Prayer is a catalyst for mission. Prayer reminds us of God’s power to rescue. As our prayer requests extend beyond our own needs, we realize that others need spiritual healing as well as physical healing. We pray, as Jesus suggested, for God to send workers to accomplish the mission. And, at times, God answers that we should look in the mirror to discover the workers needed for the mission.
Fasting and prayer preceded the church in Antioch sending Paul and Barnabas to evangelize in what are now Turkey and Greece (Acts 13). When imprisoned in Philippi, Paul and Silas sang and prayed to God immediately before an earthquake liberated them and prompted a jailer to believe in Christ and, with his family, be baptized immediately (Acts 16:31-33).
Christians today sometimes define mission as painting houses or working at soup kitchens on winter nights. Those acts indeed open hearts to the message of Jesus, but that message must still be spoken or written clearly to encourage obedience. Prayer and the ministry of the Word, just in Acts 6, remain priorities for Christian evangelists and church leaders.
Lord of the spiritual harvest, Open our eyes to see the need around us. Open our hearts that we may care as you care. Open our ears that we may hear your call through the gospel to teach others. Open our mouths that we may speak truth. Open our hands that we may release what impedes our obedience and that we may reach for what will accomplish what you desire. Open doors that we may walk through them into the places where we are needed most. In Jesus’ name, Amen.