PRAYING FOR THE LEAST-REACHED PEOPLE GROUPS
"Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." --Habakkuk 1:5
What is the problem?
2,000 years ago Jesus commanded His disciples, "Go make disciples of all 'nations'."
More than 6,800 of the 16,000 "ethnê" or ethnic groups living today, to which He referred, lack a community of believers with adequate numbers and resources to successfully fulfil His command. Simply stated, 1 in 4 people remain without reasonable access to the gospel—The Forgotten One Fourth World! This simply means that, although there may be a few believers or even a few churches, they are a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize their own people group.
Where are they?
These groups are found around the world, not only in the so-called 10/40 Window nations.
Go to this link http://www.joshuaproject.net/ethne.php?es=6 to find the least-reached people groups in each nation.
Why are they still least-reached?
· GEOGRAPHIC BARRIERS: remote, harsh climate, difficult access, or nomadic.
· LINGUISTIC BARRIERS: illiterate, no scripture in their language, unwritten language, terminology confusion.
· POLITICAL BARRIERS: restricted access, evangelism forbidden, hostile environment (war?).
· CULTURAL BARRIERS: persecution, closed to change, Christianity viewed as a "foreign" religion.
· UNRECOGNIZED: believers unaware of the need or the group, small in size, prejudice, isolated from the society in which they live.
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO CHANGE THIS?
Jesus told His disciples in Luke 10:1-3, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Jesus' solution to the dilemma of the plentiful harvest with few workers was prayer.
In her book, Intercession, Thrilling and Fulfilling, Joy Dawson echoed this call to prayer, "God's priority plan to reach the un-evangelized is the mobilization of His people in united prayer. We are to pray with clean hearts, according to His will and His ways from His Word, in faith, energized by the Holy Spirit."
Prayer changes things! Prayer…
How can we pray effectively?
Begin with these five simple prayers based on scripture:
Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f27IfBpAow to view the "Unreached—Did You Know?" video to see the challenge remaining.
Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F10apDwF4B0 to be challenged to be alert and ready for the opportunities God is pouring out in response to believing prayer for these unreached groups.
Ethnê partners have prepared tools to facilitate specific prayer for the remaining Least-Reached Peoples:
One is a DVD set of 12 video testimonies of believers formerly from unreached peoples now reaching others, one for each region with coordinating bulletin inserts and prayer bookmarks [Find these at www.gcni.org/pray40 ]
These videos are available at www.youtube.com in English as follows (other languages are available on DVD):
Other useful links:
· Joshua Project www.joshuaproject.net/ethne.php is joining hands to provide further detailed information on the Least-Reached Peoples;
· Global Prayer Digest is offering day-by-day prayer guides region by region for the least-reached peoples through the year www.globalprayerdigest.org.
· PrayerGuard provides links to guide you through three-minute scripture-based prayers www.prayerguard.net .
· Etnopedia provides a growing number of multi-lingual profiles on the unreached groups at www.etnopedia.org and ten different languages are available at present.
· Love to Skype? www.unreachedprayer.org offers you the opportunity to build a Skype prayer team around a particular unreached group of your choice and to link to others with the same passion.
From the rising of the sun to its going down, the Name of the Lord is to be praised.
The effective, fervent prayers of a righteous man avail much! Join hands with God and believers around the world month by month moving from east to west in this Harvest-Linked Prayer Strategy (HeLPS), peoples joining together to glorify God among all peoples…Ethne to Ethne…Pass it on…in your own network…in your own language.