We are revisiting an article written by Dick Manion in 1991 about how to better pray for missionaries. Though this article is 27 years old, the truths in it are incredibly relevant for today. Hopefully this will encourage you to faithfully pray for our Tentmakers missionaries!
“The nonsense that missionaries are a special people with special strength and unusual devotion has caused enough harm. I’ve never met a missionary who believes this myth, but there seems to be hardly a church member who does not.”
This statement appears on a prayer card of one of my missionary friends. And I believe it. For the past 30 years I have had some wonderful prayer-partners. But my best prayer-partners have been those who have known me best. because they know me, they pray for “real”, not imagined needs. How can we know these needs? Look into your own heart. Except for geography it is the heart of the missionary.
1. Pray the heart need of FAITH will be met in the missionary.
“Lord, strengthen the missionary’s faith. May he trust you for every need.” Visible results are often slow in coming and great faith is needed when sowing seed. A missionary any even fear returning home from the field, “empty-handed.” Pray he will leave all results, or lack of results, with God. 1 Cor. 3:6
2. Pray God will grant real WISDOM.
Wisdom is needed in dealing with one’s spiritual children. fellow missionaries and our own families. Wisdom in speech and actions is important. Incompatibility is easily the mission field’s most deadly virus. James 1:5-6, “If any of you lack wisdom.”
3. Pray he will have VISION and maintain a CLEAR PICTURE of what is happening on the field.
The missionary must not exaggerate “results”, nor should he miss a blessing when the Lord sends it. “God, grant the missionary the ability to see the spiritual impact of the Word on lives.” 1 Cor. 2:10-16
4. Pray the missionary’s LOVE will increase, and that his love for the lost will not grow cold.
Pray his willingness to forgive will remain active, not in word only – but also in heart. John 13:35
5. Pray he will have JOY day-by-day.
Routine often destroys this. Pray he will never forget to laugh. It is good medicine. Pray he will never lose the joy of his calling. 1 Cor. 7:20
6. Pray he will have PEACE, no fear at all.
“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” Jer. 1:8-10
7. Pray the missionary will be AT HOME in the place he is called.
“Wherever you are, be all there” is good advice. Pray about that “culture shock” and language adjustment. To swing into a diet of foreign food and a foreign language can create acute homesickness. Phil. 4:11-12
8. Pray for PURITY.
“Lord, keep the missionary pure in mind.” The field of service makes no difference. How easy to falter here. 1 Tim. 4:16
9. Pray for VICTORY.
“Lord, make that missionary victorious with his own children.” Our children are the greatest mission field we have. Noah was a success with his own children and was honored of God in Hebrews 11, the faith chapter.
10. Pray for TIME.
“Lord, help that missionary not to get too busy.” Missionaries, as all Christians, need time for prayer and family. Eph. 4:15-17