Welcome to a new year of praying for unreached people groups and for the missionaries and local workers who are helping to change that!
As Jesus taught His followers, He included several principles for praying in ways that His Father promises to answer. Here’s a quick summary.
- Ask in the name of Jesus: Five times in John’s Gospel, Jesus promised that anything we ask for in His name will be given to us. This isn’t a promise to make all our wishes come true. Rather, it’s a promise that God will answer prayers that are aligned with the name — that is, the character, heart, and mission — of Jesus (John 14:13-14;15:7,16).
- Approach the Father in faith and faithfulness: Faith and faithfulness are bound together. God hears and answers prayers that rise from true, living faith in Him when offered in full submission to His Lordship and His will for this world (John 15:16).
- Appeal audaciously: When Jesus’ disciples asked Him how to pray, His answer included a story about a persistent neighbor who did not stop asking until his plea for bread was granted. Through this parable, Jesus taught His followers to pray with shameless audacity. When we pray for Kingdom growth, Jesus invites us to relentlessly insist that God provide what’s needed (Luke 11:5-13).
- Pray in community: Jesus promises to be present whenever two or more of His followers lift up prayers in peace and unity. When we pray, let’s invite other believers to unite with us in crying out to God on behalf of His Kingdom servants (Matthew 18:19-20).
- Be specific: General prayers seldom grow our faith because it’s difficult to see God’s responses. When we ask God to act in specific, measurable ways, we are able to recognize when He answers. This grows our faith and emboldens us to pray with even greater audacity for Kingdom-growing requests (Matthew 21:21-22).
We encourage you to choose some missionaries you know and begin praying for them and the people with whom they serve in the ways suggested above. Pray specifically and expectantly, then watch to see how God answers!
When You Pray:
- Pray for transformed lives through God’s Word in every language.
- Pray that in this generation we will see churches using Scripture to grow, mature, and multiply in every language on Earth.
- Listen for God’s leading — because you might be part of His answer to your prayers — and be ready to obey whatever He directs you to do as He grows His Kingdom in places where He is not yet known.
>The principles of prayer offered here are inspired by the book Extreme Prayer: The Impossible Prayers God Promises to Answer, by Greg Pruett (Tyndale, 2014).