In my thirty-year journey of leading the ministry of Every Home for Christ I have had several occasions of the Lord calling me to prolonged periods of worship, prayer and fasting. In each of these occasions I soon discovered that this concentrated, focused prayer was prompted by the Holy Spirit because God was leading our ministry into prolonged seasons of extraordinary gospel advancement and harvest. Three of those occasions involved 40-day fasts. After each of those fasts remarkable doors opened for our ministry that led to greater advances than I could ever have imagined. But there were two additional seasons that likewise led to miracle advances in our ministry. Those were occasions when the Lord led me to clear my usual calendar for an entire month to spend each day in prayer. During those months (which happened to be December of 1987 and December of 1998) some of the most amazing power-encounters and related ministry miracles took place during or immediately following those prolonged times.
Fast forward to the present day, and the current unique season in the ministry of Every Home for Christ. As I write this introduction while preparing for a third month-long season of personal prayer (December 2018), our EHC international leadership team is in the final stages of inaugurating a new 20-year plan with the bold and challenging—and even audacious—goal of seeing every home on earth literally reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ in the next two decades. It’s a goal of the present generation of believers on earth reaching the present generation of unbelievers on earth with the gospel—quite literally. This could sound like unrealistic hyperbole or exaggerated vision casting, if it were not for the fact that Every Home for Christ, over seven decades of its existence, has already seen the gospel personally placed in more than 2 billion homes. This has resulted in more than 210 million people responding by either making a decision to receive Christ as Savior or by requesting follow up materials in pursuit of knowing Jesus. It also has resulted in the planting of more than 315,000 new-believer fellowships called Christ Groups. But before I share more about this new goal, let me highlight briefly what happened during those first two months of focused prayer.
The Oil of Expectancy
During my December 1998 season of prayer I felt strongly led to pray daily for Every Home for Christ’s emerging two-decade plan called Completing the Commission. It was an ambitious plan to see home-to-home evangelism campaigns established in every nation on earth in that generation. But the more I studied the complexity and cost of the plan, the more I realized it was clearly impossible without a miracle beyond anything our global team could ever have imagined.
As noted above, this was to be the second such month-long prayer experience for me. The first had occurred in December of 1987 when God burdened my heart with the great need for the gospel in Communist Eastern Europe and the then Soviet Union. For 70 years these peoples had been kept from any open freedom to share the gospel.
Those prayers in 1987 were soon remarkably answered, and since that time Every Home for Christ has visited and given the printed gospel to more than 50 million households in just this Eurasian region alone. Also during these decades nearly 2 million people from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have mailed a decision card to a national or regional office or written a letter requesting more information about Jesus. The majority indicated they had received Christ as Savior. Prior to that time, the number of such requests was probably fewer than a few hundred in more than two decades from the entire region.
So, here I was, in December 1998, about to enter my second month-long prayer experience. As with my first month of prayer, I felt specifically led to set aside the amount of time daily for prayer that I would normally spend at my desk in my office or in planning meetings as well as in my usual preaching and teaching assignments.
For this second month-long commitment, I decided to keep a daily calendar and on selected days invite other intercessors, as well as our staff, to join me for prayer. Among other prayer focuses for the month, for two days we specifically prayed over the 1998 Completing the Commission 20-year plan that had prompted my month of prayer in the first place.
Much of these two days was spent literally on our faces in my office seeking the Lord. At one point we anointed each of the hundreds of pages of the plan with traditional anointing oil. On the third day, all of our staff spent an additional day doing the same thing. It was truly a symbolic saturation of the plan with the oil of expectancy and anticipation, and to this day I keep this copy of the plan, with oil marks on each page, in my prayer room at home.
Amazingly, in the following 20 years, which is concluding as I write these words, God provided every dollar needed for that plan and in the process 1.8 billion homes were reached with the gospel and some 190 million souls responded and were followed-up with new-believer Bible courses or personal face-to-face ministry.
But that was then, and this is now! There is an entirely new generation who need Christ’s message of salvation. A two-year old in 1998, for example, is now a 22-year old. That person needs to hear about Jesus. Millions of these precious waiting souls also live among people groups where the vast majority have never heard the name of Jesus even one time and lack even a single page of scripture in their language. They deserve to hear the message of Christ’s love.