Summary: If we truly have a heart for what’s on God’s heart, then we must get involved in missions.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
Jesus gave us a lot of instructions about mission. He said:
"Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field"
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel"
"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons."
"Freely you have received, freely give."
And Everybody knows that he was talking about Somebody else.
None of us wants to be a Nobody! And the Bible makes it pretty clear that Anybody can get involved! (OK, I’ll try to stop that now.)
If God is calling us as a church and me as a person to the task of bringing in the harvest - people saved from darkness into his Kingdom of love - how can I be a part? How can we get involved in God’s mission, not only in our communities, but around the world?
There is a very powerful way you can be involved in missions that doesn’t cost a cent and you don’t even need to leave home to do it. You know what it is, don’t you?
"Prayer does not fit us for the greater work, prayer is the greater work" Oswald Chambers.
"More things are wrought by prayer Than this world dreams of" Lord Tennyson
A village in North Africa, no evangelist, everyone had the same dream about Jesus on the same night - the result of years of prayer?
A Muslim woman escaping the bombing during the first Gulf War stumbled and had a vision of Jesus helping her up. Tens of thousands of Iraqi’s turned to Christ during and after that war - the results of years of prayer?
The bottom line is, prayer works! Things happen when God’s people pray faithfully in the Spirit. So what are we to pray for when we pray for missions?
"Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field" Matt 9.38
Pray for more missionaries.
God’s method for preaching the gospel is not programs or pamphlets or radio, as helpful and effective as these can be. His primary method is to send people. We need more people!
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Eph 6.19-20)
Pray for missionaries on the field.
When my wife went to the Doulos many years ago it came at financial and career cost. Offered a senior OT position in NZ before coming. Turned it down to obey God’s call. Why? Because of the gospel. C19th missionaries to Africa would put their children into boarding school, kiss them goodbye and pack their things in their coffin. Why? Because of the gospel. Today missionaries still suffer the loss of children and partners because of lack of access to basic health care, and go back for more. Why? Because of the gospel.
These are normal people. They have the same fears as you do. They suffer stress and loneliness and depression and loss. Do they stand on their own? We can stand with them through prayer!
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should (Col 4.2-4).
Pray for open doors for the gospel - open opportunities, open hearts, open mouths!
When the Doulos went into the Black Sea in the early 1990s we tried to get into Bulgaria. It was a terrible time for the people on the ground. Eventually we were simply unable to go. But a door opened wide for us in Turkey - one of the cities was holding a book fair and asked us to go as part of it.
The teams in Malawi and Mozambique need our prayers. We can put up a shield of prayer around them. Through prayer we can stand with them as they contend for the gospel.
We can all get involved in missions through prayer.
Paul writes: "How can anyone preach unless they are sent?"( Rom 10.15)
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers... While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off" (Acts 13.1-3).