TO BREAK THE STRONGHOLDS OF DARKNESS
What does it look like when an entire country is burdened under a spirit of depression? . . . What about ethnic groups that foster bitterness and resentment toward each other under a spirit of nationalism? . . . How about a country full of people wearing debilitating shackles under a spirit of fear? . . . These are just three of the many strongholds identified in one Eastern European country—strongholds that keep people from experiencing the freedom of Christ’s love and salvation.
In this small country of over 3 million people, only between 300 and 500 are disciples of Christ. They are often isolated and face discrimination from their family, friends, and even their cultural religious institution. Evangelical churches are struggling to keep their doors open, and the religion of Islam is on the rise. In the face of such challenges, God alone can bring reconciliation and restoration.
Last October, after a series of discouraging challenges, our small team of four sat in a room with two of our leaders asking the question, “God, as we enter a new year and new season of work, where should we focus our efforts?” The resounding reply was “pray— make prayer your top priority for a whole year.” One common factor in disciple-making movements around the world is that a season of extraordinary prayer almost always precedes the movement. But what does extraordinary prayer even look like? For our team, it looks like
- praying and fasting both individually and corporately,
- equipping our prayer partners to pray specifically,
- prayer walking around our town and communities,
- training short-term teams and volunteers to prayer walk and be sensitive to the Spirit,
- networking with workers around the country to ignite an unparalleled prayer movement.
One of our teammates has been involved in a disciple-making training network with over 30 workers representing 10 different organizations—all desiring to see people in this country become disciples of Jesus. When our team committed to pray, we had no idea that this whole network was ready and willing to commit to extraordinary prayer as well. Our teammate presented the idea, workers were encouraged to join, and a prayer movement took off for this Eastern European country. This spring a prayer website was launched to provide prayer resources including monthly prayer guides. We (including the wider network of workers) began recruiting small groups of three or more people who would commit to pray together at least once a month. As the movement gained traction, more small groups signed up. By May of this year, over 100 groups had signed up to pray regularly and specifically for this country!
One common factor in disciple-making movements around the world: A season of extraordinary prayer almost always precedes the movement.
As workers around the country and groups around the world join together to pray extraordinarily, we believe that God’s light is ready to break through the darkness surrounding this oppressed and war-torn country. There are spiritually seeking people who are hungry for God’s Word and ready to drink the water of life that he offers. They hear Jesus standing at the door and knocking; they are ready to open the door.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit guides us to these people.
- Pray that they would receive the gospel message of salvation and that they would turn from their pasts to follow Christ wholeheartedly.
- Pray that believers around the country would be equipped to battle Satan in his efforts of spiritual warfare against the truth of Christ.
- Be a part of an extraordinary prayer movement; start a small group, commit to pray once a month, and impact an entire country for the sake of Christ!
*Names omitted for security reasons.
Above Photo Credit: iStock.com/zoka74