Growth Persecution – The Invitation – YWAM Global Prayer

Thank you for joining us this month as we take up “The Invitation” and join together with thousands of YWAMers from around the world as we pray about the Persecution that often comes with Growth.

On the second Thursday of every month YWAM locations, staff, students, and supporters join together in prayer for the mission and for what God is doing in the nations. This month we pray about persecution that often comes from growth …

Join YWAMers around the globe in praying and hearing from God. He is inviting you!

YWAM Redding prays for the persecuted Church (YWAM Redding)

YWAM Redding prays for the persecuted Church (YWAM Redding)

In this, the last of our three-part series on growth, we invite you to join The Invitation this month as we pray about the persecution that often comes along with growth. According to Christianity Today magazine, persecution of Christians continued at a high level last year: “For the third year in a row, the modern persecution of Christians worldwide has hit another record high.” YWAM’s founder, Loren Cunningham, expects more opposition in the years to come. He says “The reason I believe that persecution is going to increase on us, and I’ve already seen the signs of it, is that we are going to have a release, not just of workers but of effectiveness.”

Have a listen now to Loren Cunningham’s comments on how to pray about persecution…

Recent examples of persecution of YWAM workers include a kidnapping, families expelled from countries, one YWAM worker killed for his faith and bold witness, a YWAM worker held by militia, family members held by police, all workers from a YWAM location expelled from the country, computers and phones confiscated, home burnings of YWAM associates, burning of a church planted by a YWAM team, government harassment, imprisonment, monetary fines, beatings, hours of interrogation, and intimidation.

Loren Cunningham warns that persecution can also come by legal means such as media attacks, loss of jobs, and lawsuits against Christians. YWAM leaders also express concern over the ways governments seem to be tightening their control of, and opposition to, Christians.

Persecution is different by region and even from family to family as persecution extends to that level. One of YWAM’s leaders for the Middle East notes that there are some regions currently where “we are being much more bold and active than we have been before, but getting the same or less hassle than before, but there are some areas that have become more restrictive and are continuing to tighten up.”

This YWAM Middle East leader thinks YWAM has been spared significant persecution up to this point and attributes this to “possibly quite a bit of prayer cover.”

As we experience growth, we will also experience greater persecution. Now is the time to ‘review and count the cost’ of following Jesus to the ends of the earth. God hears the cry of the poor every day and he wants us to respond, ‘Here I am Lord, send me.’

Steve Goode, YWAM mercy ministry leader

In some cases, YWAM does not experience the persecution directly but we find ourselves helping others who have been or are being persecuted. Some of these examples are many YWAM locations sending teams to refugee camps that house Christians who have been persecuted in their home country. Other locations offer immediate assistance to cities, towns, and villages where Christians and new believers are persecuted.

The most recent World Watch List from the organization Open Doors predicts that the top ten countries for persecution in 2017 will be North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Eritrea. YWAM has had a presence or has a presence in most of these countries.

Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20). Please join us for The Invitation in April, and particularly on our prayer day April 13, as we pray about persecution.

Prepare to Pray:

All of a sudden I realized something, I am free! I am free! So what if they kill me. My life is bought by the blood of Jesus, my home is in Heaven. No one can take that away.”

Dan Baumann, YWAM teacher and author

  • As a group or individually, ask God to give you clarity on the cost of following Jesus for your specific ministries.
  • As a group, note things that you can do to prepare DTS students and staff for the persecution that is expected with the anticipated YWAM growth.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulations or distress, or persecution, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Romans 8:35, posted by YWAM Abuja, Nigeria

Pray about persecution that comes with growth:

  • Pray for courage and protection as we make more disciples. Pray for safety for new believers as they become rooted in Christ.
  • Pray for courage to bear witness when we are persecuted, imprisoned and brought to court (Luke 21:12-13). Pray that we would endure when we are persecuted (1 Corinthians 4:12).
  • Pray for YWAM locations in countries known to be the worst for persecution including: North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, and Eritrea. Pray for more workers and disciples in these countries.
  • Pray for YWAM locations that have had to leave certain areas including Syria and South Sudan due to persecution. Pray for eventual YWAM growth in these areas.
  • Pray for YWAMers in the field who must remain relatively isolated for security reasons.
  • Praise God for the way that He works in all things, including persecution, for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
  • Pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44).

