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Posts tagged ‘Prayers for Missionaries’

Target Your Missions Petitions – Pray for Boldness

Pray for MissionariesKey Bible Verse: Pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.  – Ephesians 6:20

Bonus Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-3

Fear can be crippling. For weeks after the robbery of her car at gunpoint, one missionary colleague feared to leave the safety of her home at night.

It became a very real challenge to participate wholeheartedly in the ministries in which she served, especially in light of the fact that the people to whom she ministered were part of a night-oriented culture. In such circumstances, missionaries need the prayers of their partners for fearlessness in sharing the gospel.

On one occasion our youth drama team was the first group allowed to perform in the main square of a city we’d entered. The city, known for its rugged and independent individuals, had very few evangelicals and had in the past been hostile toward any group that openly proclaimed the gospel.

Knowing that we would need a special God-given boldness to take advantage of the opportunity we’d been afforded, we spent much time in prayer. God answered those prayers and calmed our doubts and fears. In spite of hecklers, a car accident that took place as we performed our drama, and the loud music of a nightclub nearby, we were able to share testimonies of the transforming power of Christ in our lives.

—Dwayne Buhler in EMQ

My Response: I’ll pray for calm courage for a missionary in a threatening situation.

Thought to Apply: For five years we never went outside our doors without a volley of curses from our neighbors.—C.T. Studd (British missionary to Central Africa)

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.

 

Target Your Missions Petitions – Pray for Clear Communications

Pray for MissionariesKey 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.

 

Target Your Missions Petitions – Prayers for Missionaries

Pray for MissionariesAlthough Paul was a missionary pioneer, he was no lone ranger. He was keenly aware of his need for prayer backing. In his letters to young congregations, he typically solicited their prayers for him. His requests tell us a lot about how we should be praying for the gospel ambassadors we know today.

Interact with God’s Word

Colossians 4:2-4; Ephesians 6:19-20; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2

  1. Why do you think an alert mind is required (Col. 4:2) for effective intercession?
  2. What might devoting yourself to prayer involve in your case?
  3. How can you counter the out-of-sight-out-of-mind tendency (Col. 4:3) in your praying?
  4. What clues does Paul’s request for bold witness in confinement (Eph. 6:19-20), instead of release from it, give you about how you should pray for those in unsettled situations?
  5. Are you aware (2 Thess. 3:1) of areas where the Lord’s message is spreading rapidly? How about areas where it appears to be stalled? How should you pray for each?
  6. Recognizing that missionaries are on the “front lines” of spiritual warfare (2 Thess. 3:2), what kind of “prayer cover” is essential?

Spend Time in Prayer: Ask God to help you discern specific real needs of a Christian worker and persistently pray for His answers.

Colossians 4:2-4

2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. 3 Don’t forget to pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to preach about his secret plan—that Christ is also for you Gentiles. That is why I am here in chains. 4 Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.

Ephesians 6:19-20

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words as I boldly explain God’s secret plan that the Good News is for the Gentiles, too. 20 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.

2 Thessalonians 3:1-2

1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, I ask you to pray for us. Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. 2 Pray, too, that we will be saved from wicked and evil people, for not everyone believes in the Lord.

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.

Target Your Missions Petitions – Pray for Protection

Pray for MissionariesKey Bible Verse: Pray, too, that we will be saved from wicked and evil people. 2 Thessalonians 3:2

Bonus Reading: Romans 15:30-32

I don’t know how many times my wife and I have looked at each other and exclaimed, “There must have been people praying for us!”

One such experience was in the fall of 1994. I had a number of errands to run and had taken our daughter with me to give my wife some time alone. I first went to the bank near our Porto Alegre home and encountered a terrible line-up at the tellers. Like any North American, I chafed over the wasted time and the difficulty of keeping a three-year-old entertained in the line.

When we finally got out of the bank, we headed for item two on my list—send some letters. We headed on foot for the post office, and were surprised to see three or four police cars and an ambulance parked nearby. When I enquired, I learned that 20 minutes before there’d been an armed robbery, with shots fired and two customers injured.

Looking at my watch, I realized that a bank line-up had saved us from being in the line of the robbery fire! That night we gave thanks as a family for bank line-ups, for God’s perfect timing, and for the many people we knew were praying for our personal safety.

