The World Mission Prayer League is not, in the first place, a missionary sending agency. I hope that you are not surprised.
Yes, we send missionaries. We fund and administer missionary projects. But this is not our primary work. We are a “prayer league,” a community of men and women who have committed together, first of all, to pray.
Our Constitution pledges us to it (Art 2, Par 1). Our Handbook repeats the concern. We fulfill our purpose as an organization, first of all, by prayer (¶ 11a). This is our “watchword.” We aim for the “power and blessing of definite, frequent, believing and united prayer” (¶ 16).
Early in the life of the Mission, Ernest Weinhardt wrote:
“Prayer is our working method. Prayer takes our eyes off circumstances, off appearances and focuses them fully upon the Lord of the harvest. He alone has the answers. He alone has the resources. Is there a need for laborers? We pray. Do we have a need for money, for government permits, for transportation, for equipment, for anything? We pray. We know no other way to meet the situation.”
This is among our deepest “values” and organizational commitments. How should it affect our thinking?
- Prayer reminds us that participation in mission is always participation in relationship. Efficient programs and clever projects do not “grow” us in mission. We grow in mission as we grow in relationship-our day-by-day, sharing, praying, faith relationship with Jesus. If we would impact the world about us, we must welcome Jesus within us.
- Prayer reminds us that human strength and possibilities do not define the horizon of mission. God defines the horizon. In prayer we “factor” God into otherwise impossible equations. And the impossible becomes possible.
- Prayer should remind us that we do not set our own agenda. We are under the commission and direction of Another. In prayer we address him as Lord. “Making disciples of all nations” is not our idea. We are a people under marching orders — and prayer opens a line with the Commander-in-Chief.
- Prayer reminds us that “mission work” involves more than “professionals” -the men and women who travel as missionaries to unfamiliar places. Mission work is God’s work. On their knees, every Christian can participate.
The harvest is plentiful. Pray therefore…