But it leads to more questions. . .
At first it seems like a very simple question as we greet and share ministry with others, or at least it is in my line of work. Having just returned from another onsite prayer assignment, I find myself pondering some things along these lines. . . things that on the surface seem like simple things. . .
God, maybe this is not quite so simple!
As I work within the context of International Orality Network, God continues to surprise us with His activity. We believe answers to our prayers are upon us from Matthew 9:37-38. . . 37“Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38“Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” As God allows our teams to have various opportunities to come alongside others and be involved in prayer with all kinds of workers of His Harvest fields. I am blessed to see His activity. There are more and more who are going and who are working diligently in the fields of the Lord. They are deep and in hidden places, who are plowing, sowing, and harvesting at different levels. And they NEED prayer at many different levels.
So as I travel, my question seems even more relevant. . .
So here is my simple question, “How can we link to your prayer team or the prayer department within your organization?” Which usually leads into a second question, “Who is praying for you, do you have a personal intercessor or a team that comes alongside you in prayer?” it all seems so very relevant to me.
Praising God for missionaries and executives in mission organizations who get the need to have the strategy of prayer and prayer teams fully in place. Even those who are using prayer as it was intended to be, a foundational aspect of every ministry work and worker. I see even more need to continue to ask God for influence in these areas.
Lord, may we help to educate, advocate for the Bible-less and Oral People Groups. How do we share more broadly opportunities for more people to be “in the game” and able to be active in being on mission together in every way so as to have an invisible, yet tangible platform of prayer everywhere!
I am wondering if this is a multi-layered topic and not just a two question issue? I think that is the case. . .
In order to see how God works when prayer is modeled. Some biblical pray-er models come to mind. Ezekiel (Ezek. 33), Anna (Luke 2:36-38), Nehemiah (chapters 1-3), Ezra (Ezra 8), Epaphras (Col. 4:12), Abraham (Gen 18), and Jeremiah (the whole book) to name a few.
If this is new to you, please pull up the ION Prayer PowerPoint “Lord Teach Us To Pray” that shares some of these models. To pull up the ppt file go to:
For many people, prayer is very simple. . . some pray, some ask for prayer. . .
The response of, “God has called me to be a pray-er or intercessor” is a natural response. They are a blessing and a critical part of God’s bigger plan. As a prayer director, my response is let me get them plugged in to be involved.
But for those being asked the question it might very well be a very hard thing, at many different levels. . .
Their minds are going in a completely different direction. . . “Who is this person?” ” And maybe even, How do I connect them to the ‘prayer people’ within our organization?” and even “How do I begin to do that?”
Lord, how do we bridge the gap? We need to stop to acknowledge and address some of the hesitancy. . . and in the process allow for more people to be involved in the area of prayer!
Sometimes there is a real reason for their hesitancy. It might be a trust issue because of the ‘security issues’ connected to the work we are all involved in with the work of harvest of the Lord.
But our purpose is to pray. . .
ION Prayer is at the core known for bringing the invisible, yet tangible foundation of prayer into focus.
There is a large number of people and different levels so to speak involved in making this happen. This year as we have been praying, being intentional to listen through the 90 Days of Prayer for Pentecost prayer initiative, as a part of the foundation of prayer and for what is coming. While we indeed have been blessed to have groups of pray-ers and intercessors involved within partner groups of orality, there are still so many others that want to pray. We just need to figure out how to get more involved in prayer, but there is always the question of an “on ramp” for them. My #1 question when we are talking of bringing on new people in prayer is “How can we help the larger group of prayer leaders bring them “up to speed so to speak” within the context of the security issues, so that we can involve everyone for the every and all?”
Recently on a group Skype call with experienced global prayer leaders who share similar ministries, I was able to bring up this question. Part of the issue and the reality factor is for many people, security is an issue. Sometimes, those who want to pray have had little to no education in regard to security issues or dealing with communication within sensitive environments, even in the context of prayer. We need to help everyone deal effectively with this issue.
Many of the places we have yet to go, need much prayer!
