Where Two or Three Are Gathered

An Invitation to Global Prayer for the Great Commission

Sarah Plummer 02 Apr 2024

‘At first I had no idea how to go about things. I asked God to guide me and give me the key to mobilising the church in the nation to pray.’—Brian Mills

Unlocking the Power of Prayer—The Birth of a Prayer Movement

Reflecting on a mini evangelistic tour he had just completed, Brian Mills (former Assistant National Director of Mission England) found himself thinking in threes—perhaps he could get people meeting together in threes to each pray for three friends by name, so that between them they were praying for nine altogether. Praying together in threes meant that they could encourage one another by praying for each other’s friends, as well as their own. This would require a weekly commitment.

The vision for ‘prayer triplets’ was swiftly launched through an initiative of church growth and evangelism throughout England, and soon enough prayer triplets were multiplying all over the country. Within weeks Brian and his team were beginning to hear of people becoming Christians. Some groups were seeing five or six of the prayed-for people turning to Christ in a matter of weeks. 

Within every training event during that year of 1983, Brian and his team launched prayer triplets. The following year, they estimated that around 30,000 prayer triplet groups existed, and that over 12 percent of them had seen at least one person converted, or in the region of 4,000 new converts. This all happened prior to Billy Graham’s arrival, when the evangelistic phase of the mission took place. The response to Billy Graham’s preaching was double what he had experienced elsewhere in his long and distinguished ministry, and many observers considered that the reason for this fruit was due to the success of prayer triplets.

Where Two or More are Gathered

The response to Billy Graham’s preaching was double what he had experienced elsewhere in his long and distinguished ministry, and many observers considered that the reason for this fruit was due to the success of prayer triplets.

In January 1967, evangelist Billy Graham, theologian John Stott, and Bishop Jack Dain came together to pray and discern what God might do through them. They discussed the possibility of bringing Christian leaders from around the world, from all denominations and backgrounds, to be a catalyst of connection for the global body of Christ in the task of the Great Commission. From this friendship came the First Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, 1974, and following this the Lausanne Movement emerged. Now, more than 50 years later, we anticipate the Fourth Lausanne Congress in Incheon, South Korea.

Over the past 50 years, the world has witnessed how God has worked through this Movement in powerful ways to reach the unreached, strengthen Bible translation efforts, formulate effective missional strategy and foster collaborative action across Christian denominations, ethnic backgrounds, and diverse lands.

What birthed a movement was sparked by these three Christian friends from different parts of the world simply meeting together and praying, before becoming God-inspired. It could be said to be the first prayer triplet of the Lausanne Movement. 

Your Invitation to Join a Movement of Prayer

‘For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.’

Matthew 18:20

I would like to invite you this coming year to form a prayer triplet. This is simply an invitation to meet with two other Christians once a week for 30 minutes or an agreed set time. Ideally, this will be three people coming together to pray about three things each. It is important to keep it simple and sustainable, but to really invest in this worthwhile commitment.

I’d encourage you to pray through the Lausanne Movement’s fourfold vision:

  1. The gospel for every person
  2. Disciple-making churches for every people and place
  3. Christlike leaders for every church and sector
  4. Kingdom impact in every sphere of society

Below I have outlined an example of what this might look like, as groups of three from every nation in the world gather to pray for these four strategic missional pillars in light of the Great Commission.

Week 1: The Gospel for Every Person

Pray for three people who do not yet know the Lord. Each member of the prayer triplet can bring a list of three names so you will pray for nine people in your set time. If you want to think bigger, you might also pray for three unreached people groups yet to hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. You could use resources like the Joshua Project to select these people groups.

Week 2: Disciple-making churches for every people and place

Pray for a maturing and multiplying of disciple-making churches. List three churches that you would like to see plant at least three more churches in the years ahead. Together, your triplet will be praying for a list of nine churches. If you want to think bigger, I’d encourage you to pray for three strategic cities or nations that have the largest intersections of unreached people using 110 Cities or Operation World Prayer for the Nations to guide you and pray for surge teams and church planting teams in these nations.

Week 3: Christlike Leaders for Every Church and Sector

Pray for the raising up of three Christlike leaders in the local church or secular spheres of society. List them by name so that you have nine names to pray through. If you want to think bigger, choose three Bible colleges that are shaping and forming leaders in God’s Word to be Christlike—walking humbly, simply, and with integrity.

Week 4: Kingdom Impact in Every Sphere of Society

Pray for kingdom impact in every sphere of society, listing the name of three spheres of society where you would like to see God’s kingdom have renewed impact. Choose sectors you relate to or are passionate about, so as a triplet you will have a list of nine sectors or spheres of society you are praying for, be it education, health, sport, the arts, entertainment, the virtual world, and so forth. If you want to think bigger, the Lausanne Movement has incredible Issue Networks that cover many aspects and spheres of society to spark your prayers.

If this is stirring in your heart and mind by the power of God’s Spirit, can I ask you to do two things: Firstly, pray about this and pray about who to ask to join a triplet with you. Secondly, share this invitation with other Christians in your small groups, churches, or networks.

May God do immeasurably more than what we can ask or imagine with our prayers and actions! To the praise of his glorious grace!