To what can I liken the work of a prayer mobilizer? He is
like a captain in charge of the battering ram during the siege of a powerful,
well-fortified city. His job is to bring the battering ram of prayer to bear on
the gates of the enemy’s stronghold. He and his troops are the focus of every
enemy archer on the ramparts. The burning pitch and rocks hurled from the
battlements are aimed at them. Yet, to win the war the gate must be shattered.
Because of the hazardous nature of the mission, this captain must enlist
volunteers willing to charge the gates. The captain must enlist a lot of
soldiers, because most of them won’t last for long.
“A bit melodramatic, don’t you think?”
“No, I don’t think it is.” Many people enter into
intercession for Unreached People Groups (UPGs) casually, as if it was not that
big a deal. Suddenly, things start going wrong. They have problems at work. The
car breaks down. The air conditioner has to be replaced. The kids start acting
up. The dog dies. Someone gets sick. And they stop praying and never see the
connection. Or worse yet, they give up because they get bored. They expected a
quick victory and weren’t ready for the long-siege. They weren’t ready for the
fiery darts of the enemy.
Praying for UPGs is not like getting into a jet fighter,
cursing in at 15,000 feet, pressing a red button, and watching a smart bomb
take out the target. If you’re praying for a UPG, you’re taking up the
battering ram. You become the enemy’s target.
“Well that’s certainly encouraging!”
“No, it’s not meant to be. But it’s realistic and in line
with what I’ve seen mobilizing prayer over the past 12 plus years.”
Here’s how it works. To mobilize prayer you first have to
get the prayer requests. Every month I send out reminders to workers to send in
their strategic prayer requests. On average 40 percent or more don’t reply for
a variety of reasons. So I take what I get and put together prayer guides,
calendars, and people group profiles. And then I send the tools by email to
over 650 people representing over 100 churches. As I send the email it is like
I’m yelling, “Okay, on three. One, two, three, PRAY! BOOM, the battering ram of
prayer smashes into the enemy’s gate!!”
Yet every month we have people unsubscribe. I think about the
40% of my co-workers who are not asking me to mobilize prayer. I wonder what
they’re facing. Then I cry out to God, “Oh LORD, send me another intercessor to
pray for the workers on Sumatra. Just send me one more today!”
There are 53 UPGs on Sumatra with over 40 million souls in
them. As I coordinate photos and scriptures to post prayer requests on Facebook
I am often overwhelmed by the lostness on this island. We currently have over
380 people who “like” our page. Last month we had over 6,700 hits on our posts.
How many prayers does that translate into? I have no clue. But every time I hit
post it’s like I’m yelling, “Okay, on three. One, two, three, PRAY! BOOM!!
Thousands of hits is great, but tens of thousands would be
better, especially if it’s people that are praying. There are 15 people groups
on Sumatra that are unengaged. I think about them and wonder how long before
they will get the chance to hear the Gospel? Then I cry out to God, “Oh LORD,
send me another intercessor to pray for the peoples of Sumatra. Just send me
one more today!”
The church on Sumatra is often fearful and inward focused.
Many Sumatran pastors are unsaved and don’t know the Gospel. Many other Sumatran
pastors are more concerned about building a bigger meeting house than in
reaching the lost. Precious few are interested in learning how to pray for and
share with the UPGs of Sumatra. Those who do reach out, and those who believe
from among UPGs are often persecuted. As I go to Twitter, I often mobilize
prayer for the apathetic and the persecuted church on Sumatra. With every tweet
it’s like I’m yelling, “Okay, on three. One, two, three, PRAY! BOOM!!”
I put together a virtual prayerwalk and post it on Vimeo.
PRAY! BOOM!! I write a culture article and post it to the secure web page or to
Blogger. PRAY! BOOM!! I pin another link for prayer to Pinterest. PRAY! BOOM!!
I redo Fast Facts or prayer maps. PRAY! BOOM!! I journey out to gather 1,500 to
3,000 photos, prayerwalk, and share the Gospel with 200 people from 10 different
UPGs within an average year. PRAY! BOOM!! I lead a prayer seminar at a local
church. PRAY! BOOM!! I sit on the floor on a straw mat at yet another prayer
meeting. PRAY! BOOM!! I produce scripture photos for Instagram. PRAY! BOOM!! I
produce a prayer card or photo video for a field worker. PRAY! BOOM!! I write
and design a Ramadan prayer guide and an Advent prayer guide and distribute
them. PRAY! BOOM!! With every prayer request I plead with God. Send me one more
to pray for the cities. Send me just one more to pray for the children. Please
LORD, send me another intercessor for Sumatra today!
If you’re still reading, you’re likely one of my prayer
warriors who’ve been charging the gates with me for the past six years. I know
you’ve taken hits from the enemy for your efforts to bring down the gates and
set the captives here free. I salute you, soldier.
The enemy gate still looks strong, but let’s keep on hitting
it. With God’s help, who knows, it might fall with our next stroke. The fires
of spiritual awakening might be ready to sweep from Aceh to Lampung. Millions
of souls might be on the verge of being swept into the Kingdom. Don’t lose
“So, what you’re saying is you pray and make prayer tools.”
After pulling an enemy arrow out of my shoulder, I grimace
and then staunch the wound. I smile sweetly and say, “Yeah, something like
that.” Then I turn to my troops and shout, “Okay, let’s hit it again on three,
and give it all you’ve got this time!”
“For we do not
wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the
authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the
spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).
gates to come down and the enemy strongholds to be demolished in Sumatra.
for just one
more intercessor every day to pray for the peoples, for the churches, for the
persecuted, for the cities, for the children, and for the workers in Sumatra.
Sumatra’s prayer mobilizer to be strengthened in the LORD and filled with the
will not lose heart until, with God’s help, we see the enemy’s gates fall.