Intercession – The Strategy For Reaching Nations

SyRe2“The evangelization of the world depends first of all upon a revival of prayer. Deeper than the need for men – deep down at the bottom of our spiritless life – is the need for the forgotten secret of prevailing, worldwide prayer. Pray that our mission work may all be done in this spirit: waiting on God, hearing the voice of the Spirit, sending forth men with fasting and prayer. Pray that, in our churches, our mission interest and mission work may be in the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer. A Spirit-filled, praying church will send out Spirit-filled missionaries, mighty in prayer.”

As we go to the nations with the Gospel of Christ, we must be men and women of prayer and intercession. There is a tendency for the enemy to get us too busy in important matters where we actually miss out on the best. Intercession is going to cost us. It is the key strategy in reaching nations. We read in Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful”. This is not some half-hearted endeavor, but it will cost sleep, time and energy. We have to devote ourselves to prayer. It’s a personal choice and discipline to pray and not give up. Prayer is hard work. We must see with the eyes of faith and vision the potential and power of intercession. Vision determines priorities, and our priorities determine our destinies. It must be a high priority in the life of a missionary. You and I will never see results without it.

“What a mystery of glory there is in prayer! On the one hand we see God in His holiness, love, and power waiting and longing to bless man. On the other hand there is sinful man, a worm of the dust, bringing down from God by prayer the very life and love of heaven to dwell in his heart. But the glory of intercession is so much greater: when a man is bold and asks from God what he desires for others. He seeks to bring down on one soul, or it may be on hundreds and thousands, the power of the eternal life with all its blessings.”

Keys to Power in Intercession

“Christ’s power to save, and save completely, depends on His unceasing intercession. The apostles’ withdrawing of themselves from other work to give themselves continually to prayer was followed by the number of the disciples multiplying exceedingly. As we, in our day, give ourselves to intercession, we will have more and mightier conversions.”

We want to share with you some practical ways you can develop a life of prayer and intercession. We have adapted the following from Debbie’s second book on intercession. Here are listed seven keys, enough for each day of the week. Why not meditate and pray about one on each day? Ask God to develop these in your life and begin practicing them. This will prepare you in the greatest way for reaching a nation or city for Christ. In order to make a deep and lasting impact in cities around the world, we must lay hold of prayer and intercession with all our heart. God is maturing us for harvest. We believe that these ways, if taken seriously and applied, will open a wide door into your destiny in reaching the nations.

  • Cultivate praise, worship and thanksgiving – Worship and praise God throughout the day now. Worship changes how we see our situations. It is a joyful way to live successfully in the end time. As we ascend to the throne room in worship, then we can descend back into the harvest field here on earth, pray, and war for its release. God can give us keys during our seasons of worship that unlock the path before us and bring glory into our situations here on earth. Everything in us should give praise to the Lord. David says in Psalm 34:1, “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Practicing praise and worship will lead you into a more powerful life in missions.
  • Raise your view of God – He wants to give you a bigger picture of Himself. Raise your expectation level of what God can do in your life supernaturally through prayer. What glasses are you looking through? How do you see God? How does He see you? Whenever God brings us to a new level spiritually, we must adjust how we see God. Warfare is not primarily taking authority over the devil but it is discovering the majesty of God and His supremacy. Our view of God is most important in reaching nations and will bring us into a more powerful life of intercession because we begin to view everything from the greatness and supremacy of Christ.
  • Let God stretch your faith – Believe Him for something bigger than yourself. Faith and prayer move God to work on your behalf. Are you trusting God for something that is bigger than yourself that only He can do? Are you stepping out of your comfort zone and asking Him for things that are God-sized and not man-made? Let us keep in mind that God will not do anything without believing prayer. We read in Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Exercising faith empowers our prayer life.
  • Practice purpose-driven prayer – Focus on God’s plan rather than your own needs. When we focus on the negatives and our own needs, we are practicing problem-driven prayer. Purpose-driven prayer focuses on God’s overarching plan. By faith you can pray for his maximum glory to be achieved in any situation. This frees the Lord to replace your problem with His provision. God wants to move us into a much higher realm of His purposes for the nations. As our hearts touch the heart of God, we begin to have His desires and goals. We see things as he sees them. We are committed to His glory. A powerful life of intercession is a life that practices purpose-driven prayer.
  • Practice God’s Presence – Become a best friend of God. Learn to abide and walk in peace even in the midst of the storms of life. There is a place in the spirit far above all principalities. The enemy wants to get you out of the place of abiding. Learn to take thoughts captive and forgive quickly. Look at everything through the eyes of Christ, and practice meditating on God’s Word. “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about them” (Psalm 119:97, 77:12). As you practice God’s presence, the spirit of intercession will permeate your life.
  • Have a Kingdom of God mentality – Practice holiness in your lifestyle. God wants to bring us into a new level of holiness. Kingdom living is living a life of holiness and living out the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. It is letting God be the King in every area of your life. It is submitting to His Authority. It is letting God refine you and teach you to walk in love and forgiveness. This is where the enemy is defeated. There is power in prayer for those who live a holy life. James 5:16 says, “The fervent prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” As you walk in holiness, the Kingdom of God will rule in your life and missionary work.
  • Learn to wait on God in prayer – It brings forth his maximum purposes. In order to move with God’s direction in the end times, we must learn this secret. The truth is that it is in waiting that we will accomplish the most for God. It is in waiting that He will give us His secrets to kingdom living. How much time is wasted when we run down the wrong road? It is in waiting that the very highest direction for your life can come forth on a daily basis. What may look like a loss of time is really only time multiplied on your behalf. God is able to do things with a lot more efficiency than you are. “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him(Psalm 62:5). As you wait on God, He will give you strategy in reaching nations.

What can we do to stir up the spirit of intercession? There is a twofold answer. Let every Christian, as he begins to get an insight into the need and the power of intercession, begin by exercising it on behalf of single individuals. Pray for your children, for your relatives and friends, for all with whom God brings you into contact. If you feel that you do not have the power to intercede, let the discovery humble you and drive you to the mercy seat. God wants every redeemed child of His to intercede for the perishing. It is the vital breath of the normal Christian life – the proof that it is born from above.” Quotes by Andrew Murray

 Training in World Missions

To learn more about the Elijah Company please read:


 “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17

Five steps

  1. Emulate the model of Jesus Christ as we mentor candidates prior to being sent out. Jesus spent time with His chosen disciples giving them experiences and affirming their gifting. (See Mentoring)
  2. Recognize the value of inter-church cooperation in a given region and seek to bring churches together to share strategy and resources.
  3. Lay solid foundations for intensive missionary life. Deal with personal strongholds, learn the value of team, understand cross-cultural dynamics, and know the essentials for life in missions. (See Training Link)
  4. Link future missions personnel with experienced mission’s personnel and impart gifts, know-how, reality and guidance.
  5. Provide field experience in their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and in foreign fields.

