Day 20— February 4, 2017: Pray for Unreached People
During our 3rd and final week of prayer and fasting, let’s focus our prayers outward for our lost friends and family, our community, Miami, and the world. Today’s devotional was written by Joey Wood.
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” — Luke 10:2
7 billion. That number looks like 7,000,000,000. It’s the number of people on the planet. Of that 7 billion, there is another sizable number: 2.8 billion. That is the number of people on earth who are in a category called “unreached and/or unengaged.” An unreached people group is one in which less than 2% of the population follows Christ. That means that members of these groups will be born, live their life, and die- without ever hearing the Gospel. No Jesus. No hope of salvation. Just to be clear, that number looks like 2,800,000,000.
That number is divided between 6,900 people groups. It may look like some overwhelming numbers, but a closer look shows a much more personal story.
In 2011, I remember watching the news blare across the BBC network. It was the largest ever recorded tsunami to hit Japan, and the fourth largest in world history. Its waves reached over 130 feet tall and wreaked havoc for miles into the city of Sendai. I remember feeling my stomach churn backwards and my heart beating out of my chest. I wept for strangers as if I had known them as family. Close to 16,000 Japanese men, women, and children had just died. However, the worst feeling was knowing that the entire nation of Japan is unreached. The nationality of Japanese is considered one of the largest unreached peoples out of all 6,900.
I wish that I could write the sense of urgency into your heart and mind. There are countless multitudes of people grasping onto false hopes, while you and I have the only means to give them true hope.
Now, not later, is the time to take action, and there are different ways to do this. Some of us need to sell everything, pack up and become a missionary overseas. But for many of us, it means taking action in our immediate context. Whether you’re a teacher, nurse, lawyer, electrician, student, or mom — whatever your place is — you are already on mission. You’re an accountant on mission, a care worker on mission, a driver on mission. You’re a missionary wherever you are.
You can also take action by sending. It takes time, resources, and manpower to reach the unreached. None of that, however, is possible without people willing to give sacrificially. This intentional giving is what puts feet on the ground in foreign missions. It’s the fuel that sends workers to the harvest.
Whatever means you choose, it all begins with knowing the urgency. In your time of reflection and prayer, ask the Lord to show how you can answer this call.
Lord, break my heart for the world around me. Give me a burden for the unreached and a desire to see the Gospel reach unreached people. Show me how I can serve and act to see this happen. Work in the hearts and minds of those who don’t know You, and stir up the unreached peoples to search for You.
Take a moment to meditate on the song “Tears of the Saints” by Leeland, featuring Dr. John Piper.