There are several ways to enhance the missions outreach of the church through prayers for greater cooperation and collaboration.
Partnering increases the power. While doing it on our own is a high value for many, in the Church it is very seldom the best way. God has designed us to work in cooperation for His purposes, not just in one local congregation but all across the Body of Christ. Sometimes that cooperation is expressed in denominational partnership. But God also calls us to a geographic partnership in the city or community where our church exists or in the region/city of the world our church has missionaries or ministries. Paul and Peter often wrote their letters to the churches in a city or region and instructed them to be read in all the different places where the church met.
Paul mentions the partnership in the gospel as one church helping another in resources and prayer, asking for doors to be opened, and blessing to result from his preaching. The Global Day of Prayer, held on Pentecost Sunday each year, is an example of a community-based opportunity to pray with other churches for God’s global mission.
Discover the common interests of other congregations. While it may not be all that common, it is certainly biblical that one church pray for the missions outreach of another and find out how their strengths might come together to better serve God’s kingdom purposes. Do you know the strong missions churches in your city or area? What do they have to offer that you might benefit from in your church? What do you have to offer them? Why not pray for an open door to partner?
Cooperate in training and mentoring. When it comes to world evangelization there is always more to be learned. Often God is revealing a new approach or strategy to someone down the street in another church, across the city, or across the nation or world. It is important to ask God for opportunities to learn and grow. Ask God to direct you to training programs and conferences that will benefit your church. Ask God for the proper equipping opportunities for those your church might be sending out. Ask God to show you what your church has developed that might be of help to another congregation.
Create consortiums and partnerships in financing missions. Sometimes the answer to your prayers for resources is the more effective use of the resources God is giving you. Two churches sending two different people out to do the same task in the same region may not be the best use of resources. Talking together and cooperating can create more effective ways of doing God’s work. Some cities have formed consortiums so that when the committee so decides, immediate funding for a missionary or project can be available. Praying for effective ways to partner might be one of the most important tasks of the missions leadership in the church.
Pray in concert over key mission issues. It is helpful if someone in your church subscribes to a key missions oriented on-line news service. They bring regular reports on kingdom issues from around the world and help expand the vision and excitement for prayer among the people of the church. Of course you can’t cover all issues but you can pick out the ones most relevant to your own missions program or whichever ones the Holy Spirit lifts out for your attention.
Rejoice together. Some cities have found it very encouraging to have a united, citywide, missions conference where prayer, equipping, and rejoicing can encourage and expand the vision for world evangelization. Today the gospel is making extraordinary advances in very difficult places. A citywide conference can highlight these victories and be of great encouragement. Singers and musicians with a heart for missions can also lift the spirits of the people. Videos and special technical presentations are possible when many churches are working together. Most of all it is God’s heart that we work together as one. When we pray together in such a context, we emulate the church in the upper room during that memorable Pentecost when God came in power and many were converted.
As churches create a powerful prayer ministry for world missions, they also create a ministry model that affects the way their missionaries go about their work. “The medium is the message” was a key phrase and the name of a bestselling book a few decades back. Author Marshall McLuhan was convinced that the context and medium of a message influenced its impact as much as the actual words. When prayer is the foundation and framework for our world missions activities, the power of that “medium” will both model the approach and increase the effectiveness of all that is done.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer (An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry) edited by Dan Crawford; (Chapter 72: Equipping the Church for Global Praying by John Quam). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise our God, who is unfailing in love and great in compassion (Psalm 51:1-2). Give thanks for the forgiveness of all your past, present, and future sins through Jesus’ death 2,000 years ago! Confess that your sin has been against God himself (Psalm 51:3-5). Commit to the full integrity of having God’s truth and wisdom in the inner recesses of your heart (Psalm 51:6). Ask God for full cleansing, purity, joy, and gladness (Psalm 51:7-9).
Pray for a pure and steady heart for each of your household members and friends (Psalm 51:10). Ask God for a willing spirit to stay in the joy of his Spirit (Psalm 51:11-12).