“A shepherd cares for a (usually) small group. An apostle launches dozens, hundreds or thousands of new communities of Christ-followers. The church today is flooded with leaders who fit the shepherd model, caring for people who are already assembled, managing what’s been built and helping to meet people’s needs. But we have far too few leaders who have the spiritual gift of apostleship.” – Carey Nieuwhof
The great Apostle Paul was formerly what we would have called a terrorist by his former name Saul. His ministry was birthed by being sent out from the church at Antioch. His sending in the first century A.D. was undergirded by the prophets and teachers in Antioch who were ministering to the LORD in prayers and fasting (Acts 13:1-3). This sending was a powerful dynamite fueled by a collective devotion and prayer to the LORD.
Another sending, 164 years ago two ordinary English home-makers in India bowed in prayerful dependence to God. By extraordinary feats countering stubborn taboos they blazed the trail for Indian women to be freed within their society to read and write, to hold Scriptures in their hands, to be given the right to live, to be seen and heard! Out of Zenana into the public arena! That sending was the birth of Interserve and a prayer fellowship that became an international movement of courage and sacrificial love.
The frontline of any battle is where ground is gained or lost. God’s people are like soldiers in the frontlines. Their gain are lives and communities transformed through encounter with Jesus Christ, in the hard places. But, there is yet another front we do not always see.
As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset (Exodus 17:11-12). Ground in God’s kingdom advance is also gained when God’s people go on an earnest onslaught of prayer intercession.
What is it to intercede like watchmen posted on the walls, while a battle rages below in the frontlines?
10:40pm Central Asia: a text came in from one of our Partners in Central Asia :
“Explosion just went off. I’m outside. Little bit confused. Otherwise, pray things will work out and I will get home safe.
"Supposedly near my home. So not sure if I’m supposed to go home or not.
(a minute later)
I’m home. 4 killed, over 20 injured.”
“LORD, You’ve done it again. You have been Psalm 91 to our beloved sister. The last time there were 50 explosions in one day and no one was hurt.
Your courageous daughter dwells in the secret place of You the Most High and thus she shall abide under the shadow of You the Almighty…
A thousand may fall at her side. And ten thousand at her right hand; but it shall not come near her.
LORD, I recall how when there was that huge earthquake, the local women came out of their homes crying in fear. Yet Your beloved daughter was able to hug a local woman and say ‘Trust God. I have faith. I have faith’
By her mere presence there, she has brought Your presence and Your peace.”
What is it like to have the runner return jumping in joy, reporting good news?
A father who is back on a short break said to me, “Christy, I need to tell you this. Thank you for praying for us at Interserve’s monthly prayer meeting. My daughter was falling sick every so often since we returned to Cambodia but right after our prayer coordinator led the prayer for us at Interserve’s prayer meeting, she stopped falling sick almost immediately.
We live in a mosquitoes infested area, where in one night I can easily kill 100 mosquitoes without a blink. We daily face a very real threat of contracting dengue. Yet, God protected us. We know we are covered by much prayers!”
In 2015, we prayed for these countries:
Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Bangladesh & Egypt.
Myanmar saw fair and good elections.
Saudi reported a record number of women elected into the Parliament.
In Indonesia, the police stepped up security to protect churches during the Christmas celebrations.
Our prayers count.
This year, join us in Watch 6267, inspired by Isaiah 62:67.
Pray for the eight regions/people groups we have identified as one of the least served people:
Refugees in Turkey,
The Middle East and North Africa,
Myanmar’s minorities (the Rohingyas) and
The diaspora in Malaysia.
Adopt one of these challenges in 2016! Whatsapp 9179 3633 for an electronic prayer card! The victory is ours: LORD, keep our hands high and steady till the sunset!
Note: Zenana is a term for women-only quarters!