How To Pray For Your Missionaries-Part 3
7. Pray for Help In Trials
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 “8For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 10Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 11Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.”
There will be many times that a missionary goes through hard times—political unrest, persecution, financial difficulties, health problems, disruptions in the ministry and so many other things. These are trials that merit our prayers.
But, instead of praying that God just take away the trials, pray that through the trials, there would be more dependence in God instead of the flesh.
That’s what God’s word tells us here. We can face the hardest of trials because we have a great God. He is our sufficiency. He is our all in all. He delivers us.
Pray for your missionaries to have help in trials.
8. Pray For A Fruitful Ministry!
John 15:16 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
There is probably nothing more frustrating to a full-time Christian worker than not seeing fruit after hard work in the ministry.
You’ve probably been there yourself. You feel like your wheels are turning and you aren’t getting anywhere. You’re just going through the motions. There is no fruit. There are no results. There just doesn’t seem to be anything happening.
So, let’s back up a little. What is fruit? Spiritual fruit is seeing souls saved, lives changed, the work of God advanced and His Glory elevated!
The Bible talks a lot about having fruit. He tells us that having the Holy Spirit in our lives will bring forth certain fruit. He warns us to watch out for false teachers, because “by their fruits ye shall know them.” He also informs us that some may plant and others may water, but it is God that brings the increase.
So how can we actually pray for a fruitful ministry? Pray that God gives wisdom in sowing the seed. Just as the parable of the sower of the seed, a lot of effort might be invested in sowing seed into ground that is stony, thorny, bare and infertile before the good ground is found. Missionaries will have to reach out to many people to win just a few souls. May God give direction as to where those few souls are located.
Also pray that the missionary doesn’t give up. Many times God gives a dream that won’t come to fruition until years later. It takes a long time to nurture an apple tree before it begins to yield good fruit. Many ministries may be the same.
And lastly, pray that the name of God is lifted high, no matter the quantity of fruit that is harvested. A missionary may get discouraged that his ministry isn’t as big as another missionary’s ministry. That isn’t the point. Let’s get our eyes off of other people and onto Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith. The Bible tells us that some will bring forth thirty fold, others sixty fold, and even others one hundred fold fruit. The main thing is that we are faithful with the seed that God gives us, faithful in distributing it, and faithful in harvesting it. God will handle the rest.
Pray for a fruitful ministry.
9. Pray For A Missionary’s Personal Battles!
Every family experiences its hardships. Every marriage has its stresses. Every individual has personal temptations and battles. But I dare say that those in Christian leadership face all these battles multiplied over many times.
One man once said, the higher you rise in leadership the bigger the target you become.
How true that is for missionaries! Satan knows that if he can stop an otherwise faithful missionary, he can stop the salvation of hundreds, thousands or even millions of people when you take into account the fruit of those that the missionary will train.
Being so far from those that are close to them, many times missionaries face battles with loneliness. They face battles as they adapt to a foreign language, a different culture and a whole different set of customs. Because of the nature of their financial support, they face battles with finances. Their income can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month, and if this becomes the focal point of their attention, stress will ensue. Any problem that may already exist in a marriage is brought to the surface and magnified when put under the pressure and stress that being on the mission field can cultivate.
Pray that the missionary resists temptations. Satan wants to see him fall. He’ll do what it takes to get him to stumble, because he knows that others are watching him.
Pray for your missionary’s personal battles. So they can be prepared to stand in the evil day. And having done all, to stand.
So how do we put all of this into practice?
Well, as I mentioned in Point 1, you have to connect with your missionaries to know what’s going on in their lives and ministries. After you know these things you can more efficiently pray for them and their families.
Get a burden for their ministry. Make it your ministry! Put yourself in their shoes and pray for their family as if it were your own.
Set aside time to pray for your missionaries. Make a list of missionaries to pray for and pray for them. Pray for them individually. Pray for them as a family. Pray for them with friends from your church. Pray for them continually!
Pray for missions collectively and specifically. What do I mean by that? Pray for the missionaries as a whole, but then also take time to mention them by name. Then, beg God to do a work in the world as he raises up laborers for His harvest.
Let’s pray for our missionaries!