EXTRAORDINARY PRAYER + STRATEGIC FIELD OUTREACH = ABUNDANT FRUIT
“It’s like fish jumping in the boat!”
In August 2005, without the group intentionally realizing they were paralleling their efforts with the new Ethnê movement’s prayer initiative, a small missions team from Virginia stumbled into this incredible fruitfulness in one of the aimags [provinces] of Mongolia. This small mission team made their usual trip to Mongolia, primarily to do medical outreach, happening to visit during the month of prayer for the unreached peoples of Mongolia that year. I got an email from the leader of the group exclaiming, “It’s like fish jumping in the boat! We’ve never had such response ever before! We’ve had handfuls, but God is giving us hundreds of people responding! It’s incredible!”
What precipitated such a harvest?
During the planning meetings leading up to the Ethnê06 meetings in Bali, a working group began coalescing to focus on prayer as it related to the Forgotten Fourth World, (the 6,700+ least-reached people groups around the world). Participants recognized the tremendous quantity of prayer that had already been raised prior to 2004 through the efforts of AD2000 & Beyond Movement and many other movements, organizations, churches and individuals. We considered the question, “What needed to be done to build on the momentum that already existed?” Some of the earlier efforts had done a great job of raising awareness of the need for prayer, the existence of unreached people groups, and also the incredible effect that on-site prayer could have in breaking strongholds standing in the way of these groups being reached. However, we felt that some public information leaned toward statistics and generalities—it was rather dry. There was a need to try to “put a face” on the unreached people groups in order to inspire fresh energy in prayer for these groups.
Inspiring 3.5 million to pray!
Recognizing the great power in the stories of how we meet Jesus, we began to collect and produce a set of 12 testimony videos, one from each of the 12 Ethnê regions—testimonies of people from some of the unreached people groups who had come to Christ and now were leading others to faith in Him. One of the first tangible outcomes was the incredible Ethnê two-DVD set completed in December 2006. Thousands of these have now circulated around the world. Each video includes five specific points for prayer for the least-reached groups of that region and is tied to the Ethnê Harvest-Linked Prayer Strategy (HeLPS) initiatives’ monthly prayer focus. The Ethnê HeLPS initiative worked in partnership with individuals, churches, agencies and networks around the world to mobilize an estimated 3.5 million praying with this effort beginning each year following the Global Day of Prayer on Pentecost. Then, a systematic cycle of massive global prayer has been unleashed over the Forgotten Fourth World in each region. This begins in June every year with prayer for the least-reached peoples of the South Pacific and Southeast Asia and moves east to west, to Northeast Asia’s people groups in July, and so on.
100,000 Using Global Prayer Digest to Pray –
Global Prayer Digest [GPD] has been partnering with the Ethnê movement’s prayer initiative since 2005, paralleling their issues with the cyclical focus. It was estimated that among those praying along with the overall initiative, more than 100,000 join along through the Global Prayer Digest tool, published in English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean in hard copy, text email and web. As the prayer working group spread the word globally, and as more and more field teams caught wind of the opportunity and began to synchronize their efforts with these massive global outpourings of prayer, more and more breakthroughs emerged, many of them closely-timed to the month of the prayer focus.
Why is prayer coordinated with field efforts so important?
The idea, though, is more than simply mobilizing massive amounts of prayer for these unreached groups. Prayer is meant to be linked with strategic field efforts. Why is prayer coordinated with field efforts so important? By systematically focusing on the peoples of a region month by month, security concerns can be avoided yet field workers can be especially bold, press forward with new initiatives, or see new fruit from established efforts among these groups during this outpouring of intercession before God’s Throne for the peoples of their region. We believe God is hearing and answering; field workers are actively conserving the harvest resulting from their efforts and the prayer outpouring. The testimonies so far have been amazing! For example, following an issue in June 2009 new believers emerged among several Mekong people groups where no believers previously were present. As more and more joined hands, excitement grew and faith in what God might do as we asked Him expectantly grew as well.
Join the Monthly Prayer Movement!
You can contribute to this breakthrough by praying along and inviting others to do so as well. Following is the cyclical rotation for Ethnê’s Harvest-Linked Prayer Strategy (HeLPS) Initiative:
|January||UPGs of Eastern & Southern Africa||July||UPGs of Northeast Asia|
|February||UPGs of Western & Central Africa||August||Buddhist UPGs of South Asia|
|March||UPGs of Eastern Europe & Eurasia||September||Hindu UPGs of South Asia|
|April||UPGs of Western Europe||October||Muslim UPGs of South Asia|
|May||UPGs of Americas Caribbean||November||UPGs of Central Asia|
|June||UPGs of S Pacific & Southeast Asia||December||UPGs of Middle East/N Africa|
Join a monthly prayer call each second Thursday 7am-8am Central/1pm GMT by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for the link to join the call.