The Approach to Sending

Our approach is simple, practical and personal involving four major steps. The initial steps take place at the Missionary Training Camp and then continue through personal mentorship, the Certification Program and hands-on experience.

  1. Identify
  • Finding and defining the call an individual may have
  • Finding individual gifting
  1. Instruct
  • Presenting issues of cross-cultural living
  • Identifying and overcoming personal strongholds (Strongholds are anything that the enemy could use to challenge a person’s faith.)
  • Personality profiling and development (to give individuals a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses in light of overseas team work)
  • Character development
  • Practical issues needed for being sent (i.e. raising support, writing letters, health, etc.)
  1. Impart using mentors with missions experience who are able to:
  • Coach during a practical ministry assignment
  • Encourage during the hard decisions that need to be made
  • Teach from experience
  • Model faith and love
  • Pray for the candidates
  1. Impel
  • The goal is to send workers to the mission field as a people prepared, healthy, faith-filled, and empowered for service.
  • All this is accomplished with the help of the local church.

Elijah Company Training

Missionary Training Camps – If you need a “jump start” or just need to have some solid steps to pursuing a missionary call, write us for the information at We are sorry that we cannot host international workers at this time unless they are already guests in our country with an appropriate visa. This is what individuals are saying about the camp:

“Mission’s Training Camp has given me the steps I need to take to get to the field and the directions regarding how to take those steps.”

“The Elijah Company Missionary Training Camp jump-started my missions career.”

“It exposed for me my shortcomings when it comes to missionary service and intensified my longing to glorify God among the nations.”

“Great teaching on areas that are central but so often neglected in missions: Personal spiritual maturity, intercession, evangelism.”

“It was a great balance of spiritual issues and concepts with the practical and strategic that are a part of ministry here or overseas.”

“I believe this is an excellent tool in preparing people for the mission field. It causes people to count the cost before making final decisions. It opens new thoughts and ideas for those planning to go.”

“Four days of intense, deep reflection on the realities of life as a missionary and the importance of the calling, whether you’ve got it or not; whether you’re ready or not.”

“The Elijah Company Missionary Training Camp was a very informative and valuable session. I would recommend this to all churches and those unsure of their calling.”

Certification – In conjunction with your local church, the Elijah Company can offer a program to certify individuals and couples for a mission’s career. The first step is participation in the Missionary Training Camp.

Intercessors Arise International – This is a department of Elijah Company designed to promote and train in intercession for missions. A weekly letter to encourage and instruct can be received by writing to or

Missionary Mentorship

 “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

The Need for Mission’s Mentorship

The aim of Elijah Company, Inc. mentorship is to take people into the heart of missionary life, and a safe place for growth, by providing relational and experiential development for cross-cultural ministry. Mentorship is a synonym for discipleship. The Greek word for disciple, ‘mathetes‘ means “One who attaches himself to another to gain some practical or theoretical knowledge, whether by instruction or by experience.

Mark writes that Jesus chose twelve men “that they might be with Him” (Mark 3:14). A key to mentorship is togetherness. He spent time with His chosen disciples, instructed them, gave them experience, and affirmed their gifting. Those called to be apostolic (as in being sent) were together with the apostles such as Peter and Mark, Barnabas and Saul, Paul and Silas, Paul and Mark, etc.. The Holy Spirit uses as mentors those whom he has already developed in specific ministries in order to develop others in the same.

“The Elijah Company stimulates an awakening in me. I walk each day with a greater sense of purpose to the fulfillment of the promises and call God has put on my life.” Mission’s Candidate

“I joined the Board of Elijah Company, Inc. because I saw in the organization a new, fresh, and exciting alternative to the traditional ways of preparing people for the field. It’s hands-on and people-focused.” Elijah Company Board Member

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).

 Going Out in the Spirit and Power

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith… that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16, 19).

I knew I was on the Lord’s mission. I (Norm) had returned from a two-week trip to three Central American countries. In the days leading up to the trip, I was struggling with the fact that little seemed to be lined up. I didn’t even know where I would stay or the individuals I would meet there, but I knew I was on the Lord’s mission. The first thing I sensed was that Satan would try to hinder. That he did. The second thing was that I prayed that the Lord would manifest His presence. That He did. When we talk about the manifest presence of God, we often think of the miracles that accompany large meetings when obvious things happen that normally wouldn’t. Or we think of healings and deliverance. These are all a part of the manifest presence and the fullness of God. But there is something more.

The One who holds power beyond our imagination is with us as we go. It was obvious to me, as in the past that the Lord was manifesting His presence and fullness through His provisions, safety, divine contacts and favor with those I was meeting. Our purpose is to see thousands of workers raised up from the Latin American world. Though previously unannounced, the Lord led me to some of the most influential Christian leaders in three countries, gave me wisdom in speaking and favor with all. This is what we call going out in the Spirit and power. In the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gave a great challenge to go to all nations teaching them all things. But He also pointed out that all power was given to Him and that He would be with those He sent all the time. This is going out in power.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

The cornerstone scripture of Elijah Company is Matthew 9:35-38. It is a model of a missionary, Jesus being that model. He went into all the towns and villages. He proclaimed the good news of the Gospel. He healed all diseases. He had compassion on all the people. And He said that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few therefore we should earnestly implore the Lord of the harvest to send workers (who in reality would be just like Him – going, preaching, healing and praying). But the most interesting word in this passage is the Greek word “ekballo” meaning “send“. The response to earnest prayer for the Lord to send workers would be His direct and personal intervention to send in His power. The word “ekballo” can be described in many ways. It is a spiritual word that conveys hurricane-like force to drive along. It is the same word used a few verses later in Matthew 10 when Jesus told His disciples to “ekballo” demons, meaning “cast them out by the finger of God“. When one is sent in this way by the Lord of the harvest, He goes out in the Spirit and power.

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out (ekballo) workers into his harvest field'” (Matthew 9:35-38).

