Pray the Way: the Power of Prayer in Mission

 Elder Zuhair and Rev Haitham: ordinary men who demonstrate extraordinary faithfulness in Iraq

Elder Zuhair and Rev Haitham: ordinary men who demonstrate extraordinary faithfulness in Iraq

by Marilyn Borst

I constantly remember before our God and Father, your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ…Paul’s opening address to the Church in Thessalonica resonates with similar beginnings to his other epistles. …Without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers… [you are] always in every prayer of mine …constantly mentioning you in our prayers…  Paul was as much a man of prayer as he was a man of action. Remarkable, that his intimate knowledge of the Church of his day and its congregations scattered around the Mediterranean basin seems, in many ways, far superior to our own in this day of the Internet and Facebook. Paul seems to have had an infinite capacity to hold the Church in the forefront of his thoughts and at the beating-center of his heart. I suspect that prayer was that divine conduit that spanned distances and kept him closely connected with Christians around his world.

At 63, I have met a lot of heroes of faith through mission travels around my world. And lest I forget to pray for them, I have taken to carrying around in my Bible a small “cheat sheet” with their names, the mere “mention” of which, in my thoughts, evokes their powerful stories of faith and faithfulness and reminds me to lift them up in prayer: of an elder in Iran who risks his life to share Christ, of an aging Chinese pastor who saw the Church almost crushed but now growing faster than in any other place and at any other time in Christian history, of a doctor in Iraq who could have left long ago but stays to serve his church and his neighbors, of a professor in Pakistan who was left for dead after a grenade attack in his church yet exudes joy because he has been called to help resurrect a Christian college in his land, of a Kenyan accountant who devised a micro-lending program for his church to use as outreach out into an adjacent slum… your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by your hope

About ten years ago, a wildly popular science fantasy television series called “Heroes” focused on the lives of ordinary people who discover they have superhuman abilities to do things like fly or pass through solid matter or spontaneously regenerate. Thankfully, the Global Church has given me a very different standard by which to measure heroism. And the Apostle Paul has given me a model for prayer which calls them to mind, celebrates them before God and encourages me to aspire – even in some small way – to their faithfulness.

Marilyn Borst
Associate Director for Partnership Development, The Outreach Foundation