The secret to success on the mission field is prayer.
By Andy Brown
Pastor, The Landing Church, Seattle, Washington
Arkansas Baptists Church Planter
It has been a slow process planting churches in Seattle. We’ve heard “no” a whole lot more than we’ve heard “yes,” but God has gone before us and opened doors. He cares more about Seattle than I do, and He has divinely orchestrated meetings that have opened doors for The Landing Church.
When I first came to Seattle, I was frustrated. We saw only three people come to Christ in 15 months. I was doing all the right things—making relationships and reaching into the community with service projects. I didn’t know what else to do. Then I realized I’d been working really hard and praying very little.
I started to study the concept of fasting and prayer, and for the first time in my life, I began fasting. God honored that. In the next 22 months, we saw 48 souls come to Christ.
Now, prayer walking is a key part of our ministry. Every time a missions team comes to Seattle, we break the team up into groups of two and prayer walk the city. Most people who come have never done anything like this. They’ve never even heard of it. For them, it’s a brand new concept. So I want to share my prayer strategy in hopes that others will do something similar in their ministries and watch God reach people all over the world.
Before I take missions teams on a prayer walk around the city, the first thing we do is pray as a group and ask God for three things:
- Show us where to go; direct our path.
- Show us who to talk to.
- Show us what to say to them.
Then we break the large group into teams of two and assign them to different parts of the city. Each team carries a map and highlighter and marks their path so we can be sure that every street in our city is covered with prayer.
I encourage the prayer walkers to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as they pray and stop in front of the houses to which God leads them. They can pray for that family specifically or whatever the Spirit urges them to pray. The teams also stop and pray in front of any public buildings, like schools or government facilities.
The last thing we do is carry a notebook to record any valuable information for the ministry. Teams might take note of potential community projects, which is the greatest part of our ministry. There might be a home or business that needs yard work, paint, or repair, and that’s a great way to show the love of Christ. Or sometimes, we need to write down the name and contact information of people we meet and pray for, or notes of a conversation with someone so I can follow up at a later time after the missions groups have left.
Prayer walkers can pray out loud or quietly. It doesn’t really matter. They can do what they are comfortable with, whatever God leads them to do. My wife and I used to be very self-conscious about praying around the city because people in Seattle are so critical of religion. But we don’t care anymore. We’re not ashamed! The people of this city and all over the country need to know that Christians are praying for them, and God is honoring that. God is working in the hearts of people all over Seattle, and prayer is what is going before us.