Prayer

Note - to give credit where credit is due, these prayer suggestions were taken from the website MissioMishMash

Is there more to missionary intercession than “Lord, please bless all the missionaries”?

Much missionary prayer is shallow. Yet prayer is a vital part in the fulfillment of the Lord's Great Commission. Every Christian should be involved in world evangelism through faithful, biblically based prayer.

Here are some suggestions I think will empower your intercession:

* Love for God. The most important commandment for all Christians, including missionaries, is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind." Like Martha of Bethany, missionaries can become so service-oriented that their worship grows cold.

* Genuine love for others. Because missionaries face cultures which often seem (to them) difficult, it is easy for missionaries to become frustrated and angry at the people to whom they minister. Also, relationships with coworkers can become tense on the mission field. Pray for harmony and patience.

* A deeper relationship with God. Missionaries do more than go door-to-door witnessing each day! They must wear a thousand hats, from auto mechanic to accountant, not to mention preaching, evangelizing, discipling, counseling, providing theological education, home schooling, etc., all in a different culture and language without the help of secretaries or paid church staff members! Wives must do all cooking from scratch without electricity for much of the day! Hence, missionaries are tempted to skip or skimp on their time alone with the Lord. The only result is frustration. Pray for consistent devotional lives.

* Vital, supportive home churches and individuals who are willing to pray fervently and faithfully.

* The supply of financial need. Missionary ministries are more expensive to maintain than expected. The problems of money exchange, the fall of the dollar, inflation, endemic bribery, etc., are constant points of concern.

* Cultural adjustment. Culture shock hits in the first term, but culture stress continues in every term. Many missionaries cannot make the adjustment to new foods, life styles, languages, value systems, and attitudes. Some return home disillusioned and with a sense of failure, others react wrongly on the field and hinder their fellowship and witness; yet others go too far in their adaptation and compromise their health and sometimes their faith. Pray for wisdom, balance, and flexibility.

* Protection from Satan's attacks. In many areas Satan's strongholds have never been challenged. Missionaries are attacked through bad health, loneliness, depression, threats, and even well-meaning Christian workers. They need victorious faith.

* Family life. For some, the missionary call may mean foregoing marriage for the sake of the Gospel. For others, family life may be made difficult by living conditions, inadequate amenities, lack of finance, or be disrupted by long separations, many visitors, and overwork. Missionaries' children can sometimes become resentful or rebellious in their teens. Pray that missionary families may be an effective witness and example of all that a Christian family should be.

* Fruitfulness. All workers desire an effective ministry that bears fruit. They need clear objectives and time to achieve them. Too much time can be spent on survival and handling trivial interruptions, and too little on the real task.

* A sense of urgency. Expulsions or enforced departure from the field could suddenly terminate a ministry. The missionary needs to work hard to train his successors and help local believers to maturity.

* Homecoming for "furlough." Missionaries need wisdom and good counsel from their home churches and mission boards about when, why, and how long to take so-called furloughs. Many missionaries chuckle at the word "furlough" because it is anything but restful. Pray for an effective ministry with churches at home, grace during reverse "culture shock," and spiritual refreshment and refocusing.

* Health and strength. One of the top requests from missionaries are health issues, because they often live in unsanitary conditions with insufficient medical facilities. Also, many parts of the world are becoming more and more hostile to foreign missionaries. Pray that the Lord will grant the strength, health and protection that will bring His greatest glory and the greatest good for the missionaries.

* Specific ministry needs. Stay updated and informed! Perhaps the biggest way to encourage a missionary is to tell him, "I've been praying for the outreach in Timbuktu, how did the Easter evangelistic service go?" It is always refreshing to hear someone say, "I pray for you regularly." But it's even better when someone asks specific questions revealing that they really HAVE been reading websites and updates, and have been PRAYING for the needs specifically!