God has indeed ordained that prayer be part of his kingdom work, and that includes world missions. He confides in us his plans and purposes, gives us an excitement for his work, and empowers us to pray them into being. Without prayer, all man’s work is for naught. Prayer is acknowledgement that all things are possible only in God and after all we have done, we must pray to the Lord of the harvest.
I have learned that it begins with a simple YES to partnering with God in his purposes, and I have seen how much he delights to answer our eagerness to serve him and his people. Encouraged by the testimonies of missionaries in Vietnam who God led on many adventures because of a simple prayer to have their lives be meaningfully used for the kingdom, I prayed for opportunities to share the gospel with Vietnamese friends I would have the privilege of meeting. I prayed specifically for one opportunity to share the gospel in Hanoi and another in Ho Chi Minh. Armed with hand drawn cards telling the gospel story, God indeed set up divine appointments to convict me of how closely he listens to every prayer we utter.
My team and I had walked into a university near our hotel, and within a matter of minutes, a college student walking past smiled brightly at us, and we seized the opportunity to strike up a conversation. She agreed to bring us around the campus and on the way, we bumped into her group of friends. What ensued were newfound friendships and delightful getting-to-know-each-other conversations, as well as a precious opportunity to use my gospel cards to share the gospel to two girls who had never heard it before. What a joy it was to be able to sow the seeds of God’s truth!
In Ho Chi Minh, a couple of students from an English class brought us around the city one night. While I tried to be intentional in my conversations with them and often found opportunities to talk about Jesus coming close, they would slip away or get cut off. I then acknowledged that only God would be able to create the opportunity. It was not until we sat down in a café that God gave an opportune moment to use the cards once again to share the gospel with two of them. Witnessing with the gospel cards taught me that sharing the gospel is not all fireworks and shooting stars, but an ear-to-ear smile upon hearing such good news. Sharing the gospel is not about a loud convincing voice, but the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit that I see in quiet contemplative eyes. Sharing the gospel is not always about yielding fruit, but about being a faithful and cheerful planter of seeds. Sharing the gospel is not a religious duty but a response to God’s amazing grace.
God delights to have us partner him in proclaiming the good news, if only we come to him in earnest prayer, surrendering to him the little we have that only he can multiply, and by faith speaking his truth! “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)