Praying for Missionaries during the Christmas Season

At Christmas, I’m sometimes asked for specific ways to pray for our missionaries overseas.  I’ve compiled a list of some holiday-specific requests that hopefully will be a springboard for you as you intentionally pray for those sent out from your churches, friends who have gone overseas, and those sent out by the IMB.

  1. Christmas brings evangelistic opportunities. In some areas, people are naturally curious about the Christmas holiday and why Christians celebrate it.
    1. Pray that God prepares the hearts of people to hear the Christmas story.
    2. Pray that God gives missionaries wisdom to see opportunities and boldness to take the opportunities when they come.
    3. Pray that missionaries are faithful to present the Christmas story in ways that are biblically faithful and contextually appropriate
  1. Christmas time is full of opportunities for missionaries to host events, have people over, and network.
    1. Pray that missionaries will take opportunities to meet both nonbelievers and believers and take time to go deeper in their current relationships.
    2. Pray that missionaries will creatively find ways to proclaim the gospel during the Christmas season through events, hosting people in their homes, etc.
    3. Pray for wisdom in knowing when to agree to things and when to say no.
    4. Pray that in the midst of a busy season, missionaries will take time to worship their King instead of just bustling to do things for Him.
    5. Pray that in the craziness, missionaries will prioritize their families. Because the season is so busy, relationships between spouses or parents and children can be neglected or strained.
  1. Christianity is now a global faith with thriving churches in many parts of the world. In many places, our American missionaries are not the only Christian believers or missionaries. Christmas gives Christians from diverse backgrounds a reason to meet and celebrate together.
    1. Praise God for the fruit of past missionary endeavors! Churches from the global south and global east not only exist, but are actually sending their own missionaries to the far corners of the world!
    2. Pray that God will give the missionaries we sent opportunities to meet and fellowship with global Christians from all tribes, languages, nations, and tongues.
    3. Pray that out of these opportunities, missionaries will form lasting friendships with believers and missionaries from different cultures.
  1. Christmas is often hard for missionaries because they are far away from their families, their churches, and their Christmas traditions.
    1. Pray for the missionary families that are living in the United States while their family members are abroad. During the Christmas season, some of them acutely miss their children, siblings, grandchildren etc. Pray that this season, even though they feel the absence of their loved ones, the families of missionaries will be able to rejoice in God’s work all around the world. Pray for the salvation of those family members of missionaries who are not currently believers.
    2. Pray for missionaries who have lost loved ones in the last year. The Christmas season is always hard for those who are grieving, but it can be amplified for those who are not able to join their extended family during the Christmas season.
    3. Pray specifically for single missionaries. Christmas can be a very lonely time for them. Pray that they would faithfully serve the Lord, even in extended times of loneliness.
    4. Pray that in the midst of yearning for Christmas traditions, missionaries can develop new, culturally-appropriate traditions with their friends and church family in their current context.

Anna D. Contributor
SEBTS PhD student
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Posted in From the Center.

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