But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if they become silent, the stones will cry out!
As most of us who run in circles of mission work have heard, there is great need for prayer and mission work in the 10/40 Window. This is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude containing enormous amounts of people who have never heard the gospel. Many things keep them from hearing such as location, anti-Christian religion, law, oppression, etc. These are people who range from the nomads to the wealthy, the young and old. They are part of large systems of belief which hinder the spread of the gospel, sometimes by their own culture of religion (e.g. folklore, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.), sometimes by oppressive political systems and sometimes by war and bloodshed. In any case, it is an all-out war between the rulers of darkness and the Lord of the Heavens. The 10/40 window is a spiritual blockade, pushing against the Gospel and keeping its inhabitants in darkness.
The vision in Luke 19:30-40 is powerful and profound. Jesus has secured a donkey to go into Jerusalem, and as He headed toward the city, the crowd was overjoyed. It says, “When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Well this didn’t sit well with the Pharisees, and they were insulted that the king who comes in the name of the Lord would come seated on a donkey. They turned to Christ and asked him to quiet the crowd. Instead, Jesus pointed out that even if He did quiet the crowd then the stones would cry out!
I am praying for friends in a nation of the 10/40 window who are working as missionaries, feeding the hungry, ministering to the poor. Ethnic cleansing is beginning to occur in the region where they work, and my friends may be forced to leave or they will be killed. As I was in prayer over them recently, it occurred to me that whatever the outcome, they have done well. They have been obedient to God’s call on their lives and moved where He would have them work. And whether they count it as loss or gain, God counts it all as gain. And whether they go or are killed, we cannot deny the words of Christ that even the stones would cry out in their absence.
But these truths do not mean we mustn’t go, send others to go, pray or mobilize people under the commission of Christ. After all, Jesus did not squelch the praises in His name and the joy surrounding His presence. He simply stated a penetrating truth that even if He did quiet the crowd then His very creation would magnify and glorify Him! Jesus was profoundly stating that God will accomplish His plan to redeem the world and bring glory and honor to His name whether man obediently participates or not. Isn’t it incredible that even though He doesn’t need us to carry out His plan, that He chooses us be involved and allows us to participate? How humbling to part of this great movement.
The oppressor of this world can push back the gospel from the 10/40 window only so long. He and his dominion can have spiritual stronghold for a time only allotted by God himself. They are bound by scripture, and the end of the story tells us that they will one day be cast into the lake of fire for eternity. While they give a false impression that they have control over these nations in the 10/40 window, we know they in fact are only biding their time. They know the end of the story, too. They know their time is limited.
So this knowledge calls us to a greater awareness of the world in which we live and the places where the Gospel is incredibly thwarted. Our response is prayer, intentional and deliberate prayer. And whether that prayer leads us to go, send or mobilize, it is still powerful and paramount to any action we might take to further an awareness of Christ and His Supremacy in the 10/40 window. If you are not praying for these nations and these peoples, then you must start right away. There is no greater need for prayer in the 10/40 window than now.
I’ve listed some resources below to help you get started. These are just a couple, and while there are plenty more, I find these ministries to be consistent, dedicated and solid in their research. If you are using other means to pray for the 10/40 window, please comment below. I’d love to know what other people are doing to pray forth the Gospel to the darkest places of our world.
Beverly Peagues’ entire life is devoted to the 10/40 Window. There she does an incredible job to keep us all informed politically, religiously and prayerfully on the countries in the 10/40 Window. If you join her email list, you will receive a new country to pray for each day. You can also download a monthly calendar called the WIN Reporter which highlights two countries per day for prayer. The web address is www.win1040.com. Click “subscribe” to join the mailing list.
There is also the Global Prayer Digest which you can purchase via subscription for $12/year. If you cannot subscribe they also publish the prayers online each day. GPD focuses on people groups in the 10/40 window. The focus for November is South Asia. http://www.global-prayer-digest.org/
If you’d like to get your group interested in people groups, please download this 20-minute activity that a friend and I developed for our Perspectives classes. Though it was specifically created to help our adult students overcome the inhibition of doing a research paper as part of the course syllabus, I find that it’s also a great way to promote awareness and prayer in any venue. http://www.box.net/PerspectivesPeopleGroups
I pray that God will expose you to new ways to pray for the nations of the 10/40 window. I encourage you to create cell groups in your church or school which will commit time each week to focus on nations and people groups in the 10/40 window. On that note, I am working on creating a curriculum of sorts to help people initialize prayer groups for the unreached, and will load it here when complete.
Grace, peace and thanksgiving to you and your household. May you be blessed as you walk obediently with our Lord Jesus Christ.