2023 May Prayer Corps

America recently experienced a horrific event, when a Christian school for children was the purposeful target of a shooting. Tragically, three children and three staff members lost their lives, as well as the very broken and confused shooter (who was under medical supervision for emotional disorders).
Christians worldwide are daily the targets of violence, hatred and abuse as persecution is on the rise. And though unusual in America, it appears anti-Christian sentiment may become far more commonplace as we witness the swift unleashing of lawlessness and perversion, and the demon-inspired rage against any who oppose or call out unrighteousness and evil.
How Should We Respond? 

Regardless of the nation you live in, there exist divisions based on race, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, tribalism, caste systems and more. Authority figures are fanning the flames of division, hoping the unrest will create opportunities to impose their political agendas and regime rule.

One method used is creating “victims” of all kinds, and encouraging people to take on the same grievances. Alarmingly, those who think they have been “victimized” (even if never personally) can begin to justify any type of behavior toward those seen as their “oppressors.” The reality is, these are sin-laced human problems that have existed for millennia. And Jesus spoke directly to such issues. He understood that as His followers, we would be hated and opposed (Jn 15:18-25). We could easily fall into a mindset of fear and victimization, then either retreat into silence about our faith, or lash back at others in retaliation with the same anger or hatred.

These are understandable, albeit fleshly, reactions. But not very fruitful. So what did Jesus offer instead, that can help us know how to respond in a way that pleases Him and accomplishes His Kingdom purposes?
Read His Words

Jesus taught His disciples then (and His disciples now), “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:43-45a)

His words, and the powerful principles they reveal, are certainly not the victimhood or defensive postures seen in politics. Instead, they speak to the reality that even when given reason to feel like a victim, you can rise above it by His grace and respond with the unstoppable power of His love. In Christ, you can take what is meant for harm, and allow Him to turn it into something good!

This Christ-like position of faith is already bravely lived out by many persecuted believers worldwide. As they extend love, grace, compassion and service in the face of hatred and rejection, the “Living Gospel revealed” is winning souls to Jesus Christ.

It is a better way. It is the Gospel way!
Hearing the Call

As broken people demand their rights and labels, and insist on the acceptance of their blatant sin, we must remember this: Apart from the love, salvation and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, we are just like them. We were all once rebellious sinners, the “enemies of Christ” (Ro 5:10). So why then, when sinners act like sinners and live out their obvious confusion and despair, are we shocked or repulsed? Those who do not know God – and thus, do not know who they are actually created to be – are blind and a walking disaster, heading deeper every day into more destruction and pain. When mankind tries in vain to be his own God and ignore the instruction manual for successful life on this planet (the Bible), the heartbreaking results are exactly what we are witnessing all around us today.

In the midst of such times, as Christ’s ambassadors, we have a great opportunity to be both the hand and heart of God extended in love, hope and the possibility of salvation to a lost and dying world. We can, like Jesus, look upon them with compassion (Mt 9:36) and pray to see them as He does.

And we can listen – prayerfully and intentionally – for the call to action of our beloved King. Regardless of the individual actions He would prompt each of us to take, the overriding call to every one of us is the same: It is a missions call.
What Can We Do?

You probably know the phrase, “I’m not going down without a fight.” Sounds brave, but let’s put it into a ‘disciple of Jesus’ context. “I’m not going up (the Rapture) without fighting for every lost soul that can be saved!”

It is why Jesus came, “to seek and save that which was lost” (Lk 19:10). Then He undeniably passed the fulfillment of that mission to you and to me (read Mt 28:18-20). In days when sin abounds, remember that grace abounds even more (Ro 5:20).

Here are some simple, yet powerful, ways to respond to His high call to reach our world, and into the broken hearts of people, with His saving grace:

  • Pray, pray and then pray some more! We are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but with dark spiritual forces. The violent struggles we observe on earth are just minor reflections of the massive warfare in the spiritual realm (Eph 6:12). But the weapons of our spiritual warfare are powerful! They can break and bring down the principalities and powers that oppose the truth of God. In prayer, we can neutralize the lies and deception of hell, and see the Lord open eyes and move upon people’s hearts (2Cor 10:3-5).

