Have you ever thought to take time to offer up prayer for misisonaries? The circumstances of life tend to get in the way of what we are all called to do. Whether you are a 70-year-old retiree, 55-year-old executive, a 24-year-old service clerk, or a teenager finding your way in the world, something always needs to be done. Work, school, a hectic schedule; all seems to prevent one from fulfilling the call to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” However, when your schedule keeps you from going with missionaries, you can always say a prayer for missionaries.
Prayer for Missionaries: Confidence
“For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:20)
One of the biggest obstacles, even for a seasoned missionary, is confidence in the message they are delivering. They desire every word to be heard and received. They desire that God will use them to change lives and to draw people into a relationship with Jesus Christ. We need to stand by and say a prayer for missionaries to receive boldness and a willing spirit to allow God to speak.
- Speak boldly – Missionaries have fears with those they are speaking to, fears of the laws of the region in which they are speaking, and fears of how God’s Word is received. Pray that they will be like Peter during Pentecost; Speaking boldly with full confidence that Jesus is Lord and that He will speak through them.
- Willing to admit they don’t know – Another danger missionaries face is speaking from their mind, and not their heart. I am sure we all have experienced someone with a question we could not answer. We have two choices, to speculate and possibly give an inaccurate answer or we can be truthful and admit we do not know. Missionaries face the same choices and it is difficult to make the admission, especially when someone is close to believing.
Prayer for Misisonaries: Protection
“No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.” (Isaiah 54:17)
There is a myriad of things that could go wrong in the mission field. Illness, weather, vehicle issues, law entanglements, and even governmental strife can get in the way of speaking the message of the Gospel. It is crucial that our prayer for missionaries go ahead of them to enable God and His angelic army to tear down strongholds that would otherwise hinder their abilities.
- Hindrance removal – Inclement weather can hinder an outdoor event. Vague laws in a country can make speaking about Christ difficult. Even small hiccups like a flat tire can cause disruption, especially when a missionary is on a schedule. Please note, hindrances don’t have to be physical; they can be emotional, even spiritual. A bad mood can be harmful to one’s witness.
- Open to changes – One other tool the enemy loves to exploit is a schedule. Missionaries often live a structured life. Scheduled times for venues and feeding kitchens are common. Being receptive to schedule changes and to make do with the direction God leads is important to be a solid witness for Christ. People are watching, they see how Christians react to stress, and unfortunately, people are quick to judge. It is vital to offer prayer for missionaries asking God to protect them from anything that would cause them to stumble.
Prayer for Missionaries: A Ministry
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Colossians 4:5)
Having an outline or an agenda can place blinders to the opportunities God sends their way. Consider this: Jesus came to earth to go to the cross. If He just pressed forward to fulfill that purpose, then how many lives would He have missed along the way? Prayer for missionaries must include an openness to the Spirit moving and a heart awareness to recognize God’s nudges.
- Open hearts and minds – Often, God will use little distractions to bring a greater need to light. A missionary needs to have an openness to God’s direction. They must also maintain an attitude that detours are allowed, even welcomed. God works through a one on one encounter (Nicodemus, the woman at the well, the man at the pool of Bethesda) just as He can with an address to a multitude.
- Focus on the Spirit – Focus is everything. It is keeping their eyes on the real reason why they are where they are. Ministry is not about the missionary; it’s not about sightseeing; it’s not about expanding one’s horizons. It is about Christ. It is easy to get sidetracked with “self” when one is doing so much work. The temptation arises of self-indulgence and self-glorification. God should get all the glory not one man or any organization.
The Ministry of Prayer
“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16b)
When you are unable to go, send. When you can neither go nor send, pray. While prayers are often unseen, you can rest assured they are effective. Prayer for missionaries is a ministry in itself. Just as missionaries cannot conduct their ministry without the financial support of churches, they cannot equally function without the prayer for missionaries. Remember to also pray for the harvest, because the workers are few.
Thank you, Lord for the opportunity we have to offer prayer for missionaries. Thank you for the work that they do. Please give them boldness to speak your word and to allow your Spirit to flow through them. Allow them to be focused on the tasks you have laid out for them, but have the willingness to follow your lead. Give them the ability to accept and overcome any obstacles that is in their path. Help them to discover new and exciting opportunities to advance your Kingdom. Protect them, guide them, help their work to be fruitful. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.