YWAM Prays for the Persecuted Church (Photos posted on Facebook by YWAM Ozarks and YWAM Worcester)

  • Pray for persecuted Christians to be rescued from their persecutors (Psalm 31:15).
  • Pray for the YWAM missionary kidnapped in Africa last year. Pray for his safe return, for comfort for his family and that his captors would know Jesus.
  • Pray for God to create “Pauls” out of those who persecute today. Pray for God to provide them with mercy and to show them love through YWAMers and other workers.
  • Pray for those who are displaced and marginalized to find safety and for YWAM workers who are ministering to them.
  • Pray for loved ones of martyrs of the Christian faith to see their deceased as more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37). Pray also for practical relief and spiritual support for these families.
  • Pray for YWAMers and their friends and families who are directly impacted by persecution. Pray for strength, wisdom and provision.

sharing the Gospel with refugee children on Easter morning; one of the first YWAM signs in South Sudan

Teaching YWAMers in South Sudan

YWAM’s presence in South Sudan has shifted as persecution has intensified – Sudan being one of the worst countries in the world for persecution.

Take Action:

  • Watch Loren Cunningham on growth and persecution:
    • Trees of Growth for YWAM (teaching video, 14:33 minutes, 2017)

  • Rise of Persecution explained (6 minutes):

OpenDoors World Watch List Map 2017

  • Consult Operation World for more prayer points on the persecuted church in each country of the world. Adopt a country and pray regularly or focus on a new country each month or week.
  • Review the Back To Jerusalem 2014 Persecution Report: https://www.backtojerusalem.com/report/BTJ_2014_Persecution_Report.pdf (more coming on Back To Jerusalem in The Invitation in June).

Many YWAM Locations send teams and long-term workers to minister to persecuted Christians and others who have fled to Lesbos, Greece (YWAM Honolulu)

Read books to gain a greater understanding of persecution and the cost of following Jesus:

  • And also Loren Cunningham on global growth:

  • Share on facebook.com/youthwithamission, post a picture and add a comment about how you prayed.
  • Go to twitter.com; search for #praywithywam and tweet about your prayer time/post a picture.
  • Send an email to prayer@ywam.org letting us know how you prayed and what God revealed to you.

How We Prayed

March 2017 – Growth – Global

  • YWAM Togo, Kuwede Kara, Togo, West Africa received Genesis 1:11-12 regarding multiplication in the Horn of Africa and a vision of an open eye with the Lord saying “I the Lord have my eyes on you, I support you.” They also prayed for growth of faith for staff and students and for ending Bible poverty.
  • YWAM Perth sensed God giving them Hebrews 12:26-29, concluding that if we want to see growth and breakthrough we need to refine our character. They also prayed for the children who grow up in YWAM that they would have a heart for the Lord, and for smaller locations to have an increase of staff joining and increase in finances.
  • An individual prayed that YWAM would influence youth in their spheres of influence and that professionals and scientists would aggregate their knowledge to the kingdom of God and the advancement of the gospel.
  • YWAM Vijayawada, India posted on Facebook that they prayed for women’s ministry growth.

Future Topics:

  • May 11, 2017 Spiritual Formation
  • June 8, 2017 Back to Jerusalem
  • July 13, 2017 Two-thirds-world Workers, Financial Support

Don’t Miss The Invitation:

  • Sign up for prayer updates. Go to ywam.org, find the “Stay Connected” box on the home page, put in your email address and click “Sign Up.”
  • Download prayer updates in a specific language. Go to ywam.org/theinvitation. (Currently available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Indonesian, Korean or request other languages.)
  • Join the conversation about how God is leading in these prayer times. Comment on the Facebook page on the second Thursday at facebook.com/youthwithamission or on Twitter @ywam, hash tag #praywithywam.
  • You can now listen to The Invitation as a podcast. To sign up or listen to past episodes, go to: ywampodcast.net/category/shows/prayer.
  • If you sense God giving you a word or a direction for YWAM’s prayer, please contact us: prayer@ywam.org.
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Global Growth – The Invitation – YWAM Global Prayer

Thank you for joining us this month as we take up “The Invitation” and join together with thousands of YWAMers from around the world as we pray for Global Growth.

On the second Thursday of every month YWAM locations, staff, students, and supporters join together in prayer for the mission and for what God is doing in the nations. This month we pray about global growth …

Join YWAMers around the globe in praying and hearing from God. He is inviting you!

500 People from 43 Countries Celebrate New University of the Nations (UofN) Campus
DNA Infusion Asia at Battambang, Cambodia in January (Dawn Gauslin)

Many of you joined us last month for The Invitation when we prayed for supernatural growth for ourselves and for our local communities. In a video last month YWAM leader Lynn Green talked about prophetic messages YWAM has received about ten-fold growth and he explained how praying for growth fits with themes in the Bible.

