Target Your Missions Petitions – Pray for Clear Communications
Key Bible Verse: Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. – Colossians 4:4
Bonus Reading: 1 Corinthians 14:6-11
In Rome, Paul wasn’t addressing his audience in his mother tongue. His prayer request for clarity wasn’t just about making a suitable defense to his accusers. He was soliciting divine help for addressing the spiritual condition of his hearers.
This prayer request obviously applies to those learning a new language. Clarity of expression means much more than knowing how to buy goods or exchange money in the marketplace. It involves cultural understanding, application of idiomatic expressions, gestures, and tone of voice. Because language learning involves becoming childlike and relying upon the help of others, it’s a task not easily accepted by those with many years of education and ministry experience behind them.
This request isn’t limited to missionaries in their first term of service. No matter how long a missionary has served, his adopted language is still his second language. When he is tired or under the attacks of the enemy, speech doesn’t necessarily flow easily in the same manner as with the mother tongue. Even veteran missionaries need God’s help in talking to heart issues and adequately conveying the life-transforming good news of Christ to a people.
—Dwayne Buhler in EMQ
My Response: I’ll pray for one missionary friend to become proficient in his target group’s heart language.
Thought to Apply: His colloquial Turkish was famous, and he knew the folklore, the emotional reactions, and religious beliefs of the people. —Friend (speaking of Lyman MacCallum)
Adapted from EMQ (Evangelical Missions Quarterly, 1/04)
Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me to grasp the critical needs of one missionary well enough that You can specifically respond to my prayers on his behalf.