2015 West Papua – Paul Moon

The Prayers of His People

And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. – Revelations 5:8

From the week of January 26 – February 2, I along with 9 other members of my team were sent out to West Papua, Indonesia. The time I had spent and shared with the people there is one that will always stand out as I look back on my life. There is no doubt in my mind that I experienced God on a greater, more personal level- moreso than I even had thought possible. But I have to admit I did not go into the mission field thinking I would be bringing anything back with me.

Prior to boarding the plane and even up until our first ministry time, I had been nervous. A lot of this has to do with my aversion towards the unknown, and the feeling of being unprepared. I did not know what to expect despite hearing other people’s testimonies, especially those who had been to West Papua before me. I had heard that the people of West Papua were kind-hearted and gentle. Upon arriving in the field, this was quite evident. However, I was ignorant and only looked at the surface and thought this was all that there was to them. A people, kind and gentle, but lacking in all other areas. Seeing some that were not able to read or write, I remember thinking on our first day, “How effective can our ministry time be when some of these people cannot understand us?” But all of these doubts began to quickly fade just as quickly as one would start to sweat under the West Papuan sun.
One significant moment that changed the atmosphere and perceptions was during a dawn service at 5am. Up until this point, I had noticed that the natives had a quiet demeanor, especially during our training sessions where we would teach on topics such as prayer, faith, and forgiveness. Throughout the sessions, the people were calm and only responded when spoken to directly. However as each day passed, they began to be more responsive. And it was at this dawn service that things started to shift. As we started to pray to break strongholds, the prayers of His people were being sent up to Heaven. What started out as soft mumbles soon became loud cries and ground-shaking shouts unto the Lord. Prayers were being lifted up against common sins that the people of that country faced. Sins such as sexual immorality, divorce, drunkenness, unforgiveness (which led to tribal wars), witchcraft, and idolatry. As these people were declaring truth and breakthrough, they were chanting and praying just as an army of mighty soldiers would scream and shout to get pumped and to also ward off the enemy. The people whom I had once thought were quiet but possibly clueless, now stood as mighty warriors who put on the full armament of God, ready to step into battle.

This all rounded out on Day Six prayer meeting at 4:30am. By this time, the people we ministered to were more responsive and shared testimonies of healing and forgiveness. The atmosphere had changed along with their countenances. They were bold in their identity of who they were as sons of the Living God. On this morning, Pastor Sunny preached a powerful prayer session. He talked about how the prayers of God’s people are filling bowls in Heaven. And as the bowls become filled, the angels pour them down on earth as God sends down His holy fire. Again that morning, the prayers of His people were being lifted up. I could visibly see that all those who were praying knew who they were praying to, knew that their prayers were being heard, knew their prayers were filling bowls in Heaven, and knew that their prayers would bear fruit. This revelation was going forth not only in the hearts of the West Papuan people, but also in myself.

To be honest, my prayer life had become stale and almost non-existent. I had forgotten about the power of prayer. I had forgotten whom I was praying to and that my Father above actually listens to my prayers and is moved to act accordingly. I had seemingly lost my faith in prayer, but that was all rekindled on this missions trip. This is not the only revelation I bring back from missions but to me, it is very significant. I now have a deeper understanding of to whom I pray, and my knowledge of God has increased several-fold. Not only that, I know that He hears my prayers and that my prayers are powerful- powerful enough to move Heaven and bring about change here on this Earth. I also know that I am not the only one praying, but that my brothers and sisters from across the globe are lifting up a mighty voice unto Him.

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