Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How to pray for your missionaries

[This is floating around the internet, and it's too good not to share! I'm not sure who to credit it to, but I doubt they'll mind that I'm posting it here.]

Do you sometimes seem to “get stuck” when praying for missionaries? Are you frustrated because your prayers seem general or shallow? If so, here are some specific things you can pray for when you are interceding for missionaries.

1. Love for God
Overworked missionaries can become service-oriented rather than love-oriented. Pray that your missionaries’ love for the Lord will deepen, and that love for him will always be their prime motivation for service.

2. Love for Others
Yes, missionaries are human, and just like you, sometimes they have trouble showing love and respect to those “difficult to love” people-either their missionary coworkers or nationals. Pray that the Lord will make your missionaries’ love “increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).

3. A Deeper Relationship with God
Missionaries’ schedules can become so packed that they might skip or skimp on their time with the Lord. Pray that your missionaries would follow Jesus’ example. It’s hard to imagine any missionary having a busier life that he did; yet he consistently sought out time alone to commune with his Father.

4. Spirit-Controlled Lives
Just like the rest of us, sometimes missionaries have a tendency to do the Lord’s work in their own energy and human ingenuity. Pray that all of your missionaries’ actions will be under the control, and by the power of, the Holy Spirit.

5. The Fruit of the Spirit
As you pray that your missionaries will be under the control of the Holy Spirit, pray that the fruit of the Spirit-the very beauty of Jesus-will be manifest in their lives.

6. Wisdom and Knowledge
Strong-willed missionaries often come into conflict when two or more of them have opposing viewpoints. Pray that missionaries will have the wisdom of God, which James describes as “first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17).

7. Courage
Imagine your missionaries making the same prayer request Paul did in Ephesians 6:19: “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.”

8. Receptive Hearts
Pray for divine providence, that the Lord will lead your missionaries to people whose hearts will be open to hearing and receiving the gospel message.

9. Disciples
Pray that your missionaries will experience the joy of leading others to salvation, and of “teaching them to obey everything [Christ] commanded” (Matthew 28:20).

10. Strong Faith
The apostles once made a direct request of Jesus: “Increase our faith!” Pray that your missionaries will have great faith that will lead them to ask great things of our Lord.

11. Steadfastness
Pray that your missionaries will follow Paul’s advice to the Corinthians: “Stand firm.  Let nothing move you. Always give fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

12. Strong Family
Cross-cultural living can magnify even small family conflicts. Pray that members of missionary families will be drawn together, not torn apart, by living in a new culture.

13. Protection
Missionaries are prime targets of the enemy. Join Jesus in praying to the Father: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15).

14. Material Needs
Missionaries often face harsh living conditions, and may have to struggle to meet basic physical needs. Pray that the Lord will supply all their financial and material needs “according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

15. Health and Strength
In today’s increasingly violent world, missionaries face not only sickness, they may also be victims of crime, civil unrest or political upheaval. Pray that the Lord will grant the measure of health and strength that will bring his greatest glory and the greatest good for the missionaries.

The next time you sit down to pray for your missionaries, use this list as a guide to help you pray specifically. And pray for your missionaries consistently. They need you, and the Lord needs you to help fulfill his Great Commission. Your prayers count!

4 comments:

Mari said...

This is a great list! I'm saving it and I think I'll share it at my church too.

Skoots1moM said...

awesome list...missionaries and their giving hearts. this list will be put to good use

rita said...

Glad I came across this again!
When I wrote Missionary Moments this week I searched and searched for the list because I wanted to add one more each time. I just couldn't remember where I'd seen it! (losin' my mind)

Pam Rios said...

I read on Mari's blog that you are missionaries in Argentina! That excited me! My sister and her family serve the Lord in Paraguay, after being forced to leave Venezuela a few years back. My husband's sister and her hubby serve as missionaries in Argentina! Tucuman I believe!?