Why Intercessory Missionaries?

Man holding bible in wheat field

Why Intercessory Missionaries?

Author | Jim Stilwell

E.M. Bounds wrote, “God does nothing except by prayer.” The uncreated God can do whatever He pleases at any moment, yet invites us to play a massive role in changing the spiritual atmosphere of our cities in the place of prayer. The honor and dignity that God gives human beings to partner with Him in prayer is a brilliant strategy to draw us into His heart and unite us with what He wants to do on the earth.

Prayer Is Vital To Missions And Evangelism

The prayer movement is not the next “cool” thing to hit the body of Christ. It is the pivot point at which God moves in the hearts of individual, cities, states, nations and ultimately the planet. Throughout history we can see God’s plan to have humans approach Him in the place of prayer to bring about a demonstration of His power. Psalm 132:7-8 “Let us go into His tabernacle; Let us worship at His footstool. Arise, O LORD, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength.” King David understood the value of calling people into perpetual 24/7 worship and prayer that would result in God displaying His power in his generation.

The great evangelist to Africa, Reinhard Bonnke, has said, “Evangelism without intercession is like a bomb without a detonator. Intercession without evangelism is like a detonator without a bomb.” Night and Day prayer is core to missions and evangelism having their full expression. In 1727 a German nobleman named Count Ludwig Zinzendorf gathered Christians together to his large estate in Germany, known as Herrnhutt, and began prayer meetings that continued 24 hours a day for 120 years. It resulted in the first Protestant missions movement in history. Night and Day prayer represents the reality that prayer will release people into evangelism to fulfill the call of Jesus to go and make disciples.

A Missionary Activity That Is Essential For Justice To Break In

Traditionally we think of missions as the “action side” of the Great Commission. There is also a “prayer side” to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. God is raising up missionaries who will express both of these dimensions that are necessary for the Great Harvest. In other words, God is establishing “intercessory missionaries.” Luke 18:7-8 “Shall not God avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, … 8 I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly.” Justice speaks of wrong things being made right. Through the finished work of Christ on the cross, He brought justice to everything contrary to God His Father. When we pray we are asking for God to release His justice over sick bodies, disunity in the church, crime in the streets, darkness that keeps humans in spiritual and emotional prison. Jesus connected night and day prayer to His justice being made known on the earth. It is God’s desire that men and women would be fully aware of His presence interacting with them and on their behalf. Night and day prayer is essential and a requirement for us to see the full expression of God in our society.

Intercessory Missionaries Sustain Night and Day Prayer

How does night and day prayer happen. Who does it? God is raising up a generation that transcends age and gender that says, “YES” to partner with God and to see His Kingdom fully known on the earth. We see a picture of this type of lifestyle in Luke 2:36-38 “And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” Anna suffered the loss of her husband in her early 20’s. She dedicated herself to a lifestyle of prayer and fasting that lasted until Jesus was born. She proceeded to evangelize those around her with the good news of His coming. I believe God is calling many who are called to the same activity as Anna. God is rearranging lives in all spheres of influence from the “stay-at-home-mom,” to the college student, to the business man or woman to make radical choices in order to give themselves to this calling in the grace of God. Perhaps God is speaking to you about how you are to connect with night and day prayer.

You may be one who spends your life as a missionary in the place of prayer and fasting or be called to support those who are called to this lifestyle. Night and day prayer is a worthy investment of our time and finances. God will have many houses of prayer established before He returns a second time to earth. If your heart is moved toward this lifestyle of prayer and fasting I encourage you to simply ask God to release grace for you to connect to Him in the place of prayer. He loves to give grace and set His people in agreement with His heart for their lives.