When 82-year-old Beryl wanted to join our vision trip to Libya many years ago, we had to get special insurance. But boy was it worth it! As she listened to God for that nation, still under Gaddafi, with no known local believers, God told Beryl to pray for the unborn church.

Why pray for the unborn church? How? What? – it threw up so many questions. Yet as days, months, and the years passed, we obediently prayed for the unborn church. Libya was the first country for which we had produced a prayer guide, Springs in the Desert’, partnering with a large mission agency. 

And what a joy today, that there are national believers in Libya! 

The vision of Frontiers is: with love and respect inviting all Muslim people to follow Jesus; we focus on Muslims, catalysing movements of churches and disciples, and working in teams. For Frontiers Ireland, prayer has been key in listening to how God wants to shape the Irish sending base. Prayer for the unreached and unengaged people of the Muslim world has been integral to our work since we launched on St Patrick’s Day 2000 in Belfast. 


Some years ago, we were prompted to encourage churches to adopt a people group’. When we spoke to church leaders, it didn’t really resonate, but one church did go ahead and adopted the Southern Tuareg of Algeria for prayer. So, it began… 

We were then asked by our organisation to select a number of unengaged Muslim people groups to focus on. We chose seven and decided to try again with the churches. By the end of a 12-month period, seven churches had agreed to adopt a people group for a year of prayer, using a bespoke 30-day prayer booklet that we produced with help from partners. 

We then listened for what to do next, and God gave us a vision, and Pray for Zero’ was born. Pray for Zero was a calling to see churches in the UK and Ireland pray for the engagement of all 179 unengaged Muslim people groups (over 100,000 in population), over the next four years to come to know Jesus. I thought to myself: if God doesn’t show up, we are going to look very silly! So, in faith and with the Frontiers board’s backing, we pressed on. 

"Listening and being obedient in the little, even when only one church was involved, was the key."

By the end of the four years, we had seen 84 people groups adopted for prayer, but additionally 52 people groups had also been engaged with a church planting team, through a network of international partners. Thus, in total 136 people groups were impacted. Our mustard seed of faith and the prayers of churches across the island of Ireland, Great Britain and Holland had released church planters into many countries across the Muslim world. 

Overseas, these included a young family from a rural village in Northern Ireland – an electrician, a primary teacher and their two small children – listening to God on a vision visit with another organisation in southeast Africa; He confirmed that their hearts were to be for the unreached, rather than the reached. In response they went back out with us to a different part of the country to serve among an impoverished, rural unreached Muslim people group. 

Last year, my colleague Tracy shared a strong burden to commission a prayer guide for this people group, as the team had faced different obstacles. She contacted the team, who were delighted. The topics were divided among the field workers. Our other colleague Jason worked on the design and it was distributed in print and online to churches in Ireland, UK, USA and Australia. 

Through several days of prayer using the resource, the team has seen significant breakthrough in people coming to faith. George, who was helped by the team after his wife passed away, listened to an audio Bible, studied the Bible and came to faith. He was the first of his community to be baptised; he also had the joy of being present when another young man, who had come to faith through the reading of the word of God was also baptised. A few months later a third young man was baptised. There has also been a breakthrough with women gathering to read God’s word. Many other connections have been made in villages through drilling water boreholes, with Bible study groups following. 

In North Africa too, a team listening to God led practical help during Covid. Thanks to much sowing, relationship- building and a skills-based training project, six people came to faith at the beginning of 2024 (and many more we hope by the time you come to read this article). 

What else does God have for us this year and in the years to come, if we will be still and listen and know that He is God? 

Related pages:

Northern Ireland: Who are the good news people?

Northern Ireland: Who are the good news people?

David Smyth, head of Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland, shares some key findings from our recent research on evangelicals across Northern Ireland
Launch Day: Coalition of Christian Voices Against Poverty in Northern Ireland

Launch Day: Coalition of Christian Voices Against Poverty in Northern Ireland

On Tuesday 31 January, we were pleased to join with over 80 church and Christian organisational leaders at the launch event for the coalition in Portadown