J.O. Fraser, a missionary to the Lisu people, wrote these encouraging and challenging words for all of us who have joined in prayer for the unreached peoples of this world, and (as concisely as possible) explains our role in this prayer-work:
One might compare heathenism with a great mountain threatening to crush the infant church, or a great pool of stagnant water always threatening to quench the flames of Holy Ghost life and power in the native churches, and only kept dammed up by the power of God. God is able to do this and much more, but He will not do it, if all of us out here and you at home sit in our easy chairs with arms folded. Why prayer is so indispensable we cannot say, but we had better recognise the fact even if we cannot explain it. Do you believe that the church of God would be alive today but for the high priestly intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Throne? I do not: I believe it would have been dead and buried long ago. Viewing the Bible as a record of God's work on this earth, I believe that it gives a clear, ringing message to His people – from Genesis to Revelation – you must do your part.
The church of Protestant countries is well able to nourish the infant church of the Orient by a steady and powerful volume of intercessory prayer. Applying this to the work among the Tengyueh tribespeople, I feel I can say that you, and those God will yet call to join you in this prayer work, are well able to sustain the spiritual life of the Lisu and Kachin converts, as well as to increase their number many fold. It may be He has been preparing you for the unseen and spiritual parenthood of these infant Lisu converts here, however many thousand miles separate you from them.
I am not asking you just to give "help" in prayer as a sort of sideline, but I am trying to roll the main responsibility of this prayer warfare on you. I want you to take the burden of these people upon your shoulders. I want you to wrestle with God for them. I do not want so much to be a regimental commander in this matter as an intelligence officer. I shall feel more and more that a big responsibility rests upon me to keep you well informed. The Lord Jesus looks down from heaven and sees these poor, degraded, neglected tribespeople. "The travail of His soul" was for them, too. He has waited long. Will you not do your part to bring in the day when He shall "be satisfied"? Anything must be done rather than let this prayer-service be dropped or even allowed to stagnate. We often speak of intercessory work as being of vital importance. I want to prove that I believe this in actual fact by giving my first and best energies to it, as God may lead. I feel like a businessman who perceives that a certain line of goods pays better than any other in his store, and who purposes making it his chief investment; who, in fact sees an inexhaustible supply and an almost unlimited demand for a profitable article and intends to go in for it more than for anything else. The demand is the lost state of these tens of thousands of Lisu and Kachin - their ignorance, their superstition, their sinfulness; their bodies, their minds, their souls; the supply is the grace of God to meet this need-to be brought down to them by the persevering prayers of a considerable company of God's people. All I want to do is, as a kind of middleman, to bring the supply and the demand together.
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