2023 September Prayer Corps


It’s that time of year again when kids are returning to school, the weather is changing, crops are ready for harvest and the holidays are soon approaching. These events send clear signals that a change of seasons is upon us.

But there are also serious and major points of change of a different kind around us, filled with much uncertainty and disorder. We see our culture spiraling downward, economic challenges, political strife and escalating international tensions. These reflect an unfortunate season of change that many have not experienced before, especially in western nations.

These “beginning of sorrows” (birth pains) are only reflections in the natural realm of the raging conflict in the spiritual realm. Sadly, these changes-toward-chaos will catch many by surprise – even in the Church. Those not spiritually attuned will be caught off guard, as they then just yearn for “the good ol’ days” or become frozen in fear and spiritual immobility.
What Now? 

This is certainly not the time to be lulled into a spiritual stupor. We must instead press into Kingdom activity, becoming Christ-followers who are strong in the gift of discernment!

The Bible reveals a remarkable characteristic of the family tribe of Issachar as they were being numbered for David’s army: “…of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1Ch 12:32). Here, discernment is defined for us, and its purpose explained.

This powerful tool is more than just the ability to “see” what is occurring around us. It is also to know what to do about what we are discerning! Is there more we can learn about being a discerning follower of Jesus? (Mt 16:1-3)
A Greater Purpose 

Discernment is often defined as knowing critical information about the heart of a person to minister effectively to them; or knowing the true meaning or intent of a matter, event or trend either in the world or the Church. Both of these areas of discernment are certainly needed.

But let us not miss a critical point about discernment, which is to truly know what God is saying, and also what God is doing (or about to do).

Having a Spirit-given sense of these things will have a profound impact on our personal lives, and on those within our sphere of influence.
For You and Me

Discernment, and its profound knowing that is given by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, is something God wants each one of us to receive! Yes, you – not just great prophets, preachers or pastors. For God’s Spirit lives in each of His children that He leads (Ro 8:14).

In the season ahead, we can expect to see some of the greatest changes and challenges in our lifetime, both globally and in the Church. God is still looking for those who will move with Him, and help to lead others to follow Him more closely. In other words, to “know what Israel [the people of God] ought to do.”
Some Benefits

By knowing what the Lord is saying and discerning how He is working, we will receive multiple blessings:

1. Our Lord will lead us from spiritual victory to spiritual victory, even in trying circumstances (2Co 2:14). David learned to ask for, listen to and obey God’s guidance in conflict (1Ch 14:8-17). As we follow God’s directives, He will bring us through to victory over the works of darkness. It may not be without pain or seeming loss, but His victory that was already won for us through the Cross is assured.

2. The confidence of true faith. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God” (Ro 10:17). True faith that moves mountains can only come by hearing God’s freshly-anointed word quickened to our hearts by the Holy Spirit as we seek Him. When we know what He has said, it builds a firm foundation of confidence in the Lord regardless of life’s circumstances or the opinions of others.

3. The strength and endurance needed for this life and for effective ministry to others. This comes when we yield to God’s maturing process in our lives (He 5:12-14), and face opposition by His power (“resistance training”). Our obedience from the heart to respond to the Word and the Spirit’s leading, conviction and correction is what separates us from the world – while simultaneously making us a testimony used by the Holy Spirit that will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment to come (Jn 16:8).

4. An everlasting joy that transcends this life and our broken world. Happiness will come and go based on circumstances or feelings. But true joy, born of God, is ours when we walk in right relationship with the Lord (Ro 14:17). And this joy that only comes from Him is also our strength! (Ne 8:10). What a glorious witness when those who are sinking and lost in the mire of this world can see others walking in joy, despite the challenges.

These are just a few of the many blessings of God’s promises that are fulfilled in Christ, and are ours as we follow Him and grow in the discernment His Spirit provides.

1. Pakistan
Extreme violence and persecution have broken out in the large city of Faisalabad. Christians are being specifically hunted and targeted, along with their homes and churches. Tragically, as of this writing, more than 35 churches and scores of homes of Christian families have been burned to the ground.

A false blasphemy charge was used to spark the attacks by local radical Muslims. They have kidnapped Christian women and children as well, and are known to abuse young girls and force them into marriage to “convert” them. Fear is growing among the Christian population as more attacks are spreading to other cities in Pakistan.

Of the 135 million people in Pakistan, only 1.8% are Christians. Police have been sent to critical areas, but they are often either passive or even complicit.

Our Pakistani brothers and sisters desperately need our prayers and support!

Please pray for:
  • The Spirit of God to intervene and bind up demonic spirits of violence and lawlessness.
  • Protection and safety for Christians and their churches.
  • Provision and comfort for those who have lost their loved ones, homes and churches.
  • The Pakistani government to arise and protect all of its citizens from threat and violence.
  • Church leaders and believers to remain bold in Christ, and continue to share the Gospel with wisdom.
NOTE: World MAP had considered multiple pastors’ seminars in Pakistan for October of this year. But during days of prayer and fasting this summer, we felt a strong check regarding going to Pakistan in 2023 and plans were halted. We now see that it could have been a very dangerous time to gather hundreds of pastors. Thank the Lord for His leading. But please pray with us for God’s future timing, when World MAP can again go to bless and minister to these beloved leaders on the frontlines of His Kingdom work in Pakistan.
2. World MAP

Multiple large orders of Shepherd’s Staff books are right now being prepared for transport or shipping (or are on their way) to five different regions of the world. Thank you for praying with us for safe transport to every destination; favor and ease of clearance through customs; and quick distribution to the many pastors waiting anxiously for this powerful equipping book.

Work continues on digitizing every language version of The Shepherd’s Staff, a project scheduled to be completed this year for at least 13 languages. Being able to make electronic copies of the book available to those with the capacity to use it will expand distribution exponentially! Thanks for covering this work in prayer.

Our God is moving powerfully in our world today. He beckons us to join Him in the unfolding of His eternal plans. Let us become “sons of Issachar” who are discerning God’s will, following our Commander, and leading others in what He would have them do in the seasons ahead.

Joining Him with you,
Dr. Frank and Wendy Parrish,
World MAP