As we all face the challenges of these COVID-19 days, your prayers for the work of the gospel around the world are so appreciated.
Michael Prest, UFM Worldwide Director, writes,
Drawing on our recent staff team readings in the Psalms, here are five ways you might pray for mission workers at this time:
1. A close walk with the Lord
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)
In the midst of so many changes, challenges and uncertainties, please pray that God would help UFM workers to grow in love for the Lord, fix their eyes on Jesus and be satisfied by the living water of the Holy Spirit.
2. A confidence in the Lord for the present
“Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! … He rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations – let not the rebellious rise up against him.” (Psalm 66:5,7)
Life is disorientating for many of us, wherever we are. How much more for those serving in a cross-cultural context. Please pray that mission workers would rest on God their rock, remembering that the Lord does not change and the riches of Christ are sufficient for any and every circumstance. Pray especially for those whose regular ministry is radically affected – for wisdom to take new opportunities and trust to wait on the Lord.
3. A love for the people they serve
“May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.” (Psalm 67:3, 5)
With the pressures of the pandemic, it would be easy to look inwards and shrink back. Please pray that mission workers would go on loving those they have gone to serve. Praise God for UFM workers serving: refugees in Thailand facing financial hardship; students across Europe suffering with mental health challenges; the urban poor in Peru lacking basic daily needs; communities in Uganda as they grapple with the health impact of COVID-19. May they go on loving their neighbours in deeds and in truth that many more might come to be glad! Pray too that mission workers would be humble to learn from the different responses they see in the lives of their brothers and sisters around the world.
4. A confidence in the Lord for the future
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1,2).
Please pray for those facing significant uncertainties – a number are facing visa challenges, unable to return to their place of service; others don’t know when they will be able to return to see family and friends; still others are asking big questions about the viability of their previous ministry. Such questions can be hugely unsettling. Please pray that workers will have hope in the Lord and an openness to what he may be doing.
5. Opportunities for the gospel to be shared and people to be saved
“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:10)
What a joy to hear stories of people coming to faith during lockdown, like the man in a small town in Ireland and two men from North Africa baptised in France. Pray that God may go on opening the mouths of his people, filling them with his word, that they might speak for him and that people might then respond in repentance and faith.