After twenty-five years of mission’s work, my conclusion is that missionary work is not difficult. It is not hard. It is simply impossible. It is for this reason that nearly 60% of foreign missionaries do not return to the field. Many try to do in the flesh what can only be done through the Spirit and in God’s power. So the question remains, “How does a person go out in the Spirit and power?” I would never claim to be an ultimate authority on anything pertaining to God’s ways, but there are some things the Lord is showing us. Just like I went to Central America and experienced God, those going on the mission field need to know what God’s ways are in sending people in the Spirit and power.

How to Go Out in the Spirit and Power

“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah… to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).

  • Develop a personal spiritual resume – Develop your spiritual gifts, get involved in evangelism, exercise your prayer life, and step out by faith right where you live. Do this in the shadow of your hometown church. Exercise your gifts to the maximum right now where you are.
  • Get a world perspective – Take the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course by the U. S. Center for World Missions. This course is the most eye-opening way to see the progression of what God has done and is presently doing in missions and how you can hop on board.
  • Attend a Missionary Training Camp with the Elijah Company – This training is short and intense. It may not be everything a person needs but as one trainee put it, “It has given me the steps to take to get to the field.” It is comparable to going into a dark room and having someone switch on the lights for a few seconds. You don’t have enough time to study the room in detail, but you know the general layout. You know what to avoid and what to pursue. For information, see If Elijah Company is not an alternative, then find another with a similar emphasis.
  • Get certified in missions – What we mean by certified is that you find out what are some of the essentials a person needs in order to be a missionary. These are things like spiritual disciplines such as prayer, devotions and study, good personal relationships, cultural adaptability, emotional wholeness and understanding of spiritual warfare. Make sure that these essentials are developed before you go.
  • Ask the leaders in your church to hear from the Lord on your behalf – It was the leaders of the church in Antioch in Acts 13:1-3 who were together ministering to the Lord, when the Holy Spirit spoke and said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have for them.” We must believe that the Holy Spirit is still speaking and saying, “Set apart for me ____ for the work I have.” He is the Lord of the harvest. He commands, controls, inspires and sends. A few chapters later in another instance the leaders said something that is equally relevant, “If it seems good to you and to the Holy Spirit…” When we sense a call to missions we cannot be independent. We are interdependent in the body of Christ. When leaders of a church step away from a prayer time, having heard from the Lord regarding an individual, then that person can pursue his call with vigor and undaunted certainty and say, “This is the Lord, He is with me.
  • Develop a sending team – Each person going out should have a team of 10-20 individuals who are intimately involved with the mission like a flight crew of a fighter jet. We are told that as many as 50 individuals may be on the flight crew of one fighter jet. These individuals know everything about that aircraft, every cable, gage and capacity. They know its mission, when it goes out and when it should return. They know the pilot, how he flies, what he likes, dislikes and his tendencies. This, ideally, is the kind of sending base we need. With the sending of many thousands of missionaries, the church is going to be stretched to care for and support each one. It is my opinion that once the leadership has confirmed the call, the responsibility to support should be delegated to a sending team.
  • Develop a fervent prayer life – This should actually be the first step and never stop until the last. It is praying to the Lord of the harvest. The Lord does not need anything. He does not need workers to accomplish His work. He could do it on His own. He has no needs. The call for workers is the privilege that we have of cooperating in His divine plan for all ages. He desires to have us involved. Pray that He would send. To receive weekly encouragement and training in prayer, send a blank e-mail to

This may not be the only way to go out in the Spirit and power, but it may be a good alternative for some who are contemplating the call to missions. There may also be some people on the field who need to retrace their steps and develop some of the things we mentioned.

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).

For information on Elijah Company, Inc. ministries and training, contact us at or call 757-226-3507.

The Presence and Power of God

 “Christianity is the divine power of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, filling a man’s soul and body, flashing through his nature like a holy flame, accomplishing the will of God” John G. Lakes

Recently we were in a Middle Eastern nation ministering to a group of Christian workers who were grappling with many serious, sometimes life and death matters. Their lives illustrate some of the greatest complexities and challenges in taking Christ to the nations. I (Norm) wish every person preparing for missions could meet and hear from them. During our fellowship times with them, I asked this question, “What is the most important thing needed in preparation for what you are doing?” Many of them responded saying, “Learn how to deal with spiritual strongholds.” Personal spiritual strongholds are one of the main topics we presented to them. It has been a core in the training we provide.

In preparation for serving the Lord overseas, what is the most important thing we must know and experience? How can we prevent the high dropout rate among many who seek to serve the Lord? Some years ago we had two opportunities to host a well-known author of one of the most highly esteemed books on cross-cultural communication. When we hosted him, he was well into his seventies or even eighties. During a conversation, I asked him what he felt was the most important knowledge needed to prepare for missions. His answer astounded me. He referred to the children of Israel and their departure from Egypt. They were instructed to ask their Egyptian neighbors for gold, and their neighbors gladly complied. But the question arises, “What good is gold in a desert?” The gold of Egypt is not necessarily bad though it does represent worldly power. The world trusts in the power of wealth. What could gold buy in the desert? In the end, they used this power to make an idol that they worshipped in place of the Lord.

What can be compared to Egypt’s gold?

  • Knowledge – Knowledge is good, but knowledge alone does not accomplish the work. Because we live in a time where there is such an abundance of knowledge from so many sources, nearly all the world has the ability to know. If power came through knowledge, we would already be spiritual giants. We are trying to impart knowledge in this book, so it is good. The Scriptures talk about seeking knowledge, but knowledge requires response and application. I suggest that many of us have far more knowledge than we have been able to apply. In India I gained the title “The Practical Preacher” because all of my teaching was applicable. If you can’t use it, you will lose it like the manna in the desert. “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” (1 Corinthians 8:1) 

  • Technology – An interesting fact coming out of the war in Iraq is that with all the highly sophisticated technology of the allied force, they have not been able to defeat the simple plots of the insurgents. A radical dedication and covert activity has subverted the high-tech weapons of the west. In our work, e-mail communication is important but not essential. Power point illustration help, but it is the Holy Spirit who speaks. I am writing to you with the help of technology, but I know that the value of these words is not in your receiving it but in the Holy Spirit revealing it. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7)
  • Strategic gatherings – Much has been done to bring people together to plan. I have been to many “networking” meetings that amounted to little. That doesn’t mean they are unnecessary. A book published in the 80’s talked about the steps of highly effective people. The principles were good, and many sounded like they were Biblically based. Yet if dependence is not put on the Lord and seeking His face and His strategy, much time can be wasted. The late Leonard Ravenhill wrote that in the early church, men met in the upper room to pray; now men meet in the conference room to pay. The subtle reasoning is that if we have strategy and wealth, we can do the work. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) 

