A couple weeks ago I wrote about how to pray as a missionary (click here to read). Today, I write about supporting missions through prayer. Most Christians pray for missionaries but we often do not know what to say, or we utter a meaningless, “God bless our missionaries.” In this post I want to point out 3 specific ways to pray for missionaries. The context for this post comes from 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2:
Finally, brothers, pray for us that the Lord’s message may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not all have faith (HCSB)
Pray that the Gospel Would Be Alive and Run Freely – One of the most frustrating aspects of serving as a missionary is the daily realization that you are only one person, one mouth and there are thousands who need to hear. At times the gospel seems to be like maple syrup in a Vermont Winter. But, in our verse, Paul asks the church to pray the gospel will sprout legs and sprint.
Ps 147:15 says: He sends His command throughout the earth; His word runs swiftly. Pray this way!
Pray that the Gospel Would be Received Fully – Paul wanted everyone to be transformed by the power of the cross. He asked Christians to pray that others would experience the full power of the gospel, just like they had previously experienced (see 1 Thess 1:1-10)
The world is filled with men and women who need Christ. They are trapped in false religions, dark sin, and deep seated deception. It is not enough for them to admire the message or think of it as a nice word from a nice American friend. This will leave them lost! Pray God will reveal himself to the hearers and that the message will be received as God’s message of salvation.
Pray that the Missionaries will be Protected – We live in a dangerous world and missionaries frequently face dangerous situations. We do not need to pray that missionaries will be comfortable, but that they will be protected from evil.
Each Tuesday and Thursday, we post information about students serving in our country and around the world. Subscribe to our blog or check back regularly so you will be able to put some faces to the prayers listed here.
Now it is time for us to pray for you. We pray that the next time you are tempted to utter a wimpy prayer – “God Bless the Missionaries,” this post and these requests will haunt you!
Scott Hildreth is the director of the Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies. He frequently speaks on issues of missions, spiritual formation, missiology, and theology. Scott also contributes to SEBTS faculty blog www.betweenthetimes.com