When praying for unreached people groups, we can sometimes feel so powerless, so weak to do much of anything, because we are a people that wants to do. We forget that when we pray we do so much. Sometimes it is not time to plant and water, but time to pull out stones in prayer.
It is so important to first pray that we would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one who gives us the heart for people who are different from us. We have to have the mind and heart of the Lord to be able to see past the differences, understand them, know that God loves them and cares that they are lost, and that He wants them to be His children.
Without knowing, we assign people certain characteristics that blind us and bind us. We judge them without even knowing that we are doing so, and that prevents us from seeing them the way God sees them.
Prayer is necessary when reaching unreached people groups because their religions are so different than ours. We need to ask, “Lord, how do I reach them?” And the answer might be just as simple as a prayer and a smile when you see them.
Reaching them will not look like what we may be used to. Street evangelism or only telling them that Jesus loves them may be offensive to them and can build walls of distrust. So many times, we have to win them through our friendship.
Our lives are what speaks. You just have to live your life, and then you will know when the Holy Spirit will say, “Yes, it is time to say something”; or, “Yes, it’s time to give them a book.” And it is the Holy Spirit who does the work when we touch them with the love of God.
There are so many whom the Lord has brought right to our shores. We don’t have to go overseas. Who is around you? Begin by praying for them. Pray that God would give you a love for them, and that you would have a tender heart. Pray that the Father would put people around them so they would know Him. Pray to tear down the strategies the enemy has to keep them enslaved and from seeing the light.
Pray that the veil would be lifted from their eyes, and that they would not be enslaved by their religion. Pray that God would give you keys to be salt and light to them, and that He would give you strategies to be able to know what you can do where you are. Pray that they would find the Lord.
It is a strategy of the enemy to get us to believe that we are powerless in what is going on with unreached people groups, to keep us cowering in a corner instead of taking the authority that we have in just a simple prayer. The Holy Spirit is doing something in people’s lives—and we could be that answer.
Molly was a missionary with Foursquare Missions International for 25 years, the last 16 of which she spent serving unreached people groups. Her last name has been withheld for security reasons.