When I was a little girl, I was fascinated with missionaries. My favorite church services were the ones when missionaries came to share. I loved to hear about the country they lived in and the fascinating stories they told. They always made it sound so exciting. Actually, I kind of wanted to be a missionary and always had a heart for missions. It was not God’s plan for me to be a missionary but is was God’s plan for my daughter to be one.
I have learned through living vicariously from my daughter’s experience that while missionaries do live adventurous lives, they are not easy lives. They live through culture shock, inconveniences we take for granted, possible danger, sickness, homesickness, loneliness, and many other things.
My heart has been very heavy for Jana. She has been going through some “stuff” and the Lord showed me she needs extra prayer support. She is on the front lines teaching in an underdeveloped country, in a place where most people don’t want to go. While praying for Jana, the Lord reminded me of the story of Moses where when he held up his hands the Israelites were winning the fight against the Amorites. However, his hands got tired and when he put his hands down, the Israelites started to lose. Moses asked the men for help and they put giant stones under his arms to help hold them up. That helped and for extra support Joshua and Hur, one on one side and one on the other, held up his hands until the sun went down (the battle was over). That is a perfect example of how the body of Christ should treat our missionaries. Our prayers are the giant rocks the men used to hold up his hands and God even sent two leaders to help personally.
I know that when I pray for missionaries and other Christian leaders, I don’t always know how to pray and I tend to pray very generic prayers. While surfing the internet, I found some excellent prayer points from NavPress, that are spot on.
Real-Life Prayers for Missionaries
Below are the top five reasons missionaries give up their posts and return home early along with specific prayers related to each reason. When your missionary is facing extraordinary stress or a new environment, these prayer points are recommended.
Extreme Culture Shock
• Pray for your missionary at key times, such as when a family first arrives on the field or when they move to a new location, even if it is within the same country or region.
• Pray that they will adjust quickly and smoothly to the local people and culture. Pray for the children to find friends. Pray that they will find adequate housing and acquire tastes for the local food.
• Pray that they will find positive things to enjoy or appreciate about their new location.
Major Marital Discord
• Pray that your missionaries will work together as a couple and be drawn closer together instead of becoming divided.
• Pray that they will submit to and serve their spouses.
• Pray that love will rule their home and that the couple will take opportunities to laugh together.
Severe Interpersonal Issues
• Pray for unity among the missionaries working together and for a willingness to resolve conflicts before they become entrenched.
• Pray that your missionaries will develop biblical ways of relating with team members who think, minister, and live differently from them.
• Pray that your missionaries will esteem others better than themselves and will have a mind to serve their team mat
Identity Issues and Sexual Sin
• Pray that your missionary will find fulfillment and satisfaction in being obedient to God and in receiving His affirmation, regardless of results or affirmation from others.
• Pray that your missionary will be sensitive to the needs of his or her spouse in areas of affirmation, encouragement, and sexual fulfillment.
• Pray that your missionary will guard him or herself against feelings of despondency, personal failure, and worthlessness.
• Pray that your missionary avoids the depression pit by maintaining communication with the Counselor, who can guide and counsel in all things.
• Pray that your missionary finds a support network of people who can offer accountability, counsel, and friendship.
• Pray that your missionary finds balance in his or her life.
© 2013 NavPress
My prayer is that this post will bring your missionaries to mind and that you will take a few minutes to pray for them. If this touches you, please send this prayer list to other Christians.