It begins far out in the ocean. Shock waves from an earthquake beneath the ocean floor push a wall of water toward the distant shore. The tsunami builds in size and intensity as it thunders toward land.
This is the vision of Prayer Wave Iran '98 — World Day of Prayer and Fasting. The goal is to involve more than ten million believers in a wave of prayer that will thunder around the world, sweeping thousands — perhaps even millions — of Iranians into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Each year, the International Mission Board sponsors a day of prayer and fasting for world evangelization. This year's emphasis, which focuses on the Muslims of Iran, will be promoted among other evangelical groups under the Prayer Wave Iran '98 theme.
Prayer organizers hope to mobilize the body of Christ in a strategic, synchronous, unified wave of prayer and fasting that will sweep the globe in twenty-four hours, beginning at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean at 6 p.m., Friday, May 29.
The "wave" will build in strength as inhabitants of each consecutive time zone begin their World Day of Prayer and Fasting. The result is a wave of prayer that encircles the globe, uniting and enabling believers to reach unreached people groups in Iran, particularly Persian Iranians, for Christ.
Iran has more than forty unreached people groups. Each unreached people group represents thousands, even millions of people with little or no access to the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. Each group has its own name, language, culture, and history.
Strategy coordinators are building the foundations for work among unreached Iranian peoples to: locate them geographically, develop means to reach them with the Gospel, raise up believers among them, disciple those believers, and begin an indigenous church planting movement. All that is done must be bathed in prayer.
An Attainable Goal
Organizers believe the goal of ten million believers can be reached by networking "prayer stations" — individuals, local churches, cell groups, small group Bible studies, families, mission-focus circles, Sunday school classes, prayer partners, and missions organizations. Anyone willing to commit to pray for prayer-wave needs can serve as a "prayer station." One Great Commission missions organization recognized the Holy Spirit's leading to participate in Prayer Wave Iran '98. While meeting with a Prayer Wave Iran '98 representative, the director of the organization received a memo from his intercessory prayer coordinator. The memo said: "I feel burdened to pray for Iranian Muslims."
An international, interdenominational prayer network combining existing networks is an awesome weapon against Satan.
Prayer Wave organizers envision the following progression. "Deep calls to deep," and God's people intercede for work among the Muslim World. As God honors the prayers of His humbled people, missionaries respond with bold strategies, ready to share the gospel with Iranian Muslims when, as in Jericho, the "walls" fall down. Believers journey to major cities around Iran, prayerwalking and praising God for the victory that is already His. Muslims seek God because of dreams and visions that are inexplicable through their faith. Agencies that have focused on Muslim evangelism for years rejoice as believers commit themselves to prayer and support.
The "wave" is building. Commit to Prayer Wave Iran '98 — World Day of Prayer and Fasting. Schedule 6 p.m., May 29 to 6 p.m., May 30 to pray and fast for the Muslims of Iran. Agree to pray for all unreached people groups in Iran throughout the month of May, but especially for the Persians of Iran. Allow the Lord to create a burden in your heart for the millions of Muslims in Iran who have never heard the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. Iran is not a "closed country." God is working in Iran. Let us meet Him there.
A free prayer kit available from the International Mission Board will help you learn more about the Iranian Muslims. The kit may be ordered by calling (800) 866-3621. Specific prayer requests for the day of prayer and fasting are available at the IMB web site (http://www.imb.org).
Information also is available by sending an e-mail to [email protected] with "The Wave" in the subject line.
In a Dark Land
by Randy Sprinkle
Salah. The five-times-a-day Muslim call to prayer. It is the most haunting memory that most visitors bring back from a Muslim nation. Iran is a Muslim nation — but it is not a nation beyond the reach of God's love in Christ.
To see Iran through the Islamic revolution is to see violence and darkness and to feel disgust and even revulsion rising within us. But to see Iran through God's eyes is to see beyond the veil and see precious people without hope, without light, without the love of God. And it is to see beyond ourselves and find in our hearts compassion and love and supplication.
How God's heart aches for the Persians of Iran. How He desires to embrace them in His arms of love. The barriers to His love may seem too thick … but they are not. The walls may look too high … but they are not. All that is needed are intercessors who will hear His call to prayer for the Persians.
Do you hear it? More importantly, would you heed it?
"Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine upon them."
Randy Sprinkle is director of the International Prayer Strategy Office, International Mission Board.
Commissioning Nearly 100 Southern Baptist Missionaries
As the highlight of the three-day Northeast Missions Celebration, sixty-eight North American Mission Board and approximately twenty-seven International Mission Board personnel were to be commissioned May 1 at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, NJ.
The event is jointly sponsored by the Baptist Conventions of New England, New York, Pennsylvania/South Jersey, and Maryland/Delaware. Such a jointly sponsored worship service has never before been held in the northeast, according to spokesman Dan Nicholas of the Baptist Convention of New England.
The lasting benefit, say organizers, will be increased vision for missions and support of the Cooperative Program. For that reason, the commissioning program included an offering to support the Cooperative Program, taken by the missionaries, combined with a call to missions commitment.