On Pentecost Sunday, Pastors David Platt and Francis Chan joined a coalition of more than 50 Christian ministries in launching a 33-day prayer challenge to raise awareness for the one-third of the world's population who still lack access to the Bible, the church, and other believers.
The 1:11 Prayer Challenge, which began on Sunday at 1:11 p.m. in each U.S. time zone, urges Christians around the country to take a moment each day for 33 days at 1:11 p.m. to pray for those who do not have access to the Bible or other believers. The event, which is part of the "Third of Us" movement, will be run by the Alliance for the Unreached.
Marv Newell, the executive director of the Alliance for the Unreached, explained to The Christian Post, "What many people don’t understand is that ‘unreached’ is not the same as unsaved or even unevangelized. The vast majority of people in communities across North America are reached with the Gospel, meaning that they have access to the Good News in their language in some form or another."
“But this is not true for the 3.2 billion people living in Gospel-destitute areas of the world,” Newell continued. “They are considered unreached because they have no access to the Good News. They still await the opportunity to hear the message of Jesus for the first time, and based upon the number of professing believers in their community, it is extremely unlikely they will meet or know a Christian personally.”
The Sunday online kickoff event featured video chats with Platt, the lead pastor of McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Virginia, and New York Times bestselling author Francis Chan.
"I cannot imagine having to face God apart from Christ," the alliance quotes Chan as saying. "So how can I allow other people to do this? If there are people who haven’t even heard — God, give me a desire for them. Give me a love for them."
The Alliance for the Unreached, which includes Bibles for the World, FEBC, Door International, Ethnos 360, Frontier Ventures, Joshua Project, Missio Nexus, Mission Network News, Operation Mobilization, Seed Company, TransWorld Radio, World Mission, and ZimZam Global, says concerning the challenge, "This is a dialogue starter to learn about the cause and encourage others to join the 1:11 Prayer Challenge."
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/mattjeacock
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.