“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” James 5:16b-18
“Wow wow wow!” Karin wrote from Cameroon. Within hours of the CRM Prayer Bulletin going out to our prayer partners, she had received an incredible phone call.
But let’s back up a little. Over the summer, we’d learned that this team had a strategic opportunity to equip thousands of pastors and other leaders in effective disciple making across Cameroon, Africa—something that could have a big gospel impact in an area where few believers really understand God’s love or what following Jesus means. The team also had a vision to impact the future leaders of Cameroon—the children—by training teachers in dialogue-based learning and critical thinking skills, so their students could become problem solvers and potential change agents in a nation with many challenges. For that to happen, they were praying for an invitation at the government level granting them access to schools.
So we sent out a Prayer Bulletin asking for prayer for this team. We specifically asked people to pray that “a strategic door would open with Cameroon’s Ministry of Education” and that the team “would have powerful interactions with pastors and leaders” to expand the movement of making committed disciples across the nation.
Friends of CRM responded in prayer. And tremendous things started to happen in Cameroon.
The phone call Karin received within hours of the Prayer Bulletin going out was an immediate, specific, and miraculous answer to those prayers. She was told she had an appointment for the very next day with the top guy in the Ministry of Higher Education. At that meeting, this government leader caught the vision and gave Karin official permission to train Cameroon’s teachers. He called the leader of one university right then and there, setting up a meeting for Karin with the Vice-Chancellor of the University for the very next week. Within two days of that prayer request going out, she had an official letter in hand giving her authorization to train these teachers across Cameroon. God had given her an “impossible” vision to impact the education system from the top down, and then, using prayer as a vehicle, he made that impossible vision a reality.
What of the other request for impact with pastors and leaders? Well, the team was given the opportunity to teach 5500 leaders, 2500 women, and 3500 young leaders in their Bible-study-based disciple making approach. One week after the prayer request was made, they were able to train an additional 750 pastors for an entire week in how to lead their churches in disciple making, and discovered what training the pastors needed in the future. Eight new denominations were impacted by the training, one of which has already asked them to do a larger follow-up training for their leaders. New doors for multiplying the good news of Jesus in Cameroon opened up. We prayed, and God answered.
The Bible teaches us that prayer is effective. We see countless examples in the Bible of God responding to the needs and requests of people. And around CRM, we have tremendous experiential evidence that this is still true today. Prayer makes an impact that is real. We cannot underestimate how crucial intercession is for God’s Kingdom work.
In Karin’s words, whenever you pray, “EXPECT BIG THINGS!”
Would you like to join us in praying for gospel movements around the world?
ABOUT: Randy and Karin Knutson are part of the ChurchNEXT Engage Team, which equips movement leaders to make more and better disciples that transform their neighborhoods, and also partner with Advancing Leaders International to train teachers in third world countries through education and coaching.