At IHOP ATL we have internships, a ministry school, outreaches, a local church and a missions training school called ACTS-Antioch Center for Training and Sending. I’d like to highlight the ACTS school, as the second year students will be sent out for a long term mission in the 10/40 window for 2 years! The 10/40 window is the area between 10 & 40 degrees latitude, and is a big deal because it’s the spot where the majority of the unreached people groups are. That means it’s full of people who have never heard of the name of Jesus. They don’t even get the opportunity to say yes to Him or not & they have no clue what the Gospel is. The 10/40 window holds 97% of the world’s unreached people—and only 10% of all missionaries are sent there. These regions and people groups are not just those who have no concern or interest in Christianity, but are actually resistant and even hostile to it.
Why does this matter? Well, besides the fact that there are people who have never had the opportunity to know who God is, Jesus also said in Matthew 24:14 that the Gospel would be preached in every nation of the Earth before He would come back! So, if there are nations that have never even heard of Him—that’s a problem. This is why our ACTS team exists! They are the most passionate people at the House of Prayer, always going hard after God, which inspires the rest of us, of course. They have been training to deploy for months: through classes, the prayer room, support raising, and service at IHOP. We have about 5 people, who are in their 20’s—my age—who are saying yes to going into the hardest & darkest nations of the earth for 2 years to give people a chance to know Jesus. Our team knows they might be killed for their faith. They’ve already decided Jesus is worth it and it’s not right for anyone to not be able to know His name, so they’ll give their lives for it!
How does that apply to you? If you identify yourself as a Christian, Jesus gave all of us the Great Commission in Matthew 28,
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
He didn’t just give it to one person or a few, it’s all of us together, many sending, many going, many praying: but all to see the Great Commission come to pass. We can fulfill Jesus’ command by doing all of those actions—praying, sending, going, discipling, etc. It’s not just a suggestion, it’s a command right from Jesus!
What I’d like to emphasize is one of the ways we fulfill Jesus’ Commission: to pray.
Then Jesus said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. –Luke 10:1-3.
The Greek word here for “send out” is ekballo, which literally means to thrust out with great impulse or violence. This word is the anthem for our ACTS teams. They’re asking God to thrust them out into unreached people groups, to equip & send them as laborers into the harvest. We pray this prayer in one of our intercession sets (every Wednesday at 10am) for missionaries & unreached people groups, and I encourage you to pray as well for unreached nations as well for missionaries to be sent out as well as current missionaries to be strengthened. As you do, God will give you His heart for those you’re praying for, and change you from the inside out! These pictures are of the 10/40 window, and include a 21 day prayer map with countries, unreached people group numbers and how much of the population in each country is unreached. I encourage you to pray for countries that have never heard the name of Jesus. Pray for Him to send out laborers into the harvest (& be ready to be an answer to that prayer). As I’ve been praying this way, looking at each country’s name, what it looks like on a map, and the astonishing amount of people groups who have no way of knowing Jesus, it has changed my heart in a huge way! I can’t express how heavy but precious it is to feel the way God feels in the place of intercession–crying out for the very things that God is moved for.
There’s nothing like it, and it only comes with experience! Try it out!