Praying For Your Missionaries

We were blessed to be part of a send-off service for one of our missionary families Sunday night. They have been on furlough, visiting churches to share the highs and lows of their ministries. Now they'll make the journey back to the mission field with our love and prayers.

And prayers are the most coveted gift we can give a missionary. If they're on a foreign field, they're away from family and their sending church. They're burdened for the souls and hearts of the people there, but Satan wants them distracted and frustrated. He wants them thinking about anything other than sharing the gospel. That's why our prayers are so vitally important while they're serving the Lord on the mission field.

Our pastor presented a list of seven ways we can specifically pray for the life of a missionary and his family. While it's always great to read their prayer letters and get updated on their individual requests, this is one way to cover all the bases.

1. Health and stress - If the missionary isn't physically strong and healthy, they're unable to do the work they've been called to do. They're also more susceptible to foreign diseases and viruses because they haven't built up an immunity to them. Pray that God will put of hedge of protection around their bodies.

2. Safety - Not every country is blessed with a relatively safe environment like we have in the United States. Pray for the missionary and his family in their home, when they travel and for their church building and property. Prayers for security can include protecting them from evil people with evil intentions and even natural disasters and accidents.

3. Finances - Support from churches in the States is what keeps the missionaries and their works going. Building and maintaining a consistent level of monetary support can be a burden and a drain on their minds and lives. Pray for the hearts of people to step up and give what is needed, and more. Also ask the Lord to help the missionary spend what they receive in wise ways, being the best stewards of those finances they can be.

4. Children and family - If the missionary's family is miserable on the field, the ministry will suffer. But if our prayers for their love, support and encouragement are continuous, God will show them ways to thrive in this foreign environment. Pray that each member of their family will find their place in the work, and that family back home will do everything in their power to help and uplift them.

5. Use time wisely - Missionaries have the same 24 hours in a day as anyone else, but there are so many more obligations pulling them in different directions. Pray that they will balance the work in their churches, soul-winning and discipling new believers.

6. Cultural adjustments - Every country and neighborhood has its own unique environment, and they're often drastically different than what the missionary is used to. Understanding what is culturally acceptable and what is taboo can truly make a difference in the vibrancy of a ministry. Pray that they will settle into the country's lifestyle and know what to say and how to say it in any situation.

7. Spiritual life - Perhaps the most important prayer need of any missionary, staying close to the Lord every day can change his life and the lives of the people he interacts with. Pray that personal Bible reading, studying and praying will be the most important part of their day. Without this vital component, every other aspect of their life will suffer.

I encourage you to take time every day to lift up your church's missionaries in prayer. Your love, support and encouragement has such a positive impact on the life of these servants of God.

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