Prayer makes a Difference

by Liz Adleta

DFW Awake Conference, Saturday, February 11, 2023

We are living in incredible times! Often we don’t realize until much later significant events are unfolding all around us. I’ve worked in prayer and missions networks the past 40 years all around the world especially focused on bringing the gospel to people groups with least access. When we declare God’s will in and through prayer, we are calling His will to be done on earth as in heaven and He responds. I want to tell you how God has been at work inspiring His people to prayer and action and then answering the prayers He has inspired us to pray.

In the 1980’s, John Robb, Dr. Ralph Winter, and others urged the Church to focus prayer and missionary outreach not simply on geo-political nations, but on people groups or ethnic groups. Luis Bush and the AD2000 and Beyond Movement in the 1990’s highlighted the 10/40 Window, an area from 10 degrees to 40 degrees north stretching from West Africa to Eastern Asia where 85% of the remaining unreached people groups lived, where the major religions in competition to Christianity were centered, and where being a Christian often meant being ostracized, persecuted & even killed. Prayer was emphasized, including prayer walking and prayer journeys to pray onsite among these unreached people groups, and tens of thousands of believers prayed and also became part of teams that set their feet on the soil among these groups during the 90’s.

This massive uptick in prayer activity had an impact. God was answering. Churches and ministries began sending to these groups. God gave new strategies specifically to enable ministry among groups where it had not been possible—in what were referred to as restricted access nations and areas. The spiritual climates surrounding these unreached groups gradually began to be transformed. Spiritual obstacles were dislodged. Hearts were being prepared to hear the gospel. Researchers rose up to develop profiles of these unreached people groups to better understand who and where they were. Joshua Project and others aided research and sharing the information to help direct efforts to those with least access to the Gospel.

In 2000, AD2000 and Beyond closed by design. But its impact had not stopped—leaders from the Global South (India, Indonesia, Africa, Latin America and others) urged that the Church not stop its focus on the unreached, that our work had only just begin in these unreached people groups. The Ethne Movement was birthed in 2004 with specific working groups to build prayer, holistic gospel movements, and crisis response among others. About this same time, 2005, researchers saw another spike in the launches of movements to Christ among the least reached which began about the time this new movement had begun—another probable result of the fresh energy invested in prayer.

Four or five years after the launch of Ethne in 2009 I attended a meeting of leaders in Thailand, In preparation for a Global House Church Movement Summit being planned. About a dozen leaders of some of the new church planting movements were present, each of whom had been responsible for igniting movements to Christ that now numbered in the hundreds and even thousands of fellowships in various regions of the world. As we went around the room introducing ourselves, each one in turn related that, during the 1990’s, the Holy Spirit had led them each individually to examine how Jesus worked in Luke 10. As I listened in amazement, I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “You are looking at some of the answers to prayer from the AD2000 & Beyond…” God used the prayers prayed during the 1990’s to birth the early movements to Jesus among unreached peoples through people who had become catalysts as the Holy Spirit directed them to better understand and implement the strategies of Jesus from Luke 10.

Ethne’s Prayer Team worked to intentionally link global prayer with specific field efforts. As a result, more testimonies came back with fresh breakthroughs in groups with no previous response to the gospel, as a result of this close alignment of focused prayer & specific mission efforts.

In early 2014, a prototype effort called Inherit the Nations launched to pair communities of pray-ers with field mission teams working to launch movements. The pairings that developed a close working connection all saw amazing breakthroughs within a few weeks or months of their joint efforts, another testament to the power of prayer.

In 2017, two simultaneous convergences occurred: one was a global network of prayer networks seeking to coordinate, communicate and collaborate more directly with mission efforts and the other was the birth of a grassroots network of movement catalysts also seeking to intentionally coordinate, communicate and collaborate so that no people or place would be left without multiplying movements to Jesus.

The last 5 years these two major global streams of prayer and mission
are collaborating intentionally at a level I’ve never been aware of previously.
In 1983, a man named Bob Jones had prophesied that when the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, the biggest harvest the world had ever would begin. February 2020, the Kansas City Chiefs won for the first time in fifty years. This same year, the world saw an unprecedented global crisis unfold with the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the global GO Movement had been encouraging the Body of Christ toward a prayer-care-share evangelism lifestyle. In 2020, GO2020 provided a series of 9 forty-day prayer and fasting guides developed by a movement catalyst to pray specifically toward seeing new movements to Christ birthed among the least reached peoples. I recently heard a major movement catalyst relating that they had seen explosive growth in their movements in 2020—surely that focused prayer contributed to that end.

Last year in 2022, on the Night of Power during Ramadan in the Muslim world, ‘One Miracle Night’ was 24 hours of prayer by global networks for God to give divine encounters to Muslims. Before the 24 hours had ended, testimonies were already flowing in of the miraculous harvest that had already begun.

A collaborative project known as Disciple Keys, launched last year in 2022 using 52 key Bible principles of movements as prayer points, one per week, focused prayer for the least reached Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu peoples. This year, in 2023, 110 global cities where representatives of 80% of the world’s least evangelized groups live are the focus of targeted prayer and outreach as field teams engage in prayerwalking, evangelism, discipleship & church planting on the ground. We are about to see the largest harvest yet among the remaining unreached people groups and cities, as God continues to move through the prayers of His people.

As of early 2023, of Joshua Project’s unreached people group clusters, research has shown that already 82% are presently engaged with some type of movement efforts. Already, 1 in 70 of all humans on earth are part of these amazing movements. Close to 2,000 distinct church planting movements are identified and being tracked. There are 114 million people now in 8.6 million house churches averaging 16 people each in size. Over 85% of movements were begun by other movements; these existing movements are intentionally investing in igniting new movements where none yet exist.

Mike Bickle, founder of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, recently shared with Global Family 24-7 Prayer about another prophecy given by Bob Jones in 1983 to him when he was only 27 years old. Jones told him that during a time when he was older, when sexual perversion was paraded publicly and even sanctioned by government, when pills would be dispensed by mail for abortions, that Mike would be part of mobilizing 100 million intercessors for the nation of Israel. That was 40 years ago. This year, 2023, IHOP-KC is part of a collaborative effort with many other global organizations and networks, including some of these massive church planting networks, to focus prayer together for four Global Days of Prayer: one for the Buddhist world January 22nd, one for the Muslim world on April 17th, one for the Jews and Israel on May 28th (Pentecost), and the final one October 31st for the Hindu world. Partners for this initiative met earlier this year and estimated conservatively they expect over 100 million believers to be participating!

God has given us the incredible privilege and responsibility of prayer as His way for us to partner in building His Kingdom among every tongue, tribe and nation. As for my hometown, the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex is home to nations that have come here for refuge, for studies, and for business. Over 350 languages are spoken in the homes here. From here, these new immigrants reach back into their former homes as ambassadors of Texas’ entrepreneurial can-do spirit. And, not only have the nations been coming here, but believers from Dallas/Ft. Worth have also been part of the stream of image bearers going to the nations carrying the good news of Jesus Christ to the world through this gateway. Prophetically, we’ve been sensing God speaking, “Dallas/Ft. Worth Lighthouse to the nations.” Now is the time for every believer to wake up to the challenge and opportunity God is place before us. During harvest time, it’s ‘all hands on deck! The hour is late and the harvest is white. Let’s take up the mantle by joining hands with God and one another in prayer that none of this rich harvest is lost but all conserved for His glory among the nations in Dallas/Ft. Worth, in your city and community, and around the world!