Let me share a piece of writing with you that might help. . .
Security Issues in Communicating with Field Personnel in Sensitive Environments
By Liz Adleta, Ethnê Ephesus Global Support Team, January 2015
“Communications is the glue of relationships,” according to a well-known psychologist, and the world has exploded with means to carry on communications through electronic means of all sorts: e-mail, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, and so many more now make communicating easier and faster than ever before. But with this speed and accessibility come challenges, particularly as we would communicate with field missionaries working in security sensitive environments around the world.
As you engage directly with strategic field workers living in potentially hostile environments, it is of the utmost importance that you apply certain guidelines as you interact with them for their protection and the protection of their work among the least-reached people groups. Your commitment to listen to and learn from security concerns they have raised is extremely important to your ongoing relationship and your ability to partner with and serve them through prayer.
We know that many governments and religious groups are pro-actively seeking information about church and mission activities. Some security problems come from things like: publishing statistics on believers, baptisms, churches, cell groups and insensitive ‘research teams’ going into the countries of focus. This information gathering takes place both in their own country as well as in other countries including the United States. We want to protect both the national believers and their expatriate partners, paying special attention to those living within the country. We may differ in our opinions on security issues but we must have a common standard which is agreed upon in order to relate to one another with trust and confidence.
Using a “secure” email service helps but does not eliminate security concerns in communicating. Services such as Hotmail and Yahoo have not proven to be secure means of communicating in sensitive environments. Gmail is a better option, but there are free email services such as Hushmail that are more secure. Please obtain and use a secure email service in order to communicate with your field partner.
Even when using a “secure” email service, emails can be accessed occasionally by those seeking information. It is best to never use specific names of people or places when referring to our work or the workers. Use initials or nicknames and best not to link specific people to specific locations for security sake. Disguise names of religious groups or Christian activities such as Isl*m (in place of Islam), Ir*q (in place of Iraq), pr-er (in place of prayer), etc.—this avoids emails being caught by systems scanning emails for certain key words. When in doubt, avoid specifics.
When replying to an email, delete the header information so as not to expose additional email names and addresses or avoid including the email to which you are replying. Especially avoid long strings of email correspondence which may include people’s names, emails and information you do not want being shared.
Clarify in advance the security guidelines preferred by your field team. In this way, they can set the guidelines for you and you can operate within a level in which they feel comfortable.
Field-related information, presentations, photos, and information regarding church and mission activities should be considered confidential and should not be openly shared or reported on in written documents, emails, or public meetings and should not be posted on other websites or even bulletin boards in your church or prayer room. Before reusing any correspondence, be sure to obtain the express written permission of the author first. Names of workers, believers, agencies, or churches should not be given to others outside your prayer community without the prior approval of the person or agency. Be sure to convey the security guidelines to any people who will have access to the information to be sure they understand the urgency and importance of keeping the confidentiality.
With the increase of worldwide social networking (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.), please do not mention your partnership in any of your social networking communications, websites, emails, etc. However, advocacy of the people groups which you have adopted and mobilizing resources, workers, and promoting cooperation is encouraged using approved publicity materials which are available. Check with your field team to access this type of information which can be publicly posted and shared readily. This usually will not mention anything about workers or believers in this people group but will be generic, publicly available information about the people group, their lives and ways to pray specifically for God’s work among them without identifying particular efforts underway.
Thank you for honoring these security guidelines and helping others to understand and adhere to them as well!
Go to http://www.ethne.net/prayer/general-prayer-resources to see this document on the Ethne website.
Conversations such as this will take more time. Join with us in praying for more avenues to share insights like this with each other. You are welcome to use this material (you have permission to use and adapt it for your organization) may it further more prayer, and help you to mobilize, and as a result allow for more prayer.
Liz Adleta, serves the body of Christ in the area of connecting and equipping global prayer leaders. She works with Ethne and The Fellowship of Prayer Strategists. If this term is new for you, check this link: http://www.ethne.net/prayer/fellowship-of-prayer-strategists