Extraordinary Prayer! It’s one of Team Expansion’s great passions, but what does that mean for our everyday lives? We interviewed Betty Byrd, Team Expansion’s VP of Prayer, Operations, and Personnel so she could explain just how passionate we are about prayer.
Hi Betty. What does it mean to be the Vice President of Prayer?
That is really hard to explain to a lot of people, especially those in the world. When I have to sign papers with my title on it, people always ask. I think only organizations like Team Expansion can understand.
To me, it means:
- Serving those who are willing to pray
- Training those raising support.
- Making sure that our workers are prayed for
- Making sure that the unreached are prayed for
- Keeping up the rhythms of prayer
- Assisting in the spiritual formation with our workers
- Assuring that our missionaries are prayed for by keeping up with the updates
- Encouraging our missionaries by letting them know we’re praying
- Really praying for these people and being conscious of that in every task and area
Our main focus is prayer and we’re not going to succeed as an organization without it.
Why does Team Expansion value extraordinary prayer?
We value extraordinary prayer because we believe it’s the power behind missions, crucial strategy in reaching the unreached, and the key to the fulfillment of the great commission.
We believe prayer moves the hand of God. God hears and answers prayer, and nothing happens apart from prayer.
What does Team Expansion do every day to emphasize prayer?
Our home office staff, International Services, meets at the beginning of every work day to pray for 1/31 of the world. We divide the 220 countries into the 31 days of the month, and we pray for one of those divisions each day.
As we meet together to pray, we specifically intercede for the countries, their leaders, our workers in those areas, any unreached people living there, and more workers to go into those fields. We also daily pray for Team Expansion’s goals, and our HUGE one right now is that God would establish 24 Disciple Multiplication Movements by the end of 2024, for His great Glory!
In addition to this designated time, we include a prayer focus in all of our meetings, our tasks, our conversations with individuals, and as we read the newsletters of our workers on the field.
What about each week?
We meet every Wednesday afternoon to lift up our 300+ workers around the world and pray for them from their requests in our database, which are kept updated. Each family is prayed for by name.
We have a monthly day of prayer and fasting, when we pray corporately and in groups for 1/12 of the places where Team Expansion has workers. We focus on workers, unreached, and the leaders. We also use that time to have corporate worship and thanksgiving.
Throughout the year?
Three to four times a year, we train missionary recruits in the importance of prayer in their work. We also teach them how to develop their own prayer teams. And we lift them up as they move forward in their next steps of obedience.
Each fall and spring, we organize prayer retreats to engage Christians and churches in prayer.
Here are the details for our spring retreat:
Prayer in Action: Praying Over Our Towns and Cities
Hotel Louisville (on W Broadway in Louisville)
See with God’s eyes. Love with God’s heart. Serve as God’s hands. Go as God’s feet in the neighborhood and the nations. You can register online.
What about annual prayer?
We’ve begun a new annual tradition where we have a 21-day time of focused prayer and fasting at the beginning of the year. We pray for revival, spiritual awakening in ourselves, our organization, our country, throughout the world.
What impact have you seen from those prayers?
I think we’ve seen God raise up lots of workers. We’ve also seen the establishment of more than 45 fields. Missionaries have been sustained in the field. Thousands of people have been baptized into Christ, and church attendance has grown across the board. Hundreds of churches have been started, and we’re excited that God has begun several disciple multiplication movements! All Glory to God!
How can other people get involved with praying with Team Expansion?
Threre are so many ways!
Team Expansion wants our missionaries to thrive. So we do everything we can to equip them for the vital work they’re attempting.
There are still so many people who have never heard the Gospel. We need people determined to tell them – wherever that might be.
This series is designed to answer the most frequent questions we receive from those considering missions, from support raising to education and more.