International (MNN) — Today marks Day One of the Wycliffe Bible
Translators 40 Days of Prayer leading up to their World Day of Prayer on
November 11 is a day to remember that Wycliffe "began with
prayer and will continue only with prayer."
The day of prayer for Bible translation worldwide has been
ongoing since 1933, when Wycliffe founder Cameron Townsend was granted
permission to enter Mexico to begin Bible translation by the power of prayer
and God's grace alone.
Townsend and his translation partner were stopped at the
border on November 11, 1933 and told to leave. But the team and dozens of
others had been praying for opportunities to reach the more than 50 indigenous
tribes who had no access to the Gospel. As the two men prayed for guidance, Townsend
remembered a letter that a Mexican educator had sent him, impressing the need
for Bible translators. After he showed it to the border guards–praying all the
while, the team was eventually allowed in.
Wycliffe has been praying annually on this day ever since.
This year, the ministry is gathering as many as possible to
focus prayer on the Bible translation process from start to finish by taking a look at the scope of the
vision, the major parts of a Bible translation program, and praying through the
challenges to it all.
Wycliffe believes prayer is essential to Bible translation
and therefore welcomes as many participants as possible to join in this prayer
journey. You are encouraged to invite friends and family to join in as well.
Currently, over 2,000 languages have yet to claim a full
Bible translation. Only 457 language communities actually have access to the
New Testament in their heart language. In total, about 340 million people do
not have translations of the Word–or even projects started–in their heart
Wycliffe is making headway like never before through in this
effort. Prayer will spur on their work. If you would like to join in praying
for Bible translation for the next 40 days leading up to November 11, subscribe to receive prayer
updates via e-mail. If you're already receiving Wycliffe's daily updates through
e-mail or an RSS reader, you probably have started to see the special material for
the 40 Days of Prayer today.