I recently read an article written by my colleague Alisha Carr who mobilises prayer for Bible translation in Nigeria. She laid down a challenge: to recognise that if we partner with God and the work he is doing through prayer, the course of history can be changed. I hope that you will be as inspired as I am.
‘Jesus’ prayer partnership with our Father changed the course of history. Jesus saw it as his job description to fulfill the will of his Father, who sent him. From him, we learn the lifestyle of obedient submission to our Father’s will, and also to welcome his will through our prayers. All of our horizontal partnership efforts in the Kingdom are built primarily upon this vertical partnership with God.
As we accept the invitation to join God in prayer partnership and see the world through his eyes, we begin to see how overwhelming the task is.
I hear his call going out over Nigeria, ‘…”The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields” ‘ (Matt. 9:37-38, NLT). With hundreds of languages in Nigeria waiting to receive even one verse of Scripture, there is an urgent cry for more workers.
The Spirit of God is waiting to birth fresh joy, life, hope and purpose through all parts of the Bible translation and language development process. From initial surveys and assessments to establishing an alphabet and writing system, to making dictionaries and primers, translating God’s word into written, audio, song and dramatic form to engage communities with practical training and tools to learn how to apply God’s word to all aspects of their lives.
This is all so that more people would come to know Jesus and worship Jesus in fulfillment of God’s will that none would perish and all would come to repentance, to the glory and honour of the Father. Through your prayers the Spirit of God is breathing fresh life over Nigerian language communities!
Joining God in prayerful partnership is always an honour and blessing. It is a partnership that can change the course of history.
May God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’
Alisha has applied these truths to Nigeria, a country with enormous needs for Bible translation. However, the principles are the same for every country where people are waiting for the Bible in their heart language.