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No Alternative

Posted by NandCard , 23 August 2013 · 1416 views

A word this week about strategic prayer in missions…

I want to applaud the fact that strategic prayer is one of five key elements or activities of ministry partnerships in The C&MA. It is a tremendous blessing that so much headway has been made over the past decade, bringing Alliance people and churches into closer, active partnership with our international workers around the world. But amid the flurry of fruitful partnership activity, I’d like to underscore the non-negotiable importance of strategic prayer within our partnerships.

Let’s be sure of one thing: partnerships are no alternative to strategic prayer for missions.

Rather, partnerships bring around our historic values of strategic prayer and sacrificial giving the constellation of additional types of partnering activity that make international work fruitful today. My encouragement this week is that other activities enhance, not replace, the central role of prayer when it comes to making significant headway in fulfilling the Great Commission.

At Council in Tampa this year, a leader from one of our Districts interacted via Skype with international workers from a Creative Access Location regarding a recent partnership “going there” activity. At the core, the testimony given was a story of strategic prayer. The team of international workers was ministered to when they discovered their visiting group were discerning, prayerful people. Deep encouragement came from the visitors’ prayers over team members and times of waiting on God together. And when, during a tourist outing, God brought the partners into contact with a seeking local, the visiting team created an arena of prayer within which the international workers discussed spiritual truth with this young man and led him to the Savior. Needless to say, these partners on opposite sides of the ocean remain very committed to praying for one another and for God’s work in this land!

Another great encouragement for some of our international workers comes from “Watchmen” prayer groups around the US. These committed folks gather at least monthly to pray through some of the most specific prayer requests workers dare to send, using discreet and secure mailings. This kind of strategic prayer must be at the core of our work in Creative Access Locations, and of ministry partnerships with workers in those areas.

When strategic prayer lies at the heart of partnering relationships, God moves each participant to sacrificial giving, unique roles of service, creative and caring ideas, and fruitful outcomes.

So let me encourage you: partnerships are no alternative to strategic prayer for missions. Rather, as we grow ministry partnerships, we have no alternative to beginning with prayer.

  • Don Sappington and Sarah Baker like this

Don Sappington
Aug 23 2013 12:45 PM
Right on ... somewhere I read in our core values that prayer is our first work, our first priority. Let's not check that off and just go do stuff, even good stuff. Let's make sure our partnerships are holistic. Partner care, STRATEGIC PRAYER, doing our share financially, yes, going there with teams, and staying aware. Perhaps now is a good time to be sure prayer is your first work.
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