What’s an Intercessory Missionary?

An intercessory missionary is a “missionary“ in the sense that they dedicate their lives in ministry for Jesus and for others like a traditional missionary does. But rather than exclusively serving through mercy deeds, their service is first and primarily through ministry to Jesus in night and day worship and prayer. The motivation and biblical support for an intercessory missionary comes from various passages, including:

Chronicles 23-25 – Tabernacle of David – had 4,000 musicians and 288 singers to worship God 24 hours a day.

Matt. 9:37-38 – Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send forth laborers. That’s what an intercessory mis­sionary is all about.

Luke 11:5-12 – Keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking.

Luke 18:1-8 –“Shall God not avenge His own who cry out day and night…

Col 1:18 – The preeminence of Christ in all things, where the ultimate goal of the Father is that Jesus might be seen as supreme in all things

Luke 2:36-38 – The inspiration of Anna, where she fasted and prayed in the temple day and night for decades unto the first coming of Christ

The outcomes of 24/7 worship and prayer are powerful & dynamically important.  Among the many glorious consequences stand the following: the fruition of God’s purposes for Israel, corporate revival and effective witness, cultural impact, personal vibrancy in Christ, unity and community in the body of Christ, eschatological revelation, and apostolic sending.  Intercessory missionaries engage themselves in works of the Kingdom (outreach, evangelism, etc.), but give themselves to the Lord first in the place of prayer and secondarily out on “the field”. We believe God will do more if we ask. The gospel that is preached without prayer has impact but when there is prayer backing our “going” more happens!  John Piper says:

Not only has God made the accomplishment of his global purposes of salvation hang on the preaching of the Word; he has also made the success of the preaching of the Word hang on prayer. God’s goal to be glorified in a world full of white-hot worshippers from every people and tongue and tribe and nation will not succeed without the powerful proclamation of the gospel by people like you and me. And that gospel will not be proclaimed in power to all the nations without the persevering, earnest, global, faith-filled prayers of God’s people. This is the awesome place of prayer in the purposes of God for the world. They won’t happen without prayer.”

As motivating as this is, the effects of 24/7 worship and prayer are actually secondary to why the Prayer Room exists. The primary reason we give ourselves to night and day worship and prayer is because Jesus is worthy.  When God created humanity His primary purpose was for us to give Him glory and to minister before Him as Priests.  We were created to worship Jesus.  Every believer’s identity is wrapped up in this calling.  Of course not every believer is called to do this as his or her vocation.  But God does call certain people to minister to Him in this way.  The Levites are a perfect example of a people who ministered to God as their primary vocation.

Jesus is worthy of night & day worship!

“We live in an hour when most the body of Christ deems it entirely right and natural for gas stations, hospitals, grocery stores, diners, and drive-thru restaurants to be open 24 hours a day.  No one questions the use of the fiscal and human resources necessary to ensure those services maintain a continuous presence.  How much more should the worth of Jesus be extolled in incessant worship and the burdens of God’s heart be carried in perpetual intercession? 

If a 24/7 Prayer Room seems unnecessary, and even adverse, to expend the money and employ the people required to facilitate unceasing devotion this undoubtedly reveals that in the West our appetites, our health, and our convenience is of greater gravity to us than the glory of God.  Our own comfort, expressed in myriad forms, is simply more necessary to maintain in our eyes than the necessity of God’s splendor to be praised. Night and day worship, therefore, stands as a provocation to people to cease from loving what is worthless and turn their eyes to behold what is precious and infinitely worthy of devotion.”   –Stephen Venable

A 24/7 prayer room is very biblical.  In the book of Exodus God told Israel to build a tabernacle where His precense would be on earth as it was in heaven. Once a year the High priest would enter the holy of holies to make atonement through sacrifice for the people’s sins.

But some years later something new happened. God put it in the heart of David to employ musicians and singers to minister there before the Lord day and night. There were 4,000 musicians & 288 singers.  Solomon built the temple & the musicians & singers continued to worship God day & night.

What was the purpose of the tabernacle and incessant worship? Simply put, I believe God wanted this because He wants to be worshiped on earth as He is in heaven.  This “house of prayer” on earth was meant to be a replication of the heavenly temple where God is worshiped day & night.  God wants heaven and earth to join together in extolling His majesty and proclaiming His worth.

In short, an intercessory missionary is called to a full-time occupation of ministering to the Lord & praying for His purposes to be done on the earth, while doing works of justice.  John Piper says:

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.” 

For more info please visithttp://www.ihopkc.org/prayerroom/about-the-prayer-room/

Historical

555 – Bangor, Ireland – 24 hour prayer and worship began a revival that lasted 300 years!

1120 – Clairvaux, France – A catholic monk named Bernard gathered 700 monks in a valley called Clairvaux (“Valley of Light”), and began a prayer meeting continuing 24/7 for many years resulting in a dynamic release of evangelism through signs and wonders all across Europe.

1727 – Count Zinzendorf established 24 hour a day prayer meetings that lasted for over 100 years resulting in the first protestant prayer movement in history (the Moravians).

Seth Wynveen