Reaching the Unreached with Prayer

In the United States, the beginning of fall signals a season of bonfires, football, and cooler weather. In South Asia, fall is the beginning of festival season. Hindus across the region celebrate some of their major festivals, including the Ganesh festival and Diwali.

It has been quite the culture shock to see idols of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, being displayed everywhere in my city and celebrated by many as the god of new beginnings.

According to the Joshua Project, 3,322 unreached people groups are in South Asia. These are people who haven’t heard the gospel yet—people who, as you read this blog, will be born, will live, and will die without knowing Jesus or the grace He offers them.

The amount of lost people can be overwhelming. Knowing where to begin to reach so many can seem like a lost cause. Not doing anything is not the answer though when the opportunity for people to hear and respond to the gospel and avoid eternal separation from God is at stake.

We all can begin to reach the lost around us by getting on our knees and praying to a holy God to work in us to reach those far from Him.

We begin with prayer because that’s what Jesus did.

In Luke 10, Jesus sent His disciples out 2 by 2 to share the gospel. Before He sent them out, He gave them directions on what to do and what not to do: don’t bring extra money, don’t bring extra sandals, and don’t get caught in conversations on the road.

But what did He tell them to do first? Pray.

“‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Luke 10:2 ESV).

Pray earnestly for the high school student I’ve shared with many times who doesn’t seem to connect with the fact that Jesus can save her. Pray earnestly for the mom, the co-worker, or the friend who is close to you but far from God. Pray earnestly for that family member who doesn’t understand why you’d follow someone you can’t see and shrugs off your attempts to share the gospel with him or her.

Prayer says to our faithful Lord of the harvest, “We need your help as we go into your harvest field to share your gospel with your people.”

Emily Todd* is a cross-cultural worker serving among the people of South Asia.

*Name changed.

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