We asked you to provide growth plans that God has given your location so we could include those in The Invitation for this month as we pray for growth from a global perspective. We heard from many of you and we reached out to several of the ministries associated with YWAM to ask about their growth goals. These specific growth plans and prayers have been included in The Invitation for March and our prayer day on March 9.

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True Repentance – Loren Cunningham

In this episode of the Youth With A Mission Teaching Podcast we get to hear a classic teaching about True Repentance from Loren Cunningham.

Loren CunninghamLoren Cunningham is the founder of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and the co-founder of the University of the Nations (U of N). He is also a leader at the YWAM, UofN Campus in Hawaii, and a member of the YWAM International Eldership.

Citing some stories from the Gospels, Loren explains what it means to truly repent of our sins. He gives practical steps for examining our own sins and seeking true repentance. His central message is that real repentance means death to self and selfishness.

Loren Cunningham is the author of a number of books including:

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Local Growth – The Invitation – YWAM Global Prayer

Thank you for joining us this month as we join together with thousands of YWAMers from around the world as we pray for local growth.

On the second Thursday of every month YWAM locations, staff, students, and supporters join together in prayer for the mission and for what God is doing in the nations. This month we pray about local growth …

Group of YWAM Students in Papua New Guinea

YWAM Medical Ships Expands in Papua New Guinea to build a Youth Training Campus in Alotau

YWAM began with a vision of growth. A young man, Loren Cunningham, saw a mental picture of wave after wave of young people covering the continents. A few years ago, YWAM received two more messages about growth, prophetic pictures of YWAM growing ten-fold, from 20,000 to 200,000 missionaries. YWAM’s leaders prayed about these words and sensed they were from God, and in keeping with a consistent theme throughout the Bible. Said Lynn Green, one of YWAM’s leaders, “growth is just intrinsic to the kingdom of God.”

For the next three months of 2017, we invite you to pray about growth. In February we invite you to ask God, do these messages about ten-fold growth apply to me and my community? If so, how?

To better understand what this prayer could look like, watch this video from Lynn Green, prepared specifically for The Invitation in February (for a transcript, see the bottom of this file):

Then, after you pray, if you sense God giving you a vision about growth please share it with us. You can do so by emailing prayer@ywam.org.

In March, we will pray for these faith goals as well as for other global goals in YWAM that seek supernatural increase.

Then in April The Invitation will again focus on growth, specifically on persecution that often accompanies growth and expansion.

As we begin this season of prayer for increase, consider this promise from the apostle Paul:

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness” (1 Corinthians 9:10).

Read the full post here.

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The Invitation – Unity – Building Bridges

Join YWAMers around the globe in praying and hearing from God. He is inviting you!

The Cunninghams Meeting with (left to right) Justin Welby, Head of the Anglican Church; Pope Francis, Head of the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Twadros II, Head of the Coptic Church to End Bible Poverty

A great awareness has been taking place on a worldwide level that is bringing people from different confessions and denominations together in Christian unity. Recent events include a global gathering held in Jerusalem to link the east and the west; an event commemorating the 500th year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in which Lutherans, Catholics and many other denominations celebrated Christian unity; and the upcoming annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity January 18 – 25th in which many YWAMers and denominations are involved.

Some have described Christian unity as the process of becoming one or oneness vs. having a focus on one denomination’s distinctions over another’s. The process of becoming one involves having a greater focus on the workings of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; affectionately loving our Christian brothers and sisters even if we do not agree completely with the doctrine of their denomination; focusing on the essentials of the Christian faith as opposed to the details of one denomination or another, and humbling ourselves like Christ. In humility, we can perceive that the Body of Christ exists within and outside different Christian expressions.  Though we might agree with the theology of a particular church or denomination, we know that does not mean everyone who attends there is a believer, but there are also Godly believers who are members of churches or confessions with whom we might disagree. We all seek to have a Biblical faith and theology but we all reach different conclusions.  Continue reading

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Understanding God’s Justice – Joy Dawson

Joy DawsonThis teaching about “Understanding God’s Justice” was shown, by Joy Dawson’s request, the 2009 University of the Nations Workshop. Despite being an older message, Joy felt that it was still very relevant to Youth With A Mission.

Joy Dawson states that we’ll only successfully navigate the roughest storms of life’s trials and testings when we’ve taken the time to study God’s Justice. It is paramount in knowing and understanding God and His ways, and an essential message for every believer.

Joy Dawson has authored or co-authored eight different books:

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Field Under Heavenly Cultivation – Corrie Ten Boom

In this episode the Youth With A Mission Teaching Podcast Corrie Ten Boom brings us a teaching entitled “Field Under Heavenly Cultivation”.