  • Finances – Nearly every work that we know struggles to be financially supported. During twenty-five years of missions work, there have been things we desired, but our effectiveness was never dependent on how much we had. In India we know of Christ’s servants who literally have only the clothing they wear and a Bible, but who are much more effective than many well resourced Christians. In the Elijah Company, we have maintained a faith lifestyle and though we are not rich by worldly standards, we have had all that we need. Money is a necessity in this world but not what we depend on. “So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.'” (Zechariah 4:6) 

Are these things wrong? No, but what is wrong is the use of them without the power that God supplies. What was the real resource that God gave Israel when they came out of Egypt? I believe it is found in Exodus 33-34. Moses found favor in God’s sight, received a revelation of God and a promise of His presence. What can we do to prioritize knowing God and His presence and finding His favor?

Ways to Prioritize Knowing God’s Presence and Power

  • Live in love and unity – We are not lone-rangers but are connected to the entire body. Where love and unity are being practiced, there will also be power. Strife puts out the Spirit’s power. The founder of McDonald’s restaurants is quoted as saying, “None of us is as good as all of us.” Without unity, the Lord’s presence is diminished. The Lord dwells in the midst of loving fellowship. “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that is from heaven is first of all pure, then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:13-18) 

  • Hunger for God’s manifest presence – Moses said, “If you don’t go with us, don’t send us.” This is nurtured through prayer and fasting. I asked a missionary working in a difficult place if there are many other workers who spend an hour a day in prayer. His response was that he does not know of any, not even himself. We need time to be still in His presence as the Word says in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” And as the small monk, Brother Lawrence wrote, “We must practice the presence of God“. He is with us, but are we continually aware of it? Sign up for Intercessors Arise to learn more about prayer and practicing God’s presence by sending a blank e-mail to

Experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit – Jesus said that He would not leave His followers as orphans but would send the Helper, the Holy Spirit. John 14:17-18, 26. Historically, there have been divisive views about the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church. These views have resulted in grievous divisions and lack of power and witness. What is the proper way to think of the Holy Spirit? In the late eighties, I was asked to do a teaching on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. I was impressed with the idea that the Father was in Heaven, the Son was seated at His right hand and that God the Holy Spirit was resident in us, the Church. Because of this I sought to know the Holy Spirit better. As a result my ministry began to have a more powerful outcome.

The most important things is to know the Lord and walk in His presence. Technology, organizing, networking, finances are all good tools but we need to seek God first and the tools later. The motto of my alma mater is “To know Him and to make Him know.” Recently in talking with a long-term worker from the Middle East, I asked him this question, “How much knowledge does a person need to prepare for overseas work?” His response to the question about knowledge to prepare was, “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be a worker for the Lord. The important thing is to know the Lord.

“It must be perfectly obvious to anyone that what the whole church needs from top to bottom is a deeper conversion, a profounder experience of the power of the Holy Spirit. Awakenings in history have never come from regular ecclesiastics getting together to ‘do something’. It has come from inspired nobodies whom the church first ignored, then condemned, then (if they got powerful) took over and finally domesticated. Let us look to see where the Holy Spirit is at work now. Maybe we can learn something” Samuel Shoemaker

For additional training in the presence of God, read the book called Go Forth in Power (Book 2) by Norman and Debbie Przybylski

The Power To Set Nations Free

 “We have been sent into the world to implement the rule of God on earth. Where there is discord we are to replace it with harmony. Where there is hatred we are to replace it with agape. Where there is an offense simmering into a murderous conflict, we are to replace it with forgiveness. When we choose to forgive, we invade the realm of darkness and defeat those dark forces with the power of a resurrected life.”

As we mature in our destiny to reach the nations, there are things that can hinder our progress towards God’s plan for us. One of the greatest hindrances is unforgiveness. Realize that the enemy will try to trip you up as you move forward in your destiny, he will bring people in your path who irritate or hurt you, he will remind you of past hurts, and he will do everything he can to cause division. Why does he do this? Satan is afraid of the salvation of the lost. He is afraid of your destiny in reaching the nations. He knows that if you forgive others, then you will have a greater ability to set the captives free wherever you go. He tries everything to stop and entrap you. One of his main tactics is relational difficulty that leads to unforgiveness. If he has you here, he really has hindered your progress and your effectiveness. We have seen the damage caused by unforgiveness on the mission field again and again. It damages whole teams and hinders the work of God.

Forgiveness is one of the most important Christ-like responses that we could ever have. In fact, forgiveness is the power to set nations free. If you learn to forgive, you can help others to do likewise. The steps in forgiving others are not easy. The love of Christ is the only way that we can set free those who have deeply wounded us. But it is possible. There is perhaps no greater gift you can offer to God than a heart that knows the power of forgiveness, chooses to forgive, and sets others free. It is time to access this life-changing grace of forgiveness as we go to the nations.

“Who has offended or wounded you? Release them from unforgiveness. This release of divine power is resident, even now, in our capacity to set one another free from indebtedness. Forgive your debtors and maintain forgiveness.” Francis Frangipane

Many of us don’t realize the power released when we truly forgive one another. It is a power that can affect the whole world as each one of us chooses to walk in forgiveness on a daily basis, because it sets the captives free. Forgiveness defeats darkness on a massive scale because it involves the resurrection power of Jesus. There is nothing that can defeat the healing release that is in one act of forgiveness. This is why Jesus and the Biblical writers emphasize it so strongly. Paul says in Colossians 3:13, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Steps in Forgiving Others

“Forgiveness openly acknowledges God as sovereign Lord of our lives. It makes room for God’s perspective being larger and more encompassing than ours. It confirms that He is using everything in our existence for our good and His glory. Nothing gets through his hands that cannot mold us and mature us. He guarantees the grace to respond to every offense. He has promised to be in charge of all vengeance.”

