A letter to the church from Climbing For Christ
Lt. Gen. (retired) William Boykin.
Tony McAuliffe was the acting division commander of the 101st Airborne Division defending Bastogne, Belgium during World War II’s Battle of the Bulge. McAuliffe found himself surrounded and outnumbered by German troops, whose commander sent a message proposing annihilation or surrender. McAuliffe sent back his answer to this ultimatum: “NUTS!”
Gen. William G. Boykin, a former Delta Force commander who was involved in the 1980 Iran hostage rescue attempt and the infamous Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia, shared McAuliffe’s story as he spoke at the International Christian Concern’s inaugural conference on the persecuted church last week.
“Stand up and get in the fight,” Gen. Boykin urged the church before saying we need intercessors. He knows the value of prayer. He also recognizes the challenge of prayer, which is why he said we need “tough people. It takes courage to not surrender.”
We need prayer warriors, not lip service.
Climbing For Christ has 222 members on our Prayer Team. But all new members are told that we are praying for them
for God to put a burden on their hearts to serve through His ministry in the following ways: PRAY, GIVE and GO!
Prayer is always the first criteria. “PRAY for the ministry
as we seek His direction and aim to glorify Him in all things.”
Do you pray for Climbing For Christ? Do you intercede?!
Intercession is prayer that pleads with God for our needs and the needs of others. It has been described as taking hold of God’s will and refusing to let go until His will comes to pass. It is, as Gen. Boykin suggested, warfare.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12
Intercessory prayer reaches into the spiritual world, where battles for our lives, our ministry, and the lives of those our ministry is sent to reach are won or lost.
Do you pray with this knowledge, with this level of intensity? This is war.
Jane Hamon shared in a story for Charisma News
(“God still uses dreams to speak to you, but there’s a catch”) about a dream in which she saw angels waiting. “The key to the dream was that the angels were waiting for something in order to confront the opposition and be able to advance,” Hamon wrote. “What were they waiting for? They were waiting for the church to arise and pray, to engage in the battle with them so the final celebration could take place.”
What are we waiting for? Let’s pray! Let’s unleash the power that is at our disposal.
Here’s my challenge to you today: please take time to take a knee, bow your head and heart, and truly intercede on Climbing For Christ’s behalf.
Tass Saada, a former Palestinian assassin who came to Christ and was among the many inspiring speakers and teachers at The Bridge: Conference on the Persecuted Church in Silver Spring, MD, shared his testimony and tips for ministering to those trapped by Islam. “They might say it is impossible for a Muslim to convert,” Saada told us. “Nothing is impossible for God.”
It starts with the prayers of God’s people.
Saada killed for Ararat and the PLO after his side lost the Six-Day War in 1967. “I don’t want to glorify the work of the devil,” he said. “I’ve done my share of creating havoc.” But God’s will brought him to the United States. How did a Palestinian terrorist get a visa to America? Repeat: Nothing is impossible for God.
“I came to the United States in 1974 and was accepted,” he recalled. “I hated America as much as the Jews.”
However, the love he was shown won him over. In particular, a wealthy American who was a regular at a restaurant where he worked, expressed a tenderness he did not expect or understand. “Thank you, young man,” the American said to him one day. “A rich man thanking his servant?” Saada explained. “This is unheard of in the Middle East.” This rich man, named Charlie, would lead Tass to the Lord.
He described his conversion experience, which included hearing the Word (read by Charlie), losing consciousness, seeing a vision, and finding himself on his knees with his arms outstretched to his Savior. Charlie told him he had levitated before coming to rest on his knees, speaking a language Charlie did not recognize. In the vision, Tass saw the hands of a Filipino woman who served as his nanny when he was young. He recognized her hands, clasped in prayer, because of a cross tattoo. “She planted the seeds of hope and kept watering them with her prayers,” Saada said, before telling us: “Friends, we have power – the power of prayer and the power of the Word of God.” Amen!
Climbing For Christ’s primary purpose is to GO where others cannot or will not to deliver the Gospel in the mountains of the world. The power of intercessory prayer can help us in what should be the goal of the church: to finish the task.
We have funding needs (especially at this time of the year), but those can be easily erased. I believe this.
Jesus tells His disciples: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you”
, ESV). Jesus is telling His disciples – He’s telling us! – that we should come to God in humility and awareness of our need. Be that provision, protection, emboldening, urgency – or all of the above. We are told to actively pursue God’s will in persistent prayer. The Father will give whatever is best, according to His will.
May we continue to glorify Him in all that we do – through praying, giving, and GO-ing!
Until ALL have heard,
Founding president, Climbing For Christ