2023 February Prayer Corps

I do not have to tell you that we live in times of escalating turmoil, both here and abroad. Covers are being torn away, revealing deceptions, evil agendas, corruption and more. The things we may have hoped in, trusted or believed are being shaken. Our plans for the future are becoming disrupted. Friends and family are even faltering in their faith in the Lord.

Though our natural tendencies might drive us to fear, our God Who knows our frame has told us again and again that fear is not the answer. His words from Genesis (15:1) to Revelation (1:17) remind us, “do not fear”; or “do not be afraid.” Phrases like these are actually recorded 365 times in the Bible – one for each and every day of the year!

Remember that nothing has ever happened, is happening now, or ever will happen that takes our God by surprise. He knows the beginning from the end, and His sovereign, eternal plans cannot be derailed (Dan 7:14; Rom 16:25-27). He will meet us in the midst of whatever we face, and help us to be led by His Spirit.

Hope and Action

God has told us not to fear. Fear will distort our vision and cause us to clutch at things that will ultimately crumble or fail us. It drives us to unhealthy words and deeds. We will either over-control, or run away and hide in silence in the face of unrighteousness.
But thankfully, whenever the Lord says, “do not,” He also provides plenty of things that we can do instead. God has given us many reasons to both hope and take action in the face of looming challenges.

The Lord even prophesied through Daniel about these stressful days we are in: But the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits (Dan 11:32).
So take hope! God wants to help you and use you for His purposes. Here are some points of strategic focus that can strengthen us and make us unafraid and effective servants in the hands of God.
1. Discernment. We need spiritual discernment now more than ever. As the devil ramps up his attacks, his minions are active in manipulations, deceptions and temptations to bring about death and destruction. We are at war with demonic forces that are opposed to the rightful Kingship of Jesus. And the contested prize is the eternal souls of every tribe, tongue, nation and generation!

We must not be uninformed or ignore the very real danger signs at every level of human society. Instead, we need clear, Holy-Spirit vision to assess how and where our adversary is at work, and how to combat his strategies using spiritual warfare.

We also need the Holy Spirit’s leading, every moment, in both big and small things. This is not a time to be impulsive or reactionary. Instead, let us be watchful and led by the Spirit, in every word, decision and deed.

Cry out for discernment (1Ki 3:9-12; Prov 2:3). Spend time every day in God’s presence and in His Word. Wait upon Him. Ask Him to open your eyes and heart to His ways. Take time to listen and obey His every prompting.

Why? Because you and I – every one of us – has a key role to fulfill in God’s unfolding plans. It is why you are here. This leads to our next point of focus.
2. Wisdom. Knowledge is about facts, ideas and truths. Wisdom is knowing what to do with what you know.

As Christ’s ambassadors, we must engage with the world we live in, keeping one key goal in mind: The overall purpose of bringing the lost to Jesus. The Bible reveals that, he who wins souls is wise (Prov 11:30). Wisdom helps us respond rightly to the wide variety of questions, objections, accusations, complacent hedonism and deceived confusion in our world. Wisdom is a gift from God, and it is ours for the asking (Jas 1:5,6). Wisdom, combined with Holy Spirit anointing, are powerful to the pulling down of strongholds (2Cor 10:4,5).

In Christ, we have His wise answers to life’s deepest, hardest questions, pains and needs that are all around us. Let us seek Jesus, and His wisdom!
3. Faith, hope, trust. These three vital components of life in Christ are inextricably linked. Each one of these profound mindsets/convictions/life-stances feeds into and strengthens the other.

Those given over to the world are consumed by fear, anger, selfishness and emptiness. They are confused, blinded and deceived, but also deeply cynical – especially about Christian faith or moral values. They mock and deny, even using the names of God as curse words.

And yet, in reality, they are searching for something authentic, true and life-transforming. They want to be known, wanted and loved. What they are truly looking for is JESUS!

Will He be seen in us? He will, if we daily allow our hearts to be filled with:

  • Faith – a faith that will not fail, because it is faith in Jesus alone. Faith in Who He is, all that He has said and done, and in what only He will do!
  • Hope – a hope that abides, no matter the circumstances, because it is hope based upon Jesus alone. He is our only hope!
  • Trust – a trust that endures, assured that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. Trust in Him Who is trustworthy, praiseworthy, and the One who will see us through!

The days ahead may be filled with many things. But let us remain diligent and Spirit-directed in our prayers and actions – unto the glory and praise of Jesus!

The Chinese Communist government recently lifted some of its most stringent Covid restrictions. Untold millions of Chinese have profoundly suffered during the pandemic, but there is some good news. The Church is finally allowed to meet publicly again!
Pastors have expressed real excitement over the possibilities of gathering “face to face” as a body again.

Please pray:
  • For Chinese believers to walk in faith and not be constrained by fear of sickness or government repression.
  • That pastors and leaders would boldly lead their congregations with fresh anointing and teach the pure Word of God.
  • For God’s favor upon individual believers, and the church, to be protected.
  • That believers would be bold witnesses for Christ, in the midst of a culture dominated by a fear of death and disillusioned with empty promises of oppressive governments and false religions.
  • For ministries to continue to send resources to encourage and train pastors for ministry, supplying what is needed for discipleship and growth.
Devastated by almost a decade of war, Syria is on the brink of total collapse. More than 90% of the population lives in poverty and 70% (15.3 million people) need humanitarian aid just to survive. Critical infrastructure has crumbled so badly that most of the country is in a perpetual blackout at night. Gasoline for generators is severely limited, with the government and the select wealthy taking most of the resources that are available.

Despite the severe challenges, the Gospel is moving powerfully among the Syrian people.

Please pray:
  • That born-again Syrian Christians would be bold to share their testimony and their few resources with the unsaved, trusting God to multiple provision.
  • For a new, righteous government to be raised up to depose the current corrupt and violent one.
  • For open doors for international aid and ministry groups to gain entry to Syria and safely fulfill their missions.
  • That the international community would join to impose peace, order and lawfulness in the country.
Good news! The project of reprinting tens of thousands of multiple Indian languages of The Shepherd’s Staff has finally been completed. The last books are on their way to our distributor in India, who is placing them into the hands of active church leaders and church planters throughout India. Though this has been a long project, it included digitizing every Indian language version before it was reprinted. This will allow much more versatile use and distribution of the materials into the future.

Now, World MAP will also digitize every other remaining language of The Shepherd’s Staff as well. Thanks for praying for this important work!    

Do not be dismayed, be strong and of good courage. For the Lord your God, the everlasting King, is with you and will triumph mightily!
Being led with you,
Dr. Frank and Wendy Parrish,
World MAP
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