Editor’s note: Each year Serge sends out young people to see God’s work around the world. In this post, one intern shares their experience in learning about just how important prayer is to cross-cultural missions and sharing the gospel with others.
My internship had just been turned upside down. I had come to London to serve those around me, to discern my own calling, and to learn about South Asian culture. Through all of this, of course, naturally, I would pray, but it never occurred to me that prayer was to be the focus.
I had come to serve, through participating in ministry activities, programs, and making new friends. But when our intern coordinator said ““Prayer is the work,” I felt like I had a ton of bricks drop on me.
Serve by praying?
But I was to find out, this was the bigger calling.
Prayer is the Work
Stop and re-read the previous sentence, slowly.
Prayer often takes a backseat, because it can be a bit abstract in measuring success.
But the more I prayed, the more it fell into place. While ministry is definitely about sharing the love of Jesus with those around you, without a foundation of prayer, where does its power come from?
I started to see my summer as being on the frontlines of a life and death struggle to help others come to know the good news of Jesus.
While there, I had the privilege of forming friendships with British Asians from other faith backgrounds. This was an experience of complete cultural immersion. God used this experience to show me ways that people (myself and others) in my own culture try to find life apart from Jesus through money, success, and reputation.
God also helped me to see ways in which my new friends try to find life apart from the One True Lord who died and rose so that all may find life in Him. As I considered the ways in which so many people (in my culture and in London) do not know the freedom that Jesus can provide, my heart broke.
I felt helpless. But I prayed.
Prayer became my source of help. I would cry out to God to be my shield and fortress, and to reassure me that I was not alone, that He was present. He did. He showed up in very real ways and during some of the darkest moments. He was my shield and my fortress.
The struggle is real. Prayer is the only hope for anyone to find freedom.
I realize that God was working this summer, even as I wish I could also say that I saw many people embrace the love of Jesus. My prayer is that one day many of my new friends will come to know the freedom Jesus brings.
Without prayer, this may not happen. Prayer is the work.
It is hard. I still don’t want to do it.
Work is hard, frustrating, disheartening, challenging, and requires practice and discipline, but it also brings success and joy, and wisdom.
Prayer is the work.