P is for PRIME
Prayer + Research + Innovation + Media + Engagement = Key ingredients for collaboration in God's global mission.
Today, we have an amazing opportunity to collaborate within the body of Christ, globally, to help accelerate breakthroughs in our cities and around the world, especially amongst those who have not yet met our amazing God!
I want to share about PRIME, a collaborative framework, and then highlight prayer, which is the powerful first ingredient of PRIME. PRIME stands for:
Each PRIME area addresses a key barrier to breakthrough in ministry to the unreached.
"God has given us Prayer, to tear down spiritual strongholds and ekballo laborers; Research, to fill knowledge gaps and help fuel prayer; Innovation, to bring creative and non-traditional solutions to practical problems in mission; Media, to mobilize passion, prayer and participation, as well as facilitate new forms of outreach; and Engagement, to help tie all the areas together with a strategic focus on fostering church planting movements" (MF, 2015*).
"PRIME is the idea that anyone can contribute in one (or more) of these areas to help support ministry to the unreached, and that each area is better together than alone. Media ministry is better when it's vitally connected to prayer ministry and research" (MF, 2015*). It's the idea that we have more ability than ever for individual ministries to work together and reflect a Biblical vision of The Body of Christ that crosses disciplines and denominations.
When we put all five of these things together in mission, movement accelerates! But the starting point is prayer.
Jesus says it does. "Ask and you will receive…"
It can be hard to believe that our simple requests to God for people in great suffering, injustice, or for unreached people groups that we've never heard of can change their lives.
But we believe it does because Jesus said that it does. We pray in faith, we pray for what we believe to be God's will, we pray by his leading, our hearts believe that he has heard us, and he works. That is an unbelievable gift, to be participants with God in that mystery of prayer. We believe it makes a difference for Syrian refugees living in tents in Iraq... or for the gospel to breakthrough to a new people for the first time.
But there's more. There's an ingredient to prayer that helps us to persist in prayer when we're still waiting for answers.
In John 16:20-25, Jesus talks about joy five times. And he makes a connection between prayer and joy. "Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you…. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full." (NIV) Prayer, from Jesus' perspective, leads us to joy! Full, complete...exceeding joy.
Fullness of joy sounds like something more than just getting the answers.
Maybe it's this: when we talk to the Father in prayer about even the darkest of situations—the kind that would make us feel depressed or hopeless—we encounter the Father's heart, a heart that sees and reaches into darkness with power, love, and grace. When God reveals that love to us as we pray, it is ours too! The mystery of prayer is great, and so is the joy!
And this place of joy and mystery through prayer is where the mission of God begins—one of many fruitful ingredients he connects to make his name great among the nations.
Written by Christy Graham, Inherit the Nations
*Christopher Lucey, "PRIME." Mission Frontiers, Issue: March/April 2015.