Why MUST we PRAY for MISSIONS?!
- By Dr. Chris Gnanakan
- Published 06/15/2010
Dr. Chris Gnanakan
Revd. Dr. Chris Gnanakan, DMin, PhD. is the Director of Training for Outreach To Asia Nationals. OTAN serves in over nine countries in Asia where traditional missions is ‘restricted’, by equipping and empowering national, pastoral leaders to fulfil the great commission.
Chris, a native of Bangalore, worked as an electrician in MICO factory for 3 years before theological studies at the Word of Life Bible Institute and School of Youth Mission (New York). He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from Tennessee Temple University and went on to do a Master’s in Divinity at Temple Baptist Seminary that he completed at the Asia Graduate School of Theology.
Chris was a youth pastor and ordained at Emmanuel Baptist Church. In 1990 he founded Banaswadi Bible Church where he was the pastor-teacher for over 10 years. He is known as a Youth, Bible & Mission conference speaker and for his radio broadcast with FEBA (Transforming Truth) and TWR (Thru the Bible). His passion is for evangelism, whole-life discipleship, mentoring, training leaders & empowering the Church in Mission.
Chris lectures on and produces curriculum for ‘Biblical Mandate for Evangelism’ at the Haggai Institute for Leadership Development (since 1999 at Maui & Singapore). As an evangelical, he has served as a consultant with the Commission on World Mission & Evangelism on-site London, Switzerland, Athens, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Chile and with Urban Missions in Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines and China.
During his stay and PhD research in the UK, Chris was a Teaching Assistance at the University of Leeds in the department of Theology & Religious Studies and also served as a minister at the South Parade Baptist Church, where he developed outreach & care cells. Chris teaches ‘Clinical Pastoral Education’ at the Bangalore Baptist Hospital. He is chairman for the Christian Forum for Child Development & Samaritan Purse’s regional Prescription for Hope program
Since 1995, Chris joined SAIACS as Professor and HoD of Pastoral Theology & Counseling and Dean of Chapel. Here, for 13 years, he trained leaders for ministry and mission in India’s globalising context and is passionate doing ”Evangelism through Local Churches”. He is now appointed to serve as the Director of Training for OTAN (Outreach To Asia Nationals) from June 2009.
Chris is happily married to Dorothy, an IT software educator, and they have two daughters Alethea and Charis. Chris enjoys memorising poems on the Bible and football.
We live in a ‘culture of entitlement’, wherein each one feels that others – be it the government, the church, our family or just about every one – owe us something. Here’s my question: Why should I hear the Gospel twice, when there are massive faith communities worldwide, who have not heard it even once?! As church members we may ask: ‘Well, what can I do about that?’!
Now, there happens to be something each one of us can do and as followers of Christ MUST do for MISSIONS – Pray or a better word, INTERCEDE! Let’s face it, often our prayers are like shopping lists and for the most part self-centered. Allow me to highlight TEN reasons, with Biblical basis, as to why we MUST supplicate for our Missionaries, especially those working among Unreached People Groups, UPGs: ethno-linguistic groups with no indigenous Gospel witness. Selflessly praying for people to come to know Christ:
1. Produces glory to God: Humans are created in God’s image & for his glory. In prayer, we seek this for God and work toward this end. (Hab.3:2-4)
2. Pleases God’s eyes and heart: Father God desires to see all people turn to him, and praying for this, brings him great delight (Ps.86:9-10; Acts 13:47)
3. Promotes his name over all the earth: If the Gospel must be preached to the end of the earth, we must first go there via our petitions. (Mal. 1:11)
4. Presumes & acts on God’s will: This is one thing we can presume, so dare to pray, for God is not willing for anyone perish but all come to him (2Pet. 3:9)
5. Prioritizes God’s kingdom: This is what Jesus asked us to say in prayer and when we do so for missions, we are seeking his kingdom first. (Mt. 6:33)
6. Portrays what ‘Church’ really is!? Jesus described the Father’s house as a ‘house of prayer’ for the healing of nations (Mk.11:17). Is our church this?
7. Provides opportunity for our priestly call: As a royal priesthood we offer prayers for the unsaved to know the only true God, in Christ. (Jn.17:1-4)
8. Powerfully serves as a weapon against our enemy: Satan mocks our preaching & programs but trembles at the weakest of us praying (2Cor.10:4)
9. Proves implicit obedience to Christ as Lord: Jesus’ solution for the shortage of harvesters is his directive to his disciples to pray! (Mt. 9:36-38)
10. Positions us as a G-A-P person: God is still looking for intercessors who stand in the gap for people they love to be spared from judgment (Ez. 22:30)