Meanderings of a Minister

Thanking God for 2015


Many people in our church are praying for the world through a resource, Pray for the World:  A New Prayer Resource from Operation World.  Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of our world or a different country and give information on how to pray for the spread of the gospel in that country.  As I was reading the introductory information on the world in the first few days’ entries, I noticed a number of things for which we can thank God as we start a new year.

  1. There is an amazing harvest of new believers throughout the Majority World. If you are not familiar with this term, it is a term that means the parts of the world where most of the population lives.  There is a mighty movement of God throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America.  There are now very few countries that don’t have at least some Christians.
  2. Evangelical Christianity has grown faster in the last 60 years than any other world religion. It is up from 2.9% of the world’s population to 7.9%.
  3. We are down to only about 200 million people (out of 6.9 billion) who do not have at least some scripture in their heart language. Bible translation work is ongoing and this number should be drastically reduced even by the end of 2016.
  4. Social media, the internet, and mobile technologies have enabled a growing network of prayer support and connectedness around the world like never before.
  5. The Great Commission has become globalized. There are actually more missionaries being sent around the world from the Majority World countries than the Western World.  This is great because it means that churches throughout the world are enabling gospel witness instead of waiting for it to be done for them.
  6. Areas that have been in the news for war, catastrophes, etc., have actually become places of great gospel witness as the desperation of the governments and the people have opened the doors to disaster relief from various evangelical denominations. The groups have come with material support, but more importantly have come sharing the gospel.

Consider this quote from the book:

Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24), we need Jesus to open our eyes to the hidden truth.  God is answering prayers, and doing wonderful things in the world!  This has been a remarkable generation in church history.  Who among us, 30 years ago, could have imagined more than 300 (my correction) million Chinese Christians, or massive people movements to Christ in Iran and Algeria, or breakthrough in Cambodia and Nepal?  Only God!  So we begin with answers to prayer, with all gratitude and praise to our Lord.  And we persist in prayer for the things that to our eyes seem impossible, because nothing is impossible with God.

Would you join me this year in praying that the Great Commission will be fulfilled in our lifetime?  In this year?  Will you join me in praying for the believers scattered around the world?  Will you give to missions, go on missions, and ask God to make missions successful like no other time in your life?

Let’s believe, pray, stand, go, give, weep, laugh, and celebrate what God is doing…TOGETHER!  And let us start by thanking God for all He has done as we look forward to what He is going to do.