The Impact of Your Partnership

craig-murrayOne question that naturally comes when we support any organization is what impact does my support make? Let me tell you, for CMI it is more than we can adequately describe.

From my most recent trip to Quito alone I can tell you stories of 8 people that placed their faith in Christ at just one service of 325 people at the Cumbayá Church. Or I could share about the 32 to that trusted Christ that same Sunday in one service at the República Church. I could mention the continuing growth of the Norte Church (now approaching 600 people in attendance after just 1 year of ministry) or the more than 6,000 now in attendance in the six Encounter Churches throughout the city. I could talk about the vibrant discipleship ministry of the Chillos Church, the evangelistic impact of the Puembo Church’s marriage retreat ministry, or the top-notch small group/bible study resources the Batán Church is developing that intersect with a five year plan to preach through the entire Bible.

If you had been with me you would have heard the stories of business leaders ignited by the gospel to provide livable wages for their employees or launch ministries aimed at expanding church multiplication efforts through local resources. You would have heard from Christian architects and builders creatively dreaming of how they could use their talents and resources to accelerate the development of churches.

And if you traveled to Lima in March with others on our team you would have joined 3,000 leaders from throughout Latin America for the annual “Leaders Encounter” Conference at the Lince Church (the founding church of the Encounter Movement). You would have seen the ongoing fruit of this 40-year gospel movement that has produced 63 churches in Lima and sparked more than 658,000 decisions for Christ in Peru alone.

We could easily boast in such outcomes if it were because of us. Instead, we boast in Jesus Christ––by whom, through whom and for whom all of this is accomplished. Just as He once did with five loaves and two fish, so today He takes our limited offerings and multiplies them beyond what we could ever imagine.

So, thank you. Thank you for the “loaves and fish” of prayers and support you entrust into His hands through CMI. It is our great blessing to partner with you. Together we are equipping dynamic urban churches to disciple their nations.

Unrelenting Prayer

The development of a church is a direct attack on the devil. It is a frontal assault on what Satan considers to be his territory. Unless proper preparations are made and needed “supplies” are provided for those involved in the battle, the attack will fail. The fundamental preparation and the critical “supplies” come from prayer.

Relentless prayer is marked by four characteristics. It is intentional, intense, intimate and inspired.

“Intentional” prayer plans specific ways to involve as many people as possible in prayer. Many Encounter churches have started as home prayer meetings. Using this as a foundation, they move to larger facilities but maintain the emphasis on prayer. Often the members meet for early morning prayer or conduct all night prayer vigils. The basic premise for the church is that nothing is accomplished without prayer.

“Intense” prayer is marked by tenacity. It does not stop after the first year or two of existence of the church. Tony Evans, in his book “The Battle is the Lord’s” states, “If you and I are going to see this thing work, prayer cannot be an addendum to our day or week. It must be the controlling agenda of our lives. We need to pray when we feel like it and when we don’t.”

“Intimate” prayer signifies a clear knowledge of each request. It begins with a heart focused on God, not one merely going through the motions. It ends with praying in specificity and not with generalities, such as “bless this church.” Winning a city for God begins with prayer, but it is specific, thoughtful prayer that is the intimate form of communication that the Bible models.

“Inspired” prayer prays for great things. Acts 4:23–31 is a powerful example of this. Peter and John were commanded by the rulers, elders, teachers and high priest not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. When they were released, they “went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them” (v. 23). What follows is an “inspired” prayer that provides us with a clear example of how to claim victory in very difficult situations. Inspired prayer believes great things.

The earliest roots of Encounter with God, like all great movements of the Holy Spirit in history, began with unrelenting prayer. So, too, the power of a church and its people begins and ends in prayer. If prayer is foundational, the power of God is unleashed in great ways in a church. It is strengthened for battle and Jesus promised that “the gates of Hell” will not stand against His Church.