“In our lifetime, wouldn’t it be sad if we spent more TIME having meetings, attending conferences or busy with a Facebook post or watching movies… (emphasis is mine) than praying for world missions”
The Psalmist declared in Psalm 2:8 “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” We should pray about missions until it becomes a priority. We may not personally be able to take the good news abroad, but we can all pray in a way that regions in Ghana and abroad are affected. Prayer needs no passport, visa or work permit. Many of the history of mission could be written in terms of God moving in response to persistent prayer. Prophet Elijah prayed seven times before the little cloud appeared in the dry sky, signalling the coming “great rain” upon their famished land (1 Kings 18:41-45). Which of the seven prayers brought the rain? Was it the first or the fifth of the seventh prayer? What if Elijah had given up after Prayer No 6? Would there have been the seventh prayer without a sixth? Could the first six prayers have been wasted prayers without the seventh? How many prayers will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession?
Peter, therefore, was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him (Acts 12:5). If it says that the Church had been praying “without ceasing,” that would mean that the prayer vigil in Acts 12 had been merely one in a series of other prayers. That vigil was probably the eventual last lap in a continuing prayer relay in which the praying women at Mark’s mother’s house had been the finishers. What if, after the many previous prayers by other saints, those women had not been there to finish their lap that night? What if…? What might have happened to Peter if that prayer watch that night had been blank? Would Peter have been killed the following day, meaning a waste of all the previous prayer investments? Until the UPGs turn at our doors, we should not cease to pray. We may have to give to the nations through intense spiritual labour. “…Will the earth be brought forth in one day? Or will a nation be born at once? For Zion travailed and also brought forth her sons.” Isaiah 66:8
Prayer as Rebellion
Jesus’ parable in Luke 18:1-8 talks about a woman who made not just a petition but ceaseless petitions to her judge and eventually got a favourable hearing. The judge responded at last, not to her petition but to her persistence. Prayers will go far, but ceaseless prayers go farther. This is how Jesus concludes that parable: 7 And shall not God avenge his elect, which cries day and night unto him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
“What, then, is the nature of petitionary prayer? In essence, it is a rebellion against the status quo… It is the absolute and undying refusal to accept as normal what is completely abnormal. It is the rejection of every agenda, every scheme, and every opinion that clashes with the norms that God originally established. (Christianity Today, Vol. XVII). I invite the Church in Africa to rebel against the status quo of the state evangelization of the continent. We must express an unbridgeable chasm to separate Good from Evil.
Let the Church in Africa have few organizers but more agonizers to move the frontiers of missions.