Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
You may have seen Merton Hershberger's posts for prayer for the Arabian Peninsula. Merton has a huge heart for the Peninsula and for prayer for the world. This week, Pray.Network caught up with Merton to learn a bit more about him.
PN: How did you come to be interested in prayer?
Merton: I saw my parents pray for the sale of their house and it sold within 4 hours of being offered on the market ... for exactly what they wanted. My final year of high school, God answered 2 major prayers: He provided a full tuition scholarship to the University of Arkansas and the Lord revealed what real love is from 1 John. This was life transforming and I realized quickly about the dialogue nature of prayer and that God really does want to answer our requests prayed in Jesus' Name.
PN: What's your favorite passage about prayer and why?
Merton: Psalm 2:8 "Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance and the ends of the earth your possession." This has motivated me to pray for the nations at the ends of the earth where I have seen churches planted, Bibles distributed, and movements amplified in answer to prayer. I have also seen that if I lose faith and cease my prayer, it has negative effects.
PN: How have you seen the negative effects of lack of prayer?
Merton: Once I was praying for the salvation of 5 people in Yemen. I had heard nothing about any believers there. I only knew that I was committed to pray for Yemen. However, in my wavering, I gave up praying for those anonymous 5 people. I told God it was ridiculous. Within 2 weeks, the Lord rebuked me by sending news of a group of 5 men who had been studying the Bible and had been found out. The group scattered and was disbanded. Some fled. Some denied. One was held in prison, I believe. I had to confess my lack of faith.
PN: Was that the end of what happened in Yemen?
Merton: No! Since then, the church has been planted and hundreds of Yemeni believers gather in various places. The church is heavily persecuted and is facing great difficulty, but prophecy is being fulfilled in Yemen and God is being glorified (Isaiah 60:6). The Lord is using me as the coordinator of an email list and Facebook page that focuses prayer on Yemen. God used my weakness to do something beyond my wildest imagination!
PN: What topic(s) of prayer make your heart beat faster?
Merton: Mission to the nations (Hence Psalm 2:8). Prayers for renewal in the church & reformation in society and healing in individuals & families. After highlighting all the prayers in the Bible during one read through, I have seen how deep and high and long and wide are the purposes of God. Salvation. It is huge.
PN: What has been your best experience of prayer in community?
Merton: When a prayer missionary was set apart in the community where I live who went on to establish 2 houses of prayer for 2 different regions. Or maybe when I learned via letter that a community of ESL teachers were united in a city in Asia at a university and then saw God enlarge my faith as He established a small movement to Christ among the students, saving exactly the number I prayed for.
PN: What resources would you recommend on prayer?
Merton: The Bible. Ears to hear. Eyes to see. Hands to serve. Feet to walk through an area. A heart to love people. And a mind patterned after Christ. Being renewed inwardly day by day.
PN: How have you benefitted from the Pray Network?
Merton: Seeing more people praying for the Arabian Peninsula and learning how to cultivate communal prayer in churches. It must be integrated into the church at every level in every person.
PN: What word of encouragement do you have for the Pray Network community?
Merton: Stretch out your tent pegs and enlarge the tent. Bring in more people who will pray. Be prayer evangelists: if someone is not saved, pray for them and witness to them about the Lord. If someone is weak, strengthen them in the Lord and bless them. If someone is strong, pray with them for the tearing down of the devil's strongholds. God will watch your back, cause Jesus is coming back.
Pray.Network Spotlight by Andrew Wheeler.
See Andrew's website at www.togetherinprayer.net