Keep on keeping on
Paul urged the Ephesian church leaders to ‘keep watch over yourselves and all the flock’ (Acts 20:28). He saw the danger of ministry where leaders neglect their own spiritual lives.
It is as hard for Christian leaders to maintain a disciplined spiritual life as for any other Christian, probably harder. The devil knows where to strike, so pray:
- That missionaries will ‘speak as men approved by God’ (1 Thessalonians 2:4)
- That their conversation will be ‘full of grace and salt’ (Colossians 4:6)
- That they will preach ‘in season and out of season’ (2 Timothy 4:2)
- That they will be laying foundations ‘as an expert builder’ (1 Corinthians 3:10)
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock. (Acts 20:28)
Their personal needs
- Pray that your missionaries will feel at home in a new country, culture and climate.
- Pray for their children, particularly if they are at school in a different country.
- Pray for happy family times together, and for the children to love and serve the Lord.
- Pray that they won’t resent being separated from their parents, and that the parents won’t fret about their children.
- Pray for elderly or frail parents at home and for those who support them. Ask that God will look after them.
- Pray for good, sustaining friendships, for holiday arrangements and time to relax and unwind. Remember the special needs of single missionaries, who may have feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- Pray for your missionaries when it’s time to adjust back to life in their own country. Pray that as they visit churches and supporters they will build strong links and renew relationships.
- Pray for good relationships with national Christian leaders and with fellow workers, some of whom may come from different cultures and countries.
- Pray as your missionaries learn a new language, understand its nuances and attempt to communicate. Grasping the language takes time. Pray against setbacks and discouragement.
- Pray for their language helpers; people with the courage to correct and advise, and who will encourage your missionaries in their work.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ. (Colossians 4:2-3)
Many people pray for our missionaries every day. The following suggestions will help you in praying for the missionaries you know:
- Sunday: Their spiritual life
Time to read and pray. Spiritual growth. Encouragement. Fellowship with local Christians. Good links with sending churches and prayer supporters. For integrity, reliability, consistency.
- Monday: Their personal life
Relationships between husband and wife. Maintaining contact with children, parents and family back home. Friendships with nationals. Health and strength. Physical and spiritual protection.
- Tuesday: Communication
Progress in language study. Adaptation to culture, customs and people. Clarity, creativity and relevance in preaching and teaching. Biblical emphasis. Involvement with those hearing the message.
- Wednesday: Relationships
Harmonious relationships with other Christians, team members and church leaders. Partnership with the local church.
- Thursday: Evangelism
For boldness. For godly, sensitive, Spirit-led ministry. Hungry hearts and the opening of spiritually blind eyes. For the establishing of Christ’s church. For national missionary movements.
- Friday: Discipling
For patience and empathy. Training young people. Encouraging new believers. Equipping those with leadership gifts.
- Saturday: Their country
For those in authority. The political situation. Religious freedom. Openness to the gospel. Favour with officials. Visa renewal.