—Dwayne Buhler in EMQ

My Response: I’ll pray for safety and physical and emotional health for a missionary friend.

Thought to Apply: One feels a deep, inward consciousness that though we are absolutely shut off from every human help, yet we have protection more secure than any consul can afford.—Alexander Mackay (missionary to Uganda)

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.

 

Target Your Missions Petitions – Pray for Responsiveness

Pray for MissionariesKey Bible Verse: Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes.  – 2 Thessalonians 3:1

Bonus Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10a

Among some peoples the gospel, which is the power of God to change lives, has moved in and made wonderful transformations. Other groups—in large, sprawling cities as well as distant jungles—are hostile, untrusting, and unresponsive to missionary efforts. Many resistant peoples still have little or no visible Christian church.

Missionaries go out in God’s power, knowing they aren’t always guaranteed success but longing to see the hearts and minds of the people they’ve come to love changed, to see whole cultures bend their knee to the lordship of Christ.

Jack Campbell, a missionary to Guinea, West Africa, shared the joy of seeing a substantial number come to the Lord from the tribal group with which he works. Fifty years of previous missionary efforts had produced only a handful of believers. The turning point, he says, was when a large group of people began to fast and pray specifically for the responsiveness of this tribe.

So pray that your missionaries may find the favor and love of the people to whom they minister. Pray that the gospel will be fruitful and well received among them, as it was with you.

—Dwayne Buhler in EMQ

My Response: I’ll ask God to direct a missionary friend to someone whose heart He has already prepared.

Thought to Apply: I don’t know how to make a man think seriously about sin and judgment, and must look to the Holy Spirit for any such working.—Jim Elliot

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.

 

Target Your Missions Petitions – Pray for Opened Doors

Pray for MissionariesKey Bible Verse: Pray … that God will give us many opportunities to preach about his secret plan. Colossians 4:3

Bonus Reading: Acts 16:6-10

I asked people to commit to praying for opened doors for the ministry I served in Porto Alegre, Brazil. A small group began to pray specifically for this.

God surprised us by the doors He opened in response to the prayers of our partners. The opportunity to work together with Campus Crusade for Christ and use the Jesus film with many other Christians in our city was indeed a welcomed window of opportunity that we hadn’t anticipated.

We saw another door opened when a senator welcomed us and worked with us in seeing an outreach planned for high-level city and state government officials.

What we experienced in the unity and fruitfulness of the Jesus Film Project in 1998 can only be explained by the people praying for such open doors.

Many doors remain closed. Some are large and reflect the greatest challenges for the church in the new millennium. These are the nations and people groups where access is restricted or hindered.

Some doors represent influential people in a city or tribal situation. These unopened doors present a tremendous opportunity for God’s people to enter into a prayer partnership with missionaries, seeing them opened to the gospel.

—Dwayne Buhler in EMQ

My Response: I’ll pray for one closed door to open for a missionary I know.

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.

 

Target Your Missions Petitions – Beyond Foggy Prayers

Pray for MissionariesWho Said It…Dwayne Buhler

Dwayne and his wife Rhonda are Canadian missionaries currently serving with the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Mexico City. He directs the Leadership Training Institute know as CETA, which offers a program of evening and weekend classes that provide training for believers. They previously served in Brazil for ten years, and in Canada.

What He Said…Beyond Foggy Prayers

In the battlefield of today’s missionary efforts, Satan uses many weapons. At times these weapons are obviously directly sent from him to obstruct or discourage God’s messengers. Other times his weapons are people who are unaware that they are being manipulated to achieve his hellish goals. Many times his weapons are also subtle circumstances that dissuade, discourage, or distract the missionary from accomplishing God’s purposes.

That’s why prayer for missionaries mustn’t be a vague, uninformed exercise. “Lord, bless the missionaries, whoever they are, wherever they are, and whatever they are doing—I’m sure they need your help” isn’t an effective way to be a partner with God in and through missionaries. As a missionary I often struggle with the task of writing prayer letters that creatively communicate the very real needs that my family and I face. I desire to do so in such a way that their prayers and participation will be effective and rewarding. My experience is that when God’s people pray specifically, He answers those prayers specifically.

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.