My hands are up. I’m guilty.
There seems to be two or three major things ministries or missionaries ask for, and there is a very predictable order for these common requests. Right in the middle is usually a request for physical help, like “we need staff,” “can we borrow a carseat,” or “we need a place to stay while back home.” These things make sense. If a missionary is back in the USA, or wherever else they call home, they won’t have conventional possessions needed for a trip back, so they ask for them.
The first request is almost always money, which also makes sense, as no ministry or missionary on the face of the planet can do what they do without it, and for the sake of honesty, readers will most certainly be hearing from us asking for just this thing. (In fact, I’ll do it now. Click HERE to donate to HighRise Ministries.)
The third request is a bit disheartening. Not because we have to ask for it, but because it almost always seems to be added to a list of requests simply as an afterthought or a compulsory thing Christians are supposed to value. We need money, a bed to sleep in, oh yeah, and could you pray for the ministry? You know, if you have time.
There have been times when, for whatever reason, I have neglected to place proper emphasis and urgency on the need for prayer. However, at this very moment know with certainty and all genuine conviction that I am imploring you for prayer. Maybe “imploring” isn’t quite strong enough. I am begging for it.
This urgency came when I was obsessively browsing the HighRise Ministries website. Don’t judge, but I was scouring for typographical errors. Having already found and corrected several on previous occasions, my grammar-obsessive mind couldn’t rest until I’d checked one more time. I was reading over the mission and vision when I was suddenly hit with the enormity of the work God had put in our path. I’d never before suffered from a panic attack, but I imagine I was pretty close in that moment. I was breathing heavily and reading words like “least-reached,” “world,” and “strategic.” I’m not strategic, I’m a fool. We can’t reach the world, we’re just one young family. The least-reached? That means intentional evangelism with people who might have never heard, or worse, they could meet us with open hostility.
What were we thinking?! In that moment, I entertained the idea of changing the mission statement to something easier like “we’ll start a campus ministry, and see where it goes.”
I honestly think God was intentionally making me sweat it out for a minute or two. He was making me sprint circles in my own mind, trying to figure out how we could ever have a faint hope of “strategically” reaching the “world” with the Good News of Jesus Christ. There are millions and millions of people who’d never get the opportunity to even hear that Jesus loves and died for them, and just a small portion of that responsibility punched me in the gut.
That’s when it all became clear. God is absolutely right. I can’t do this. I am incapable. This mission is well beyond my ability to achieve. In addition, its well beyond any of our ability. Even collectively, mere human beings, fallen and ever-failing, cannot hope to reach the world with the love of God. It doesn’t even make sense that we should try without Him. How is a man or woman, who’s mind cannot fathom the depths of God’s love communicate that with another person? Its like a child trying to explain the highest level of mathematics. He doesn’t understand it, and has no chance of teaching anyone else accurately and completely. The idea that we would try to do the same with God is absurd and embarrassing. (On a random side note, could the outside world’s negative perception of Christians stem from this problem, our superficial and incomplete understanding of God’s love? I’d say that’s likely.)
However, if God is at work and is a light to our feet, then we’ve found the missing puzzle piece. Paul speaks my heart more clearly than I ever could. “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Notice Paul doesn’t say “first of all, go tell people.” While I am certainly a believer in all Christians “going” in some way, Paul says that God’s first instruction is to pray.
If God wants all people to be saved, then so does HighRise. If the best way to accomplish this is through “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving,” then HighRise will do that. This is why we are asking for your time in prayer. HighRise will be moot and ineffective without it.
With that, before all else, I want to urge you all to join with us in prayer.
- Pray for the multitudes who have yet to hear the name Jesus Christ. Pray that their hearts would be open to hearing and believing. Pray that the Holy Spirit would visit them in powerful and undeniable ways. Pray that they would experience the love of God that we so often take for granted.
- Pray for the leaders of the world. Just like Paul wrote to Timothy, so that we may have peace and justice in the nations.
- Pray for the people of Thailand. Pray that God would begin to prepare their hearts and minds for the gospel, and that believers would be put in their path so that they might hear about Him.
- Pray for the wisdom of HighRise Ministries, that we would work within the leading of the Holy Spirit. Pray that all decisions will be made with integrity and within God’s heart.
- Pray for present and future ministry partners of HighRise. Pray that we work together in unity of mind, spirit, and mission, including partners on the field, the board of directors, and donors.
- Pray that the ministry is supported in everything it needs to function with excellence. Including spiritual, emotional, and physical support of the staff members, their safety, and the ministry’s funding.
If you are unfamiliar with HighRise, visit highriseministries.org for more information or the Facebook and Twitter pages for regular updates.