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Why We Pray

Our first connection is with the Father

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Editor’s note: In June 2010, Rev. Nick Stumbo led a short-term missions team to Sarajevo, the capital of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

One of the common themes we encountered in our time overseas, whether we were talking to international workers or to local believers, was that Sarajevo is a difficult place for the gospel to advance. As in much of modern Europe, people here are very unresponsive to the message of Jesus.

From my perspective, the issue is not a lack of international workers. We met as many workers as believers. There are Christ followers at the university, Christ followers working in the city, Christ followers working with the poor. All report the same experience: little to no response.

The issue is not the lack of a clear message. The pastors here are passionate preachers of God’s Word, and they teach Scripture accurately and in ways accessible to anyone.

The issue is not a lack of passion. The believers are crying out for their people. They want to see God change this city with the love of Christ. The worship is powerful. And these passionate people are making repeated, creative attempts to reach out. Yet the result is the same: little to no response.

From my perspective, the issue is almost entirely spiritual. For whatever reason, darkness has a grip on this city and for whatever reason the Light has not yet penetrated. And I know of only one way to enter into a spiritual battle: PRAYER. We could easily give more money, send more people or offer more ideas and encouragement. But none of these are lacking. What is lacking is a true movement of God’s Spirit in the hearts and minds of the Bosnian people.

So, may I plead with you? Become a prayer warrior for missions. If you give money, give as much prayer. Our money is
needed, but the spiritual battle must be won. How can you pray?

  1. Pray that spiritual darkness and oppression will lift in the field you are burdened for.
  2. Pray that the enemy’s power to hold people in bondage and oppression will be broken.
  3. Pray that hearts and eyes would be opened to the love of Jesus.
  4. Pray that God would miraculously and supernaturally reveal Himself.
  5. Pray for spiritual breakthrough.
  6. Pray that God would empower and strengthen His people there. And finally . . .
  7. Pray that the light of Christ would shine and that God would win the victory.

May God convince each one of us deeply that prayer is not the prelude to the work, but that prayer is the primary work of the people of God.

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