“Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” — Habakkuk 1:5
What is the problem?
2,000 years ago Jesus commanded His disciples, “Go make disciples of all ‘nations’.” More than 6,800 of the 16,000 “ethnê” or ethnic groups living today, to which He referred, lack a community of believers with adequate numbers and resources to successfully fulfil His command. Simply stated, 1 in 4 people remain without reasonable access to the gospel—The Forgotten One Fourth World! This simply means that, although there may be a few believers or even a few churches, they are a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize their own people group.
Where are they?
These groups are found around the world, not only in the so-called 10/40 Window nations. Go to this link legacy.joshuaproject.net to find the least-reached people groups in each nation.
WHY ARE THEY STILL LEAST-REACHED?
- GEOGRAPHIC BARRIERS: remote, harsh climate, difficult access, or nomadic.
- LINGUISTIC BARRIERS: illiterate, no scripture in their language, unwritten language, terminology confusion.
- POLITICAL BARRIERS: restricted access, evangelism forbidden, hostile environment (war?).
- CULTURAL BARRIERS: persecution, closed to change, Christianity viewed as a “foreign” religion.
- UNRECOGNIZED: believers unaware of the need or the group, small in size, prejudice, isolated from the society in which they live.
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO CHANGE THIS?
Jesus told His disciples in Luke 10:1-3, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Jesus’ solution to the dilemma of the plentiful harvest with few workers was prayer. In her book, Intercession, Thrilling and Fulfilling, Joy Dawson echoed this call to prayer, “God’s priority plan to reach the un-evangelized is the mobilization of His people in united prayer. We are to pray with clean hearts, according to His will and His ways from His Word, in faith, energized by the Holy Spirit.” Why pray? Is God listening? How can we do it? Find out more with this animation from the 24-7 Prayer movement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVHUx_EJnUs
The Bible tells us prayer changes things! Prayer…
- Ushers us into God’s presence which changes us.
- Reveals God’s plans so we can cooperate with them.
- Obeys Jesus’ command to ask the Lord of the Harvest to send workers.
- Invites God’s presence and participation in the process.
- Removes hindrances to the gospel and prepares the hearts of unbelievers to hear and respond.
- Releases resources for the task.
- Insures protection for the workers and the work.
- Releases spiritual power to fulfill the call, and,
- Exercises divine authority to change situations and people.
- Prayer IS the battle, and prayer maintains the victory.
How can we pray effectively? Begin with these five simple prayers based on scripture:
- SEE: Pray that believers will see the hearts among every least-reached people group that are ready to hear and respond to the Gospel (John 4:35).
- SEND: Pray that the Lord of the Harvest will send laborers among these “no-choice” peoples (Luke 10:2).
- UNITY: Pray that the Lord will help the Body of Christ to labor together in the unity of the Spirit to bring good news where it’s never been heard before (1 Cor. 3:9).
- SUPPLY: Pray that God will supply and multiply the resources necessary to support His workers and their work (2 Cor. 9:8-11).
- SUCCESS: Pray for 100-fold fruit that remains for God’s glory, transforming each group (Matt. 4:20).
From the rising of the sun to its going down, the Name of the Lord is to be praised. The effective, fervent prayers of a righteous man avail much! Join hands with God and believers around the world month by month moving from east to west in this Harvest-Linked Prayer Strategy (HeLPS), peoples joining together to glorify God among all peoples…Ethne to Ethne…Pass it on…in your own network…in your own language.
– Liz Adleta