The missionary church is a praying church. The history of missions is a history of prayer. Everything vital to the success of the world’s evangelization hinges on prayer.
Are thousands of missionaries and tens of thousands of native workers needed ?” Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send forth laborers into His harvest.”
Is a vast increase in gifts required to prosecute adequately the enterprise? Prayer is the only power that will influence God’s people to give with purity of motive and with real sacrifice of self. Prayer alone will overcome the gigantic difficulties which confront the workers in every field.
Nothing but prayer will strengthen the weak, tried and tempted native Christians, who have been raised up from lives of sin and degradation, and give them the evangelistic impulse. It is in answer to prayer that the Holy Spirit is poured out in mighty Pentecostal power on the workers and Christian communities in the far-off, needy fields.
Hope and confidence should not be placed in the extent and perfection of organizations, nor in the experience which has been accumulated and the agencies and methods which have been devised in a long century of missions, nor in the unusual strength of the missionary body, nor in the multitude who have been gathered from every nation and race and faith into the native Church, nor in the wonderful resources and facilities of the home Church, nor in far-sighted and comprehensive plans, nor in enthusiastic forward movements and inspiring watchwords.
It is easy to magnify human personality and agencies. Prayer recognizes that God is the source of life and light and energy. Let methods be changed, therefore, if necessary, that prayer may be given its true place.
Let there be days set apart for intercession; let the original purpose of the monthly concert of prayer for missions be given a larger place; let missionary prayer cycles be used by families and by individual Christians; let the best literature on prayer be circulated among the members of the Church; let special sermons on the subject of intercession be preached.
By these and by all other practical means a larger, deeper, wider spirit of prayer should be cultivated in the churches. The Church has not yet touched the fringe of the possibilities of intercessory prayer.
Her largest victories will be witnessed when individual Christians everywhere come to recognize their priesthood unto God and day by day give themselves unto prayer. If added power attends the united prayer of two or three, what mighty triumphs there will be when hundreds of thousands of consistent members of the Church are with one accord day by day making intercession for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom.
John R Mott, The Evangelization of the Word in This Generation