  • Recognize and call sin what God calls it – Be specific and thorough. Remember forgiveness is not excusing and approving of the behavior of others or saying that the offense is not important. Be honest with yourself, and recognize your emotional response. You may feel angry, sad, let down or disappointed. It isn’t wrong to have emotions. They are natural. It’s what you do with your emotions that can be sinful. Make sure there is no offensive way in you. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is an offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
  • Share with God honestly, and let Him heal you – Share with God what happened to you and how you feel. He knows your pain. Look at His evaluation of the situation, and focus on Him and His faithfulness. Spend time with Him, and let Him restore where sin has destroyed. Forgiveness releases God’s divine healing power. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
  • Set the offender free, understanding that it is a process – Declare forgiveness. Say, “I forgive (name individual or group) for (name the offense).” Don’t say, “I want to forgive.” Let them off the hook, and set them free. It takes time to go through the process of forgiveness. The hurt can come up at different times, and we must choose to forgive again. It doesn’t mean that we automatically forget the offense. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Release the offender to God, trusting Him as your Judge – Repent of your desires to punish and take revenge. Let God deal with the offense. Focus on today rather than the past. Declare God as Judge over the person and the situation. Transfer what happens next to God. Know that He is your protector. “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
  • Bless the offender – Apply God’s forgiveness. Trust and reconcile when possible. Realize that forgiveness does not always mean that we have to relate in the future. In some cases, this is not possible. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12:14)

“When God forgives us, He not only accepts the consequences of our debt; He imparts the ability to forgive. In the same way, we can to the same degree enable others to forgive when we forgive them. Forgiveness is a power that can be transferred.” Unnamed quotes by Dudley Hall 

May God give us the grace to fully free others. May we be like Jesus who was the first one to love, to forgive and to bless people. May the river of God’s life flow through each one of us so that we bless everyone we meet. May we remind people of how much they are loved by God. As we give our lives away in love and in forgiveness, we become free ourselves. Through a life that models forgiveness, we help enable others to forgive. Forgiveness is powerfully effective in setting nations free from hatred, disharmony and darkness. We are God’s called out people. We must know who we are in Christ and walk in love with God and one another.

“Forgiveness is the very spirit of heaven removing the hiding places of demonic activity from the caverns of the human soul. It is every wrong made right and every evil made void. The power released in forgiveness is actually a mighty weapon in the war to save our cities.” Francis Frangipane

For additional training in setting nations free; an anointing for missions, a passion that will burn like fire and God’s powerful light in a dark world, read the book called Go Forth in Power or Intercessors Arise by Norman and Debbie Przybylski.

The Power of Encouragement

12392004_1073333009396472_8317351932599636537_n“Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk (ever) come out of your mouth, but only such (speech) as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it” (Ephesians 4:29, Amplified).

Someone has once said, “Be kind to everyone for everyone is going through some kind of battle.” This is so true because we all are going through various battles in life. If we are not in a present battle, we are either entering one or coming out of one. The days are getting more difficult in the world, and we must do everything we can to support and encouragement one another along the way. We read in Hebrews 10:25, “but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” A positive word of encouragement can make a huge difference. There have been times of difficulty when a simple word of encouragement changed my whole perspective on my situation.

We all know how deeply we long for others to encourage us. But let us be the ones to lift the burdens of another through a simple word of encouragement. The word “encourage” in Webster’s Dictionary means: “to give or increase confidence of success; to inspire with courage, spirit, or strength of mind, to embolden, to incite, to inspirit.” We need to represent Jesus Christ to others by increasing the confidence and courage in them to do great things for God. Just as He is our refuge and our tower of strength, we need to be a safe and encouraging place for others.

In looking at the whole need of encouragement, we first need to realize the power there is in the tongue. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” We all have problems with the tongue. We often are not tongue conscious, and instead of inspiring others with courage, we may bring great discourage with our words. It takes a baby 2 years to learn to talk and 60 years to learn to keep his mouth shut! If you filled a library with a lifetime of your words, what would be the titles of the books in it? Our tongues have potential to build up or cause destruction.

The Bible speaks much about the tongue. The book of Proverbs speaks of both the evil and good side of the tongue. Tongue, lips, mouth and words appear 150 times in Proverbs. James 3:1-12 speaks with greatest authority and impact on the subject of the evil side of the tongue. James compares the tongue with the rudder on a ship. It has a powerful influence. A rudder on a ship, though small, steers a ship to its destiny. We lived on a ship for years, and I am amazed at how that small rudder steered our ship all over the world. James also speaks of the tongue as like a fire’s spark which can set a whole forest on fire!

“Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark” (James 3:4-5).

God wants us to stimulate others to love and good deeds. He wants us to use our tongue to edify and build up, to encourage and set free. The purpose of our life is to be a blessing to others. Most people are afraid, especially now with the threat of terrorism and the increase in natural disasters. We live in a fallen world. Those who are serving God in the nations know that the spiritual battle is not easy. Instead of pulling one another down, let us help each other to really live for Christ in a greater way. We can do this in a number of ways – wise counsel and advise, spiritual exhortation, encouragement, comfort, etc. We need to learn to tame our tongue, so that blessing can flow to others freely and unhindered.

How can we tame our tongue?

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

  • Acknowledge your dependence on God – You cannot control your tongue yourself. You need to ask God for help. Even David had difficulty in controlling his tongue. See Psalm 39:1-3.
  • Admit and confess sins of the tongue – We need to admit the sins of the tongue. We need to come into the presence of God, and ask Him to reveal any sin areas in our speech. God promises to forgive us. See I John 1:9.
  • Be sensitive in your speech towards others – Think before you speak. Ask God to give you sensitivity towards others and alert you to negative speech even before you say it. The tongue is the showcase of the heart. See Ephesians 4:29.
  • Fill your mind with Scripture on a daily basis – What we feed into our spirit, comes out of our mouths. If we fill our minds with God’s Word, we can better help and encourage one another. God’s Word can judge the thoughts and attitudes of our heart. See Hebrews 4:12.
  • Don’t listen to negative speech or gossip – It will only bring you down and tempt you to sin in your speech as well. Gossip hurts deeply and is a snare. See Proverbs 18:7-8.
  • Cultivate the art of listening to others – Many of us are good talkers but not good listeners. We need to cultivate the art of listening carefully to others. The Bible says that we should be quick to listen and slow to speak. See James 1:19.
  • Spend time in praise and thanksgiving to God – Spending lots of time in praise and thanksgiving puts us into the atmosphere of encouragement. We then become more heavenly minded with a greater ability to bless others in our speech. See Psalm 50:23.
  • Think of ways you can build others up with words of life – We must consider and give attention to how we can stimulate others to love and good deeds. By nature we are self-focused, but God wants to make us other-focused. See Hebrews 10:25.

