Workers on mission fields do not
need your pity, but they desperately need your prayers. Talk to
missionaries and you will find they have this in common: an unshakable
confidence in the power of prayer. Praying for them is the best
thing you can do for them, but sometimes it is easy to forget. Christians
are more likely to pray about physical trials such as sickness and
persecution than about spiritual battles. When prayer is neglected,
support is decreased. Of course, you do not want to be guilty of
neglecting to pray for missionaries. Here are some principles to
guide you in becoming a real missionary prayer warrior.
1. Find out all you can about the
missionary for whom you are praying. Missionary life in the city
is markedly different than that of missionary life in the jungle.
Remember this when you pray.
2. Pray regularly. Do not wait for
some heart-tugging story to stimulate you to pray.
3. Be specific in prayer. "Lord bless
all the missionaries" is not enough! Write and ask the missionary
his needs. Often you may be able to meet them. Do not expect the
more intimate problems that characterize the mission field to make
the pages of the monthly prayer letter. It is difficult to write
home about personal defeat or discouragement, impossible to write
about government obstacles lest they be expelled from the country,
and even when they write, these matters are only mentioned to very
intimate friends and prayer warriors. Make yourself available to
such information by letting them know that you do not consider any
request for prayer too small or too large.
4. Try to anticipate needs. Think
of the spiritual problems that plague you. Perhaps they are bothering
the missionary. If you wait until you hear of a need, often it is
5. Be persistent and persevering
in prayer. When you pray for something that requires a specific
answer, do not stop until you know that the answer has come. Praise
the Lord and continue praying for new needs.
6. Pray for victory over mental stagnation
caused by lack of time for reading and study; for freshness in prayer
and Bible teaching in the absence of an inspired preacher of the
Word nearby to offer a spiritual "refreshing;" for guidance in how
to present the Gospel to some person with whom the missionary may
have a fleeting contact; for deliverance from the temptation of
pride as the national looks up to the missionary as "the last word"
in knowledge and Christian example; for wisdom in relationships
with other missionaries; for strength to overcome the test of loneliness;
and for understanding in dealing wisely with nationals, many of
whom are assuming the leadership of churches.