IJM and Prayer: The Real Battle

International Justice Mission’s primary objective is “to secure justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.” Headed by Gary Haugen, author of “Good News About Injustice” and “Just Courage” (both books I’ve read and highly recommend), this is an organization on the frontlines of the “battle” to expand the kingdom through the release of those truly oppressed.

In other words, IJM is involved in some serious business.

However, I write this because after I wrote this post on prayer, I remember hearing Gary Haugen say at The Upper Room in Edina that each day, the staff at IJM prays together — as a staff — for an hour at lunch time and begins each day in quiet prayer for 30 minutes alone.

If anyone has URGENT things to accomplish, it is these guys at IJM.

And yet, they recognize that prayer is their most powerful weapon in their arsenal.

May we be reminded that God is God, and He has the power to transform lives. Founded by our prayers and the power of God, may we then form relationships and serve with the heart of God!!

Where Is The Battle?

I want to accomplish things. Daily.

I find myself regretting days spent lounging and relaxing. It feels like such a waste.

I’m not talking about accomplishing things like financial prosperity or personal success.

I’m talking about accomplishing kingdom-advancing things. Hearts changed. Lives transformed. Enemies turned into friends. The poor moved to rich. Relationships healed. People experiencing Jesus for the first time. Acts of unexpected service.

And when these don’t happen, I feel…disappointed.

Yesterday, I received an email from Mike Bradley, president of The Master’s Institute. I haven’t known Mike for a long time, but from what I do know about him, he is one of the most humble, passionate, God-loving men I have ever known.

His message reminds my materialistic, physical way of thinking about Kingdom-advancement that there is a more important, more urgent battle to be waged.

Here is what he wrote:

“For most of us prayer serves as a resource to help in a time of testing or conflict. For Jesus, it was the battle itself” (Yancey, pg. 86, Prayer).

Through practicing prayer, Jesus received the revelation and energy to do the Father’s will (see John 5:19; Acts 10:38). My prayer for all of us…will build in time for prayer this week, not seeing it as a religious add-on, but as the place of battle itself. Let’s pray for those God has called us to serve as leaders, and let’s pray for one another that we might receive revelation and energy to do the Father’s will; and that God might shift anything He needs to shift in us and in the leaders/members of our congregations so that our longing is to carry out God’s agenda, not our own.

Let’s do battle through prayer for the leaders and members of our congregations that they might not be deceived by the world, the flesh, or the devil, and be tempted to champion any agenda for our churches, than God’s agenda. Let’s pray where needed for changed hearts, for conviction and repentance to fall upon us and upon any leader/member of our congregations so that we can receive that revelation and energy to do the Father’s will – and His will alone.

Love you all and am standing with you in prayer.

— Mike Bradley.

What a reminder! The battle is being waged on mulitple fronts — but this is a reminder, the battle must be waged primarily with prayer!