If you are anything like most people, much of your prayer life is probably focused on your immediate parcel of the universe: your needs and wants, your family and friends, your church, and your local community. This isn’t a bad thing by any means! It’s normal, and it’s human to care about all of these things – and God cares about them too.
However, you may wonder how you can support the spread of the gospel worldwide and organizations like Mission Partners For Christ.
Today, I want to discuss how you can prayerfully support missionaries who engage with unreached people with the good news of Jesus Christ.
1. Pray For Open Hearts And Open Doors
The very heart of a missionary’s ministry is the gospel itself. It is why so many people uproot their lives for the inconvenient and often uncomfortable missionary lifestyle. It is their life’s prayer to see the gospel preached to the ends of the earth and to see others come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.
When praying for missionaries, please remember to pray for those who will be hearing the missionary’s gospel message. Hold in your heart the request that unbelievers would be receptive to the gospel, and for the missionary to be bold in sharing the Good News.
2. Pray For Physical And Mental Health
The life of a missionary is not always the easiest one. Moving to new places, they may be susceptible to new viruses that don’t exist back home. The stress of the job itself can also lead to physical illness, as we covered in a previous blog post.
In addition, being in a new country where the missionary may not yet have a solid relationship with other believers or churches in the area can be taxing on their physical and mental well-being. They may not have much of a support system, which can lead to further stress and burnout.
When praying for missionaries, please don’t forget to pray for their physical and mental health.
3. Pray For Safety
Many missionaries work in nations that are not welcoming to Christians or the gospel message of the cross. More than that: it is still illegal in many places to even be a Christian or to convert to Christianity from another faith.
This can make the missionary’s work much more dangerous for themselves and those to whom they minister. They could face jail time if caught preaching the gospel, or their lives could even be at risk if the larger community is made aware of what is happening or of conversions taking place.
When praying for missionaries, remember to pray for their safety. Pray for the protection of those who are learning about the message of Jesus under that missionary’s teaching.
4. Pray For Cultural And Linguistic Understanding
It is daunting to leave your entire life behind to travel to a new country with a different culture and a language, of which you may only know a few words or phrases. Adapting to so many changes can be a real shock to a person’s system.
Language learning may take time and effort. Picking up a new culture with an entirely new set of rules can be extremely challenging.
When praying for missionaries, keep in mind that learning to speak a new language or picking up new cultural rules and expectations can be extremely difficult. Remember to pray for their encouragement as they learn.
5. Pray For Unity With Local Believers And Churches
Christians were never meant to function as lone wolves. We were created to be a family. We were created as the Body of Christ – to work together in unity.
This is even more true for missionaries in the field. A missionary cannot do the work alone. They often rely heavily on local partners, churches, and believers to do the work that God called them to do. To work together effectively, all must share a vision for how to best accomplish God’s work in that region.
When praying for missionaries, remember to ask God to facilitate unity between the missionary and local believers in the area.
6. Pray For Relationships With Family & Friends
Being a missionary can be extremely demanding work and may not leave much free time to invest in personal relationships with their spouses, children, or friends. However, we know how vital these relationships are on both a Christian and an emotional level. All relationships require care and maintenance to remain healthy.
When praying for missionaries, remember to pray for their personal relationships as well. Pray that they would have the time and ability to be present in their marriages, parenting their children, and investing in friendships.
7. Pray For A Healthy And Thriving Walk With The Lord
God is the entire reason that missionaries are in ministry. God is their motivating factor and constant encouragement daily in the field.
However, missionaries are still human and are still prone to things like frustration, anxiety, and doubt. While normal and healthy, big feelings like these can impact their walk with the Lord. They can distract from spending time with God in prayer and their Bible reading. They can also lead a person to believe that their burdens aren’t actually important to God, leading to a disconnect in their relationship with Him.
When praying for missionaries, don’t forget to pray for their personal relationship with God. Pray that God would be their constant source of comfort in times of trial and that they would have time to set aside each day to spend with Him.
8. Pray For Financial Needs To Be Met
Finances are a fundamental part of missionary life. Because so much of their time is spent in ministry, they often need help securing funds. They must rely on the kindness of churches, organizations, and individuals committed to supporting them through donations.
As you can imagine, leaning on the kindness of others to meet financial needs can foster a sense of anxiety or doubt. If they are struggling to have their mission funded, they can even begin to wonder if they correctly heard God’s call in the first place.
When praying for missionaries, remember to pray for their financial needs. Pray that generous donors will show up to ensure that all needs will be covered.
How are you praying for missionaries? Did you discover something new to focus on through this article? Do you pray about something not covered here? Leave a comment and let us know!