There is a whole category of people who are called to Christ and have a passion for the nations & for the weak & marginal and have sought to go with a variety of service groups and who are repeatedly told no, don't go, be quiet, just settle down young man.
The reality is that if I were to go to my field of focus, I would probably die in short order because I would of my zeal or I would be disregarded as a lunatic because I would lose all my sleep because the medicines that help me relax & sleep sometimes would be unavailable.
Instead I pray.
I dare say that often my prayer lacks impact that I am aware of. I tend to pick certain countries & prayer goals and remember them as reminded, so I make lists.
Is this unfocussed? No, usually the only times I have observed the impact are when I stop praying and problems happen.
In retrospect, I have however seen the Lord start movements in various peoples that I prayed for and the timing was impossibly too neat to correlate due to chance. God uses our prayers for movements. Over and over, I find that God works far more in my absence than in my presence. He is a big God, and he wants us to pray big, foundation-laying prayers.
If the leaves of the tree in the Revelation of Jesus given to John are for the healing of the nations, then we must plead for that salve to be applied for the salvation of the souls of societies.
Praying requires a whole different category of action, it elevates us to the heavenlies, for we read the divine counsel in the Word and render judgements according to Psalm 2:8: the Son will have the inheritance that is His! HE shall possess the earth. HE is waiting for us to ask. He knows exactly what He plans to do and He is always on the right side of history.
Politicians will fail us.
Disasters are unpredictable.
The devil is dangerous.
The nations are too large for us to reach them in our own power.
But every time we kneel in prayer and cry out for help, God hears and acts. Every time we stand on His promises, the Lord proves His faithfulness. Every time we sit in His presence and ask for the nations, the Lord God sends forth His angel armies to intervene. Every time we fall flat on our faces and humble ourselves before the King of the Universe, the Lord God Almighty rejoices over us with singing and stands in the gaps that we cannot fill.
We cannot fill the gaps for we are sinners,
I am the worst
But He is perfect
We fail. He is faultless.
The Lord will succeed in every intervention He begins.
Our actions, our giving, our prayers, our sacrifices all must flow from our lives guided by the Word of God for them to be effective.
This is why years in prayer are often needed to accomplish what may take a season of actual service.
Then, when the doors close behind us after our work is finished, then the Lord Spirit goes to work most earnestly, with greater freedom than we could ever have.
This is the story of China.
This is the story of Iran.
This is the story of all who are bathed in prayer,
This is the story of all who are bathed in the Spirit.
This is why statistics lie about the future.
Statistics are based on what man sees.
Faith is about what God has promised.
Hope is the certainty that God will keep His promises to the end.
Love is behaving according to this confidence that God is love.