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up” (Proverbs 10:25)

I exhort you to make it a point to encourage others through your speech this month. Whether it is through a telephone call, writing a note or e-mail, or through verbal words, make a conscious effort to put courage into others. Consider and give attention to how you will do this. It does not come naturally for most of us. Some of you may need a breakthrough in your life regarding your future. Taming your tongue and using it to bless and encourage others could open the way for God to bring you to the next level in your walk with Him and your future ministry. Study how you will stir up and stimulate others to love and good deeds. You may be surprised, because often when we encourage others, we ourselves are encouraged.

“And let and give attention, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities” (Hebrews 10:25).

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International

The Disciplined Life

 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize”
(1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

We just finished a fast during which time we focused a lot of prayer on Jesus’ command in Matthew 9:38 which says, “Pray to the Lord of the harvest that He would thrust out workers.” The Hebrew word translated “thrust” is Ekballo. It has several different connotations which indicate something similar to rocket propulsion. When we leave the sending or thrusting to the Lord of the harvest, there is a different potential in those being sent. In reality, the outcome would be that they would do the things that Jesus did which are included in Matthew 9:35-38, 10:3.

“Jesus went through all the town and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness… He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness” (Matthew 9:35-10:1).

There is a mistaken notion that this powerful impartation comes with no personal effort. The container of this power is the human temple. The body, as with the temple in Scripture, is in the hands of the servants of God. I think that God may withhold a greater anointing for service when His wisdom sees that the container cannot bear it. So what must we do? I (Norm) am not a large framed person, but I do weight-lift. At forty-eight years of age, I don’t expect to become a huge, muscular figure, yet I am encouraged to see the form and enlargement of muscle on my body. I am more fit today than I was at age twenty-eight. Some of the more muscular men who work out where I exercise have given me helpful information regarding muscle building. It is good to have coaches who speak with experience.

Bodily discipline does have benefit. We need to exercise our body because it is the temple where God dwells. Tiredness, dullness of mind, vulnerability to temptation and depression of emotion are linked to our physical state. Diet also has a lot to do with this because excessive amounts of sugars are a poison that actually kills vitality. We all need to watch our diets. Fasting is also good and necessary for many reasons. One of the by-products is the cleansing of the body. I actually feel more energized when fasting than when I don’t.

A good, consistent physical exercise program is extremely important. I normally exercise five days a week for thirty minutes. Find what is right for you. Adequate sleep is also important. Most people need eight good hours of sleep a night. Some may be blessed to get by with less, but not all. A missionary will need to be culturally sensitive about this but, when possible, we should retire early and rise early. The morning, when all is quiet and when we are well rested, is the best time to spend time in prayer and study. If you would like to receive Health Arise which is a monthly e-mail designed to encourage and motivate you toward a healthy lifestyle, send a blank e-mail to

“The one mark of discipleship is the mastership of Jesus – His right to me from the crown of my head to the sole of my foot.” Disciples Indeed

We need to realize that bodily discipline can be compared to spiritual discipline. Just as a physical muscle needs exercise, the spiritual does too. Faith is developed by exercise. Spiritual giants are not born giants; they are born as small children. Through nurture and exercise they grow and develop. We need to dismiss the idea that spiritual maturity and power comes instantly. Too many people are disappointed to find that one must expect the Lord to school them in spiritual matters. Many who read Scripture, receive prophetic words of revelation and encouragement, and/or receive a classroom education, expect to immediately go out and conquer the world. Peter thought like that, but Jesus said that Peter would deny Him. It was a little maid confronting Peter that led to His denial. How will many of us respond when confronted with trials; perhaps there will be the possibility of danger or loss? How will our faith stand if not exercised and made strong?

The Bible says in Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” The Lord impressed that upon me during a time of fasting. The implication is that we have a responsibility to make ourselves strong in the Lord. Before God can commit your ministry into your hands, you must first be submissive to His discipline. As you go into God’s mission field in another country, He wants you to go forth as a disciplined soldier. He is preparing you for your destiny and so how you live now is very important.

“The cross of discipleship is that I daily and hourly delight to tell my human nature that I am not my own, I no longer claim my right to myself.” Run Today’s Race

Areas of the Disciplined Life

“Discipline yourself for the purpose of Godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7).

The following are some additional areas in which we need to be well disciplined, alert to the enemy devices, so that we will be good soldiers on the mission field. These are very basic places where the enemy will attack the believer. We urge you to discipline yourself now and strengthen your spiritual muscles so that you may not be disqualified at a later time. We have seen workers on the field fall into these very traps time and time again.

  • A consistent quiet time Your devotional life is a time set aside each day to be with the Lord. It may mean study, or prayer, or it may be a time of fellowship and meditation with Him. It is a time when you find yourself happy to be with God and He with you. There are many tools that help in personal devotions. The most important tool is an alarm clock to wake you from sleep! Realize that the enemy will strongly attack this area of your life. We have seen him do this in missions again and again. 
“Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart” (Psalm 119:2).
  • Taming the tongue Watch your tongue. Stay away from destructive speech, listening to gossip, or talking negatively about someone. Instead, bless others by saying constructive things, looking at the good side, practicing positive speech, encouraging others. Your tongue can have a powerful influence on others. Use your tongue to bring life instead of death. 
“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).
  • Using your spiritual gifts What are you good at? What do you love to do? Where do you sense God’s presence moving through you? Tell others when you see them excelling, or when you see a spiritual gift operating in their life. Your spiritual gift is your spiritual job description. 
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6).
  • An evangelistic lifestyle God wants all of us to reach out to the lost. We must be involved in evangelism here at home before going overseas. We need to reach out and show acts of love and kindness to our neighbors and co-workers now. 
“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).
  • Journaling and listening to God Get a notebook and write down what God is speaking to you, what you are learning and how you see God working. Begin journaling now. It helps you to remember all that happens. God can give you direction through journaling. Your journal is your friend. 
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
  • Prayer and fasting Prayer and fasting has already been mentioned but we must stress how extremely powerful this is for reaching the nations. Fast a day or a meal a week, and pray for that country or area that is on your heart and for what you want to see God do there. Discipline yourself into longer fasts as you are able. We recommend Debbie’s book called Intercessors Arise that can help you grow in your prayer life. You can purchase it at 
“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:17-18).
  • Bible study The Holy Spirit is given to guide and teach (John 14). There are many good books that help in Bible study. Sometimes I just read through books of the Bible, meditating on certain portions, relating them to others. For a period of six years, I (Norm) would read through the Bible from cover to cover each year. I had a chart in the front of my Bible with all the books and chapters so I could check each off as I read it. This helps to ensure that you are not purposefully leaving out the “uninteresting” parts of the Bible. “All scripture is God-breathed and is profitable.” I have noticed that the more I am in the Scriptures, the happier I am with the productivity of my life. 
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
  • Praise, worship and thanksgiving Praise and worship are our greatest weapons against the enemy. Whenever you are going through a difficult time, have a time of radical praise, worship and thanksgiving. Everything changes. Remember that God dwells in the praises of His people. 
“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs” (Psalm 100:2).

