In doing some organizing on a day off we came across a pamphlet titled ‘Seven Ways to Pray for Your Missionary” written by Bill Wilson of OMF International. We thought that we would share it here in a series of “daily posts” on our website for you to become more informed on how you can effectively pray for us and other missionaries that you know.
“There is a living God; He has spoken in the Bible; He means what He says and will do all that He has promised.” – J. Hudson Taylor
Missions is more than God’s people obediently serving Him. Missions is God at work. If He isn’t working in and through His people to accomplish His purposes, nothing eternal is getting done.
Think of Paul at Philippi in Acts 16. He was faithfully teaching about Jesus when Lydia believed. God led the missionary to the right place, empowered his witness, and opened the heart of the hearer.
In Matthew 9:36-38, Jesus looked at the multitudes and their unmet needs and said, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Jesus compared the huge task of meeting the crowd’s needs with the few people there are to do the job.
What is to be done in this tragic situation? Jesus answers, “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers in His harvest field.” The solution is to ask God to touch hearts and challenge His people to work the harvest.
Unleashing God’s Power
The Apostle Paul was a great missionary who often urges God’s people to pray for him. He linked the success of his mission to the faithful prayer support of the saints of God. Read 2 Corinthians 1:8-11.
Paul describes some of his experiences as: “hardships we suffered,” “under great pressure.” “beyond our ability to endure,” “despaired even of life.” Yet he speaks confidently of God’s deliverance. Paul is sure that God will sustain him as the believers help in prayer.
This passage shows that God actively protects, delivers, and uses us for blessing. And prayer links us to the most exciting aspects of ministry. Paul says, ‘many will give thanks.. for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayer and effective missions.
The place God wants you in His missions program is something wonderful that you must discover from Him. But it is His will that you, a child of God, pray for world evangelization. We don’t dare sidestep this opportunity and responsibility. Pray. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17) and “You should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1b).
Pray on Two Levels
Here are two suggestions to help you pray more effectively:
1.Maintain a broad interest in missions around the world.
Keep up with missionaries in various countries. Some people pray for a different continent every day of the week.
2. Pray regularly for one missionary or a missionary family.
After you’ve cultivated your interest world-wide, as God to put one specific missionary on your heart and commit yourself to that missionary in a meaningful way. As God leads you, make a definite commitment to Him to pray daily for your partner in ministry. This special connection to another ministry hols all the mutual benefits of deep and purposeful friendship.
Learn all you can about your missionary: the family, the agency, the county where they are serving, the type of work they do, the people they are working with.
Assume some responsibility in your friendship with your missionary and write regularly. Send small gifts occasionally. Have them in your home. Read their prayer letters fresh from the mail box and pray through them many times. Let your mind expand on the items mentioned and pray in depth for them.
Rejoice with your missionary in his answers to prayer. Worship God with thanksgiving for meeting your missionary’s needs.
It is not easy to pray for someone every day for an extended period of time. Ask God to help you pray intensely, intelligently and with His Spirits’ power.
The following is the outline for daily prayer for a missionary. Each day is linked to a separate post to provide a more detailed explanation of how to pray more intentionally each day.