Prayer is essential at the start of any new work in gospel ministry. As Oswald Chambers observed, ‘prayer does not fit us for the greater work. Prayer is the greater work.’
This work of prayer can be hard, though. One prayer team trip in the Mekong region in 2005 did not seem to be going well. The team leader caught dengue fever and almost died. But the trip was able to go ahead. The plan was to travel through the area, praying as they walked for the people and places they went through.
What is prayer walking? The Bible doesn’t really talk about prayer walking as such, but it simply means praying and walking at the same time. It means teams can pray for people and needs they see around them as well as make connections with local people.
In one place they travelled through the team met a man who, unusually, spoke good English and had taken an English name; Tony. They had a friendly chat and gave him a Bible as parting gift before they went on their way. The team continued their trip, praying around the region and hoped God would use that Bible.
A few years later, Tony travelled to Thailand seeking work and made contact with the OMF worker who had been so ill. She and her husband led him to Christ and he was baptised. Later a Swiss missionary discipled him and for a time he worked with the team there, though he proved rather unreliable. He left the area after a couple of years to get married. Andrew, another OMF worker, and the team hoped God would break into his life and give him a great passion for the gospel.
Fast forward several years, and in another village Andrew watched the 100-year-old lady preparing seeds beneath her house. At first he thought they were sesame seeds, but they were in fact poppy seeds, for growing opium. It’s a common crop in the area.
For most of her life, this woman had never had a chance to hear the gospel. That was, until about 18 months ago when a local man with an English name had come to the village to tell them about Jesus. Tony and his wife were living in a nearby town, running a motorcycle repair shop and taking every opportunity they could to share the gospel. Now there are about 15 believers in that village and Tony and his wife have moved into the village to support them and continue spreading the good news.
But it all started when God used a short-term team to plant a seed for the gospel. And he has made it grow. Now it is bearing much fruit in a place where many are yet to hear the name of Jesus.
Will you pray for Mekong Minorities?
- Pray for areas yet to hear the gospel – that God would be preparing people to hear the good news.
- Pray for those prayer walking around the Mekong region – pray for perseverance in prayer, trusting the Lord to bring the growth.
- Pray for more good connections, as this team had with Tony, in prayer walking.