vast planet. It is our goal to engage in faithful prayer with our local church and to think honestly about how to go beyond prayer. Can we partner with HeartCry or another group of churches who are laboring in that region? Could it be the Lord’s will for someone in our church to go to that area with the gospel—leaving behind comforts, friends, and family to spread a passion for God’s glory among those people or people groups?
If we don’t learn to pray and weep for souls—it will be highly unlikely that our children and grandchildren will give themselves for the work of missions. We can’t expect to see God raise up men and women like Adoniram Judson, William Carey, and Amy Carmichael from a church who places very little emphasis on praying and laboring in the work of gospel missions among the nations. May the nations be glad!
Consider praying in the following way:
- God remove fears of losing my children and grandchildren to the work of gospel missions.
- God remove my dependency upon money and the fear of losing it.
- God help me see the investment of gospel missions as a worthy cause that will far exceed temporal investments.
- God help me understand the needs of my fellow Christians who are serving in harsh landscapes.
- God break my heart for those who are in dark regions without the light of the gospel.
Josh Buice, deliveredbygrace.com