Praying for missionaries is one ministry that never has enough workers
"Brethren, pray for us." What missionary has not used this verse in his presentation to churches? Many of us promise to remember that missionary in our prayers, but in a week or two our sincere resolve has dwindled to ". . . and bless all the missionaries as they serve Thee around the world." Our problem is not that we don't know how to intercede for others, it is just that we neglect to.
The missionary who solicits your prayers really wants them. He faces loneliness, persecution, and other difficulties as he serves God in a foreign land. The power of prayer is a great up-lifter to this dedicated, though sometimes discouraged, servant of the Lord. The following practical suggestions will aid you in your ministry of prayer for missionaries.
First of all, remember that missionaries are human just like you. They have the same tight family budget, fussy kids, and flat tires that you have. When you catch yourself sending up a short prayer for strength and guidance for yourself at these times, ask the same for a missionary you know personally. This method works two ways. It provides the power of prayer needed for both of you, and it helps you get your eyes off yourself and your troubles.
The whole family can get involved in the following suggestion. In family devotions, choose one missionary family each night and have each person pray for a different area of need. One person might pray that the physical needs of the missionary family will be met. Maybe you will know of specific problems. If not, pray for good health and adequate medical care. Another family member could pray for the emotional needs of the family. It can be very stressful to be the only Americans and/or the only Christians in a community. One person might like to pray for the intellectual needs. There is often the problem of educating the children. Many veteran missionaries list this as the number one problem of the missionary service. Then, of course, remember the spiritual needs of the missionary family. They are in the midst of spiritual warfare and need your prayer support.
Utilize prayer cards. Put them in a place where you will be sure to see them and remember to pray. Many put them by the telephone, on the refrigerator, or in their Bibles. Others have a special bulletin board in a prominent place in the house. When you receive prayer letters, post them with the praises and requests underlined.
You might like to organize a group of thirty fellow Christians to pray with you about the salvation of souls around the world. This can be easily organized by making a list of all the countries in the world and dividing that list into thirty groups. If each person begins to pray for a different section of the list and promises to pray each day, the entire world will be interceded for every day of the month. On this list you should leave room for your prayer partners to fill in current news events and the names of missionaries they may know in various countries. This will make your prayers more personal.
One lady I know begins every day by praying for a specific missionary. She says the Lord never fails to bring that family to her remembrance throughout the day so that she might pray more.
Often we tend to remember only those missionaries who are presently serving on foreign soil, but there are other missionaries who need our prayers just as much. Have you prayed for those who work in the home offices of the mission boards? Their work is vital and demanding. How about those missionary children who are away from their parents in a Christian college--have you thought to pray for them? There are others we should remember: those on deputation, in language school, on furlough--all need to be upheld in prayer.
There is one group we must pray for although we may not know their names. They are the "potential missionaries." The Lord commands in Matthew 9:37-38 that we pray that the Holy Spirit might send forth laborers. Perhaps the lack of missionary volunteers today is because of our failure to obey this Scripture.
Praying for missionaries is a ministry that needs many more workers. The rewards are plentiful. You will find your burden for the lost at home and abroad increasing. You may develop lifelong friendships with some of God's choicest servants. Souls will be saved, the work of God will be strengthened, and your faith will be increased all because you remembered to pray.
by Leilani Mortland © Bob Jones University. All rights reserved. This
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