The Prayer Famine
I recently read an article written by the Regional Director of Asia, Australia, and Oceania for GFA Missions, Forrest McPhail. It is in the recent edition of Sowing & Reaping. I appreciated the emphasis it gave on the need for churches to pray corporately. While I am thankful to lead a midweek service where the emphasis is more on prayer than it is in on Bible study, the need more to pray remains constant. God's people need to pray!
I received permission to copy this article below, and will link to Sowing & Reaping at the bottom of the page.
A firm commitment to faith and obedience to the Scriptures historically results in a passion for fulfilling the Great Commission. Prayer for laborers and intercession for the lost express this passion. Obedient prayer becomes a spiritual spark - fuel that ignites and sustains the advance of the Gospel.
God has long blessed Bible-believing churches in the U.S.A. with the precious privilege of praying, giving, and going to make disciples of all nations. Many thousands have been sent during the last two centuries, resulting in countless disciples and local churches.
In 2020, however, we face a harsh reality: far fewer young men and women commit themselves to serve Christ as "separated unto the Gospel." Far fewer now commit themselves to cross-cultural missions. Missions agencies have seen a sharp decline in the numbers of those going for the sake of His Name. The present missionary force is aging without many Gospel laborers to replace them.
Where does the blame lie? Weak preaching? Cultural shift? Erosion of sound doctrine? A weakening economy? The last days? But our partnering churches maintain a commitment to sound doctrine and the battle against sin and the world. Church history teaches that economics do not really affect missions. Why then are so few going?
Recently I sent a survey to over one hundred churches. I asked whether the church held a prayer meting each week, or if they emphasized corporate prayer in any of their services. Most of the churches did neither. Brothers and sisters, a prayer famine ravages many of our churches!
In His sovereignty God has, in some ways, bound His working to the prayers of His people. Jesus commanded us: "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest" (Matthew 9:38). How much earnest prayer goes up to God's throne from your church? How often do you pray for laborers to reach your county or city? How often have you prayed that God would send laborers to those gospel-parched places of the world? Prayer shortage leads to labor shortage; abundant prayer leads to abundant labor. Obey the Lord in prayer, and be an instrument of His in seeing laborers enter His harvest.
Thank you Forrest McPhail!
Reprinted from Sowing & Reaping, Issue 249, Gospel Fellowship Association, Greenville, SC 29609. Used by Permission.
For this, and other articles from Sowing & Reaping, please visit here.