Her teachings are coloured with stories and poems inspiring us to live radically, daily aware of the ways the spiritual realms intersect with our earthly lives. If you want to bear fruit in your life this teaching will help to provide you with tools to ensure “the wilderness of your heart is transformed into a garden”.

Corrie Ten Boom was an inspiration to many, including YWAM Staff and Students. She stood up against the Nazis during The Second World War in Holland. Her and her family hid many people from the Nazi regime, but they were eventually betrayed and put in Nazi concentration camps. Corrie was the only one in her family to survive the war.

During her time in one of the concentration camps, after spending four months alone in a cell, Corrie came to the understanding that she was a field being plowed and weeded by God. This realisation lead to this teaching that we will share with you now about how we are fields under heavenly cultivation.  Continue reading

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Challenges of the Impossible – Brother Andrew

Brother Andrew - YWAMIn this Youth With A Mission Teaching Podcast we will hear from Brother Andrew as he shares about “Challenges of the Impossible”.

Based on the story of Gideon in Judges 6, Brother Andrew emphasises that God has faith in people, and man has faith in God. Throughout the teaching that was recorded in 1976, Brother Andrew uses life illustrations which are still relevant today.

Gods Smuggler Brother AndrewWhen Brother Andrew was only 12-years old he was passing secret messages during World War II to help his home country of Holland to come out from the Nazi occupation. After the war he fought for his country in the Dutch East Indies and then after returning to Holland he discovered a new life following God.

After dedicating himself to God and his call, Brother Andrew became a messenger of hope, smuggling Scripture through closed borders and equipping persecuted Christians behind the Iron Curtain. The ministry that he began, Open Doors, continues to shine the light of Christ in the world’s darkest places.

You can read more about Brother Andrew, and the ministry to persecuted Christians around the globe, in his book “God’s Smuggler“.

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The Reconciliation Walk – God Stories with Lynn Green

Lynn Green - Speaker ImageIn 1999, on the 900 year anniversary of the sacking of Jerusalem by Christian Crusaders, The Reconciliation Walk finished at an event in Jerusalem. Unlike the destruction brought to the city by the Crusaders in 1099, the Christians that came to Jerusalem with The Reconciliation Walk came with a message that says the Crusaders:

… betrayed the name of Christ by conducting themselves in a manner contrary to His wishes and character. …(By lifting up the Cross) they corrupted its true meaning of reconciliation, forgiveness, and selfless love.

The message that the walkers brought continued to state:

deeply regret the atrocities committed in the name of Christ by our predecessors. We are simply followers of Jesus Christ who have found forgiveness from sin and life in Him… We renounce greed, hatred and fear, and condemn all violence done in the name of Jesus Christ.

The walkers refer to Jesus’ biblical affirmation that He came to:

proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.

The Reconciliation Walk was directed by Lynn Green.

Lynn Green and his wife Marti first came to England and began the work of Youth With A Mission there in 1971. From 2004-2011 Lynn was YWAM’s International Chairman. He continues to convene YWAM’s global leadership meetings, and focuses much of his energy on international leadership development. Lynn Green also blogs at lynngreen.net, where you can find more of his thoughts and teachings.

In past years Lynn has been much involved in serving other movements and organisations, including Challenge 2000 (the DAWN movement in England), and “March for Jesus”, of which he was a founder. He is currently a trustee of CARE Trust. Lynn also directed the “Reconciliation Walk”, when thousands of Christians prayerfully retraced the route of the First Crusade, thereby helping to defuse 900 years of bitterness between Muslims, Christians and Jews.

In this talk from Lynn Green he shares with us his personal story from “The Reconciliation Walk”…

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Opium, Emperors, and Missionaries – Storytime with Lynn Green

Lynn Green - Speaker ImageStorytime sessions is a series that highlights some of Youth With A Mission’s values.  In the first session that we offer you on the YWAM Teaching Podcast, Lynn Green shares about Opium, Emperors, and Missionaries.

Lynn Green is a Global Elder in Youth With A Mission and is currently living in the United Kingdom where his desire is to take the good news of Jesus to everyone, with a currently focus on China and the Middle East. About this specific Storytime session Lynn says  …

We usually underestimate the role that history plays in shaping nations and relations between them.  So it is with China and its view of the West.  Every Chinese person I have spoken to has a detailed knowledge of events that stretched from the 1830s to the 1930s, in which “the Western nations oppressed us and kept us poor”.  To understand is to empathise and empathy is a powerful factor even in international relations.

Lynn Green blogs at lynngreen.net, where you can read some very interesting articles, including a fascinating reflection entitled “Is it too late for Hagar and Ishmael to Return to the Table?“.  Continue reading

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