“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations . . .” –Matthew 28:18-20
On Jesus’ authority alone we are given marching orders—a commission to go and make followers for Jesus from all nations. On one side are senders sending out the ones who go. It takes both senders and goers for this commission to be fulfilled. Ask God to break through the barrier of resourcing. He has called many to send and many will not. He has called many to go and many will not. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field. The harvest is plentiful! But the workers are few!
“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in from of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'” –Revelation 7:9-10
The Somau Garia people are a people with a unique culture and language and purpose given them by God for his glory. Ask God to break through the barrier of hardened hearts to bring a remnant of this people into that great throng gathered before the throne in heaven.
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” –Ephesians 4:1
Missionaries are called to a very different life than most people. The pressures and ongoing stress can push the missionary to the limit. Yet, we are exhorted to walk in humility, gentleness, patience, and longsuffering in love. Ask God to break through the barrier of weakness that would allow us to live less than to our calling. Ask God to intercede in our hearts, minds, and bodies in such a way as to reflect the glory and majesty of Jesus from fragile and broken vessels.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” –Ephesians 6:10-12
The ten years we were living in Papua New Guinea were pocked with the craters and scars of intense spiritual battle. Ask God to strengthen us against the evil day, to give us wisdom and insight into how to employ the armor of God, to grant us victory over the darkness that looms on the horizon.
“Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now God has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” –2 Corinthians 5:2-5
Ask God to break through the barrier of hopelessness. Somau Garia culture reflects a fatalism and uncertainty about life after the grave. Ask God to show them, by his Spirit, life both now and forevermore.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” –Revelation 21:4
Burned into our souls is the sound of mothers wailing over dead infants or young fathers destroyed by disease or violence. Fear, anger, and ritual bubble up from a fountain of grief. Ask God to break through the barrier of mourning and pain to show his gentleness, mercy, and power over death to these people made in the image of God for his glory. Ask God to fill Somau GAria hearts with the hope of redemption, with the dream of heaven, with the reality of the Comforter imbuing them with life.
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.” –Colossians 4:3
It is God who opens doors that no man can shut (Revelation 3:8) and it is right and good to ask him to open the door for the message of the mystery of Christ. The Somau Garia people are a passionate and influential people. If the door stood open for Jesus to come into their hearts and dine with them (those who would open the door to him), thanksgiving would ring out and the gospel would spread in every direction across northern New Guinea. Ask God to open the door for our message, that Jesus’ name will be held in high esteem all across New Guinea.
“And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” –2 Thessalonians 3:2-3
Violence takes many forms—people hurting other people, earthquakes shaking the ground, traffic accidents, etc. The Somau Garia people have known many tragedies due to violence either visited upon them or that they have visited on others. Ask God to break through the barrier of violence that creates an atmosphere of fear and mistrust in many Somau Garia speakers. Ask God to grant his peace and forgiveness to those who would harm others.
“Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.” –2 Thessalonians 3:1
While there are some Somau Garia who are open to the good news, many are resistant. Ask God to break barriers of resistance to the gospel. Ask God to break through spiritual, physical, and social boundaries that it might spread rapidly and be honored. Ask God to open the hearts of the sorcerers and shamans to the gospel, the hearts of clan leaders and those who fear loss of power if they submit to the King of Kings.
“Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, ‘The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.'” –Nehemiah 4:19
Spiritual warfare is intense. Part of our hiatus from PNG these seven years is partially because of that fact. The mission community is hard pressed. Our Somau Garia co-workers are hard pressed as they work on translation, care for their families, and are opposed by the enemy of our souls. Ask God to break through the barrier of spiritual opposition that constricts the life out of so many. Ask God to empower the saints through increased awareness of the spiritual landscape, through increased dependence upon the grace and power of the resurrected Lord. Ask God to carry us through the battle victoriously.