Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 24 (Day 24)

If you live in the Americas like me, it's hard to think in terms of unreached peoples - and yet there is a huge unfinished task in the Americas. Please read pages 53-54 and then return for our prayer time.

One of the things God has been impressing on me this time through Operation World is that from His viewpoint, there are no unreached peoples. When we prayed through Africa we talked about the need to reach the unreached is simply a matter of someone being obedient to the call - they will remain unreached until God calls and we answer. Today God gave me a Scripture - and a vivid illusration - that even now He is reaching out to the unreached and to the others groups in this "unfinished task" section.

Psalm 19:1-4 says:

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
2 Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world. 

Think about it: Where no missionaries have gone, where there is no Bible in their language, God is still speaking through His creation. Tonight, I stepped out onto the porch and looked up at the sky. I was staring straight at the Little Dipper, and the Milky Way which I usually cannot see from my vantage point at our house was clearly evident. Immediately this passage came to me along with the thought: "Somewhere there is someone from an unreached people group looking up at the same sky, seeing the same stars and the same Milky Way, and God is speaking to him through it." WOW.

This idea of "general revelation" - the revelation of creation - does not negate the importance of missions. People still have to hear the Gospel - Romans 10 makes it clear that someone has to go tell them of Jesus. It's simply not optional. But Acts 10, the story of Cornelius, encourages us that God is working in both the hearer and the goer to bring about the proclamation of the Gospel. Somewhere tonight, God is preparing someone through looking up at His creation to hear to Gospel message for the first time. He is preparing someone to go. What an encouragement to know that when our going intersects with their hearing, God has already been at work.

Our church supports some missionaries to a tribal people in Latin America. This group hasn't heard the Gospel and has no Scripture in their language. One day, these missionaries will be able to communicate in this tribal language. One day, they will share the Gospel. What an encouragement to know that God is already at work. My prayer is that God will lead them to those who have been looking up at those stars and wanting to know more about the God who created them. Truly, there is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

Also, as we wrap up our time "in" the Americas, let me encourage you to seek God specifically for your part in His plan for this continent. If you've been quickened by these needs, perhaps God would have you commit to praying, giving, or going to the Americas. A few resources to get you started follow my prayer for today.

My prayer for today: Lord, You are always at work. You simply invite us to join You in what You are already doing. My prayer for the unfinished task is that You will be at work Lord, preparing the way for Your messengers. Lord, for the upper classes and those who are at the higher power levels of their societies - show them their spiritual poverty. For the urban poor, show them how You care about their physical realities as well as their soul-searching questions. For the unreached in each country, the unreached among the native populations, and for the harvest of unreached from around the globe who come to study or work -- we pray for laborers to the harvest. We ask You, Lord, to prepare the students' and immigrants' hearts and guide them to have strong connections with Christians. Give wisdom for how to reach the Jews and Gypsies of Latin America. Guide those who are working and those who are planning to go. Lord, we thank You for the way that has been paved by so many martyrs to the unreached of the Americas, and I echo the words of one of those martyrs who said that "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose." Lord, whatever we give for Your kingdom, to reach the unreached and finish the task, is not a foolish sacrifice. Help us be ever more willing to lay up treasures in heaven to see the Gospel reach the ends of the earth. We love You and we thank You for the heart You've given us for the Americas this past week. Please guide us to be fully obedient as we walk out what Your heart for the Americas should look like in our own lives.  In the precious name of Jesus, amen.

- http://www.joshuaproject.net/prayer-resources.php - Prayer calendars for the unreached in a few key areas of the Americas.
- http://www.joshuaproject.net/ - Amazing research tool for digging deeper
- http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/ - Focuses on the annual event, but also includes urgent alerts and prayer points for countries on an ongoing basis
- http://www.primeministersprayerteam.org/ - Prayer for the leaders of Caribbean nations.
- http://southamerica.imb.org/Prayer/default.htm - Prayer network for South America

Are you already part of what God is doing in the Americas? If so please comment with any additional resources that you would recommend.

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