Go through these areas of the disciplined life and evaluate yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What areas do you need to work on now? Make it a matter of prayer. Focus your discipline on improving those areas this year. You will find it a great benefit to your life later, whether at home or overseas, and you will be a good example to others in every situation.

If a Christian is not disciplined in many of these areas he will not be very fruitful. Discipline and discipleship are one and the same. Jesus says, “if anyone would come after me.” “If” means you don’t need to unless you like, but you won’t be of any account to Me in this life unless you do. Jesus expects us to live a disciplined life. As we grow and mature in our Christian walk, we realize the importance of this truth. We become stricter with ourselves, and we do not run aimlessly. We realize that we are in strenuous training. Many times we say “No” to good things because we want the best. We know that self-denial and taking up the cross of Jesus Christ is a requirement in being His disciple.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

For additional training on mentoring in character; preparation for knowing the will of God and approved unto God: a key to God’s will, read the book called Go Forth in Power by Norman and Debbie Przybylski.

Preparation Through Self-Denial

 “It is easy to imagine that we will get to a place where we are complete and ready, but preparation is not suddenly accomplished, it is a process steadily maintained. It is dangerous to get into a settled state of experience. It is preparation and (more) preparation.”

The above quote from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers can be both encouraging and discouraging. It is meant to instruct us about the reality of Christian service and the truth that nobody is ever completely ready to do what God has called him to do, but preparation is always ongoing. A completely prepared worker in the harvest would look and act just like Jesus. There have been some good workers like the apostle Paul, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, etc. Yet even they would admit their struggles and desire to have more of Christ in their lives.

I (Norm) am always impressed when reading about Gideon in Judges 6. The strength of his going was in the power of God’s sending. The Lord Himself appeared to him and said in Judges 6:14, “Go in the strength you have and save. Am I not sending you?” Of course we know that Gideon, by his own admission, was the least of the lowest and an unlikely candidate for this high calling from God. The strength of Gideon’s going was not in his qualifications, but it was in the power of God’s sending. This is what we call God’s ekballo power. Ekballo is a Greek word that means to thrust, cast out, be carried along (by the Spirit). It is like a jet propulsion!

A Need to Examine the Heart

Many people have made contact with the Elijah Company saying they have a call. We often try to discourage people by “de-romanticizing” the call to be an end-times harvester.

“The sense of sacrifice appeals readily to a young Christian. Humanly speaking, the one thing that attracts to Jesus is our sense of the heroic, and the scrutiny of our Lord’s words suddenly bring this tide of enthusiasm to a test.” Oswald Chambers

Chambers goes on to say that the Lord is able to call our desire into question and purify our motives. Why do we want to serve the Lord? I can think of several wrong reasons: To experience new cultures, to escape present difficulties, to have people think we are adventurous, brave and committed, to travel and the list goes on. After twenty-five years of mission’s experience, I can testify that all these reasons fade once the difficulties and perseverance begin to cost. The Lord lets these things happen to test us. He wants us to learn self-denial and commitment with pure motives.

“If anyone desires to be my disciple, let him deny himself – that is, disregard, lose sight of and forget himself and his own interests – and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24, Amplified Bible)

The issue in serving the Lord is not location or function but it is heart. That is why the Lord says in Matthew 5:23-24, “If you are bringing your gift to the alter and you remember your brother has something against you, leave your gift and first be reconciled to your brother.” Personal relationships are true reflectors of the motives of the heart. Ninety percent of everything we do in ministry has to do with developing and maintaining personal relationships. Many of us would be more willing to die as a martyr than to lay aside our personal rights reflected in these personal relationships. Dying as a martyr can have some merit for self. That is why Paul wrote to the Corinthians in I Corinthians 13:3,5, “If I give all I posses to the poor and surrender my body to the flames but have not love, I gain nothing. Love does not seek its own.”

Preparing For Your Call Through Self-Denial

“Are you willing to obey your Lord and Master whatever the humiliation to your right to yourself may be? You were looking for some great thing to give up. God is telling you of some tiny thing; but at the back of it there lies the central citadel of obstinacy: I will not give up my right to myself.” Oswald Chambers

Missionary life is filled with opportunities for learning self-denial. Last year we were in India. I (Debbie) brought a book with me by Amy Carmichael called A Chance to Die. It was a rugged trip with hours of traveling over bumpy roads, dangers from thieves and hours of hard endurance. When I came across a difficulty that called for self-denial, I remembered the book I was reading. I was able to say to myself, “This is a chance to die; a chance to die to myself.”

At the same time I had remembered the book by Oswald Chambers quoted above. His book is called My Utmost for His Highest. I was challenged so strongly by the life of Oswald Chambers and Amy Carmichael. The testimony of how they lived their life helped me during moments of self-denial and personal pain. If they could do it, so could I. During those difficult moments of self-denial and hardship I would say to myself, “My utmost for His highest.”

We just returned from 33 days in the Middle East. There were times of endurance on this trip as well. There is no getting away from it. If we are going to reach this world with the Gospel of Jesus, we will have to learn self-denial and sacrifice. It is going to cost us something. But we can assure you that it is worth it. Start learning self-denial right now. This will prepare you for your destiny. Jesus gave up His life. He laid it down for us. Can we expect to do less? Self-sacrifice is the way to find your true self. Don’t withdraw from suffering but learn to embrace the cross of Christ now. We encourage you to answer the following questions:

  • Is there a “personal right” that you need to give up? The Holy Spirit speaks to us when we listen. What small thing is He asking of you? Listen to what He is saying, say yes to Him, and in prayer lay it down.
  • Is there a person you do not like? Does the person you are thinking of stir negative emotions in you because of something they have done, or perceivably done? The greatest challenge you may face will be to pray for and speak blessing to that person.
  • What are your reasons for wanting to serve the Lord? On a piece of paper write out your reasons for wanting to serve God in missions or otherwise. Evaluate and bring these before the Lord in prayer.
  • What situation are you facing right now that is an opportunity for self-denial? Can you say to yourself, “This is a chance to die; a chance to die to myself”? Can you say to God “My utmost for Your highest“?

