What colour is your prayer group?

Once when I interviewed an author about his book for job seekers, What Colour Is Your Parachute?, he explained the tongue-in-cheek reason for the title: “If you need to use a parachute, its colour will be the last thing on your mind. The important fact is that you have one, and it works!”    

So whether your local mission prayer group meets monthly, quarterly, in the morning for breakfast, for morning tea, at lunchtime or at night; has people from one church or mission, or a mixture of missions and backgrounds; is young or old – the thing is, do you have one? Does it do what you need it to? Parachutes and missionary prayer groups are vital strategies for saving lives, the latter ultimately in an eternal, kingdom sense. And while parachutes can sit around for some time waiting to be used, prayer groups work by being a regular event.

         Prayer is absolutely foundational in our life and ministry,” says our Personnel Director, Shashi Christian. “‘By prayer’ and in faith we depend on God… The making of disciples begins and is permeated with prayer that is focused on the Father through an intimate relationship, his glory and his purposes so that his Kingdom can come and his will be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven.”

         In the coming 12 months, a prayer initiative of SIM New Zealand aims  to provide more support for our combined prayer effort. In addition to arranging 12 days of prayer in different places, we plan to organise a Virtual Prayer Group, when people set aside a slot of time – either right where they are, or gathering with others, on a particular day. Why do we need this ‘Prayer initiative’?

       These are our goals:

  • to strengthen our existing SIM prayer groups, scattered through the country from Whangaparaoa to Invercargill. Those already in prayer groups can invite friends to experience such a prayer event, with the hope that they’ll want to join more often.
  • to form new prayer groups.
  • to help us listen to what God is saying for mission through our prayer warriors.
  • to support our SIM mission partners in New Zealand and overseas.
  • to strengthen our partnerships with churches.
  • to recruit new SIMers for both short and long term service.
  • to galvanise prayer for peoples, nations, religions.

Some of the many things the Bible gives us to pray for:

  • for boldness and power to share (Acts 4:29-31; Eph 1:18-21)
  • for God’s Word to bear fruit through the lives of disciples (2 Thess. 3;1; Isa. 55:10-11).
  • for environments ripe for witness, and receptivity to the Word (Acts 10-11:18; Luke 8:5-15; John 16:8)
  • for the right words for witnesses (Is. 50:4-5; Eph: 6:18-20)
  • for opportune timing and open doors  (Col. 4:2-6; Acts 10-11)
  • for protection from hindrances and evil (Rom. 15:30-33; Matt. 6:13; John 17:15)
  • toward an abiding life as a witness (John 15:1-8)
  • for the new disciples (Matt. 6:10; 1 Tim. 2:1-4; Rom 10:1-2)
  • for disciple makers (Mat. 9:35-38; Acts 13:1-3)
  • for all disciples to please Christ, to know and do God’s will (Col. 1:9-11; Eph. 1:17-18)

       As Andrew Murray wrote, “Prayer in the name of Jesus is the only way to share in the mighty power which Jesus has received from the Father for His people… effective working first needs effective praying.”  Watch this space for more details about our prayer initiative.

  —Zoë Cromwell