Ever considered how the simple act of praying can lead to growth in God’s kingdom on the other side of the world? But what to pray? Here are some ideas:
Pray for open doors for your mission partner, and that they will recognise and use these opportunities. Pray for soft hearts for those who hear the good news, that they will be open and receptive to God’s truth. “[pray] that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ…” Colossians 4:3
Even the Apostle Paul needed to ask the Lord for fearlessness in evangelism, so our mission partners will too! Pray that they will have boldness in the face of embarrassment or failure. Pray too that the Lord would give them the right words to say, especially in situations of language or cultural barriers. “[pray] for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.” Ephesians 6:19
Pray for fruit that will bring glory to God and further his kingdom. Pray that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured. Pray for obstacles to be removed and for strength and stamina. “Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honoured, as happened among you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
This is so important, though it’s easy to assume that our mission partners don’t ever struggle in their relationship with God. Pray that the Lord will use the time they spend in his word to refresh and sustain them. Pray too that they will have time to spend in prayer and be maturing in their faith and battling with sin.
Many mission partners suffer frequent illness and discomfort in their placement country. Others face real danger every time they take a trip in a car. Some mission partners could be deported for carrying out Christian ministry. Pray that the Lord would protect his servants physically, as well as refresh them emotionally and mentally.
Husbands and wives, parents and children - pray against conflict, despite the increased stress that comes with serving overseas. Pray that the way they conduct their relationships would be a good witness to their community. For children, pray that they will grow up to know and love the Lord, as well as settle well and make friends. If they are single, pray for contentment and for strong friendships with other believers.
Many mission partners are isolated, without the fellowship and support of other Christians. Being in a different culture can also add emotional and spiritual challenges. Pray that God will provide opportunities for your mission partner to spend time with other believers, as well as times of relaxation and fun.
Pray for the country’s leadership, current events, social issues and people. Pray for the church in their country and the specific challenges it faces.
And… make it two-way!
Let your mission partner know how they can be praying for you – they really want to be in a genuine two-way partnership! You could tell them what you are looking at in Sunday services, what your home group is studying or of any upcoming evangelistic events. Share any anxieties, challenges and joys. Send your church prayer diary. Also let your mission partner know that they’re in your prayers – it’s so encouraging to hear that you are being prayed for!
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