We are in the middle of a full on 40 day fast with a portion of our community. I feel like this time will be a powerful momentum builder for the purpose of seeing a new missions thrust to unreached peoples.
There are at least three main groups participating; the new Antioch House of Prayer led by Lou Engle, a local YWAM team from the evangelism and prayer ministry, Fire and Fragrance, and the U.S. Center for World Mission where I serve. Some of the Luke 18 Project and Acts School are also participating from their own bases.
One of the purposes of the fast is to launch the new House of Prayer here on the campus of the US Center for World Mission at Mott Auditorium. It will be a night and day house of prayer focused on unreached people groups of the world who still have little to no access to the Gospel. (Update: Since Aug 2014 the house of prayer has been going 24-6 on campus)
The focus of our prayers is also for the unreached people groups. We have locked in on the Scripture Matt 9:38 where Jesus tells us that the harvest is indeed plentiful, but we must earnestly entreat the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest fields.
The Greek word for “send” in this verse is “ekballo.” It is the same word that is used to describe how the Holy Spirit “drove” Jesus into the wilderness to fast and pray and to be tempted by the devil. It is used when Jesus speaks of casting out demons by the finger of God. It says that he “ekballos” them out. It is a forceful word.
Lou Engle, founder of the Call, sums it up this way,
“When Jesus ekballo’s demons, demons must go. When Jesus ekballo’s laborers, evangelists & missionaries have to go.”
He also gives some background on how he sees prayer and missions sending working together;
While reading the classic book “Rees Howells: Intercessor” I was suddenly arrested by the following paragraph that could, if it is true, light a fire of prayer that could shape the face of the whole earth and trigger the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Then, while in Africa, he (Rees Howells) had been struck by Andrew Murray’s comment on the Savior’s word in Matthew 9:38, “Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.” Andrew Murray has pointed out on the strength of this verse, that the number of missionaries on the field depends entirely on the extent to which someone obeys that command and prays out the laborers; and the Lord had called Mr. Howells to do this.”
If this Scripture and Andrew Murray’s commentary on it is true and the church really understood its implications, then Matthew 9:38 would be on the fiery lips of millions of believers everyday worldwide.
What do you think? Can earnest and specific prayer based on Matt 9:38 lead to more sending? How do you see intense prayer and frontier missions possibly working together?
What I do know is that there is something special happening here. God is stirring hearts and firing imaginations. People are partnering together and believing for another great push in obedience to the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20, Matt 24:14, Rev 5:9, Rev 7:9). We need a fresh awakening to the reality of the unreached and unengaged peoples of the world here in the West. Then awakening needs to lead to action!
Join us in praying Matthew 9:38 every day for the benefit of those who still have little to no access to the Gospel in our generation.
You can read more about the background of the Ekballo fast here.