Prayer opens doors for the Gospel
By Cosette Kashale
In Exodus 17:8-16, we read about Moses and Joshua fighting the Amalekites. Moses tells Joshua to go fight with the soldiers on the battlefield, while he remains on the mountain, his hands raised to God. For as long as Moses’ hands were raised to God, Israel was winning, but the moment his hands drooped, Israel became weak.
We can relate this illustration to the role of prayer in mission. Joshua fighting on the field is mission, a battle to win captive souls from the strong man, the devil. And the Lord says that we cannot enter the strong man’s house or take anything from him if we have not previously neutralised this strong man (Matthew 12:29). The raised arms of Moses are a picture of prayer. If we want to be successful, we have to pray before being sent out.
In November 2016 I took a team to share the g\Gospel in a village called Adjawi in Côte d’Ivoire. It was a place filled with idolatry, great poverty and all kinds of vice. Before going there, we spent several months in prayer, which resulted in the chief giving us permission to visit. When we finally arrived, however, we had to pray a lot before we saw a breakthrough.
The first day, when we were showing a film, the sky suddenly darkened and rain began to fall. Some of the villagers shouted, “The witchdoctors of Adjawi are strong! They made it rain. They have won!” Members of my team sought shelter and implored me to do the same. But I refused, because a voice in my spirit was telling me, “Cosette, pray to your God, the master of the rain.” I remained seated, praying to the Lord of the rain. In less than 10 minutes the rain stopped, the clouds disappeared and those who had gone home returned. The Word was preached, and that day at least 300 people accepted the Lord Jesus. Without prayer we could never have seen that result.
Again on the second day we prayed under torrential rain, and 600 people came to Christ. This is the fruit of prayer!
Prayer prepares the ground
About 25 years ago I started to pray for people living and dying without Christ – especially the Tuareg people. I felt a burden to go to them, and so I did, along with four other women. For more than five years we have been going to Niger to pray and preach the Gospel. We’ve seen God at work among the Tuareg, in response to our prayers. The arid ground of Niger has started to receive the seed of the gospel. [See article on the Tuareg people.]
God has chosen to save the world with our help, and it is by prayer that we join in that work. Because of prayer, living souls open their hearts to the Lord. The apostle Paul says, “Pray for me, that doors will open for me to take the Gospel.”
The Lord Jesus, our supreme model, prayed at all times, which explains why his mission was so successful. He spoke and did only what he saw or heard from his Father.
A man of God has said that we cannot be successful if we go to men to tell them about God without first going to God to tell Him about men. Prayer must remain our priority, and time spent with God our greatest desire. Praying fills us for mission, and prepares hearts to receive the Gospel.
In Côte d’Ivoire, we say, “Too much meat does not spoil the sauce.” Neither does too much prayer spoil God’s work. Quite the contrary!
Let us therefore pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Cosette Kashalé has served with the Christian Missionary Foundation in Côte d’Ivoire since 1996. She came to the Lord at the age of 21, while in the DR Congo, and she and her husband received a call from God to full-time mission. Although Cosette’s husband is now with the Lord, she and her three children continue to serve. In 2010 she created an NGO that cares for widows and orphans, and in 2012 she became the pastor of a local church.