Posted on: 28th August 2023
Around Australia, CMS branches and supporters are initiating events such as mission nights and prayer gatherings, to partner with CMS missionaries in many locations. Here we take a peek at what some of those events look like. Perhaps you could not only go to one of these meetings, but organise one?
The September Month of Prayer
Bethany Zwag, CMS VIC staff worker writes: At CMS Victoria, we’ve run a ‘September Month of Prayer’ for the last three years. We published 30 videos (one for each day of the month), each with supporters sharing why they pray for CMS. Creating and sharing these posts enabled engagement with a wide range of people across our branch, such as former missionaries, young adults and staff.
These videos were posted on Facebook and our website. You can see last year’s videos here. It was great to use the networked nature of the internet to incorporate more people than might otherwise have been possible.
The Month of Prayer in past years has been an inspiration, as we’ve heard people share their commitment to contending for the nations. We are anticipating another encouraging September. CMS friends around Australia and the world are welcome to join us in prayer for a world that knows Jesus!
Young people praying for global mission
CMS Branch Director Scott Doran-Sargent writes: This year at our CMS Tasmania World Mission Youth Night, we wanted to emphasise prayer.
After hearing from our newest gospel workers, Co-Mission Partners Bryan and Sarah Haro Leon (just departed for Ecuador) through three short, pre-recorded interviews, we experienced prayer in three ways.
First, a youth leader modelled prayer for mission in response to the first interview. Then, after the second interview, all 175 youth and youth leaders prayed in small groups for Sarah and Bryan’s ministry, the people of Ecuador and for CMS generally and its workers. After the last interview, Bryan prayed for us—that we would share Jesus here in Tasmania. Bryan prayed firstly in his native tongue, Spanish, and then in English.
Second (as our evening drew to a close), each group was offered a CMS Prayer Diary and asked to spend five minutes praying each time they gather. Each youth leader, between them representing ten churches and four denominations, took up this offer and left with a diary and commitment to regularly lead their young people in prayer for global mission.
Third, the youth were offered a CMS Prayer Card for Bryan and Sarah and encouraged to place it in a prominent place as a reminder to pray daily for them. They also got the option to sign up for the Haro-Leon’s monthly prayer update. 30 youth came to our CMS table to collect and leave the event with a prayer card.
CMS TAS World Mission Youth Night.
Capital prayer meetings
NSW & ACT
Canberra Prayer Focus happens each year in March and October. Lai Chiu is a host of the prayer meeting that meets at St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Wanniassa.
Lai Chiu says: “I am a CMS member because I want to partner with CMS missionaries, who proclaim the gospel of Jesus cross-culturally. At this stage of my life, I cannot ‘go’, but I can pray. At CMS Summer School in 2023, I heard many missionaries share the joys and hardships of their work in cross-cultural mission. They consistently emphasised the importance of prayer for their ministry, and how much they would appreciate our prayers. I was challenged that my partnership with CMS should not just be in giving but, even more importantly, in prayer.
“At the CMS Canberra Prayer Focus, it has been very helpful to receive the latest updates from the missionary’s prayer letters. Sometimes we watch a video. It is a privilege to give thanks to God with the missionaries for answered prayers, to ask God for help in their current ministry areas, and request provision for their personal needs.
“Praying for missionaries linked to my church, and missionaries linked to other Canberra churches, gives me a greater sense of my part in partnership within the CMS fellowship, and in Christ’s mission to see a world that knows Jesus.”
Graeme Sedorenko helps organise prayer meetings in the ACT and elsewhere in NSW.
Graeme comments: “We would love to see many people from Canberra in small prayer groups. However, we must remember the success of any prayer meeting is not in the number of attendees. It is in the Lord who chooses to hear their prayers, and who is able to act in accordance with his infinite wisdom. I can honestly say I have never been to a prayer meeting that I have not enjoyed, even when I am reluctant to go, but go anyway. I find my spirit warmed, enriched and refreshed. Spending time with the Lord and his people in prayer is invaluable, both for the pray-er and those on whose behalf we intercede.”
Graeme offers a challenge: “Wouldn’t it be great if an individual decided to open their own home and say: ‘I will host a prayer meeting’.”
CMS NSW & ACT Central West Missionary Expo event.
You can help care for CMS missionaries not only by praying, but also by helping coordinate or even host prayer meetings and special events to encourage others to pray too. Contact your branch to learn what is involved.