HERALD INTERNATIONAL (Printing In Over Twenty Languages)
Your Prayer Can Reap World Harvest
The task of world evangelization is primarily dependent on witness and prayer. Prayer must prepare the way for evangelization. Prayer must saturate and cover the work of evangelization. Prayer must follow up and conserve the fruit of evangelization. Only as the church prays will there be sufficient harvesters giving themselves to world evangelization and world harvest (Matt. 9:38).
You can have a thrilling role in reaping Godís harvest. Only a small percentage of Godís people are actually involved in seed-sowing, watering, cultivating, and preparing more harvesters, yet all of us could participate on a deeper level than we have ever dreamed.
If you are willing, prayer offers you a way to be significantly involved in world harvest. Prayer does not cancel your duty to witness, give, and help, but it provides an opportunity for you to exert a worldwide influence.
Through prayer you can join any team God is using. Through prayer you can preach through any evangelist, broadcast a radio message in any country, write a Christian book or hymn, or work side by side with any missionary or national co-worker. As you pray, you become partners with all of these. You are not confined by time, distance, or space. Ask God to guide you to the ministry and person or persons He wants you to support in prayer.
Through prayer you can water the harvest. Prayer is Godís ordained means to prepare Godís highway through spiritually dry and arid places, and prayer is Godís ordained way to bring the refreshing water of Godís Spirit to barren lives. The more you pray, the more the water of the Spirit flows. The more you pray, the more the seed sown is watered. The prayer you pray has the potential to turn any heart or desert area into a garden of the Lord.
How can we reap a harvest from Gospel radio broadcasts? By channeling constant streams of prayer to the broadcasts. The extent of the harvest will depend upon the amount of prayer that waters the seed.
How can we multiply the fruitfulness and lasting effectiveness of an evangelistic crusade? By adequate prayer saturation before, during, and after the meetings. So often prayer for a particular area rapidly diminishes after the close of the crusade when the team moves on to the next assignment, and the seed planted in many lives waits for the life-producing rains. This is the time to water the seed through prayer.
Christian literature organizations produce tons and tons of good evangelistic literature. Millions of Scripture portions are distributed worldwide each year. If one-tenth of the seed sown produced a harvest, what a harvest we would see! There is one thing lacking Ė adequate prayer to water the harvest. You can do something about this, if you will.
Through prayer you can cultivate the crop. The seed is sown and watered, and the tiny seedlings begin to spring up. This is another critical time, when cultivation depends upon follow-up prayer. Jesus warned that trouble, persecution, the worries of this life, and the deceitfulness of wealth would cause some to drop by the wayside and become unfruitful (Matt. 13:20-22).
Pressure from nonbelieving family and friends hinders many others. In some parts of the world, where families are close-knit and traditions are sacred, those who profess belief in Christ risk severe persecution. In addition to being cast out of their homes, young believers realize that educational opportunities may be lost; others may lose their customers or their jobs; some may have clothing and other possessions confiscated or destroyed. In certain Muslim and communist environments the risk includes imprisonment or even loss of life for those who are known followers of Christ.
There is something you can do to help them Ė something extremely powerful. You can pray daily. Help in any other way you can, but above all, pray earnestly for God to protect the young believers. Your prayer can encourage, strengthen, and protect during this crucial period of new life.
Through prayer you can influence world leaders. Government decisions and decrees are constantly taking away liberty of evangelism and liberty of worship and permitting or directing the persecution of Christians. No outside government can do much to help change this picture, but we are not completely impotent. Through prayer you can become a hidden counselor of these government leaders and authorities without their awareness. How? "The kingís heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases" (Prov. 21:1).
It was the Lord who moved the heart of Cyrus, king of Persia, to issue the edict to permit the Jews living in captivity to return freely to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1). ...It was the Lord who changed the attitude of the emperor Darius (Ezra 6:22) and caused him to order the temple to be rebuilt and the surrounding nations to cease interfering. ÖIt was as Nehemiah prayed and fasted that God prepared the heart of King Artaxerxes, who had already ruled Persia for twenty years. He then authorized Nehemiah, his official, to take a leave of absence and go to Jerusalem to rebuild its walls (Neh. 1:4, 6).
Today, as in the past, rulers of nations plot against Christians and against the Christian church. Laws are promulgated repeatedly to restrict missionary work, Christian witness, the baptism of believers, the assembly of believers in public services, the erection of new church buildings. In some lands Christians are repeatedly imprisoned, severely mistreated, and tortured. Thank God, persecution cannot destroy the Church (Matt. 16:18)!
Seldom does the Church adequately exercise its prayer privilege and prayer authority to change the attitude of political rulers and the treatment of suffering Christians. While again and again God does intervene to protect or help His own, who knows what changes might occur if the Church would only unite to focus earnest, daily, prevailing prayer for authorities in nations where there is active opposition to Christianity.
It is not always Godís will that His children avoid all suffering, or that all the missionary visas applied for be granted. But until God checks our prayer, why not unite in prayer agreement and prayer warfare? Why not use the command of faith in a united effort to change the attitudes of earthly rulers? Satan does not want you to contemplate the miracles that can be wrought through your prayer. Rise up in holy determination to oppose him and bring about Godís harvest!
From Touch the World through Prayer by Wesley L. Duewel. Copyright 1986. Used by permission of the Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana. Dr. Duewelís books may be purchased by calling (317) 881-6751 Ext. 361.
Pray for Herald International
With Brother Duewelís article in mind, we invite you to pray for the Herald editions and offices listed at the bottom of page 10. Pray for the Lordís provision for the Gospel seed to continue to be sown through these editions, and that He will open doors for new editions, including a Chinese edition. Pray for His anointing upon each edition to bring forth an abundant spiritual harvest. Pray for the readers of the various editions to stand firm in the Lord and continue to grow in Him. Pray also for the political and spiritual climate in each of the countries to become more favorable for spreading the Gospel.
Our Lord is gracious and "able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or thinkÖ" (Eph. 3:20). Only eternity will tell the full story of the Lordís impact in the lives of others through our prayers!