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Missionaries need your prayers. Whether they are still on deputation, currently serving on the field, or home on furlough, your prayers are so appreciated. But, sometimes you aren’t sure what to pray about. Here are ten different ways to pray for missionaries and their ministries.
1. For Their Spiritual Walk
Serving as a missionary does not mean you are a spiritual giant who has this “walk with God” thing figured out. Missionaries are just regular people. Which means…they are sinners.
Even though they’ve been saved and are following God, they are still sinners who need to purposefully focus their hearts toward God and seek His will.
If they are not diligent about making time to read their Bible and pray, other things in life will start to grab their focus.
Pray for them spiritually. Pray that they would focus on God as they serve Him.
2. For Their Financial Needs
Missionaries trust that God will provide all their needs, as the Bible says in Phil. 4:19:
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus
And as a dear woman in our church (who has been an MK – missionary kid – for 80 years now!) told us:
If God ordered it, He’s going to pay for it.
Pray that God’s provision would be abundant. Pray that they would have the money they need to put food on the table, drive all the miles, and purchase the ministry items needed. While you’re at it, pray for their retirement needs. Pray that they would have the money to invest, so they can have money to live on when they can no longer serve full-time.
This topic is near and dear to us, since we are called to Missionary Acres. It’s a retirement community for missionaries, pastors, and career Christian workers who sacrificed plush retirement plans and guaranteed paychecks to serve God.
By supporting missionaries and praying for them, you are serving God. Not everyone can go. But, everyone can help with the Great Commission in some way.
Prayer support and financial support are so important to every missionary. They couldn’t be where they are, serving God, without a faithful team back home.
We have seen firsthand the power of prayer. It’s what has gotten us this far, around obstacles that we felt were impossible. But with God, all things are possible. And seeing Him provide is amazing.
3. For Their Kids
Pray for missionary kids. Traveling from church to church isn’t easy on kids. Neither is leaving their home and going somewhere new to serve God.
They are still kids. But, people often expect them to act perfectly since they are MKs. It’s not realistic, and can put undo pressure on them.
Here are ten specific ways to pray for missionary kids:
- That they would understand their need of a Saviour and get saved
- For their spiritual growth
- That they would make friends
- For them to have contentment and gratitude
- That they’d stay healthy
- For their academic progress
- For them to desire to serve God when they are grown
- That they’d develop the skills they need, such as flexibility and social skills
- For their future spouse
- For them to rest in God’s sovereignty
4. For Their Safety
If your missionaries are on deputation like we are, they’re going to be driving a lot of miles. Pray for traveling mercies.
No matter where they are on their missionary journey, pray for God’s protection of them. They are serving God and are likely to be targets of spiritual attacks. They are battling principalities and powers that are often unseen.
Pray for missionaries’ safety, both physically and spiritually.
5. For Their Ministry
Your missionaries have a burden for their ministry. Pray for that ministry. Pray that they would be faithful and effective where they are.
Take time to learn more about their field and the needs there. Do a little research. If you are able, take a short mission trip there and serve alongside them. You will come back with a whole different level of understanding about how to best pray.
If you’re praying for Missionary Acres, here are ten things you can pray for:
- The health of the residents
- The financial needs of the residents
- Stamina and strength for the staff – they are understaffed and greatly need our help!
- Safety on the roads as they take trips with the residents
- For the churches that bring groups to volunteer at the Acres
- For the children the on-site church reaches out to
- More residents to move in
- More houses to be built
- Wisdom for the director in making operation decision
- Emotional needs of the residents – these people all served God throughout their life and stepping down from doing that in a full-time capacity can be a hard transition
6. For Them to Make Connections with Pastors
Deputation is hard. Pastors are notorious for not answering the phone or returning messages.
Pray that your missionaries on deputation would be able to get in touch with pastors. Pray that God would lead them to the churches (and individuals) that He already knows will join their team.
Also, pray for clarity in communication as they attempt to schedule meetings and grow their support.
7. For Their Attitudes
Pray that your missionaries would have Christ-like attitudes. That they’d have humility and recognize that any progress is from the Lord, not themselves.
Pray that your missionaries wouldn’t grumble about the work to be done. That they’d do all things for the glory of God.
Pray for your missionary teams. Working together isn’t always easy. Disagreements arise. Frustrations can surface. And these things can destroy the work.
Pray that God would unite the team members.
8. For Encouragement
Sometimes ministry work is discouraging. Some seasons don’t produce much fruit.
Pray for your missionaries, that they would be encouraged, especially during the hard times. Pray that they wouldn’t give up in the work that God has called them to do.
9. For Their Adjustment
Missionary life is full of adjustments. First there’s deputation, where you’re going to different churches all the time. And even though you do your best to research them and stick to churches of like faith and practice, each church is still different.
Some have children’s church. Some don’t even have a nursery.
In some churches, there are donuts before Sunday School. In others, there’s potluck after the morning service.
Some weeks you’re getting up early to get to a local church. Others you’re arriving a day ahead of time and sleeping in a hotel room (or two if you’re a large family like us!).
Deputation is full of adjustments and schedule changes. Pray for that.
And just because a missionary has arrived on the field doesn’t mean their life will settle down and return to “normal.”
They may need to learn a new language. Or deal with culture shock.
There will be new people to meet, to try to build relationships with and witness to.
Different. Everything is different.
And your missionaries need prayers for adjustment. Pray that the Lord would give them the strength to adapt with the changes.
10. For Their Specific Prayer Requests
Most missionaries send out regular prayer letters. You do read those, right?
Inside, you’ll typically find specific prayer requests. These are things your missionary is asking you to pray for.
Please read them. And then pray. Pray for the requests in their prayer letters.
Here are five current prayer requests that we have. We just added many of these to our next prayer letter, which will go to our list early next week:
- For our son Owen – he’s been ripping out his g-tube and we don’t know why – pray for him and his health and for us to have wisdom
- Safety on the roads – we have to travel over 100 miles to get to a meeting on December 29th. Roads here in WA aren’t typically bare and dry during this season. Please pray for our safety for this trip and the future ones we have
- For a travel trailer – having to get two hotel rooms is so expensive. Please pray for God to provide the finances to purchase a bunkhouse style travel trailer that we can pull with the van that’d sleep all of us
- For finances – Bryan stepped down from his job in October, and Lisa’s working to grow her freelance writing business while we work on deputation. Pray that God would provide for their needs and continue to provide the funds they need to pay the bills and buy food and travel to churches
- To fill our schedule in 2020. We are praying that God would help us fill our schedule for 2020 so we can present Missionary Acres to them
Pray for Missionaries
Your missionaries need your prayers. Remember to pray for them on a regular basis. Make it a habit.
Here are four ideas to help you remember to pray for missionaries:
- Keep their prayer cards close. Hole punch them and slip them on a key ring to keep them together. Or put them in a small photo album. Hang them on a bulletin board.
- Get your kids involved. Have your kids take turns selecting missionaries to pray for, and encourage them to pray for them. Kids are often great at reminding us to do things that we’ve forgotten about!
- Keep their prayer letters. Make a folder in your inbox to store missionary letters in. Then, when you are praying, you can easily access them and pull up current requests.
- Write it in your schedule. When are you going to pray for missionaries? Add it to your to-do list. This will help you make it a habit.
Remember, there’s no “right” way to pray for missionaries. So don’t feel like you have to develop a fancy routine or anything. Just commit to bringing them before the Lord regularly. And then do that.
Your prayers make all the difference!