  • Teach. Many Christians today are weak, untaught and even deceived (1Tim 3:1-9; 4:1-2, Heb. 5:12-14). They are easy prey, picked off or used as tools to promote evil. A longtime diet of “Gospel light” common in so many places, used in order to appease human flesh, has created a weak and ineffective church.

    So take time to study and prepare. The Lord desires to bring in a great Harvest in this generation. And they will need to be taught the full Word of God. The “educated experts” and paid professionals too often have failed. So God is looking for those courageous enough to be used, so that He might show Himself strong through them. You have the Spirit of God. You can read and study. You know the basics of faith, and the simplicity of the Gospel. Begin to ask the Lord how He wants to use you freshly in these days!

  • Love. Our world is filled with confused, deceived, fearful and lonely people. Fatherless, motherless, angry and oftentimes abandoned or abused, they are reaching to anything they think will numb their pain or give them a purpose in life.

    Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He still saves, delivers and heals any person who comes to Him. Allow God to pour His love through you to the lost around you. Let your heart break for what breaks the heart of God. For God so loved the world…

As the salt and light of the world, let us get out of the comfort and safety of the “shaker” and the “basket” and fulfill the Master’s mission and call! The time is now, the call is to you!

1. The Muslim World

Many Christians are living in Muslim-dominated nations. At best, they are considered second-class citizens, and at worst they are hunted down and executed. Yet God is moving in these places, and people continue to come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Here is just some of what these believers are facing:

a. The Taliban is offering bounty on Afghan Christians. In spite of this, believers are praying to stay strong and not deny Christ, and willingly remain there to be witnesses.

b. In Pakistan, hyper-inflation is causing unrest, and a lack of food and other necessities. Christians are only 1% of the population, and are often excluding from aid or protection. Yet, they are attempting to share the little they have with others as a testimony.

c. Parts of Turkey are still suffering greatly from the massive earthquake damage. Christian groups offering aid are being turned away by Muslim authorities because it is a “silent witness” of the One True God’s love. Believers within the country continue to try and help their Muslim neighbors.

d. In Iran, violent protests continue over forcing women to wear head scarves and veils. There have been crazed incidents, such as all-girls school being poisoned. Iranian Christians are stepping up to minister the life, hope and love of Jesus in the unrest.

Please pray:
  • For the Holy Spirit to continue to open doors of opportunity, and the hearts of Muslim peoples, to hear and receive the Gospel.
  • For a growing dissatisfaction and realization of the emptiness within the false Islamic religious practices. May it lead to openness to relationship with the One Living God!
  • For the Lord of the Harvest to raise up more bold laborers from within these nations, and to send forth laborers from other nations as well.
  • That corrupt governing authorities who use the false mask of religion to perpetrate cruelty and persecution be brought down and its members come to salvation.
  • For the protection of believers, and that they be wisely bold in showing God’s love and in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

2. World MAP

Seminars – Plans continue for the World MAP pastors seminars in Zambia this July. Thanks for joining us to lay the spiritual groundwork in prayer for these important events!

We are also working on details for seminars in Pakistan this fall. We need the wisdom, direction, timing and provision of God as we contemplate these much-needed seminars for an upcoming generation of Christian pastors in this Muslim nation.

Shepherd’s Staffs – Our handheld ministry training books are currently being shipped in large quantities for distribution in Brazil, West Africa, Central and South America and more! Please pray for the logistics and safety of these shipments, and for provision to cover the costs.
As salt and light, may we rise up to be poured out as a preserving agent and shine brightly in the midst of this rotting and dark world. May the Light of the World freshly reveal the life-changing power of the Gospel through you. Jesus is active today, and He would say to you and me, “Follow Me!”

Rising with you,
Dr. Frank and Wendy Parrish,
World MAP