The leader of Pioneers’ Middle East Region shares his vision for a new prayer movement in 2019. Will you join us?
Be Joyful in Hope, Patient in Affliction, Faithful in Prayer. (Romans 12:12 NIV)
I know that I need to pray more. I believe it with my heart, yet it remains one of the things I struggle with most. The tyranny of the urgent always seems to takes precedence over prayer.
I suspect that I am not alone in this experience. Many of us are action-orientated people. Perhaps long periods of silence, prayer and reflection don’t come naturally. But does this mean we should give up on being effective in prayer?
Am I desperate enough?
Recently I have been both encouraged and challenged to pray more. I was deeply encouraged when I learnt of two men who desperately came to the Lord, seeking more fruit in their ministry context. They made a commitment to pray regularly and be accountable to each other for this. The Lord met them, and they saw amazing blessings in their own lives, as well as in their ministry.
I was greatly challenged by the exhortation of an action-orientated church leader from a Muslim background in Indonesia, who said:
Prayer is first desperate when there is no fruit, and desperate again when there is much fruit and the challenges are not in the realm of humans to resolve.
The question I ask myself is this: Am I desperate enough to make prayer a priority?
Inspired by Acts
In 2019, we take inspiration from God’s words of encouragement to Paul in Acts 18:9-10:
Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city. (NIV)
God is at work across the Arab world, even in those places where we see little evidence. In 2019, we are committed to praying for twelve key cities. Some of the cities we will be praying for, like Aleppo and Taiz, have been completely devastated by war. Yet we know that God wants to bring new life from within their ruins. Other cities, like Istanbul, are straining at the seams with refugees and our workers are struggling to keep up with sharing their faith with them. Lord, send workers to your harvest field.
And so I challenge you to journey with us in prayer throughout 2019. Let us commit to praying for fruit – fruit that will ripen and bear the seeds for mature, vibrant, multiplying churches across the Arab world.
Lord, quiet our hearts to pray.
Be Joyful in Hope, Patient in Affliction, Faithful in Prayer.
The first edition of In This City will be published on 1 January 2019. You’ll be able to find it under Prayer Guides.