One week from today the Class of Spring 2012 will be gathered in Italy for the launch of a new and exciting training initiative known as the OM Arts School of Mission! The student body for this pilot training session is a diverse composition of 10 visual artists, 5 dancers and 2 musicians, from 8 different nations. But they all have one common goal: to learn to employ their artistic gift for effective, long-term, cross-cultural ministry. There is great anticipation about what God will do during this 3 month session in and through the students as they encounter Him in new ways, grow in spiritual maturity, rebuild their identity as an artist in Christ, produce inspired art, and receive God’s vision for how and where they should serve Him in the future.

Unfortunately, the Enemy realizes how exciting this is and has taken an interest in opposing the efforts to empower and equip artists. As the core training program staff have prepared for the program launch we have already experienced several attacks and we realize this is only the beginning. In his book, The Invisible War, Chip Ingram explains that there are at least five instances when spiritual attack can be expected:

  1. When we’re taking significant steps of faith for spiritual growth
  2. When we’re invading enemy territory
  3. When we’re exposing him for who he really is
  4. When we repent and make a clean break with the world, a long held-pattern of sin, or an unholy relationship
  5. When God is preparing us individually or corporately for a great work for his glory

We fully expect that the staff, students, and others involved with the OM Arts School of Mission will encounter attacks in the coming weeks as a result of all five instances. Perhaps there are steps of faith you are taking in those areas that may be met with opposition. It can be quite daunting to consider, but Chip encourages us: “Don’t let these things scare you. That’s exactly what the adversary wants. The blessings of being used by God to impact the world always far outweigh the harassments of the enemy. You have to choose between fear and faith…to forge ahead with the knowledge of how to engage the enemy successfully.”

Choosing faith, we are seeking to engage the enemy effectively and one of the best places to look for direction is Ephesians 6:10-20. It begins with an exhortation for God’s children to recognize that we must fight from the position of victory we have in Christ and in His strength. We must be rooted in that – in Him. Then in order to withstand the attacks we must put on the protection God provides: “the full armor of God”. It is easy to glaze over this command because it is often so familiar, but doing so is truly hazardous to our health! Finally, verses 18-20 emphasize the absolute necessity for “consistent, intense, strategic prayer for one another” in order to overcome the attacks (Ingram, Invisible War). This is where you come in for the OM Arts School of Mission.

We need prayer WARRIORS who are committed to consistently, intensely and strategically praying for the students who are represented in the graphic above. Would you consider committing to pray specifically for one of those students daily throughout the next 3 months of his or her training? The students time at the School of Mission will be very formative for them personally and for the world as they realize the vision God has for their future ministry. We would love to share pictures and bios on each student, but we have purposefully only provided basic information on the graphic in order to protect them in the event that God leads them to work in places where it is unsafe to be known as a Christian.

If you would like to commit to doing battle in prayer for one of the students God has sovereignly brought to this school, please email erika.tello@om.org with a description of which student you would like to pray for. We will respond with an initial list of prayer points to help you be strategic. As we’re able we will try to update you throughout the program if there are any special prayer needs. Then at the end of the program we hope to provide each prayer warrior with some description of how God moved in and through the life of the student who was protected through your prayers. We anticipate having many great things to share!

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