The electronic age allows this generation to pray for missions as never before. There was a day when missionaries’ prayer requests were outdated by the time they reached the churches. Supporters faithfully prayed for general needs, unaware of the challenges of a specific day. Praying saints sometimes heard weeks later how God wonderfully delivered the missionary through some crisis on the very day of their burdened intercession. The lag time of “snail mail” sometimes left people wondering how God had answered their prayers. Internet-based communication now provides instant access to the most remote corners of God’s harvest fields, enabling missionaries to communicate needs in real time. Does this mean that missionaries benefit more from intercessory prayer today than they did in the past?

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The year was 1792. William Carey had challenged his Baptist brethren to obey their responsibility to take the Gospel to unreached lands. Baptists of mid-England formed the Particular Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel Among the Heathen. They appointed Carey and John Thomas to go to India as missionaries. In 1793 Carey said a tearful farewell to his church in Leicester, England. On a Wednesday the Society came together for a farewell service as Carey and his son prepared to leave. Sometime during that all-day meeting, Carey met with the four leaders of the Society. These men promised Carey “that, as he went forth in the Society’s name and their Master’s, they should never cease till death to stand by him.” Andrew Fuller, one of those men, later described the occasion with an illustration.

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