International (MNN) — Many organizations ask for prayer so they can thrive where they’re working. But, Wycliffe Bible Translators is swimming against the flow. Through their Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project, they’re asking people to pray for places where they aren’t working…yet.
History of Bibleless People
Shayna Noble who oversees the project says this project is nothing new.
“It was started back in October of 1982, and really, our leader at the time had a vision for praying for language groups where no Wycliffe work was going on yet.”
Many of the “Bibleless” people groups are unreached because a variety of factors are working against them. Two of those factors are size and geography.
Wycliffe says some people groups are very small and speak languages that are only known in their communities.
Other people groups may be larger in size, and their language may be well known, but their location works against missionaries. They’re difficult to reach and far from many roads, causing missionaries or Christian workers to hike, bike, climb, boat–anything it takes–for hours, days, maybe weeks, just to get to them.
When the project first started, Wycliffe was hoping for at least 6,000 prayer partners. Recently, they passed a 20,000 prayer partner mark.
After signing up, prayer partners receive specific unreached people groups to pray for.
“It’s something that anyone–5 years old to 95 years old–can do,” says noble. “We really believe in the power of prayer and how, really, God starts working in those language groups once someone starts praying.”
So how does Wycliffe measure or know that these 20,000 people are continuously praying? “Only God knows that answer, but one of the ways we like to measure prayer is just by keeping in contact with people,” says Noble. “So we try to keep in contact pretty regularly with our prayer partners and encourage them. And as updates are available, we send those along, so then they can continue to pray, and pray with details and specifics.”
Is it helping in the field?
Noble continues, “[There are] some stories that we’ve been able to see over the years, where [on] exact dates and [at] exact times God has worked and used the prayers of people. That’s just really neat when we get to see those.”
An example of the power of prayer comes from Africa: after the first prayer partner signed up, the national translator became a Christian. “In that same language group, another person signed up to pray with the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project,” says Noble, “and that’s when [the national translator] was admitted into a Bible translation certificate program.”
How can you get involved?
People in every nook and cranny of the world need to hear the Gospel, preferably in their own language. The only way translation projects begin is through prayer — through your prayer.
Be a part of the project. Click here to sign up.