Commissioned to Pray

Ask for the Nations" (2012)
Ask for the Nations” (2012)

Can you picture it? A band of students, pastors and friends gathering together to pray for the nations. Imagine – young people sharing their lives, their hearts, and a passion for the lost. This is exactly how the World Mission Prayer League began! I have often wondered about those days in the mid-1930s when passionate young adults came together with a burden to pray. What were they studying in school? Where were they working? Which countries did they feel especially burdened for? I love to tell the story of how WMPL began: young adults joined together in prayer that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers into his harvest (Luke 10:2). I think I can sometimes see pretty clearly what those early days might have looked like… because they still continue today!

Ask For the Nations (AFN) is WMPL’s young adult prayer community based in Minneapolis, gathering every week for prayer and fellowship and to participate in the Mission of God. What does it mean to participate in the Mission of God? For many the word “mission” conjures up images of grass huts, tribal clothing and a faraway place where “missionaries” carry out the Mission of God. With that perspective, participation certainly requires travel. For others, playing a role in the Mission of God takes the form of sharing the gospel – words and testimonies of who God is, who Jesus is, what he did on the cross, and the truth of his love and salvation. Participation in the Mission of God is telling his story.

For many young adults around the world, participating in the Mission of God can be described in a simple word – Pray. Every Tuesday night college students and young adults gather together at the mission home in Minneapolis, committed to participate in God’s global mission through prayer. Some are nurses, others are studying elementary education. Some work in the inner city, others are in graduate school. They meet to worship, to pray for one another, and most especially, to “ask for the nations” (Ps. 2:8). Believing that the desire of God’s heart is for all people to live within a relationship with him, they stand in the gap each week for people around the world, praying passionately for the people, governments, struggles, and salvation of specific countries.

In the early days of WMPL, some who gathered together to pray felt called to join the harvest themselves! God continues to call young people to the nations through prayer. Within the last year, young adults from AFN served during their summer vacations in Kenya, Russia, Thailand, Honduras, and the U.S. Others traveled to Pakistan and South Africa. This past June, the young adult prayer community gathered around Jenna, Hannah, Gaby and Ben as they prepared for long-term missionary service.

I wish each and every one of you could have been present on that evening when the young adult fellowship of WMPL prayed for, laid hands on and sent off friends from their own community. It was powerful. The commitment to prayer, expressions of friendship and partnership, and passionate prayers offered on behalf of those four young adults by those “staying behind” were truly a blessing to witness. AFN continues to pray for, offer updates about and communicate with each of these friends. Praise God for the partnerships within this community, and within this generation! Please pray for the young adults connected to WMPL as they participate in God’s global mission through prayer and service and seek his will for their lives. Pray that God would lead more to join in asking for the nations.

Adapted from Fellow Workers, Fall 2009, pp. 10,11.

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