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self” (Matthew 16:24, Message Bible).

Mentoring For Missions

“Today young leaders search desperately for models they can imitate and look up to. Today’s leaders live when heroes have flaws and fail and when dreams have died. When religious systems are corrupt and modern ministry does not offer a mentoring model, young leaders may end up following wrong models. Without spiritual fathers, the Church cannot achieve its ultimate destiny.” Frank Damazio

Has anyone ever told you in the midst of challenges and making important decisions to just “Go for it!” Every one of us needs this type of encouragement. Recently we had a Missionary Training Camp. It was a great experience to be able to share with those who are beginning to launch out into missions. For some it was soon and for others it was further in the distance. It was great to be together for several days, because a key to mentorship is “togetherness”. Jesus chose twelve men “that they might be with Him (Mark 3:14)”. It takes place as people share vision, model truth in life, build trusting relationships, share life experiences and work in teams.

This is what the Missionary Training Camp was like. It was great to be involved in mentoring others for missions. Mentoring is what we all long for and what we all need to be involved in personally. We notice that everyone needs encouragement to step out by faith and “Go for it!” Everyone needs someone to say, “Go for your dream.” “Go for your vision.” “Go for what God has laid on your heart!If God has laid missions on your heart, we encourage you to “Go for it!” And in the midst of moving towards your destiny, learn some skills in the art of mentoring others.

Mentoring is not having all the answers. You don’t have to be perfect or have life all figured out. None of us would probably qualify in that case. Mentoring is listening, affirming, suggesting, sharing, and praying together. The mentoring pattern is where someone in need finds someone further along in experience with something to contribute. The requirements are spiritual maturity and missionary experience greater than the one we are mentoring. Everybody needs coaches, and everybody ought to be able to coach someone in something. Mentoring takes place when a living person whose life or ministry is used as an example indirectly imparts skills, principles and values that empower another person. At the end of our Missionary Training Camps, we pray for each individual. We believe this time of prayer along with the Camp imparts and empowers each one toward their destiny in missions. See for more information.

Every missionary candidate needs upward mentoring from someone who has gone before and can give direction and perspective. The mentor provides perspective, accountability and the stimulus to persevere. We desperately need this. Life is too hard to manage on our own when we enter the mission field. We want to attach ourselves to someone who is further along. Each one of us deeply wants empowerment in our calling so that we may do what God has designed us for. And each of us should look for others to mentor as well.

As you begin to think about mentoring others, there are some important qualities to look for in a mentoring relationship. Candidates for mentorship should exhibit the qualities of being teachable, flexible, humble, zealous and faithful. Candidates should know how to walk in unity and understand relational togetherness. Pray for these qualities in your own life and in the life of those you want to mentor. The apostles had these qualities. Those called to be apostolic (as being sent) in Biblical days were together with the apostles such as Peter and Mark, Barnabas and Saul, Paul and Silas, Paul and Mark, etc. The Holy Spirit uses as mentors those whom He has already developed in specific ministries to develop others in the same. As we thought about this we came to realize that ECI does not have to duplicate what the local church should already be doing. Instead we aim to accentuate the ministry of local churches in a given area by adding to their discipleship the needed component of mission.

Mentoring involves the heart. According to Proverbs 4:23, “Out of the heart flows the issues of life.” The word “disciple” is not mentioned after the book of Acts. Therefore, how did the church obey the Great Commission? When the twelve turned into thousands, these new converts sat at the feet of the apostles and had church in homes. So the actual transference of Christ’s life came through the teaching of the apostles and the life of the Holy Spirit in the body of believers. The Holy Spirit was now able to do in all believers what Jesus could only do with the twelve.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common… They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-44, 46-47)

The Importance of Mentorship

“No planned course of instruction, no classroom syllabus. Instead, He called His disciples to be with Him. Truth was not taught in abstract doctrines or regulations; it was caught in the experience of their shared life.”

We may ask ourselves, “Why is mentoring so important?” God is presently raising up fathers and mothers to mentor the upcoming younger generation and empower them for service. Here are three important reasons why each of us should be involved in a mentoring relationship.

  • It is Christ-like – The model of mentorship is seen with Jesus and the twelve. Mark writes, “Jesus chose twelve men that they might be with Him.” (Mark 3:14) 

  • It is proven – Encourage missionaries to get mentoring or coaching before they go out. There is absolutely no comparison in the results. Jay Moon, a missionary who planted over 24 churches in an African country was asked why he was so successful. His response was, “I was mentored by a senior missionary when I arrived.”
  • It is life transference – In the modern world and especially the West, there is an abundance of discipleship material, but the component of walking hand-in-hand with new missionaries is missing. How does one learn prayer in a classroom? How does one get a degree in faith? How does one practice love for the unlovable when surrounded by friends? How does one learn perseverance by reading a book? “Jesus did not go about establishing an academy, He went about establishing a fellowship; He first majored on making friends and only later on sending out apostles.” R. E. Coleman 

Mentoring Types

“The Biblical way is on the job mentoring.”
 George Patterson

There are many different ways we can mentor others. Mentoring is not done in just one way. You may prefer some of these ways above others. Find your own style of mentoring, and seek to be involved in the various mentoring types as well.

  • Discipler – Enables in the basics of following Christ.
  • Spiritual Guide – Accountability, direction and insights for questions, commitment and decisions affecting spirituality and maturity.
  • Coach – Motivation, skills and application needed to meet a task or a challenge.
  • Counselor – Gives timely advice and correct perspectives on viewing self, others, circumstances and ministry overseas.
  • Teacher – Knowledge and understanding of a particular subject.
  • Sponsor – Career guidance and protection as leader moves within an organization.
  • Model – A living, personal model for life, ministry or profession who is not only an example but also inspires following.
  • Historical – A past life that teaches dynamic principles for life ministry or profession.

The Apostle Paul is a tremendous example of one who mentored and fathers other believers. He is one who put such a high regard and priority on mentoring. This is what he said to the church in Thessalonica, and this is what we desire in our lives:

“As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who called you into his kingdom and glory.” I Thessalonians 2:6-12

For additional training for missions, read the book called Go Forth in Power by Norman and Debbie Przybylski.