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Equipping and Encouraging Missionaries Through Prayer

10 ways to pray for the harvest — and the home life — of missionaries around the world

Grant McClung on June 30, 2016

The letters of the Apostle Paul to the churches of the New Testament reveal a transparent need for prayer from this great missionary. In Romans 15:30, he plead for prayer support: “Strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.”

Like Paul, modern missionaries need prayer not only for ministry, but for their personal lives and for the spiritual, emotional, and physical health of their families.

Equipping Prayers for the Harvest
Using Paul’s prayer requests found in Scripture as a template, we can equip and encourage our missionary friends as they face the many challenges of intercultural ministry away from home.

Here are five Scriptures to pray over the ministry of a missionary:

1. Pray for open doors.
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains,” (Colossians 4:3).

2. Pray for clear communication.
“Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should,” (Colossians 4:4).

3. Pray for responsiveness to the gospel.
“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you,” (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

4. Pray for boldness.
“I am in chains now for preaching this message as God’s ambassador, But pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should” (Ephesians 6:19-20, NLT).

5. Pray for physical protection.
“And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith,” (2 Thessalonians 3:2).

Encouraging Prayers Closer to Home

The health of a missionary’s ministry is dependent on the spiritual health and emotional support they find closer to home.

Using Paul’s prayer requests found in Scripture as a template, we can equip and encourage our missionary friends as they face the many challenges of intercultural ministry away from home.

Here are five ways to prayerfully encourage the “heart health” of your missionary friends:

1. Pray for single missionaries.
In the spirit of Ruth and Naomi, pray that the missionary is not lonely and finds “family” and support in his or her adopted homeland (Ruth 1:16).

2. Pray for marriages.
If married, pray for the missionary and his/her spouse, that their marriage relationship will grow and be blessed as they serve Christ together (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

3. Pray for missionary kids.
Pray for children on the mission field to have solid, deep, and stabilizing experiences with God at an early age. Pray the children will adapt well to their new language and culture and find good, wholesome friends. Pray also for the Lord to place a spiritual hedge around them from evil influences (Hosea 2:6-7, Job 1:10).

4. Pray for their families of origin.
Many missionaries have to work through the realities of aging parents back home, or behavior difficulties with their children on the field. These problems sometimes cause an early return or interruption in their service. Missionaries need the encouragement of continued prayer during those transition times when they have to return temporarily or permanently back home. Pray for Jesus’ healing touch on the lives of their loved ones (Matthew 8:14-15).

5. Pray for more partners.
Missionaries need prayer partners at home to share their burdens and victories. We must encourage and equip missionaries through intercession — and let them know we are praying. Take time today to remember your missionary friends in prayer and communicate an encouraging word to them.

This article was originally published at Faith News Network and was adapted with permission by the author.

Dr. Grant McClung is president of Missions Resource Group (www.MissionsResourceGroup.org), and missiological adviser to the World Missions Commission of the Pentecostal World Fellowship.

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